Dates to Remember

  • March 15: Call for speaker abstracts due
  • March 18 – May 1: Abstract review
  • May 3 – 31: Session notifications distributed
  • June 21: Final program announced
  • August 2: Session presentation decks (PPT) due
  • August 5 – 30: Content reviews
  • September 24 – 26: Take the stage in Seattle


* Deadlines for virtual elements will be shared at time of acceptance.

Important Notes

  • Speakers should be available to deliver in person and pre-record sessions for virtual broadcasting. Details on virtual to follow.
  • All approved breakout session speakers will receive a free base conference pass (does not include preconference day).*
  • All approved speakers are responsible for arranging and paying for costs associated with their travel (airfare, hotel, registration, transportation, meals outside of those offered at conference.)

How to Submit a Proposal

Step 1: Review the overview and requirements page.
Step 2: Create a profile.
You will be prompted to log into your Swoogo account (sign in). If you do not have an account, you can create one by clicking “sign up”. Once you are successfully logged in, you will be taken to the session submission details.
Step 3: Enter session details.

In order to complete your submission process, you will need to provide the below session information. Please note that you will not be able to edit a session after the March 15 deadline. Before submitting, you may save your proposal and return to it later.

  • Session Title (use title caps): catchy titles are great, but clear descriptions avoid confusion and ensure people are in the right place when your session starts.
  • Session Content Areas: (jump to the full list)
  • Session Description: Limit the scope of your session. You may not be able to cover everything you’re passionate about in your session time (typically 30-minutes). Instead, pick a useful aspect or a specific best practice, or walk through a simple program.
  • Learning Outcomes: 2-3 things that you expect attendees to take away from your session and be able to apply to their work. This provides more context for attendees so they know what to expect. Based on attendee feedback, sessions that add value and provide best practices that the audience can take back to their office and apply immediately, score high. Real-world scenarios with relevant examples are very well-received.
  • Add additional speakers and supporting information. Make sure you have your bio and a headshot ready for when you submit your proposal. It’s vital to take the time to write your bio so we can understand who you are and what your experience is as we evaluate your session proposal.
  • There are steps that allow you to select appropriate track, experience level, roles, and audiences that your session will target. Be thoughtful about what you select and do not simply select all of them as you want to ensure the session content will be relevant to the audience.


If your proposal is accepted, you’ll be expected to meet the program’s requirements, including the timely submission of session materials, recordings, and other resources, and attend speaker training and coordination sessions.   
Session Materials
In order to complete your submission process, you will need to provide the below session information. Please note that you will not be able to edit a session once submitted. Before submitting, you may save your proposal and return to it later.
  • Produce a slide presentation (if applicable to your session type) that will be available on the bbcon website (in PDF format) and support your session.
  • Provide session resources that support topics you are covering. 
  • Record a session video. You will present live at bbcon, but also be expected to record your session with bbcon virtual technology experts. Exact deliverables will be shared with approved speakers.
Technical Requirements
Speakers must provide their own laptop for presenting onsite. For session pre-recordings you will need a good computer, microphone or headset, web camera, and a reliable Internet connection. The bbcon virtual tech team will assist you in the recording process. 
Session Content Areas

We ask that you identify the content track that best fits your session topic:

  • Fundraising & Donor Management
  • Peer-to-Peer
  • Donor & Prospect Intelligence
  • Marketing & Online Giving
  • K-12 School Management
  • Education Management for Higher Ed
  • Award & Scholarship Management
  • Accounting
  • Tuition Management
  • Financial Aid Management
  • Payment & Purchasing Services
  • CSR & Grantmaking
  • Sector Leadership & Trends
  • Professional Development
Session Formats

All sessions are 45-minutes in length, unless otherwise noted. We’re accepting proposals for the following types of sessions this year: 

  • Industry Talk: More traditional conference-style presentation with a focus on sharing thought leadership, industry insights, and new prospectives on innovation and emerging trends.
  • Customer Case Study: A presentation on a special project or how you addressed a challenge in an innovative way and the impact achieved.
  • Tips & Tricks: A skills-based segment showcasing timesaving hacks and best practices using Blackbaud software.
  • Panel: Grab a group of peers and experts to share perspectives on a topic/theme and answer questions from our attendees (2-4 speakers).
  • Birds of a Feather: Mediated small-group discussions intended to help solve a challenge or answer a question shared by industry peers (often held during breakfast or lunch). BOF sessions are typically 20-minute conversations. BOF facilitators do not receive a free conference pass unless they are leading a breakout session at the conference.
  • User Groups: collaborative space for networking, knowledge swapping, and maximizing Blackbaud technology usage. These are typically one-hour sessions.
  • Hands-on Workshop: “How to” interactive guided sessions will lead attendees through the software to solve a particular challenge in a small classroom audience. Reserved for preconference sessions most-often led by Blackbaud University instructors.
Experience Levels
Sessions for all experience levels are welcome. We ask that you designate the level of skill or experience your intended audience should have to get the most from your content. 
  • BASIC | 0–1 years of experience with the topic/product; looking for a basic introduction.
  • INTERMEDIATE | 1–3 years of experience with the topic/product: comfortable with basic functions; looking for tips & tricks, ways to work smarter, not harder.
  • ADVANCED | 3+ years of experience with the topic/product; well-versed in all functions‚ looking to learn complexities and new trends. This often includes deeper understanding of product behavior, optimizing workflows, etc.
  • NOT APPLICABLE | Content is mostly informative and is of interest to any audience. This often includes thought leadership content and panel sessions, case studies, and roundtables.
Changing or Updating Proposals
You can make edits via your proposals dashboard until the submission period closes on March 15. Simply sign into the CFS portal using your email address and password. Changes will not be possible after the submission period closes and proposals enter the review phase. Blackbaud has the right to edit titles and proposals. If your proposal is accepted, you will be able to make further changes.   

Selection Process

Proposals go through an extensive review process. We consider how well proposals align with the specified industry topics, our audience, industry trends, and best practices, the holistic bbcon experience, and how content will support year-round learning initiatives globally. We also balance new and experienced speakers to capture a range of voices.  


Speaker Agreement and Code of Conduct
All approved speakers will be expected to sign a Speaker Agreement and Event Code of Conduct. Primary speakers are expected to ensure that all content aligns with your accepted proposal and communicate all relevant information to co-speakers and panelists.  
Rights to Reuse Materials
As a bbcon speaker, you grant Blackbaud a perpetual, unlimited, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to print, reprint, distribute, use, display, and redistribute all or any portion of the session’s materials. Full details are available in Speaker Agreement once accepted.