Juried Product Development Forum Application Information

When:  Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 5:00 – 6:15 PM
Where:  The Francis Marion Hotel
or Courtyard by Marriott Historic District,
Charleston, South Carolina
Cost:  $2,000 upon acceptance
Application Deadline: August 17, 2015 

The forums were designed to provide vendors with an opportunity to get input from the librarian community while the product is in development. The selection committee prefers product developers, rather than sales staff, to make the presentation. The Juried Product Development Forums are not commercials for your product. There are venues provided for company and product promotion during the Vendor Showcase on Wednesday, November 4, and in the Charleston Premiers session on Saturday, November 7.  

The abstract requested in the application will be read by both the selection committee and the librarians who will be invited to your program. We suggest making the abstract as clear and informative as possible, so that attendees will want to participate in your session.

Carefully consider the format of your presentation.  Ideally, there will be some demonstration or visual representation of the product. We recommend planning on at least thirty minutes (out of the 90 minute session) for questions and two-way dialogue. Please refrain from handing out branded gifts or special offers.

When completing the application, we will ask you to respond to the following questions:

  1. List contact name, title, company, and email address.
  2. Please describe the product for which you want librarian feedback.
  3. Please share a few of the questions you might pose to the librarian group.
  4. Why should the committee select your application?
  5. How will the session be structured?  Demo? Focus group format
  6. Is there a size limit for your group? If so, what is the maximum group size? 
  7. Who will lead the session and what is his/her role in the development of this product?
  8. Please provide an abstract for your session (200 word limit).  The abstract will be read by both the selection committee and the librarians who will be invited to your forum. We suggest making the abstract as clear and informative as possible, so that attendees will want to participate in your session.

The Charleston Conference is an ideal venue for an extended conversation about the development of a selected product or service. Publishers and vendors can obtain market feedback on:

  • new business models,
  • pricing strategies, and
  • features and functionality.

This information can contribute to the creation of customer-oriented products for libraries resulting in a shorter sales cycle.


Feedback from participating publishers and vendors indicate that the Juried Product Development Forums are achieving the intended results:

“The session provided great feedback at exactly the right time in the product’s development, and will have direct effect on that development.”

“We were fortunate to have a great group of sharp, knowledgeable, engaged librarians, and they provided us with some very helpful feedback on our product at a critical time in its development. This was one of the most productive focus-group conversations we had.”

“This was a helpful session for us. As a UK publisher, it is expensive to have user groups and this was a way of achieving this.”

The following will be included with the cost of the forum:

  • Promotion of the session to all registered librarians and library workers. We will send several rounds of email invitations and handle the RSVP process on your behalf.  Information will also be available on the Conference website and in the printed program. You will understand that we cannot guarantee a certain number of attendees for your session, but we will be happy to work with you to promote your session as best we can.
  • A meeting room at one of two Conference headquarter hotels.  Room assignments will be sent to session organizers closer to the time of the event, after headcounts are assessed and room size requirements determined.
  • A/V equipment, including Internet access, a laptop, and an LCD projector and screen. Please let us know immediately if you need additional equipment.
  • Light refreshments and soft drinks for attendees.
  • A door monitor to check name badges against the RSVP list and ensure only registered librarians/library workers attend the session.  The door monitor will also distribute and collect a short attendee evaluation, and the compiled results will be sent by email following the event.

Please contact Caroline Goldsmith at with any questions or comments. Ms. Goldsmith serves as a conduit for communications between applicants and the Selection Committee.

Important Dates for 2015:

April 15 - Call for Papers Opens

April 30 - Call for Preconference Deadline

June 1 - Registration Opens

July 17 - Call for Papers Deadline (5:00 pm EST)

Aug 17 - JPDF Application Deadline

Sept 18 - Early Bird Registration Deadline

Sept 28 - Charleston Premiers Application Deadline