August 15-16, Minneapolis, MN

Thinking about proposing a session for SRCCON 2024? We’ll have your back throughout the process. Here are some answers to questions that might be on your mind right now, and if you’re curious about anything else, please let us know!

SRCCON Session Proposal Guide

What are SRCCON sessions like?

SRCCON is a participatory event, and sessions will feel different from other conferences you may have attended. Think workshops, not panels. Conversations, not presentations.

Our program is organized around a few principles:

We avoid traditional lectures and classroom-style trainings, and you might notice that we always refer to “facilitators” or “session leaders,” not “speakers.” When you run a session at SRCCON, you get to be in a room with dozens of other smart people to compare notes, share skills, and help everyone learn from each other.

Key dates

What we look for in a session proposal

Our goal is to build a conference program with a mix of:

Sessions are 75 minutes long—plenty of time to dig into even deep topics, but it goes faster than you think! In a session proposal, we look for:

Effective SRCCON facilitation is about effort and preparation more than expertise. You don’t have to have all the answers, just a plan to help people search for them together. Other things that make a proposal really stand out:

Pitching with a co-facilitator

We love to see people team up on session proposals. Working with a partner lets you share the load of preparation and facilitation, and makes running a session in-person easier (and more fun)!

Working in teams can also make sure your session represents different experiences. Our goal for every SRCCON program is to represent our full community, so we encourage you to consider pitching with someone from a different kind of organization, and/or with a different background from your own.

How we review proposals

After the call for participation closes, we set aside two weeks for consideration by OpenNews staff. We also invite a diverse group of community members to provide feedback during the session review process. Our priority is to build a balanced program that reflects the entire community, and we actively welcome session proposals from members of communities underrepresented in journalism and technology, and from non-coastal and small-market news organizations.

Other things to know

What if I kind of have a session idea, but it’s not fully formed yet?

That’s totally OK! If you’re excited about being part of the SRCCON program, we’re excited to work with you to refine your topic. Successful sessions often emerge from a single question or problem—if you’ve been struggling with just about any aspect of your work, you can bet others have dealt with it, too.

We don’t consult a list of trends to figure out which sessions to invite; we want SRCCON to be a place where passionate facilitators challenge us in ways that couldn’t happen at any other conference.

What kind of planning support is there for session facilitators?

If your session is selected, we’ll support you throughout your planning process. That starts as soon as we confirm your session for the program, when we’ll share a Facilitator Guide that should look a lot like this one.

We’ll check in with you to ask about scheduling needs, make sure you’re happy with your session name and description, and offer any feedback you need on your session plan. We’re always happy to jump on a call to talk through any questions or brainstorms that come up.

And we believe that conferences like SRCCON are where amazing work only begins, so we’re already thinking about ways to support you in moving ideas forward after your session is done.

Is there financial support for session facilitators? Do facilitators have to purchase a ticket?

Yes, financial support is available. We have travel and caregiving scholarships to help you get to Minneapolis. We also offer a free, scholarship ticket option.

Because SRCCON is a collaborative, peer-to-peer event, we do ask that all participants, including facilitators, pick up a ticket. This approach to ticketing is part of how we make the event accessible to as many people as we can. If you or your company are not able to pay for a ticket, there will be an option right on the Eventbrite registration form to pick up a free scholarship ticket directly.

More information about how we’re doing stipends and scholarships for SRCCON 2024.

Additional resources

Writeups from previous SRCCONs

Facilitation tips & ideas

Example sessions that have worked well in the past

Programs from previous SRCCONs