I was reminded of this when I got a nice email from the SQLSaturday Tampa team letting me know that I had been selected, though it would still be some time before they decided which of my sessions would go on the schedule. This is a great courtesy to a speaker. It allows me to start nailing down work, family, and travel plans based on the event date. On the event side, you have flexibility about when or if you do this:
- You wait until the call for speakers closes, then figure out the best schedule, let everyone know. If you get this done early it’s fine, it’s painful for a speaker that will be traveling to find out anything less than 60 days out. This gives you the most flexibility. For what it’s worth, I think the schedule should be published 90 days out and never any later than 60 days out.
- You can notify any/all of the speakers that you know you will put on the schedule (could be locals, “big names”, someone traveling, etc) and let them know if they can publicize it yet or not, then wait until the call for speakers closes to sort through the remaining speakers to figure out the best/balanced schedule you want.
For Orlando this year I’d really like to see us do more of the second option because from a marketing perspective it gives us some news to share. It’s definitely news to publish the schedule, but it’s nice to have some early news, especially if it might drive some early sign ups.