How to Get Your KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Talk Accepted

By May 29, 2018Blog

By Dan Kohn, CNCF executive director


Earlier this month, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon held its largest-ever event in Copenhagen, with 4,300 attendees. This week, we opened the call for proposals (CFP) for both Shanghai (Nov. 14-15) and Seattle (Dec. 11-13). Here’s a look at attendance for the six events to date:

For Copenhagen, we had 1,087 talk submissions. We were able to accept 157 regular sessions, 16 lightning talks and 18 keynotes. That’s an acceptance rate of 17.6%, which is unfortunate, because the vast majority of talk submitters spend real effort on their proposals and there is far more high-quality content than we have room to accept.

So, how do we choose the talks and what can you do to increase your chances of being accepted?

First, it’s helpful to understand the different categories of talks and how they’re selected. The key principle is that we want talk selection to be meritocratic and vendor-neutral, while also ensuring that new voices have a chance to be heard.

The regular sessions in the conference are submitted from two sources. The first category consists of the 157 sessions that were submitted via the CFP and are held in 9 parallel tracks.

The other category of session comes from encouraging each project to offer an Intro and/or Deep Dive session. Intros are for helping to bring new people into an activity/community and Deep Dives are to help these efforts move forward. For Copenhagen, we expanded and formalized this practice that had started at earlier events. Specifically, we offer these sessions to each of the (currently) 22 CNCF projects, the 30 Kubernetes SIGs, and the 4 CNCF working groups. For Copenhagen, we had 44 Intro and 48 Deep Dive sessions. If you are a project, SIG or working group leader, this is a great opportunity to reach new potential participants and engage current ones, so please be on the lookout for our email signup request. We’ll be setting aside 5 tracks for this content and working with the submitters to fit in as many as possible.

The regular conference sessions have 9 tracks and are submitted through the CFP process. The conference co-chairs for Shanghai and Seattle are Liz Rice of Aqua Security and Janet Kuo of Google. They are in the process of selecting a program committee of around 60 experts, which includes project maintainers, active community members, and highly-rated presenters from past events. Program committee members register for the topic areas they’re comfortable covering, and CNCF staff randomly assign a subset of relevant talks to each member. We then collate all of the reviews and the conference co-chairs spend a very challenging week assembling a coherent set of topic tracks and keynotes from the highest-rated talks.

During the event, we hold lightning talks the night before the event and keynotes are held each morning as well as on the evening of the first day. You can propose a session specifically as a lightning talk, and we normally select the keynotes from the most notable of the regular session submissions.

So, how can you improve the odds of getting your talk selected?

  • Avoid the common pitfall of submitting a sales or marketing pitch for your product or service, no matter how compelling it is.
  • Focus on your work with an open source project, whether it is one of the CNCF’s 22 hosted projects or a new project that adds value to the cloud native ecosystem.
  • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon is fundamentally a community conference focusing on the development of cloud native open source projects. So, pick your presenter and target audience accordingly. Our participants range from the top experts to total beginners, so we explicitly ask what level of technical difficulty your talk is targeted for (beginner, intermediate, advanced, or any) and aim to provide a range.
  • We often get many submissions covering almost the same topic, so even if there are several great submissions, we’re probably only going to pick one. Consider choosing a more unique topic that is relevant, but less likely to be submitted by multiple people.
  • Given that talk recordings are available on YouTube, and there is limited space on the agenda, we are unlikely to select a submission that has already been presented at a previous KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. If your submission is very similar to a previous talk, please include information on how this version will be different.

We will be working to only accept a single talk from each speaker. To avoid diluting the votes from program committee members, please limit yourself to submitting your best idea, or at most two. We’re eager to feature end user stories so, if appropriate, consider submitting with a customer as your co-presenter who can share their perspective, and mark the submission as an end-user case study.

Look through the talks that were selected for Copenhagen and notice that most have clear, compelling titles and descriptions. The CFP form has a section for including resources that will help reviewers assess your submission. If you have given a talk before that was recorded, please include a link to it. Blog posts, code repos, and other contributions can also help establish your credentials, especially if this will be your first public talk (and we encourage first-time speakers to apply).

Finally, we are explicitly interested in increasing the voice of those who have been traditionally underrepresented in tech. For example, we don’t accept panel proposals unless they include at least one female speaker. While all submissions will be reviewed on merit, we are dedicated to having a diverse and inclusive conference and will actively take that into account when finalizing the list of speakers and overall schedule.

I hope this overview was useful, and that you will consider submitting a talk. The deadline for Shanghai is Friday, July 6 and for Seattle is Sunday, August 12. Note that if you get your proposal together by July 6, you can submit your proposed talk to both Shanghai and Seattle through a single form with no extra work.

如何使您的KubeCon + CloudNativeCon演讲提案获得通过

Dan Kohn,CNCF执行董事

       本月初,KubeCon + CloudNativeCon在哥本哈根举办,这是其有史以来规模最大的会议,参会人数为4300人。本周,我们开放了在上海 (11月14日至15日)和西雅图(12月11日至13日)的演讲提案征集 (CFP) 通道。以下是迄今为止六个论坛的参会情况:

       在哥本哈根论坛上,我们收到的演讲申请为 1087个。但我们只接受了157个常规演讲,16个快闪演讲和18个主题演讲。虽然绝大多数的演讲申请者都在他们的提案上付出了许多努力,但是很遗憾,提案通过率大约为 17.6%,并且提交的演讲方案有更多优质内容,但我们却没有足够的接受空间。




       另一个来源是鼓励每个项目提供介绍会议和/或深度会议。介绍会议可以吸引新人加入一个活动/社区,而深度会议则有助于这个领域向前发展。在哥本哈根会议中,我们扩大并正式确定了这个在我们早期的活动采取的方式。具体而言,我们会为每个(当前为 22 个)CNCF项目,30个Kubernetes特殊兴趣小组(SIGs)和4个CNCF工作小组提供这些会议。在哥本哈根论坛中,我们共有44个介绍会议和48个深度会议。如果您是某个项目、特殊兴趣小组,或是工作小组的负责人,这是一次接触潜在新参与者并吸引现有参与者的绝佳机会。所以,请关注我们关于注册请求的电子邮件。我们将为此内容预留5个平行会议,并与申请者一起努力合作,并尽可能多地安排会议。

       常规论坛共有9个平行会议,可通过提案征集流程申请。上海和西雅图论坛的联合主席是 Aqua Security的Liz Rice和谷歌的Janet Kuo。他们正在遴选项目委员会专家(约60位),其中包括项目维护人员、社区活跃成员以及以往会议中深受好评的演讲嘉宾。项目委员会成员会登记他们感兴趣的主题或领域,而CNCF工作人员会随机为每位成员分配一部分相关演讲,然后我们会整理汇总所有的评审结果。会议联合主席随即会花非常具有挑战性的一周时间,从评价最高的演讲方案中组建系列一致的主题会议和主题演讲。



  • 避免的常见错误 —— 提交产品或服务销售或营销方案(无论它有多么吸引人)。
  • 专注于开源方面的项目,无论是 CNCF的22个托管项目之一,还是能够为云原生生态系统增加价值的新项目。
  • KubeCon + CloudNativeCon本质上是一个关注云原生开源项目开发的社区会议。所以,请选择合适的演讲者和受众。我们的参与者层面包含了顶级专家到初学者,因此我们需要明确地知晓您的演讲涉及的技术难度(初级、中级、高级或任何),并要求您提供一个范围。
  • 我们经常会收到许多主题相同的提案申请,即便多个申请都很出彩,但我们可能只会选择其中一个。您可以考虑选择一个相关但更加独特的主题,并且避免提交可能与很多人重复的主题。
  • 由于会议日程表上的空间有限,我们不太可能选择在之前的KubeCon + CloudNativeCon论坛上已开展过的演讲。您可以在YouTube上找到之前的演讲视频。如果您的申请与以前的演讲非常相似,请指明您的演讲将有哪些不同之处。


       仔细查看哥本哈根被选定的演讲,您就可以留意到大多数演讲都有清晰、引人注目的标题和说明。提案征集表格中有一栏为您可以上传能够帮助评审人员评估您申请的各种资源。如果您在之前发表过演讲并有视频记录,请附上链接。博客帖子、code repos和其他贡献也有助于增强您的资历,特别是如果这将是您的第一次公开演讲(我们非常鼓励首次发言者进行申请)。