Q: Is there a cost for speakers to register for Netroots Nation?
A: Yes. There will be a deeply discounted registration cost for panelists, trainers and speakers. The speaker rate is just $125 for the entire conference (less than the cost of a day pass). We will be offering panel organizers a limited pool of scholarships based on need. But if you’re communicating with potential panelists before you submit you should be sure to mention this policy. If you have more questions about this policy, email us at
Q: What does a good session proposal look like?
A: It’s always a good idea to check out sessions we’ve done in the past. You can view Netroots Nation 2014 here. But generally we’re looking for sessions that are diverse, well targeted to our audience and interesting. Successful panels usually have a cross issue focus, present an action oriented take on an issue or share case studies or lessons learned, include experienced moderators and interesting speakers, and are not a commercial for a single organization or product. Successful trainings are skills, not discussion or debate, focused and can be either at a basic, intermediate or advanced level. When you’re describing your speakers or trainers make sure to tell us why they’d be a good fit for the panel and what role they’re playing or what their expertise is if you’re submitting a training. Simply pasting in speaker bios generally isn’t helpful. 
Q: How important is diversity?
A: It’s incredibly important. Panels containing only white men are rejected automatically, so don’t submit them. Panels which are gender balanced but don’t include any people of color are not looked upon favorably in the scoring process. We published our diversity stats from 2014 and we aim to meet or exceed those numbers this year. So consider that when you’re filling out your submission.
Q: What are all the different kinds of content I can submit?
A: Netroots Nation accepts submissions for several kinds of sessions: Panels, Trainings, TWiB! Media Stage Programs, and Screening Series Sessions (films/video). 
Q: What if I want to submit a film for the Screening Series?
A: Click here to submit a film for consideration.
Q: What if I’m the organizer and the moderator?
A: That’s fine. There is a place to indicate that on the submission form.
Q: How important is spelling, grammar and punctuation in my submission?
A: It’s important. Reviewers read lots of submissions and glaze over when things are hard to understand because of bad grammar and punctuation. Don’t fall victim to it. Also be aware of cutting and pasting errors.
Q: Will all this information I submit be released publicly?
A: No, it’s just for our reviewers to read or so we can get in contact with you. If your session is selected, we may post your session title and description, but there will be a chance to revise/update before the conference.
Q: Why do you ask “If relevant, please include if this person identifies as LGBT”?
A: We value diversity and place a high priority on it throughout the panel process and planning of the conference. Our rationale behind phrasing the question this way was to provide an opportunity for people to include LGBT status if they so choose. We recognize that some session organizers have a professional relationship with panelists and may not feel comfortable asking personal questions, and some panelists may choose to not disclose any personal information in a professional setting. We do encourage organizers to include LGBT status in the “panelist info” field if they know the answer or are comfortable asking.
Q: How long is a session?
A: Each session is 75 minutes. You should allow time for Q&A within that time block.
Q: When will my session take place?
A: The panel will be scheduled for Thursday, Friday or Saturday, July 16, 17 or 18. Let us know if you have specific scheduling needs and we’ll do our best to accommodate. The sooner we’re aware of scheduling concentrations after accepting panels, the more likely we can accommodate.
Q: Does Netroots Nation pay for air travel or hotel accommodation?
A: No. Speakers are asked to cover the cost of their travel and hotel. A limited number of general scholarships are available to Netroots Nation. Information about the scholarship program will be released in spring 2015.
Q: What if I want more than four panelists and a moderator?
A: We generally discourage this practice. We’ve found there is not enough time for everyone to speak AND involve the audience if there are more than five people on stage. 
Q: When should I expect to hear back on my submission?
A: You’ll find out in early March if your panel has made it to the final round and late March if your panel has been selected for NN15. View the timeline here.
Q: How are panels selected?
A: Panels will be divided into generally similar categories and each group will be reviewed by a committee of experts. Those committees will recommend several of the best from each category to a final committee, which will make final decisions. You can find more information about our process here.
Q: Can I suggest myself or another person to speak on another panel?
A: Unfortunately, the only way you can submit a speaker is to include them on a panel, screening series, or training session submission. You can always email us at the address below and we’ll take it under consideration.

Have a question that’s not covered here? Email us at panelsNN15 at

Netroots Nation 2016