Understanding How the PASS Summit
Abstract Selection Process Works


Every year, hundreds of abstracts are submitted by speakers who would like to present at the PASS Summit. Unfortunately, not every abstract and speaker can be selected, so it is the responsibility of the PASS Program Committee to review and select the abstracts they feel will best meet the needs of the PASS Community Summit attendees.

To make it easier to select the abstracts, the PASS Program Committee has multiple sub-committees, each one of which is tasked with reviewing the abstracts for each educational track offered by the PASS Community Summit. For example, if you submit an abstract for the Database and Application Development track, then it will be reviewed by the volunteers of that sub-committee who staff that track, and so on.

Each abstract is reviewed by every member of their respective track sub-committee, and each abstract is rated using the following guidelines:

1.       Is the abstract appropriate for their track?

a.       If YES, continue the review process.

b.      If NO, make an alternate track recommendation and notify the PASS Program Committee so that it can be assigned to the correct track.


2.       Is the submission complete?  Does it have:

a.       A title that reflects the content of the abstract?

b.      A pre-requisite that matches the recommended expertise?

c.       A well developed outline that maps out the main goals of the presentation?

d.      A focus that fits their track and the target audience?

e.      Enough appropriate content to fill a 60 minute presentation?

f.        Live demonstrations in addition to PowerPoint slides?

g.       A well constructed abstract that incorporates and relates to all the other items listed above?


3.       Is the topic appealing?  Is the topic:

a.       One of broad appeal or one that is specific to a particular area?

b.      One that was popular in the past at previous PASS Community Summits?

c.       One that was never covered before?

d.      Timely?


4.       Does the submission fit the intended audience?  Does:

a.       The topic level appeal to the intended audience?

b.      The presentation summary match the experience level?

c.       Do the pre-requisites match the experience level?


5.       Does this submission meet the track’s strategy?  Does it?

a.       Include a case study?

b.      Address those topics which the Program Committee and Community Program Survey results have highlighted as key priorities?

c.       Fit well with your other selected topics?

d.      Appear well balanced?


6.       Does the Speaker meet the PASS Program Committee’s goals?  Is the speaker:

a.       Someone who has fully completed their PASSPort profile.

b.      Someone you have seen present and know is a good speaker?

c.       Someone who has received a good evaluation at previous conferences?

d.      Someone who has been involved in volunteering for the SQL Server community, such as PASS, PASS user groups, or as a SQL Server MVP?

e.      Someone who is marketable to potential attendees?

f.        Someone who is new, in order to help meet the goal of promoting new speakers?


Each abstract is rated for each of the above questions by each track sub-committee member, and the results tallied.


Once all the abstracts are rated, a conference call is held among all of the track sub-committee members and the actual abstract selections are made. Some abstracts will automatically be rejected because of overall low scores.


The remaining abstracts are then evaluated, and abstracts will be selected so that there is a balanced education program that includes a combination of both established and new speakers that meets the educational goals of the PASS Summit.


The PASS Program committee may also reserve a nominal amount of speaker slots for special session selection programs.  The criteria for selecting those abstract may differ from the afore mentioned process.   For example, we are working on developing a PASS New Speaker Development program and a Community Choice Session program.


Two lists of speakers are selected, those who will be asked to present sessions as well as a list of alternates.  All selected speakers will be sent letters advising them of their status as either a selected Speaker or an Alternate.  Alternate speakers will be contacted as needed to ensure that all the session slots at the PASS Summit are filled and well-balanced.