Call for Speakers : Agile on the Beach 2018 (closed)

THE 2018 CALL FOR SPEAKERS IS NOW CLOSED.   Thank you to all who have submitted their sessions, the quality is excellent.

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Welcome to our Call for Speakers 2018, we welcome all to submit to speak at our conference.

Please find below summary, and links to full information on how to submit your sessions and our selection process, speaker package and schedule. Please do read the information provided in full before submitting your session.

Summary Information

12 & 13 July 2018, Falmouth Cornwall, UK
Submissions open: 20th November 2017 Submission deadline: 20th December 2017


• Themes – Agile on the Beach is an annual agile conference held in Cornwall UK. The conference hosts sessions and workshops that provide insights into approaches and experiences of adopting agile across key themes: Software Delivery, Team Working, Agile Practices, Product Design, Product Management and Business.

• Speakers – The conference welcomes all to submit to speak at Agile on the Beach and welcome sessions from across business sectors and disciplines. We welcome sessions from both technical and non-technical teams and organisations.

• Formats – We aim to achieve a mix of sessions of practical workshops, lectures, and discussions. The majority of sessions will be 45 minutes in length. We are open to new session formats, please provide details in your submission.

• Audience – Agile on the Beach attracts a diverse array of attendees in a variety of technical and non-technical roles. Please include information in your synopsis that will help our delegates decide if your session is suitable to their role and level of experience.

• Submission – To make a submission you will need to submit your session details and speaker details using the online form. Your session details should include an overview of what your session will include, who the session is suitable for and key outcomes for those attending. All submissions should be made using the online form available with the full Submission Guide below

We receive over 300 submissions to speak each year for just 30-40 sessions, the level of quality is outstanding. Please do ensure your submission is complete and that your session is clearly related to agile working and the track theme selected.

Submission note: Please provide a good quality ‘head and shoulders’ style profile photo, max 1mb. This will be used on your online and print speaker profile.

• Submission review process – Following the close of submissions, the review team will vote on and discuss submissions to select the line up for the conference. You will be notified by the 1st March if you have been selected. Further details of our selection process are available in our full submission guide.

• Speakers package – The organizers are pleased to offer speakers free entry to the conference and social events, accommodation on campus and a travel expenses allowance (limited). Please see the full guide to our Call for Speakers for details.

• Code of Conduct – In 2014 we introduced a conference code of conduct to help us ensure that Agile on the Beach is a comfortable, enjoyable and safe conference for all. Our code can be read here.


Full submission information

Please read this information before submitting your sessions

Conference: 12 & 13 July 2018

Submissions open: 20th November 2017

Submission deadline: 20 December 2017

Where: Falmouth University, Tremough Campus, Falmouth, UK

Call for Papers & Speakers

The eighth The Agile on the Beach conference will be held at Falmouth University on 12th and 13th July 2018.  The organizers would like to invite proposals for sessions.

Since 2011 Agile on the Beach has established itself as a world class conference for Agile and software development. The conference has sold out in the last four years despite increasing capacity. We expect the 2018 conference to again sell over 300 tickets.

Keynotes have yet to be confirmed for 2018 – please watch the website and Twitter feed for the latest announcement.  Past keynote speakers have included: Diana Larsen, Dan North, Michael Feathers, Kevlin Henney, Mary Poppendieck, Linda Rising, Eben Upton, James Grenning, JB Rainsburger and Bjarte Bogsnes.

Details about the conference, themes and full schedule are given below. Submissions should be made by 20 December 2017 and speakers will be notified by 1 March 2018.

Please send submissions to using the online form at  Questions should be sent to Allan Kelly (committee member for speak liaison) at

For the latest information on the 2018 conference and details of previous conference please see and follow @AgileOnTheBeach on Twitter –

Conference Themes

Agile on the Beach 2018 will focus Agile working, software creation and delivery, teams, practice and new business thinking. These themes will be organised as several tracks. Most run on 1-day only:

  • Product Design: product look and feel etc., e.g. user experience, front end design
  • Product Management, e.g. requirements gathering, the product manager role
  • Team working, e.g. culture, personnel management, self-organization, leadership
  • Agile Practices, e.g. agile basics, writing user stories.
  • Agility in business (tech), e.g. Agile in the public sector, Agile delivery contracts, Involving business clients in technical discussions.
  • Agility in business (non-tech), e.g. using Scrum in healthcare, Agile strategy.
  • Software delivery (2 days): including programing, testing and operations, e.g. TDD, BDD, continuous delivery, architecture, reliability

We encourage submissions in the non-tech business track especially to look outside and beyond software development. Subjects such as strategy, innovation and customer understanding are all of interest. For example in 2012 one speaker spoke about the use of Agile in the legal department of an international publisher and in 2014 a speaker spoke about Agile in a PR agency.

We like to add some variety to the programme and are also interested in hear about new technologies in general, approaches to innovation and learning.

In particular local Cornish companies are encouraged to submit their experiences so the conference can showcase local talent.

Type of sessions

As with previous years the organizers would like to see a mix of sessions formats.  For example: presentation with slides, interactive workshops and hands-on-keyboard interactive workshop.

For 2018 we would like to see some discussion based sessions and are open to other presentation formats.

The majority of session will be 45 minutes in length.  Double sessions (90 or more minutes) are also available – primarily for hands-on and interactive workshops. The committee feel 90 minutes is a long time for audiences to only listen. We would like to include several double hands-on sessions in the delivery software track.

The conference schedule will include time for lightning talks.  Speakers are welcome to submit lightning talks in addition.  Lightning talk submission and selection will occur at the conference itself on the day (usually the Thursday.)


Last years’ was a sell out attended by over 350 people. This included a large number from the local area (Cornwall and Devon) although most attendees come from further afield – including a few from the USA and Australia.

Most attendees are in someway involved with the software industry either at a technical or business level.  However a significant minority are managers or come from outside the software arena.  One of the aims of the conference is to showcase Agile outside of software.

Within the technical audience the technology base is wide.  From web-developers using PHP on LAMP to embedded C developers programming on the metal via medical systems developers using Windows C#.


All submissions should be made using the online form:

Submissions should clearly include the following elements:

  • Title
  • Short synopsis (for marketing)
  • Long synopsis (for conference programme)
  • Type (e.g. presentation, interactive workshop)
  • Most appropriate track
  • Duration (45 or 90 minutes)
  • Speaker name(s)
  • Speaker biography
  • Speaker headshot photo
  • Speaker contact details
  • Speaker experience
  • Base location from which expenses will be paid (UK, Europe, elsewhere expenses required, elsewhere can pay own travel to the UK)

We are ask speakers to indicate whether they consider themselves an experienced conference speaker, regular speaker or a new speaker. We aim to create a balanced programme with space for new speakers as well as those who regularly speak on the conference circuit while avoiding an unintentional bias in any direction.

Submission review process

Following the close of submissions the conference organizing committee will individually review and vote on all proposals. The votes will then be combined and a shortlist created. The shortlisted submissions will be reviewed and ranked. Final selection will be made from the combined rankings.

The Agile on the Beach submission review and voting process are described in a blog entry by Allan Kelly,

Speaker biography may be considered as part of the review process as we believe the experience of the speaker to be relevant factor in making our decision.

In 2017 over 300 submissions were received for 40 speaking slots. We will endeavour to give feedback to unsuccessful submissions althugh because the voting process involves multiple reviewers it is sometimes difficult to give a single reason why a proposal was not accepted.

Speakers package

The organizers are pleased to offer speakers the following:

  • Free entry to both days of the conference
  • Free entry to beach party for speaker plus one guest
  • Free ticket for Friday night boat trip
  • Bed and breakfast in Falmouth University accommodation for up to 3 nights. Each speaker is guaranteed their own en suite room
  • Lunch both days of the conference
  • Travel costs: Agile on the Beach aims to cover speakers travel costs which can be reclaimed after the conference:
    • For UK based speakers the travel allowance is £150
    • For speakers based in Europe the allowance is £300
    • For speakers outside of Europe please see below

Speakers may submit up to three session or joint submissions. If more than one session is chosen the speakers package remains the same.

Sessions with multiple speakers may be submitted. Both speakers will be entitled to free entry and accommodation although the committee may ask speakers to share the travel allowance.

Speakers who have bought one of the early discounted tickets before the announcement of acceptances will be entitled to a ticket refund on their purchase if their submission is accepted. Alternatively they may transfer their ticket to a named colleague at no additional charge.

Speakers are asked to only submit each session once. In 2017 we took a dim view of a few speakers who submitted duplicate proposals but with different expenses expectations.

Cornwall is a popular English holiday destination. Some speakers – and attendees – choose to combine their attendance at Agile on the Beach with a short holiday or long weekend in Cornwall.  The organizers are happy to provide advice and suggestions should you wish to do so.

Agile on the Beach welcomes speakers from outside Europe and in the past has had speakers from the USA, Canada and Israel. However expenses for long-haul travel require special consideration and we may ask speakers to cover part of their own costs.

Potential speakers who have not previously visited Falmouth are advised to consider their travel arrangements before submitting. (Allan Kelly discussed how to travel to Falmouth for Agile on the Beach in a blog entry ).

Additional notes on submissions and speaking

The committee are fully aware that IT can be a male dominated industry and are keen to encourage diversity in speakers. While all submissions will be judged on their merits, we encourage all to submit in the hope the committee will be able to programme a diverse line-up of quality sessions and speakers.

Submissions which are specific to vendor tools (e.g. “Managing branches with Microsoft TFS” or “Stored Procedure Testing on Oracle”) are unlikely to be selected. Such sessions may be submitted and in some cases may be selected. However experience shows that the organizing committee prefer sessions which are more generic and broader in nature.

The committee favour sessions about doing Agile rather than sessions about Agile, i.e. “How Agile transformed my business” over “How Agile can transform your business”

In the business track the committee are far more interested in sessions which talk about Agile businesses rather than interfacing technical teams to non-technical teamS, e.g. “Expanding our market through Agile approaches” rather than “Collaborative User Story writing.”

Most presentations are video recorded and made available on the conference website after the conference. If you would prefer your session not to be recorded and shared please tell the organizers when you arrive at the conference.

If you are proposing to have a co-speaker please name both speakers in the submission, we will consider the first speaker to be the contact point. This speaker is responsible for passing on our communications to the second speaker.

The organizers endeavour to respect the track suggestion of each speaker. However talks may be assigned to the track regarded as the most appropriate, this may differ from the speakers suggested track. Scheduling considerations may also lead to track assignment changes.

Code of Conduct

In 2014 Agile on the Beach introduced a conference code of conduct for speakers and attendees. For more details of this please see contact section for the upto date code of conduct.


  • 20 November: Submissions open
  • 20 December: Submissions close – we do not plan to extend this deadline
  • 9 January: Round 1 reviews end
  • Shortlisting
  • 2 February: Round 2 reviews end
  • Final decisions and contact with speakers
  • 1 March: Announce speaker
  • 12 & 13 July: Conference

Please send submissions to using the online system at

November 13, 2017