FutureM Session FAQ’s

Posted by Jaime Reynolds on Mon, Apr 30, 2012

We've opened submissions for session proposals for FutureM 2012, and we're already seeing tons of interest in leading a session; and receiving many comments and questions like, “I would love to be considered as a speaker," or, “I want to submit my client as a potential speaker.” We love answering questions like these, as much as we love hearing all of the enthusiasm! The simple answer is this: anyone who wants to speak at FutureM 2012 should submit a session proposal. We thought we'd make things easy and answer all of your questions about the submission process in this post.


General Information

When is FutureM? FutureM is October 23 – 26, 2012.

Where is FutureM? FutureM events will be located in three spots within the Greater Boston region: the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay neighborhood, Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, and Fidelity’s Center for Applied Technology in Boston’s Innovation District.

Who is FutureM for? FutureM is for marketers and technology innovators of all ages who want to explore the future of Marketing. If you are a designer, developer, creative, strategist, account manager, senior executive, product manager, technologist (the list could go on and on), FutureM is for you. We will also have events specifically for students and 20-somethings, our “next generation” of leaders and thinkers.

The Basics of Submitting a Proposal

Who can submit a proposal? All interested individuals, companies, organizations, venture firms, university groups, and student clubs are invited to submit a proposal. Organizations big and small and from every part of the country are welcome to participate.

What do I submit in my proposal?
 Your proposal submission should be a topic you (or your company) want to lead as a session this year. The proposal form is easy - at this stage in the process you're simply submitting your idea (the topic, why it applies to the future of Marketing, why it’s unique), as opposed to a full-fledged proposal with confirmed speakers and event descriptions. That comes later.

What are you looking for in the proposed events?

  • Forward-thinking and futuristic topics about the world of modern Marketing (or how it's changing).
  • New and unique ideas, either in format or topic.
  • Fun and engaging experiences. We want attendees to explore and discover the future, not to leave the sessions with a long-list of immediate to-do's.
  • Content that is targeted to at least one or more segments of the marketing & technology community.

During the selection prSessions at FutureMocess, preference will be given to proposals that demonstrate futuristic concepts and unique ideas; we will not accept sessions that are a sales pitch or are just about a specific product. We highly recommend you read this blog post that outlines our vision for FutureM so you understand the kind of experience we want to create.

When are session proposals due?  Proposals are due Friday, May 11 (and maybe also Friday, June 22nd - read the answer to “What’s the Process”).

Where do I submit the session I want to lead?

 Submit your proposal online here.

After You’ve Submitted Your Proposal

What is the process?

  • Session proposals are due Friday, May 11th.
  • During the week of May 14th, all proposals will be reviewed by a FutureM Selection Committee, who will decide which ones will be part of the 2012 event and which ones do not meet our guidelines.
  • If your event is accepted, you will be notified the week of May 21st. You will then have 30 days to provide us with your final session information, including a full topic description and bios and headshots for all your speakers. Full session information is due Friday, June 15th.
  • If your event is not accepted, you MAY have the chance to modify it and submit it again. Room permitting** we MAY kick off a second round of proposals, where proposals would be due Friday, June 22nd. Demand is already very high, so we cannot guarantee we will have a second round of proposals.

Will all of the proposed events be accepted? We hope to accept as many proposed events as possible, but we will only accept events that meet our criteria stated above in the “What are you looking for in the proposed events?” question.

Do I need to include confirmed speakers when I submit my event idea? No, you do not need to have confirmed speakers when you submit your idea. If your event is accepted, speakers will need to be confirmed and provided to us by Friday, June 15th.

What can I do to increase my chances of being accepted?
 Make sure you are crystal-clear on what we are looking for; if your session helps us create an experience that contemplates and celebrates the future of Marketing, it will likely be accepted.

After Your Idea is Accepted

Will I have to find a location for my event?
 If your event is 1-3 hours in length, FutureM will assign your session to one of our three locations. If your event is more than a few hours in length, we cannot guarantee that we’ll have enough space to accommodate your event. If this is the case, we will work with you to find another place to hold your session. The only other exception is for anyone who wants to host an evening party in a local bar – we can also make recommendations for these types of events, but ultimately it will be up to the session organizer to choose the venue.

What does FutureM provide to session leaders?
 You create the content, we’ll provide the rest – including guidance to ensure your content is the best it can possibly be and an account manager to ensure that your experience is successful. Specifically, FutureM will provide the following:

  • An account manager to work with you throughout the event planning and implementation process to ensure a great experience for you and your attendees.
  • A guaranteed location for sessions 1-3 hours in length at one of our three main venues (we cannot guarantee a location for half day or full day events).
  • A centralized event registration system, managed by FutureM staff.
  • Pre-event and onsite registration management, including the printing and distribution of name badges and staffing to check in attendees.
  • A comprehensive awareness campaign about FutureM as a whole, including press releases & outreach, calendar listings, email marketing campaigns, and social media promotions.
  • An event tool kit - including discount codes, e-mail templates, branding guidelines and other materials to help you tell the world about your involvement in FutureM.

What am I expected to provide as a session leader?
 As a FutureM session leader, we ask you to:

  • Create the content and recruit the speakers for your proposed session.
  • Utilize your marketing channels to promote your event as part of the larger FutureM experience, including using FutureM brand in all promotions of your event (before, during and after your event).
  • Agree that attendees of your session are required to have purchased a FutureM pass in order to attend your session.
  • Agree to a management fee to cover the cost of FutureM’s management of your session; fees will range as follows:
    • 1-3 hour session - $250
    • Half day session - $500
    • Full day session - $1,000

If my idea is selected, does FutureM pay for my travel or lodging? Unfortunately, we are not able to provide travel, lodging or other financial compensation for event partners or speakers at this time.

**If Your Event is Not Accepted During the First Round

What if my event does not get accepted during the first round? You are welcome to resubmit your idea during the second round of proposals, if it happens (see the answer to “What’s the Process” for more information on round two). The selection committee will provide feedback as to why your event was not accepted during the notification process to help you modify your proposal.

Other Common Questions

Why should I submit now and not just wait for the second round?
 Because we can’t guarantee you’ll have a second opportunity to submit a proposal. We will only open a second round of proposals if the event schedule does not fill up during the first round. We, of course, won’t know how full the schedule is until after the May 11th deadline. If your event does not get accepted during the first round AND we do open a second round, you will have the opportunity to update your proposal and resubmit it again for consideration – second chances are never a bad thing.

I can’t pay the event fees; does that disqualify me? FutureM was designed to have sessions lead by companies so we can feature both the amazing speakers and innovative companies that participate in the event, but if you’re an individual who can’t pay the fees and still want to submit a proposal, e-mail Jaime Reynolds (jaime@mitx.org) to work out an arrangement.

What’s the difference between sponsorship and submitting an event idea? With the session submission process, you run the risk that your session won’t be accepted. Sessions accepted through this open process are not directly marketed as part of our promotions (see "What does FutureM give me?" question above for more information). All sponsorship packages include guaranteed sessions and promotion of the session, amongst many other benefits that allow your company to create an integrated experience as part of FutureM.

Do you have any other questions? Leave them in the comments below and we’ll add them to this post. If you have any questions about session at FutureM, e-mail Jaime Reynolds.

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Be a part of FutureM!
Session Proposals Due 6/29/12