EUGT SGLON18 March Update

Written by Emma Hopkinson-Spark
5 March 2018

There's a flurry of snow here in the UK, and a flurry of activity in the European Gathering team. We wanted to try something new as we opened submissions for this year's Global Scrum Gathering® in London, offering "early birds" a chance to get into the programme way before the system closes, and most importantly, get valuable feedback from the review teams with a chance to iterate and improve upon submission before the final deadline.

And wow! What a response! We had hundreds of sessions submitted before the early bird deadline in January. Our cracking team of reviewers evaluated each and every one in just a few weeks. Feedback has now been sent back, and we're having some great conversations with people as they fine tune their submission for main review after the system closes on 11 March.

One of the frustrating things about reading submissions after the closing deadline is finding a session that has merit and could be awesome but is missing some information or needs some refining before making a good judgement. It's usually too late by then to do much about it, so we were really keen this time to give everyone the best chance of hitting the mark on what we're looking for in the reviews.

Honestly, the early bird response was much bigger than we anticipated, and a lot of work for the teams to get through, but totally worth it. A HUGE thank you to everyone for sending sessions in early and to everyone involved in making it a success.

With all the feedback sent out for the early bird reviews, here are our top five suggestions on how to make your final submission the best it can be:

  1. Videos: Please be sure to include a video of you presenting to an audience, in English. A lot of people are missing this — and we understand not everyone will have it already — but it's really important for us to understand and evaluate your presentation style and how you engage with the audience. It doesn't have to be at a big fancy conference; a small group will be fine. Next time you're talking to group of people at work maybe?

  2. Learning Objectives: Be clear and concise in the way you describe the learning objectives for your session. Use action verbs that describe the competency your participant will have after attending your presentation. 'More words' does not always equal 'more clarity'.

  3. Format: When describing the format for your session, try to describe it in terms of how you will use the time available to meet the learning objectives you've described. The reviewers want to be able to put themselves in the place of someone attending your session and understand what they will get from the experience.

  4. Supporting Material: It really does help. It could be additional videos of you describing the session, excerpts from the slide deck if you plan to use one, and/or reviews and feedback from your previous presentations (even a different topic). Anything you feel would help the review teams understand more about why your session is going to rock.

  5. Who Is Your Audience: Read and understand the objectives for each track, thinking carefully about who your audience will be. Try to tie your learning objectives for the session to those track objectives. We think there's probably some confusion around the leader's track, as a lot of sessions we saw in this round of reviews were really aimed at coaches rather than business leaders and execs. Please, if you're planning a session valuable primarily to coaches, enter it into the ScrumMaster track.

Even though the early bird reviews are now finished, there's still time to get your submission in before we close the system on 11 March. We can't wait to see what you come up with.

For those with whom we caught up in Dublin last year, and who put up suggestions for what you'd like to see in London, don't worry. We captured all the Post-its and have a long list of ideas we're working through now. Although, with suggestions like "all open space," "no open space," "evening open space," it will be hard to accommodate them all. Watch this space!

Emma Hopkinson-Spark is an experienced and versatile coach with almost 20 years of experience in software development and delivery. As Delivery Director for 101 Ways (, she has supported client organizations across a broad range of industries, from startups to large scale corporate environments, both in the public and private sectors. Emma assisted Scrum Alliance® in the development of the previous CSP® certification program in 2011, won a U.K. Agile Award, and has since served on the judging panel for the awards. She also performs in bands across the U.K. and Europe, coaches archery, and has a penchant for hair dye and tattoos.

Article Rating

Current rating: 0 (0 ratings)
To leave a comment, please login with your credentials.
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.