Call for Speakers

Welcome to the Call for Speakers for php[world] 2016 taking place in Washington D.C. during the week of November 14-18. The CfP will close on June 24th, 2016, at 11:59:59pm Pacific Time. Please make sure that you get your submissions in before that time! No extensions will be granted.


What We Look For

Here’s an explanation of what we’re looking for and of how the selection process works. Please read the whole thing before submitting your proposals. In addition, you need to review the Speaker’s Package for this year, and should make sure that you’ve read through and agree to our Code of Conduct.

PHP runs over 82% of the Internet at the moment. This is in no small part due to the proliferation of application development frameworks, whether full solution stacks like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento, or development frameworks such as Zend Framework, Symfony, CakePHP and Laravel. We want to see talks that span the vast nature of the entire world of PHP. We plan on making tracks dedicated to the various frameworks and applications (assuming we get enough submissions about any specific one). Just as important, we don’t necessarily look for talks that are only about PHP itself. It’s important also for us to have sessions on the technologies that are crucial to building on the Web (HTML5, JavaScript, mobile development, Apache, databases, deployment, etc.) and that are universally used by all web developers.

Who We Look For

You don’t have to be a professional speaker to present at php[world]. In fact, many speakers at our conference are speaking publicly for the first time. What matters is the content that you are going to provide. If you submit a talk and we think that the topic is relevant to our audience, we are going to accept it (or try to).  Each and every person out there has unique experiences and unique knowledge, and we can all come together at php[world] to share this.

Suggestions to Get Accepted

There are a few ‘tricks of the trade’ that many regularly accepted speakers follow. We want to share these so everyone has an equal footing in the process.

First of all, make sure you submit at least two proposals to us—three would be even better.  Why?  Well simply put, we do have to be wary of costs. If you have an amazing talk that we want at the conference, we will pull you in regardless. But if we have the choice between two similar talks, and one speaker only submitted one talk we liked while another submitted two, we are going to choose the speaker who can give two talks as it’s more cost effective. Because of this, most of our speakers will be asked to give two talks.  The more you give us to choose from, the greater chance that you’ll have a couple talks that we can’t live without.

Secondly, make sure that you are really descriptive on your bio and your talk description.  You want to sell us on the talk and on you.  If you just enter a single sentence, your talk isn’t going to be rated highly.  Similarly, don’t just submit something like:  “I could give any talk you want”.  Or even submit a talk and note: “Could give as tutorial or session”.  We realize that you probably can; however, we get over 600 submissions for each conference. We don’t have the time to play ‘what if’.

Third, we do prefer ‘fresh talks’.  What do we mean?  Well as fellow speakers we appreciate the desire to write one talk and present it multiple times to get your benefit out of your effort.  However we’d prefer that any talk you submit to php[world] be either unique to us, or at least not given recently at similarly large PHP conferences.  We love if you’ve given it at user groups though to hone it!

Finally, we would prefer that your bio be written in 3rd person, but your sessions themselves use 1st person language.  Use your own voice and express yourself to us personally.



Equipment and Setup

You will be expected to bring your own laptop capable of displaying your presentation and appropriate adapters for your laptop to connect to a projector. (If you need to borrow something, just let us know.) In turn, we will provide in each room:

  • A WXGA widescreen projector (1280×800) with HDMI cable connections
  • An audio system with wireless microphone to help you project
  • A podium for presenting from with water provided

We will have internet access available, but highly discourage speakers from relying upon it for their talks. Internet access at conferences can always be problematic, so relying upon it for your presentation is not advised.

Talk Types

For php[world], we are accepting three types of talks (though we may choose to only include certain types):

These will take place on Tuesday and are 3.5 hours long. Attendees here will expect in-depth coverage of a specific topic; however, 3 hours isn’t that much time to get hands-on.
Regular talks
These take place throughout the rest of the conference and are 1 hour long, including the Q&A.
Short talks
We sometimes leave space on the schedule for short talks are only thirty minutes long. Sometimes there are topics that don’t need a full hour.  We want to make sure we allow these kinds of topics to be exposed.

How Does the Selection Process Work?

After we’ve closed the Call for Papers, we will review every submission that we receive. We have a team of reviewers that will go through and rate each one individually so we can sit down and start looking at a spreadsheet of all the submissions sorted by average rating. Then the magic of conference selection happens. Just having the highest rated talk doesn’t mean you will be selected. We also have to create a balanced conference with a good cross-section of topics, accommodating lots of speakers. Also, we often want to bring in new topics and new speakers. We typically get more than 10 proposals for each speaking slot that we have available, which in the end means that 90% of the people who submit will unfortunately have to be declined. Just because you are declined doesn’t mean that you don’t an amazing talk! It just means that we couldn’t fit it into our schedule this year. If you are selected, we will let you know as soon as we have the schedule ready, which should be in early to mid July. Then we will reach out again later in the year to organize all of the travel and hotel accommodations for the speakers. For those who don’t make the cut, that is the hardest email that we have to send out each year. We know it’s a disappointing thing to hear. Don’t be discouraged. There are lots of other conferences, and we’d love to see you submit again next year as well. (Plus, there’s a decent chance that we’ll be in touch about getting you to write some articles for our magazine!) OK. At this point, you should be ready, so go submit some proposals!