Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco Call for Participation

Call closed 11:59pm 09/20/2010 PDT.

Submit your proposal by September 20, 2010

As we plan the program for the fifth annual Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco, we’re looking for thought-provoking, eye-opening sessions that will help define the next stage of the Web. If you’ve got a surprising and illuminating story, useful lessons learned, or unusual insights, we want to hear from you. Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco will take place March 28 – 31, 2011, at Moscone West.

Proposal Details

We’re looking for sessions that will help our attendees understand a cutting-edge concept or learn a new skill that will affect their business over the next 6 to 18 months. We’ve got less than one slot available for every 10 proposals we receive (to give you a sense of the challenge: last year, we received more than 900 proposals—most of which were, frankly, way, way off the mark). Help yours stand out in a good way by following the guidelines below.

Successful proposals will:

  • Tell a unique story. What lessons can only you share? What insights are you uniquely qualified to explain? We’re interested in your experience far more than your credentials.
  • Focus on a specific segment of our attendees. Web 2.0 Expo draws a large and diverse audience, including marketers, developers, designers, and business strategists. Well over half of our attendees are from companies of under 50 employees. When you craft your proposal, target it toward a specific segment of our attendees.
  • Provide a clear description of what attendees will learn. Whether your proposed session seeks to explain an emerging trend or teach a critical skill, you must provide a direct, concise description of what attendees will learn.
  • Focus on lessons learned and NOT the benefits of your product or service. Product pitches are automatic rejects. Lessons learned from building or running your product, however, can be invaluable. The talks Fighting Spam at Flickr and Billions of Hits: Scaling Twitter are great examples of stories from the trenches.
  • Skip the jargon. The more buzzwords you use, the less we think you have something interesting to say. Proposals about “branded content engagement platforms” are automatic rejects.
  • Include people we don’t see often enough at tech conferences. Does your presentation have the participation of a woman, person of color, or member of another group often underrepresented at tech conferences? Diversity is one of the factors we seriously consider when reviewing proposals as we seek to broaden our speaker roster.
  • Post compelling video. Video clips are mandatory. Submissions for single speakers and co-presenters must include video clips of the presenter(s); panels must include video of at least the moderator. If you don’t have video of the speaker(s) in action at an event, please create a very short clip (2-3 minutes) of the presenter(s) proposing his/hers/their session. We don’t care at all about the quality of the video; we care about the quality of the speakers. Feel free to use your phone or Flipcam to take the video, and don’t worry about editing it in any way. If your video isn’t already online, post it to a third-party site (YouTube is fine), and then share the link with us.
  • Come from the presenter. The vast majority of proposals we accept are submitted by the presenters themselves, not by PR firms. We’re not looking to discriminate against flacks, but the data is clear: most of the lowest-rated proposals we get come from PR firms, which makes us skeptical when we see that the proposer is not a presenter. If you’re a PR person, improve your chances by working closely with the presenter(s) to write a jargon-free proposal that’s got clear value for attendees. And don’t forget to include video of the presenters.

Need some inspiration? Here are a couple of recent proposals we really liked:

More Resources for Writing Your Proposal

Themes for 2011

Although your session must have an interesting angle, it can fall under a broad Web 2.0 theme. A few possibilities for this year, in no particular order, include:

  • Compelling new business models
  • Social media marketing
  • Design for satisfying user experiences
  • Cutting-edge development
  • The mobile tsunami
  • Performance challenges
  • Practical analytics
  • Real-time opportunities
  • Security everywhere
  • Cloud computing
  • Startup strategies
  • Small business successes
  • Enterprise issues

Session Formats and Dates

We’re looking primarily for 20-minute and 50-minute breakout sessions. Go for 20 minutes if you’re a high-impact presenter who can give a stellar 15-minute talk and then take questions for 5 minutes. Go for 50 minutes if you’re proposing a panel or more exploratory session.

Sponsored Sessions

A limited number of speaking opportunities are available through conference sponsorship. Contact Rob Koziura at rkoziura@techweb.com.


The submission deadline for all proposals is September 20, 2010. Registration opens in December.

Submit a proposal now!

  • Bundle
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • .CO
  • Serve (amex)
  • Tagged
  • Berlin Partner
  • IBT
  • OpenSRS
  • PR Newswire
  • RIM
  • SoftLayer
  • StrataScale Inc.
  • TokBox

Ally Parker

Kaitlin Pike
(415) 947-6306

View a complete list of Web 2.0 Expo contacts.