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Table of contents


In this guide:

Important dates

Speaker responsibilities

Selection process

Session types

Participant types

Abstract writing tips

Proposal preparation

Submission details

Technical difficulty levels

CFP walkthrough











important dates

Mark your calendar

October 10, 2016: Call for proposals opens

December 2, 2016: Last day to submit a proposal *Extended to Friday, December 16, 2016

January, 2017: Proposal decisions sent

February, 2017: Agenda published on redhat.com/summit

May 2-4, 2017: Red Hat Summit in Boston, MA


Speaker responsibilities


Know what you're getting into

By submitting a proposal, you agree to (if accepted):

  • Be available to give the proposed talk during the week of May 2-4, 2017.* 
  • Timely communication with event staff about your session.
  • Upload a PDF copy of your presentation before the conference begins, so that we may make the slides available to attendees after the event.


*This includes authorization for travel and expenses. Please speak with your manager to be sure you are approved for travel, if applicable.


Know the benefits

  • Lead presenters and moderators receive a complementary full conference pass to Red Hat Summit.
  • Co-presenters and panelists receive a significant discount toward registration.


Selection process


This is How the agenda comes together

  • In the 2 weeks after the call for proposals closes, subject-matter experts from throughout Red Hat review and give a numerical rating (1-5) to each submitted abstract. 
    • This process includes members of customer, partner, sales, product engineering, marketing, and regional teams.
    • Voters will be considering the originality of the abstract, the experience or expertise of the proposed speaker, and the relevance to event attendees and current technology trends.
  • Once ratings are completed, in-person committees review the highest-rated sessions and discuss their viability for a place on the agenda. 
    • Everyone is friendly, and no one argues. 
    • There will be a brief period when speakers may be asked to make adjustments to their abstracts in order to be accepted; a committee member closest to the subject will contact them.
  • Final accept and decline decisions will be made and emailed to all submitters.


Session types


breakout session

Participants: 1 lead presenter, up to 2 co-presenters
A 45-minute stage presentation with slides, videos, and/or demonstrations. Limit to a specific topic, which can range from high-level to customer or partner stories to detailed business or technical. Plan to leave 10 minutes at end for audience questions. The lead presenter should be an expert on the topic, with up to 2 co-presenters to support or add unique experiences or insights.


Participants: 1 moderator, up to 5 panelists
A moderated 45-minute discussion between panelists with shared experience or expertise. The moderator, generally a Red Hat expert or industry analyst, has communicated the topic with the panelists beforehand, and all should have a general idea of the conversation’s direction. Panelists are customers, partners, project participants, or the like, each with a unique voice on the topic. Slides should be limited to one deck, and should only include introductions of the participants and illustrations of specific ideas discussed. Plan to leave 10 minutes for audience questions.


Participants: 1 presenter
A quick (5-10 minute), high-energy talk, grouped with several talks around the same general subject. Slides should be very limited, and must be submitted well in advance of the conference.

Session types  



Participants: Up to 2 moderators with audience participation
An  informal, 45-minute conversation with audience members that doesn't typically have an outline or prescribed direction. Audience members will ultimately decide the direction of this session. Up to 2 moderators will introduce themselves and offer a few talking points on the topic, then act as guides to ensure the conversation stays on topic. Slides should be limited to introductions of the moderators and possibly talking points if the conversation lags.


Participants: 2 lead presenters, up to 3 co-presenters
A 2-hour hands-on learning experience on a very specific, technical topic. Attendees will learn how to do something with the help of 2 lead presenters and up to 3 co-presenters. Lead presenters should be the experts on the topic, with support of the co-presenters. Red Hat Summit lab audience size is limited to the number of seats (with hardware provided) available, and pre-registration is required. Slides are recommended for step-by-step instructions or to illustrate ideas.

Note: Lab speakers will need to work closely with event staff to identify technology requirements--internet connectivity, bandwidth, machine set-up, etc.

Included in sessions  


In addition to specifying the session type, you'll also indicate whether your session includes the following elements. All are optional.



Roadmaps show the direction a product or technology is headed in the near future.


Demonstrations show hands-on use of a technology, and are usually performed live (though recorded backups are encouraged in case conference wi-fi is unreliable).

Customer or partner implementation

Including a success story helps attendees see how a concept might be applied in the real world, at a high level.

Red Hat Services implementation

Did Red Hat consulting, training, certifications, or support play a part in the story?

Participant types


Owner (1 per session)

The owner is usually the person that submitted the proposal. Only the owner can make changes to the submission.

presenter (1 per breakout session, 2 per lab)

The lead presenter is the primary expert on the session's subject, and this person will do most of the talking.

Co-presenter (up to 2 per slide presentation or lab)

Co-presenters support the presenter and add their own unique experiences or ideas to the session.

Moderator (1 per panel, 2 per Bof)

Moderators of panels and birds-of-a-feather sessions have slightly different roles.

  • Panel moderators lead a conversation among panelists, with whom they have  have discussed the session beforehand.
  • BoF moderators lead the discussion with the audience, and their main goal is to keep the conversation to the topic.

Panelist (up to 5 per panel)

Panelists are customers, partners, project participants, or the like, each with a unique voice on the topic.

Abstract writing tips


Try to answer these questions:

Why is this topic important?

Give some context to your subject matter. Start with 1-2 sentences about the state of the market, IT trends, or recent announcements that make your topic relevant.

What makes your presentation special?

Do you have an exciting implementation story, a live demo, or new ways to use a tool? Why should we choose your abstract over others on your topic?

What will the attendee leave with?

Tell the attendee what they'll do or learn in the session. List 3-4 takeaways, for example:

  • You will learn: 
  • In this session, we will discuss:
  • After this session, you will understand:
  • You'll gain hands-on experience with:



Abstract writing tips 


Speak to the potential attendee

Write as if you're describing your session to someone who's already sitting in your audience. E.g. "We will talk about ways to speed up development times." 

Keep it concise

Ideal title length: ≤60 characters

Ideal abstract length: 100-150 words

Know your audience...

...and make sure they know what to expect. If your abstract promises a high-level customer story, but you spend 30 minutes knee-deep in code, your audience will be frustrated, and the audience you should have had will be in another room.

Include a TL;DR

Write a 1-sentence version of your abstract for the mobile version of the agenda.

Don't worry about polish. We'll help.

If your proposal is accepted, our editors will help you get the abstract into shape before the event. 

proposal preparation



  • The submission proposal form will ask for details about your session. This information helps attendees find the sessions that most appeal to them based on topics, technologies, or products.
  • The next few pages will give more information on specific fields on the submission form. 









Submission details

PRIMARY product(s)

Choose from a list of Red Hat products, as well as an option for community projects. Choose up to 3.


If your session incorporates Red Hat training, certification, support, or consulting, say so here.


Choose 1 primary and up to 3 supporting.

  • Application delivery
  • Business automation
  • Containers
  • DevOps
  • Infrastructure
  • Internet of Things
  • Open source community
  • Security
  • Big data
  • Cloud & hybrid IT
  • Culture, diversity, or soft skills
  • IT strategy
  • Integration
  • Mobile
  • Operations management
  • Storage

Primary solution

What technology features most prominently in your session?

  • Cloud computing
  • Middleware
  • Storage
  • Linux platforms
  • Mobile
  • Virtualization
  • Other


technical difficulty

examples from last year



WHAT to expect when you're submitting

The rest of this guide will walk you through the account registration and submission in the call for proposals (CFP) process:

  1. Register a new account
  2. Start a submission
  3. Tell us about your session
  4. Add participants
  5. Review and submit
  6. Check status (and/or submit again)
  7. Look forward to January




Step 1: Register a new account


  • Registration link is at redhat.com/summit
  • If someone has added you as a co-presenter on a session, you already have an account. Use the forgotten password tool to access your account.
  • Red Hat employees, use your official Red Hat email address to avoid account duplication.
  • Speaker accounts do not roll over from previous years; even if you presented or submitted last year, create a new account.


Step 2: Start a submission


  • You may submit as many proposals as you like.
  • After you start a submission, you'll see it below, in the "previous submissions" section, when you log in next.


Step 3: Tell us about your session


  • See pages 13-14 of this guide for help with the requested tags.
  • If your session fits multiple topics, solutions, or audiences, choose the one most relevant. 


Step 4: Add participants

Part 1



Step 4: Add participants


  • The session owner (the person submitting) is not a speaker by default. If you're the presenter, you must add yourself.
    • "Prefill with my info" in the second part was made just for you.
  • Enter a secondary email if you know it, to avoid duplication of accounts.
  • When entering Red Hat employees, use their "official" email address (ask if you don't know it).

Part 2


Step 5: Review and submit


  • You won't be able to finish the submission if you haven't added a participant.
  • A confirmation email will be sent automatically. 


Step 6: Check status (and/or submit again)


  • Check the home page to see your previous submissions.
  • Submission statuses:
    • Complete: You're all done. We'll let you know in January.
    • Incomplete: You haven't given us all the details. We don't receive incomplete submissions.
  • Acceptance statuses:
    • New: The submission has been started and can still be edited.
    • Pending: We're currently reading and discussing your proposal.
    • Accepted: You're in! You'll get an email from us with more info.
    • Declined: This session didn't fit our agenda this year.

CFP walkthrough

Step 7: Look forward to January


What to do now: 

  • You'll hear whether we've accepted or declined your proposal in January. 
  • Any questions about the proposal process? Email presenters@redhat.com.


Thanks, and good luck!


2017 Red Hat Summit Submission Guide

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2017 Red Hat Summit Submission Guide

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