Citrix Synergy 2016 Call for Topics: Get Rid of the Video Requirement (Open Letter)

It smacks of lazy reviewers looking for eye-candy. Simon Crosby, former Citrix CTO

Citrix Synergy Team,

I am writing to you as a guy who has presented many times at Synergy. This year alone I had three sessions, one in cooperation with my community peers Aaron Parker and Shawn Bass, the other two on my own – one in the Geek Speak track, the other in the regular Synergy breakout session track. All three sessions were a great success and have been rated highly.

That might change in the coming year: I might not be able to present. The new requirement, asking for a five minute video describing the session, is too much.

I am not sure if you are aware of the amount of work that goes into one of my sessions. It is enormous and typically involves several weeks of full-time committment. But it starts way earlier; before I can work on a session, I have to submit proposals. That sounds like an easy task. After all, proposals are short. But it is not. A lot of thought goes into those 150 words that are allowed for the session description. They have to be spot on, or all I get back is a polite reply saying there was just too much great content to choose from.

Don’t get me wrong; I understand many people want to present at a popular conferency like Synergy. There definitely is a lot of competition and you want to get the best of the best. So why not make it even harder to get in by asking for something that is incredibly hard to do well: sales pitch. Of your session. On video. 5 minutes minimum length.

Did I mention speakers do not receive financial compensation for their efforts? Do you know that even seasoned speakers like myself typically need to submit multiple proposals to get one accepted? Are you aware that the people you should want to submit proposals are at the same time those who are most busy – because they are the best?

Sorry, this just does not compute.

Reboot. Please!

Thanks for your consideration,
Helge

P.S.: If you are reading this and do not know what it is all about: it is about this sentence in the 2016 call for topics: “New this year, you also are required to include a five-minute video describing your session topic”.

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