Potential speakers for your conference are busy people. One thing they do not want is to received the Call for Papers as a PDF, print it, fill in the fields and then scan it and send it back. Not much better is getting a call for papers via survey software. Since call for papers are often long, the applicant may have to leave the desk for a while only to find that the site timed out and erased their work! Even if the form is filled out in one sitting, surveys cannot be updated – so if there is a mistake the form has to be resubmitted!
REAL call for papers software takes into account:
- Long forms require back and forth as part of the submission process.
- Other important parties like co-presenters, authors and office contacts.
Top-notch Call for Papers software should make life easy for your prospective presenters. Everything is based on “speaker portal pages” with these features:
- The process starts by entering an Email and/or a member account. From this point on the presenter now has an account for the conference and can go back to the submissions as needed.
- The account does not require the creation of a password, which has to be written down and placed in a secure area. Instead, a system-generated password is created which can easily be stored in their Email folder. People hate creating passwords for accounts which have a specific and short shelf-life!
- The forms should be broken out into separate sections such as primary presenter, co-presenters, authors, session information and so forth for ease of entry.
- Often the person filling out the form is not a presenter, but someone in the office. There should be an easy place to identify an optional contact. That person should be automatically included in all Email correspondences.
- It should be easy for the presenter to upload files like Power Points, photos and so forth.
- Related to this, the presenter should be able to link to or download additional forms such as disclosures.
- All required fields should be clearly noted – if they are not completed the final form cannot be submitted.
- The form should be rules driven so you can do things like restrict the number of co-presenters based on type of session, or display certain questions on the track selected.
- Be able to get a summary report (ala PDF) of their submission.
The call for papers process typically is followed by a review phase and the acceptance and rejection of speakers. A real plus for your software is the ability to reopen the portal pages after this phase to just the accepted speakers. Upon returning to the portal pages speakers should be able to:
- See new fields/forms that are only appropriate to accepted speakers. This often includes presentation and travel needs.
- See how the reviewers scored certain parts of their submission in a “blind” fashion – actual reviewers are not identified.
- Finally, see where and when they are to speak.
Great Call for Papers software will not only make your presenters happy, but the corresponding speaker management features will save you tons of time and heartache.
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