Delegate FAQ

What is a “Field Day Delegate” anyway?

The classic Field Day presentation format includes speakers from one company talking with a panel of a dozen independent “delegates”. Our event is designed to build positive, technical interactions between these two key groups.

We call our guests “delegates” (rather than “attendees” or “the audience”) because they represent the technical IT audience that watches our videos, reads their blogs, listens to their podcast, and (ultimately) buys the products our presenters are selling. Our delegates ask questions, interact with the presenters, and learn and share on behalf of this audience.

What do you mean by “independent”?

We require that all of our delegates are “independent” of the companies in the space presenting. Independence is a state of mind as well as a state of being: They must be open-minded, without an axe to grind or a paycheck on the line.

Delegates may be end-users, analysts, pundits, speakers, writers, podcasters, or just about anything else. But they can’t work for companies that are competitive to the presenters because that might lead to a less-than-positive discussion.

How are delegates selected?

Our selection process is based on a simple idea: We want to bring together just the right group of people for every event regardless of who they are or where they come from.

We are looking for the following key characteristics in our Field Day delegates:

  • Independence – This is a state of mind, but employment status comes into play as well. Are you open-minded and willing and able to consider and recommend products and technologies based on their own merits? Independent critical thinking and discussion is a crucial part of the Field Day experience!
  • Contribution – Are you a selfless contributor to the advancement and sharing of knowledge? Field Day Delegates devote hours every day writing, advising, and supporting the technology community. Attending Field Day events gives them knowledge and connections they can use and share.
  • Knowledge – Field Day Delegates open up the hood and explore technology, discovering how and why things work. The are authoritative experts and the Field Day events are a chance to dive deep, applying what they know and learning more.
  • Fit – Each Field Day event is like a dinner party: The selected Delegates must be able to come together as a group, with everyone adding to the discussion. Some of our events are focused on a certain area of technology, while others celebrate the diversity that gives Gestalt IT its name.
    It is never easy selecting delegates for a Field Day event. We narrow our list based on the criteria above, sorting and weighing each individual to pick just the right group. The ideal event includes many first-timers along with a few repeat delegates to help the group to gel. Selection isn’t automatic, even for past delegates, and space is always limited.

How can I become a Field Day Delegate?

Excel in the four areas (independence, contribution, and knowledge and fit) for the event and you could be selected. But we don’t know everyone, so it’s also helpful to let us know you’re interested. Fill out the delegate nomination form, contact us on Twitter or via email, and interact during our events. Show us your stuff and we’ll invite you!

What do delegates get for participating?

Hopefully the delegates come away with insight into interesting technology and products, connections with relevant companies, and a new group of close friends. Inspiration to write and speak on new topics is also a common outcome.

No one is paid to attend. We cover airfare, local transportation, meals, and hotels, and entertainment expenses for all delegates. And some presenting companies choose to hand out small gifts and logo items. But our delegates say they come for the experience not the freebies!

What are the expectations for delegates?

We expect that delegates will be open-minded, engaged, and friendly throughout the Field Day experience. It’s a very busy time, with long hours and lots to see and do, so a positive attitude is a must. During presentations, we ask delegates to be interactive, asking questions and driving the discussion.

Delegates usually choose to write about many of the presentations, but we do not have a quota or demand coverage. The organizers and presenting companies do not impose editorial control; delegates are free to write what they choose.