Ela Conf 2017 CFP

This year marks the third year for Ela Conf. In this time we have been fortunate enough to receive and review 132 speaker applications and host 43 women speakers at the 2015 and 2016 conferences. This year’s conference will take place on October 27–28 at University of Arts in Philadelphia, PA and CFPs have officially opened 🎤 🎉

The 2017 call for proposals is now closed, thank you to all that submitted! It’s a fairly brief application that requires specification of what type of talk you would like to give (lightning, 20-minute, workshop, panelist), a bio, location, talk abstract, some social media links, and miscellaneous preferences.

This post serves as an official announcement as well as a central place to hold important relevant information, links, and even a list of potential topics for inspiration.

A Bit About Us

We value transparency and have written a lot about our goals, motivations, and finances here on this blog. Ela Conf is a yearly tech leadership conference focused on providing a welcoming, comfortable space for women and non-binary individuals to empower and learn from one another.

In addition to the conference we maintain a year-round community, frequently hosting remote events such as AMAs and Lunch & Learns which you are welcome to participate in at any time.

Some Conference Specifics

This year we will be capping attendance at 150. Keeping this event small is crucial to maintaining the genuine atmosphere we work hard to create and has consistently been one of the more frequent bits of positive feedback we receive through evaluations.

The format consists of 5-minute lightning talks and 20-minute talks on Friday evening, followed by a full day Saturday of 20-minute talks and 1 hour long workshops and panels. Our emcee and Saturday opening keynote have been selected and will be announced in the coming week or so. Typically we have had all lightning, 20-minute, and keynote sessions recorded.

Food is provided on site and some appetizers and beverages are also covered at the Saturday night networking/recap event.

What We Can Offer

Because of our generous sponsors we are able to provide the following for speakers of panels, workshops, and 20-minute talks:

  • Lodging stipend for accepted speakers to attend the event. We can offer up to $200 a night for hotel/Airbnb accommodations, with a two night maximum
  • Travel stipend based on location to and from Philadelphia; please refer to this document for additional details on amounts
  • Complimentary ticket, of course, as well as a discounted ticket for speakers to share with a friend
  • Local childcare recommendations and stipend
  • Speaker mentor if requested

Please note that this year we are unable to provide lodging and travel stipends for lightning talk speakers.

Offer Logistics

Concerning lodging, we team up with a hotel within walking distance of the event and will pass along the details to accepted speakers well in advance. If you prefer an Airbnb or would like to team up with another speaker/attendee we have a special Slack channel for these discussions and recommendations, #lodging.

Speakers are tasked with booking their own travel plans, which we encourage you to do as soon as possible to avoid excessive fees. Stipend payments are made as reimbursements and speakers must keep and submit receipts for eligible items. Due to the nature of our funding and fiscal sponsorship we administer reimbursements after the conference.

Refer back to this document for additional FAQs and specific items stipends do not cover.

Potential Topics

We have compiled a list of possible topics we would be interested in seeing on stage this year. Keep in mind these are intentionally vague suggestions to help with inspiration and guidance if necessary; we are completely open to topics that do not fit within these listed items as well.

  • Being an ally
  • Uncovering organizational red flags during an interview
  • Inclusive voice and tone
  • Building diverse teams
  • Diverse candidate outreach
  • New hire on-boarding
  • Crafting and leading healthy company culture
  • Writing a thoughtful position description
  • Ideal job candidate qualities
  • Situational interview insights
  • Tech skills and social causes
  • Creating your own opportunities
  • Fostering humility
  • Managing a remote team
  • Advocating for mental health awareness
  • Identifying unique teaching moments
  • Team transparency
  • Ego-less driven leadership
  • Understanding relationships
  • Identifying and resolving misunderstandings

Potential Workshop Topics

Workshops take place during breakout sessions and are 1 hour long. There will be two breakout sessions this year but the number of workshops will be determined by CFP responses. A successful workshop generally consists of approximately 40% lecture/speaking time and 60% audience engagement and collaboration.

  • Soliciting constructive feedback
  • Conflict resolution
  • Public speaking
  • Successfully articulating decisions
  • Improving documentation
  • Thoughtful code reviews
  • Process and automation
  • Live coding during a presentation

Established Panel Topics

There will be two panels this year focused on the topics below. If you would like to be a member on one of these panels or a moderator please specify this in the CFP form as well as include a brief abstract on your specific outlook and contributions towards the topic specifically. Please do not submit an application as a group of individuals.

  • Negotiating pay and benefits
  • Moving forward after “failure”

What’s Next?

We take the review of these proposals very seriously. We read every word and there are many late nights. Upon CFP closing on July 22nd we will begin reviewing all applications and sending out notifications. Selected speakers will receive a detailed welcome email regarding announcements and further logistics.

Looking forward to getting to know you all a bit, reading your stories, and hopefully seeing you in October!

Stay Connected 🤗

We have oh so many ways to stay up-to-date on conference milestones, be a part of the community, and ask questions:

Interested in Sponsoring? ✨

This event is not possible without our sponsors. If your company is interested in partnering up to work towards making tech a more inclusive place reach out to us at hello@elaconf.com

💜 Joni, LeeAnn, Katy, Arti, Shanise