29th June 2015


To summit your sessions please use our new speaker portal:


Thank you and good luck!


What’s the deadline?

August 26th, midnight (GMT)

How do I submit a session?

You can use our new platform attendee.events to submit sessions to a single event, all of them or any number in between. This platform is new so if you have any feedback or issues, let us know!


  • Start on one of the events that you want to submit to as (currently) you can’t untick the event you start the submission process on (all the others you can)
  • Submit multiple sessions if you have them – the more the merrier!
  • Make sure you submit sessions as we can’t see saved sessions
  • Fill in your profile – it won’t impact the selection process but the info’s important post-selection so do us all a favour and fill it in early!


What sort of sessions do you want to see?

We’re covering the database, BI, and analytics this year, as well as extra stuff at some of the events so submit your sessions to the events in you’re interested in speaking at and we’ll select the ones that fit the local audience best.

  • Cardiff is looking for additional topics, stuff like Databases for Dev, Code on Ubuntu, using Ghost on Azure, DevOps for beginners, IoT and so on

How long are the sessions?

SQL Relay sessions are mainly 60 minutes long (including question time).

SQL Relay Cardiff is trialling 30-minute sessions so if you want to try something new out, this could be a session time for you.

What level should I pitch my sessions at?

People who attend Relay are from diverse backgrounds so we try to have a mix of session levels. We want those intro sessions and those case studies about how you tackled something, as well as topics that require more pre-existing knowledge on a topic.

If you really love talking on a specific topic but don’t know which level to pitch it at, why not write three different versions e.g. a “baby steps”, a “walking to running”, and an “extreme runner”?

What will help my sessions get selected?

We’re super focused on giving our attendees the best possible opportunities to learn. This means that we’re likely to reject poor quality abstracts quite rapidly. We recommend that before you submit a session abstract you try to do the following:

  • Make your title short and relatively jargon-free
  • Err on the side of brevity by keeping the abstract to a couple of paragraphs at most
  • Be kind to us by making your abstract store in clean HTML – yucky HTML can play havoc for us when it’s time to produce printed materials
  • Provide a well written abstract, so avoid spelling mistakes, poor grammar, and SHOUTING
  • Follow the advice of the powerful and mysterious Wizard of Ozar

What’s the selection process?

We bring SQL Relay to our attendees, and this means we get a different make up of audience at each event. Historically some have been heavily DBA dominated, whilst others have been very broad indeed. As a result, the local organisers of each event prioritise based on their attendees. Then any “economies of scale” are considered collectively so people who’ve been selected for a lot of events but not all might be reviewed with event owners and adjustments made.

We anticipate this process will take us 2-3 weeks after the call for speakers closes. We will endeavour to give feedback on why people aren’t selected but due to time constraints we can’t guarantee it.

What’s the Fun Bus?

The Fun Bus is the transport choice of the stars!

This bus filled with awesome people, food, & drink, is the ideal way for a speaker to get between venues. No need to spend money or time organising transport – we’ve got you covered 😀

What’s all this about webinars?

We’re starting to run webinars in the run up to SQL Relay. If you’d like to trial a session topic, get in some practice, or just want to do some presenting, sign up below and we’ll be in touch.

Are first time speakers welcome?

We love bringing new speakers into the mix but, from our own experience, it can be a nerve wracking experience taking the plunge into the world of speaking. We’re here to help – if you’re a first time speaker let us know and we’ll give you a hand! From practices at user groups and webinars, to template decks, to mentoring from experienced speakers, we’ve got you covered. Just get in touch!

What are the perks of speaking at Relay?

Fun Bus

Getting between events can be a pain to organise, and costly! This year one of our sponsors wilh help support speakers by sponsoring the Fun Bus. The Fun Bus gets speakers between events with no extra organisation required. Filled with other speakers, snacks, and good times, it’s a great opportunity to take it easy, get to know lots of awesome folks, and saves you a bundle.

Warm fuzzies

SQL Relay is free for attendees, and we run on a tight budget. This means we cannot provide material support to speakers, despite the enormous gratitude we feel for them! So no free nights in a hotel, but speakers can ride the Fun Bus for free, and they do get to bask in the knowledge that they are Paying It Forward and inspiring others to be better at their jobs. We’re also more than happy to help with pickups from airports and if you need a coach to sleep on, well we have those too.

Snazzy Apparel

You will of course get one of the SQL Relay polo shirts to either add to (or use as the start of) your collection.

For your employer

We know it can tough getting the time off work to tour the countryside but it does present a great opportunity for your company to show how supportive they are of the community and their staff. Employers that pay their speakers T&E so the speakers don’t have to will get Supporter status and we’ll include their logo on the website and can put a flyer in each swag bag for them – make sure to let us know in plenty of time for this.

What other bits and bobs might I need to know?

  • All talks are in English
  • Talks are 50 minutes long
  • You must have the permissions to the material in your presentation, otherwise any fines that Relay may incur as a result will have to be passed on to you
  • We have a template that you can use, but it’s not required
  • We don’t cover transportation to the UK or hotel bills. We do have the Fun Bus between events, people willing to do some picking up from airports, and a load of couches, to help keep costs down for speakers

Got a question we missed off?

Have your say!