What Makes A Successful BILT Abstract?
It’s that time of year again – for abstract submissions for BILT ANZ to open. As committee members, we always get a lot of questions along the lines of “how can I guarantee my abstract gets accepted?” While there are no guaranteed ways to get selected, there are certainly a lot of things you can do to help your chances.
Original ideas are not everything
You might have a great idea for an amazing class that no-one has ever run before – but that doesn’t necessarily mean your class will be accepted. While we do look for original topics, it is just as important that we believe the topic will have wide enough interest to our delegates. If your original idea is a very niche topic and we think the class would struggle to attract attendees it quite possibly won’t be selected. This might be the reason why you haven’t seen a class on that topic before. If your class might be seen as an usual or niche topic, think about how you can make it interesting for a wider range of attendees. Can you involve a client or another team member to broaden interest of the topic? Can you cover other related tools rather than a single tool? Can your topic attract our less traditional delegates from construction or estimating streams?
Another potential downfall of an original idea is, if it is something you have not tested or done yet. If we don’t have the confidence that you can achieve what you say you are going to do, your class probably won’t get accepted. If you are planning a class with a new or unusual process or tool, preparing as much as you can prior to writing your abstract submission will help. This is where including some supporting materials demonstrating what you plan to teach can be beneficial.
Quality really does count!
It constantly surprises us how poor the quality of some submissions are, and often it is clear that they have been done at the last minute. You might have a great idea for a class but if you can’t manage to write a couple of paragraphs (and spellcheck them) to explain your idea, we are going to doubt your ability to prepare a presentation and handout for a 75 minute class. If it’s too poorly expressed, we might not understand what your class is even about. And if we don’t understand, delegates won’t either so even if we let you have a class, you might get no-one showing up – something neither you or the commitee wants.
We know not everyone is a great writer, some of you are better at teaching a class than writing an abstract. But don’t leave it to the last day, do have someone else read it for you and do spellcheck it!
What’s your reputation?
Whilst we are always looking for new speakers, where you have one, your previous speaking history counts, either at BILT or at other events. If committee members have seen you speak elsewhere and been impressed this will count towards you. A good reason for new speakers to look for opportunities to speak at local user groups and other events.
If you have previously spoken at our events, your scores for both the presentation and materials will be considered. If you haven’t submitted materials in the past, this will count against you. If you have had to pull out and have done so last minute with little explaination and without attempts to organise a replacement speaker, this will very much count against you speaking in the future.
Who is your class aimed at?
Not just who as in Architects, Project Managers, BIM Managers etc., but at what level. Different parts of our audience are at different levels. A basic class aimed at contractors is likely to be more successful than a basic class aimed at BIM Managers. A class that is successful for BILT Asia might not succeed for BILT ANZ and vice versa due to the different level of knowledge of our delegates. Make it clear in your submission who your class is aimed at and what they can expect to learn.
Sometimes you have a great class but…
Someone else has a very similar class or we just don’t have room in the schedule. While we have a lot of classes, we also have a lot of submissions and the majority of them are great quality and interesting classes. We just don’t have room for everything.
To submit your abstract and for more information visit http://www.rtcevents.com/bilt/anz18/call-for-abstracts/ and if you’re thinking of making the trip to Asia and would like to submit an abstract for BILT Asia 2018 please visit http://www.rtcevents.com/bilt/asia18/call-for-abstracts/