A guide through the Sessionize form

This year the DDD East Midlands Conference has a choice of 15-minute, 30-minute and 60-minute talks. We have also changed the form a little bit to help make the experience for speakers, local meetups and attendees a little bit better.


Different conferences have different methods of submission. At DDD East Midlands we are using Sessionize as the tool for submission. Sessionize has a number of features that are great for us, including the ability to anonymise submissions.

In this piece, we will talk you through how to submit a talk using this tool.

Logging in

At the top right of the page click the Log in option. There are a number of options for signal sign-on including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Office 365 accounts. Classic login means that you can use an email or password of your choosing.

Log in options for Sessionize

Log in options for Sessionize

After logging into Sessionize on this page with the means of your choice, you’ll be directed to the Call For Speakers/Call For Proposals page.

Once logged in, you will be redirected to the Call For Speakers for DDD East Midlands

The experience will differ between those who already have an account, and for those whom this is the first time filling in these details. If you have an account already, a lot of your details will be pre-filled.

Let’s walk through the Session Fields

These fields will reset for each talk description submitted

  • Session title:

    What it says on the tin. The title of your proposed talk.

  • Description:

    The description of your talk. Your proposal. This is where you describe what your talk is about and sell it to the people choosing it. See How To Talk Part 2 - Writing a good talk proposal for more information.

  • Level:

    What level of audience your talk is aimed towards. Is it high level and introductory? Does it involve some previous knowledge in the area?

Level box in Sessionize

Level box in Sessionize

  • Session Format:

    What length of talk would you like to submit for? This is a multiple choice question, so if you think you can adapt your talk to different lengths, you can submit for multiple style of session.

Options for length of talk

Options for length of talk on Sessionize

  • Tags:

    This is to help us organise the tracks later. What general themes does your talk meet? You can select multiple categories in this section. It helps us if you restrict it to directly applicable categories - as it will make filtering more accurate and useful.

  • If “Other” please enter a word to describe theme:

    In case we’ve missed a tag or two. We aren’t perfect.

Tags box in Sessionize

Tags box in Sessionize

  • Notes:

Tell us about any requirements you have or anything you wish to share. For other conferences, you may want to add links to videos of other talks you’ve had previously so that the organisers they can see your presenting style. DDD East Midlands will be recording all videos so for future talks you can add these links into submissions to their conferences.

Now, let’s walk through the Speaker Fields

These fields will create your Sessionize profile. They will be pre-populated for other submissions you make once filled in.

  • Speaker name:

    What it says on the tin. Your name will be anonymised until you are selected to speak.

  • Speaker tagline:

    One line of you. It might be your job title, it might be a cheeky line of description about you. This will be under your photo if you are selected.

Speaker tagline in Sessionize

Speaker tagline in Sessionize

  • Speaker email:

    This will be prepopulated based on your login. It is also the primary way DDD East Midlands will get in contact with you.

  • Speaker biography:

    Again, we will not be able to see this until you are selected for a talk. This will also not be shown to attendees when talks are being voted on. The speaker biography will be used for when talks are selected and speakers are announced. Biographies are hard. Who are you? What do you do? Look at some examples, get feedback from a friend or colleague, and try to keep it short. Here is a link to our blog post on writing biographies.

  • Speaker photo:

    A photo of yourself. It doesn’t need to be a professional headshot, it can even be a selfie. Again, this will be hidden from both organisers and attendees. If you are selected to speak, this photo will be used on our website and social media.

  • We ask for your social media links so in the event you get selected to speak we can tag you, share your blog and celebrate any online presence you have

Social links in Sessionize

Social links in Sessionize

  • Can we pass your details to local meetups?

    In an effort to help our local meetups find amazing speakers we would like to give them your details and some overview on the talks you’ve submitted. Interested in speaking at an East Midlands meetup? Then please select Yes!

Option for if you would like your details passed on to meetups

Would you like to have your details passed on to local meetups?

  • Speaking Experience:

    This is for our own statistics and will not have an effect on your overall application. We want to know the range of experience our submission process attracts to help us with future events and initiatives.

Speaking experience in Sessionize

Speaking experience in Sessionize

Speaking experience in Sessionize

Speaking experience in Sessionize

  • Preferred Pronoun:

    What is your preferred pronoun? How should we address you or refer to you as? This is to help us with any promotion around your talk if you are a selected speaker. We don’t want to assume gender or identity.

  • Co-speakers:

    Is anyone speaking with you? Please let us know!

What does the anonymisation look like from your end?

Sessionize hides and changes details as part of anonymisation. It changes your name to a random avatar. Below is a screenshot from where we tested out the app to make sure it was right.

Anonymised submissions in Sessionize

Anonymised submissions in Sessionize

What we see:

  • Talk title
  • Description
  • Level
  • If you have indicated that you would like support
  • Tags

What we will show voting attendees:

  • Talk title
  • Description
  • Level

After voting is completed, we will remove this setting as we will need to get in touch with all applicants.s

After Submission

You can edit the details of your talk right until the end of the submission period (this is between the dates of the 7th February — 16th March for DDD East Midlands 2020).

To do this log into the Sessionize portal and select the talk you wish to change and your changes will be applied upon save.

Happy Submissions & Good Luck!