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Call for proposals & save the date

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Summer’s not even over and we’re already starting to work on our March 2020 plans. We hope you are, too, because we’d love it if you saved the date for Canada’s largest book industry conference focused on data, technology, and collaboration: Tech Forum!

If you’ve already been to Tech Forum, you’ll know you want to come again, so scroll down to find the dates to block off in your calendar as well as key information about some changes to the 2020 conference.

If you’ve never been to Tech Forum (why not!?), you can get a feel for the conference by watching videos from previous Tech Forum events on our YouTube channel, checking out our wrap-up blog post from last year’s event, and seeing what attendees had to say on Twitter during last year’s conference.

We’re pretty proud of our commitment to the 50/50 Initiative, the inclusive atmosphere we work hard to foster, and the ideas and speakers we’re able to showcase. (Our cookies and swag are always next-level, too.) If you think this sounds like the conference for you, sign up for our mailing list to get all the updates and some exclusive ticket discounts.

The dates to save and what to expect

Tech Forum 2020 will take place over three days on March 23-25, 2020 at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.

On March 23 and 24, you can expect workshops on audiobooks, digital publishing, accessibility, book marketing, and more in-depth topics for practitioners working directly with the creation and selling of books. Digital publishing professionals looking for ebookcraft can find dedicated workshops on ebook accessibility and other hands-on #eprdctn topics on these two days.

Our full day of mainstage Tech Forum programming, with multiple tracks featuring speakers across the book supply chain, will take place on Wednesday, March 25. Book industry professionals of all types and levels can expect informative presentations, panels, and roundtables on: insights into the Canadian library market; updates on BookNet Canada products and services; fostering equity and inclusion at your organization; building digital publishing processes that deliver born-accessible ebooks; and lots more. A track will be dedicated to ebookcraft programming for those looking to focus on ebook development.

So, what’s happening with ebookcraft?

After listening to audience feedback, we are excited to share that, new for 2020’s event, ebookcraft programming will be integrated into the larger Tech Forum conference to offer a more unified multi-day experience. Attendees in 2020 will have more flexibility in choosing sessions across their professional interests with three days of multi-track programming and no need to restrict themselves to particular ticket types.

More details will be shared in the coming weeks and registration will open in September 2019. You can join the Tech Forum mailing list to stay informed about all the updates and to gain access to exclusive discounts for subscribers.

Call for proposals

As the largest book industry conference in Canada, Tech Forum provides hundreds of professionals with the opportunity to share, learn, and collaborate as we build the future of our industry. Does that sound like something you want to be a part of?

Tech Forum 2020 will take place in Toronto on March 23-25, 2020.

We encourage professionals in North America and abroad to submit proposals on any of the following topics impacting librariestrade publishing, and aligned creative industries:

  • Big ideas, conversations, and forward-looking commentary
  • Innovations, experiments, and case studies
  • Initiatives, successes, and experiments undertaken to address publishing’s diversity problem (both in books published and in human resources)
  • Working with sensitivity readers/editorial consultants
  • Digital books (ebooks and audiobooks): production, marketing, and everything in between
  • Data analysis and interpretation, particularly with customer profiles and working with specialized markets such as libraries, gift, and independent retail
  • Experiments and campaigns engaging with fan culture and social media influencers
  • Practical, hands-on workshops related to content creation, particularly for audiobooks, sales, and marketing
  • Special projects, hacks, and working with metadata to improve in-house workflows
  • Benchmarking: practical examples and business planning implications

Tech Forum is committed to hosting an inclusive event for all people working in our industry. We are particularly interested in hearing from speakers who identify as female, BIPOC, and/or LGBTQQIP2SAA+. We are happy to accommodate speakers of all abilities, ages, levels of industry experience, and number of speaking appearances.

Presentation formats:

Proposals will be considered for presentations, panel discussions, and workshops. A typical time slot is 45-60 minutes for presentations and panel discussions, and 90+ minutes for workshops.

Tips for submitting your proposal:

  • Tell us about yourself: why would you be the best person to talk about this topic?
  • Give us as much detail about your proposed presentation as possible.
  • Please indicate the length of time you will need to present your ideas. Remember that these are short presentations, so it’s best to narrow your scope.
  • Your presentation can be practical or theoretical, but make sure it contains practical take-aways for the audience.
  • Avoid sales pitches.

Upon acceptance, speakers will be expected to submit crucial details (including a working session title and description, bio, and headshot) within two weeks.


Suggestions also welcome!

If you’re not a presenter but would like to suggest a topic or speaker, please send a note to techforum@booknetcanada.ca. After all, this conference is for you.

Deadline for submissions:

Please send proposals and suggestions to techforum@booknetcanada.ca by Sept. 30, 2019. All submissions are considered by the conference committee. Successful candidates will be contacted with more information on presentation opportunities at Tech Forum 2020.

Sponsorship information

If you or your company is interesting in partnering with BookNet Canada to present Tech Forum 2020, please get in touch. Varying levels of support — in-kind and/or financial — are available and paired to your company’s objectives. View our sponsorship information.