Sending out a Call for Papers or Call for Abstracts for your conference is a standard part of any organizers’ job. To ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible and that your request is reaching the right academics, we’ve put together a ten-step checklist to help you create and promote your next Call for Papers.
1. Be succinct. Researchers already have a very busy schedule. Don’t add to it. Be as straightforward as possible in your email and make sure you’ve included all the information researchers need to make their submission.
2. A second set of eyes never hurts. Get a colleague to review your email to check for typos and to make sure you haven’t missed any important information.
3. Put it in context. Some researchers receive dozens or even hundreds of invitations to present at conferences. Make yours stand out by tying the conference to a current topic in the news cycle.
4. Quality over quantity. Double-check your email list. By ensuring you only have the most relevant academics on your list, you’ll avoid spamming (and annoying) people.
5. Personalize. Get in touch directly with contacts from your network. Researchers will take an invitation more seriously if it comes from someone they know. Consider adding a short personal message – it only takes a couple of minutes and makes a big difference for the recipient.
6. Make a call to action. Integrate buttons or banners on your website homepage and any relevant event pages. Promote your call for papers on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook and in relevant social media groups – they can be a great way of reaching a niche audience.
7. Write a blog post. If you have a blog, publish a short article detailing your call for papers and the requirements for submission. That way, you have a chance of reaching people who didn’t get the email directly.
8. Mention in your newsletter. Include a two-line description and a link directing recipients to the collection page in your regular newsletter.
9. Plan for the future. At your event, set up posters and include a description in the program to highlight your Call for Papers for next year’s conference.
10. Change your email signature. Add a link to the submissions page in your email signature and, while you’re at it, get your colleagues to do this too.
These few simple tips will help you maximize the number of quality submissions you receive when you send out your next Call for Papers. Keep them in mind and you’re sure to have a great line-up of researchers involved in your next conference.
Image credit: Jeshoots