My personal apology to speakers not selected for the SMX local ranking factors panel at SMX West. Demand was huge, as it now always is. There were 15 pitches from very qualified speakers and a few more that didn’t get formally submitted but came to me in email. All together there were probably about 20 people trying to get on that panel.
There were four slots, which I stretched to five. I read the pitches carefully multiple times and tried to put together a group of people whose presentations would cover the range of issues and would complement each other. Many of the pitches make similar points and assert that they’ll accomplish similar goals.
It was extremely difficult to make choices, emphasis on the word “extremely.” That was compounded to some degree all the personal appeals to me in email. I try not to play favorites or put people on panels because I know them or like them. Most of the people who weren’t selected I like and respect very much (that’s not to imply that I don’t respect the others). The SMX show and “culture” also carry certain expectations that I have to take into account as well.
The local panels at SMX are few and in demand. I also had about 15 pitches for Search & Display, making that panel extremely difficult to put together as well. I only received three or four personal appeals there 🙂
The process is difficult and frustrating to those who aren’t selected. I’m very clear on this. I received several emails expressing that frustration after the fact.
For those who didn’t get selected one way to boost your chances is to pitch panel ideas and not simply wait for panels to be announced. Another way is to discuss very specifically what tactics you’ll be able to convey and what concrete information you’ll present. Specific is good; general/vague is not as good.
I’m going to recommend more local content or a local track so that there are more slots in the future.
Again, my apologies if you weren’t selected.