Call for Speakers

Speaker applications for 2024 are now CLOSED!

Watch for our speaker lineup and Keynote announcements coming soon!

Selection Process

We receive many submissions each year, and a small team of EntreFEST champions are tasked with reviewing each submission. Our champions REALLY appreciate it when potential speakers provide lots of nice detail and answer the questions in the form. It makes their job so much easier..or harder because we receive a lot of great submissions!

We sort our submissions into ‘themes’ or ‘tracks’, which are just collections of submissions with similar topics. 

We work to bring in the best local and regional speakers that we can (We have great talent in our backyards!) and mix in some national/international talent. It is also our goal to create a speaker line up that mixes well known, experienced speakers with those not as well known or new to the speaker circuit.

The EntreFEST team of champions will review the submissions and start to build and curate our program to ensure a well-balanced and exciting set of content for our attendees. EntreFEST staff (aka Jourdan and Jill) will then start to notify speakers if they have been selected or not.  Know that we dislike contacting you with a “not at this time” and hope that you’ll consider submitting a talk in the future.

Diversity & Inclusion

At EntreFEST we value diversity – it is the foundation of what has made EntreFEST a special place over 10+ years.  Each year people from all different histories, backgrounds in business and life experiences come together to meet and learn from each other.  We value diversity on our planning committee, volunteers, speakers, and attendees. This includes gender, cultural background, and many other pieces that make up our community’s unique puzzle. We feel that learning about a topic from a different angle is valuable and enriches us all. We welcome and encourage submissions from EVERYONE! This includes speakers of varying exposure and experience. Each year we intentionally reserve space for speakers that are less well-known. Some years this allows us to discover an amazing speaker with great ideas and content. Sometimes, we find someone who needs a bit more practice. These are wins for the community and help all of us grow.  

In short, DON’T BE AFRAID to step outside of your comfort zone and give speaking at EntreFEST a shot!

New Speakers

Every year we intentionally include new speakers on our EntreFEST lineup. This means that in each session slot throughout the conference, there will be at least one session, if not more, that is presented by a speaker who has never spoken at EntreFEST  before (or possibly ever).

Advanced Topics

Each year, we have a dynamic and diverse group of attendees coming from all stages in their professional journey. We are specifically looking to feature one “Advanced or Scale Up” session during each time slot. We hope that this will result in some amazing sessions and, if you have significant experience in a topic area, we encourage you to submit an advanced talk.

Session Styles

This is our more ‘traditional’ session format.  Our speakers will have 20-30 minutes to present their content to our attendees with the remainder of the 45 minutes for Q&A.

This a laid back session where you will facilitate a conversation among attendees on a particular topic. We ask that you bring content to provide initial focus for the conversation and questions to spark attendee engagement.  

In this session format, a member of our community will interview you and help facilitate a conversation to share your story, message and tips for our audience. They will also encourage interaction and questions from our audience.  We ask that you work with our event team and facilitator to outline main points to highlight during the conversation.

Our EntreFEST workshops are a great opportunity to introduce content and tools with attendees and have them engage and try out this new information at the event!  Concurrent time slots may be provided if additional time is needed to effectively host the workshop.

Who doesn’t love a GOOD panel?!? Grab a group of your peers and experts to share their perspectives on a topic/theme and answer questions from our attendees.

Speaker Benefits

We appreciate the time it takes to prepare content for a session and you sharing your expertise with our EntreFEST community.  Each EntreFEST speaker will be provided with the following benefits as our way of saying THANK YOU!   (Please note that any secondary speakers for a session must be shared at the time of session submission. Secondary speakers cannot be added after sessions have been accepted.)

  • A two-day pass to EntreFEST 2024
  • A two-day pass to EntreFEST 2025
  • Special speaker gift
  • Invitation to the EntreFEST Speaker Party
  • All attendee benefits
  • A hotel room reservation, if needed for your stay. You will have the opportunity, at your expense, to upgrade the room depending on availability. If you choose to do this, you will be responsible for any cost increase.
  • Speakers who need it (wouldn’t be able to come otherwise) can apply for travel support to help cover their transportation costs. There are a limited number of these available. After selections have been made, speakers will be given the opportunity to apply.

*Please note that we only have the ability to pay our keynote speakers.

Tips for your Submission

We get a LOT of submissions. They are almost all good, but we still have to sift through to find the cream of the crop!  Here are some things that we are looking for. 

  • Make your title and description sizzle. Really sell the talk, titles matter!
  • Make sure your title and description really do reflect the content you will be sharing.
  • Unique and unusual is always good.
  • Use the present tense in the abstract. Do not use first person (I, our, we)
  • Submit more than one talk. We’re happy to take a look at a few different options from our speakers and may select two from a speaker, if we feel they are a good fit.
  • No product pitches. If you want that, become a sponsor and then pitch all you want.
  • Use the notes to the team field to explain any relevant background you have or any other color commentary about it. Was this session featured elsewhere? Did you have cheering fans after sharing your words of wisdom at another event? Tell us what we should know. This will only be used during the selection process, and not shared with attendees.
  • Put your best foot forward! Your submission should be complete, clear, cutting-edge and coherent.
  • Explain what attendees will get out of the session. Make it clear what your attendees will learn during your session.
  • Give examples of what will be discussed. Let attendees know what you’ll be talking about.
  • Show some prior feedback on the session. Have you given this talk before? If so, try and collect some feedback on the presentation.
  • Your speaker bio is every bit as important as your abstract, especially if you’re not well-known by the committee.  Let us know how cool you are!