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Sessions for PASS Summit 2024 are now live

June 25, 2024

We’re excited to announce the session line up for PASS Data Community Summit 2024! Selected from the community, and reviewed by the community, we saw an unprecedented number of proposals from our call for speakers that took place in March-April this year. The volunteer Program Committee are excited for you to now explore this year’s program.

Record-breaking submissions

We asked and you delivered! With a staggering 1,100+ session submissions in total, we were overwhelmed and humbled by your enthusiasm during 2024’s call for speakers. This year marks an increase of approximately 300 more submissions than in previous years and reflects the support and engagement of an incredible community!

A rigorous selection process

As shared in a previous blog, the selection process is designed to be thorough and unbiased to ensure that every submitted proposal is given fair consideration, while enabling us to curate a solid and culturally diverse program. Our aim is to ensure the program meets the evolving needs of the data community and discusses the topics and challenges data professionals need to understand in order to advance their knowledge and careers. Here’s a brief overview of our multi-phased approach:

Phase I – Blind review

In this first phase, each submission is carefully reviewed and rated by at least three Program Committee members without access to speaker details. Their focus is solely on the quality and relevance of the content – topics, titles, abstracts, goals, prerequisites, and overall coherence.

Phase II – Named review

In the second phase, the Program Committee track leads perform a second review, but this time with speaker information, allowing for a comprehensive review resulting in a shortlist of the top-rated and team recommended sessions.

Phase III – Session selection

Next, our internal team assembles the program, balancing a number of factors such as content goals, topics, levels, team ratings and recommendations, community representation, and diversity, all within the parameters of our new session lengths. New session lengths have been introduced this year as a direct result of the community’s feedback.

Phase IV – Program analysis

In our final phase, the drafted program is reviewed by a fresh set of eyes to ensure that popular and relevant topic areas are covered, and a diverse and engaging lineup has been selected in order to meet attendee expectations.

Complexities around building this year’s program  

Venue capacity

One limiting factor the organizing team face each and every year is the venue capacity and what the conference space will allow. This isn’t a new challenge and is something the organizers have faced at previous venues, including the previous Arch and TCC buildings at the Seattle Convention Center. At Summit (the new venue we are using this year), the organizers are restricted to scheduling a wide ranging and comprehensive program into just 16 session rooms.

Heightened competition

Despite what may initially appear to be a great number of sessions per timeslot, the volunteer Program and Selection Committee were challenged with only being able to accept a total number of 150 community sessions for this year’s program. When faced with a record breaking 1,120 proposals, it made for an incredibly difficult selection and notification process.

To give you a better understanding of this aspect, let’s look at the numbers.

We were humbled to receive an overwhelming 1,163 total submissions during our call for speakers this year. After removing test, incomplete, and cancelled submissions, there were 1,120 eligible submissions for 2024’s general program. Of these sessions, 98 sessions (pre-conference and learning pathway sessions) were reviewed and selected as part of our early-bird process and notifications went out to these speakers at the end of April.

This left the Program and Selection Committee with 88% of the original submissions, or 1,022 session proposals, to review and select to fulfill just 150 general session spots.

From here, the 150 community session spots were broken down by session track:

Analytics  32 
Architecture  24 
Database Management  57 
Development  24 
Professional Development  13 


And even further down by session category: 

Community Keynote   
Pre-con  14 
Learning Pathway  26 (5 pathways) 
Deep Dive  5 
Session – 75-minutes  23 
Session – 60-minutes  32 
Session – 45-minutes  24 
Panel  1 
Lightning Talks  12 


The impact of new session lengths

This year, we introduced two new session lengths: 60-minute and 45-minute sessions. These have been added as a direct result of attendee feedback, highlighting a preference for a range of session lengths. This change has been a key factor which has also influenced the selection process due to the limited number of sessions that could be chosen per session length category.

By introducing two new session lengths to this year’s program the sessions were broken down into the following per categories and tracks: 

As you can see, the competition for session spots across categories and tracks was incredibly tight, especially considering the high number of submissions received:

High quality proposals

To further add to the complexity of building this year’s program, of the 1,120 eligible sessions, 444 sessions were rated between 4 and 5, while 480 were rated between 2 and 3, truly making this year one of THE most difficult review and selection processes to date.

We would like to thank and congratulate all of the speakers who submitted proposals for this year’s PASS Data Community Summit. Your engagement and support is unmistakable and the quality and expertise of the proposals is unmatched. We hope this blog post helps to reassure the community, and in particular any speakers that weren’t selected, that it was an incredibly competitive year with an extremely high-quality intake of sessions.

We always want to be transparent about the rigorous selection processes involved in shaping the PASS Summit program. Our intention is to deliver the best educational program possible each and every year, and we’d encourage any speakers who weren’t selected for this year’s program to please apply again next year.

Looking Ahead

The volunteer Program and Selection Committee overcame many challenges in order to build this year’s program, and we believe that the selected program soundly reflects the best of what our community has to offer and what the audience have expressed they want. We’re thrilled to announce our selected sessions and cannot wait for you to experience them.

Stay tuned for more updates on the agenda as we get closer to this year’s event, and make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about additional sessions from our partners and sponsors.

With the agenda now available to view, we’d highly recommend that you map out the sessions you’re interested in now and put the case forward for your attendance at this year’s PASS Summit. If you need help doing this, check out the Convince your Boss letter template, which you can customize to list your chosen sessions and demonstrate the incredibly valuable content presented at this year’s event.

Don’t delay, the next price increase comes into effect on July 10, so to secure the early-bird rate and save $200 on a 3-day ticket make sure you register before this date.

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