This year, I have the lucky task of recruiting the session speakers for C3, scheduled for May 11-13, 2015 at the Wynn in Las Vegas. There are over 70 slots on the list, which seems like a lot – but, having had similar experiences as sessions chair for another show, the reality is that they can fill up fast.
Past experience showed that the secret was to make sure people knew about the show, and they understood how remarkable their stories really were. Successful people are typically not the ones who bellow loudest about their achievements, contrary to what the media portrays. They’re the people who do what they need to do to make their customers happy – and “customers” in this context means anybody and everybody that they answer to. If they’re in IT, their customers include their fellow employees as well as the CTO or CIO. If they’re in sales, it includes the people they sell to and the people who manage them. If they have a learning role, it includes everyone that they train.
So the people I describe as successful are not the ones who spend their time announcing how great they are. They’re the ones who prove it every day by going out and keeping their many customers satisfied. As a result of that trait, throwing your hat in the ring as a session speaker at a major conference might feel out-of-character – but it’s really not. It just means for a 45-minute talk at C3, your “customers” will expand briefly to include your peers and others who want to learn from your story.
What’s a good story? With CallidusCloud customers, it can be all over the map. Maybe a company has increased its sales by streamlining the deal process with CPQ. Maybe its learning department has developed new and creative ways to partner with the rest of the organization to makes sure training ideas are flowing and can be incorporated in near real-time. Maybe its sales team is able to spend more time selling and is more motivated thanks to the successful implementation of compensation and quota applications. Maybe a company has seen improved loyalty thanks to the ide use of surveys and customer feedback.
To the people who achieved these things, they’re not something particularly glamorous – they’re the things they do on a daily basis. But to the rest of the world, they’re great stories and inspirations that other businesses are eager to emulate.
So, if you’re modest, get over it! You can help the audience at 3C overcome problems you’ve faced down and contribute to the C3 community in a real, meaningful way.
By the way, that meaningful way also includes some benefit to you. In addition to your recognition as a speaker, you get a free pass to the show and reimbursement for your expenses up to $1000. In other words, for sharing your experiences for 45 minutes, you get a chance to learn from the 70 other sessions scheduled for the show!
Do you have any questions – or do you have an idea for a session you’d like to present (or even one you’d like to see)? Just email me – as the person in charge of sessions, I can help you with the details of submitting session proposals, send you our call for papers document, or just answer clarifying questions about the event. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!