Session Topics

ProductCamp St. Louis sessionRegistration is now open for the 7th annual ProductCamp St. Louis, which is being held on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Webster University. Register (for free!) now!

Unlike traditional conferences, anyone interested in leading a session at ProductCamp St. Louis can submit a topic. Then, everyone in attendance gets to vote on which sessions they would like to see, and the most popular choices get on the schedule.

Voting will be open from 8-8:20am on the morning of ProductCamp St. Louis.

On this page:

Propose a Session for ProductCamp St. Louis 2018

We’re glad that you want to submit a session proposal for ProductCamp St. Louis 2018. Here’s a few things to know before completing the Session Submission Form:

  • Please review the information on this page below and on the submission form itself. It’s here to make the process of submitting a session easier and hopefully increase the chances that your proposed session will be selected, so please take advantage of it.
  • You can submit as many proposed sessions as you’d like, though you need to fill out the session submission form each time for each session.
  • All session submissions must be received by Friday, February 23, 2018 at 11:59pm CT. We will not accept any session submissions after this point.
  • Once you submit your information, it can not be modified. We need to focus our limited resources on putting on a great ProductCamp, not making changes to dozens of different session submissions in the weeks leading up to the event.
  • However, you can withdraw a session proposal after you submit it if you decide you are no longer willing or able to lead the session. If you need to withdraw your proposal, contact Shelly Azar, Session Coordinator for ProductCamp St. Louis 2018.
  • Remember that everyone in attendance votes, and the sessions with the most votes get on the schedule. To give your session the best chance of getting selected, we recommend you:
      • Pick a topic of interest! People come to ProductCamp because they’re interested in product management, product development, product marketing, and related topics.
      • Have an exciting title! Many people may only look at the title, not the description, so make your title compelling and descriptive
      • Make it clear! People won’t vote for your session if it’s not clear what will be covered or what the value/benefit is of attending, so make sure your description is accurate and easy to understand.

If you have any questions about proposing a session for ProductCamp St. Louis, contact Shelly Azar, Session Coordinator for ProductCamp St. Louis 2018.

Session Categories

While it is not required that a session topic falls into one of the categories listed below, it’s a helpful guide for some of the topics that may be covered.

  • Opportunity Analysis (Market Research, Market Segmentation, Competitive Analysis, Business Case, Market Problems, etc.)
  • Product Strategy (Business Planning, Business Model, Whole Product, Roadmaps, Portfolio Planning, Partnerships, Resource Allocation, Sourcing/Supply Chain, Technology Assessment, etc.)
    Requirements Definitions (MRD, PRD, BRD, Elicitation, Personas, Use Cases, Prioritization, UX, etc.)
  • Product Management/Development (Agile Processes, Beta Tests, Digital Product Management, Market Testing, Testing/QA, Offshore/Nearshore Dev, Prototyping, etc.)
  • Go-to-Market (Product Launch Plans, Product Launch Readiness, Market Strategy, Marketing Plan, Pricing, Positioning, Messaging, Channel Strategy, Sales Enablement, Licensing, Scaling, etc.)
  • Marketing Execution (Demand Gen, Events, PR, Advertising, Social Media, Marketing Collateral, Sales Tools, Sales Pipeline, Channel Mgmt, Marketing Metrics, SEO, international markets, etc.)
  • Product Lifecycle Mgmt (Customer Panels, Customer Engagement, Portfolio Analysis, Crossing the Chasm, Brand Mgmt, End-of-life, Divestment, Customer Retention, Repositioning, etc)
  • Prod Management Careers (PM 101, Team Management, Interviews, Roles Definitions, Small vs. Big Company, PM Tools, etc.)
  • Startup/Entrepreneur-specific (Lean Startup, innovation)
  • Legal (IP/patents, contracts, copyright)
  • Funding/Investors
  • HR-Related (diversity, motivation)
  • Manufacturing-specific
  • IT-specific (software/cloud development)

Session Formats

In general, the most enjoyed and talked about sessions are those that have been very interactive. That said, you can structure a session however you wish. To help align expectations of the session leader and participants, we offer a list of format descriptions. This list is intended to be a guide but not intended to be limiting, so feel free to be creative.

  • Town Hall – The leader presents a short (20-30 minute max) informative topic, open-ended question or premise and opens the floor for expansion, comment, questions and general discussion.
  • Roundtable Breakout – Similar to Town Hall, except that audience breaks out into small groups and typically shares findings, comments, or team responses with the room at the end of the session.
  • Workshop – In this format, the audience is actively involved, collectively or in groups, in an exercise or application of a technique or process which has been presented by the session leader. The description should mention the portion of the session spent in the exercise and what the attendees will produce. Proposers are encouraged to have knowledgeable assistants to help answer questions and support the exercise.
  • Panel Discussion – Popularly seen, this format has several people qualified to talk about the subject of the session, preferably from diverse or even counterpoint perspectives or roles. A moderator facilitates questions from the audience or a series of prepared questions for the panelists, but a significant part of the session is still interactive Q&A with the audience.
  • Ask the Expert – This format is most successful with a recognized authority on a subject of wide interest, or a direct participant in some particularly interesting event or phenomenon. The expert or a moderator introduces the topic and frames some appropriate discussion and then opens the floor for questions, including those that might be somewhat specific as long as they are applicable to more people than the individual questioner.
  • Presentation – Having already suggested that this traditional one-directional delivery is less popular among the ProductCamp community, there are some exceptional topics and presenters who can make this work. Session proposers are advised to consider this carefully and be honest in citing this format if it is actually what will be delivered.

For Session Leaders: Logistics

If you are proposing a session, and it gets chosen, then you should be prepared to lead the session. Here are some details to help you make sure you’re prepared.There will be computers and projectors in each room. You can either…

  • Bring your laptop or other device to present off of, along with any connectors you may need to hook up to a projector (especially for those with Mac laptops or tablets
  • Or, bring your slides on a USB drive
  • Or, post your slides online to Slideshare in advance and then run your presentation from there.
  • Or, more than one of the above. (Things do go wrong, after all.)

We will have volunteers on hand to help with A/V as needed, and we have tested all of the equipment out in advance. That said, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case you can’t get your slides to present. We’ll do the best we can to help, but no guarantees.The rooms will be set up “classroom style” with tables and chairs facing the front of the room — either in rows or U-shaped. For simplicity and logistics purposes, we won’t be able to accommodate other setups (e.g. arranging chairs into a circle). If you want to do something interactive, for example, you can ask people to pair up or get in small groups — that will be possible without moving furniture around, but we ask that you don’t move equipment or furniture otherwise. If you have specific logistics questions, contact Shelly Azar.