RTC Europe draws ever nearer..er…er….zzz

We’ve been hard at work reviewing the record number of abstracts received for the coming event in Porto, Stage 1 is done, Stage 2 is underway, Stage 3 happens when we all fly in to Porto to meet for a 3 day workshop in just two weeks time, and WE ARE EXHAUSTED! But we sleep with pride, knowing that the breadth and depth of materials submitted this year is the best we have ever seen, that the destination and venue for the event are going to be truly amazing, and that the event itself will simply blow you away.

The process we go through is a very long and involved one, as we must ensure that the hard work our prospective speakers have put in to preparing their submissions is given the proper consideration and attention. In Stage 1, every abstract is reviewed independently by a minimum of two committee members, but generally three or four. In this process each class is assessed entirely independently of the other submissions, and even to a large extent independently of who the speaker is. The reviewers then rate this on an internal weighted scoring system, and add any comments they consider relevant. All of the individual reviews are then tallied and added into a spreadsheet where we can sort and filter them in preparation for Stage 2. Stage 2 is a series of committee conference calls where every single abstract is discussed in the round, where the reviewers scores and comments can be debated and where non-reviewers can add their own comments if appropriate. This gives us a simple ‘Yes’, ‘Yes / Maybe’, ‘Maybe’, ‘Maybe / No’, ‘No’ matrix as a result. Finally, Stage 3 is conducted as the first half of a three day face to face workshop held on site at the venue for the upcoming conference. In this stage we analyse the initial results to check for issues like numbers of classes by a single speaker / single company, on a single (or similar) topic, topics desired but under-represented, and many more. There are over 20 different areas of analysis that we consider in this final review. When analysis is complete we build the preliminary schedule and then assign the final Yes / No designations that will allow us to prep the schedule for the start of registrations. Stage 3 is a big, exciting process, and is now less than two weeks away! (Note that I write this post sitting at the desk where just today we finished the stage 3 process for the North American event…)

We look forward to the opportunity to show you the program we have built, to opening the event for registration in a couple of months’ time, and to welcoming you to Porto, a truly gorgeous place to spend a few days in an event, and if you can, a few days just to relax or enjoy on one side or the other! I know I will be….

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