[Conference organizers and publishers], it is your personal prerogative to hold a conference or publish a book or magazine featuring whomever you choose. It is your professional duty to reach outside your existing circle of friends and colleagues, outside of your snug familiar comfort zone to find new voices and new perspectives.
Are you doing this to shape the industry and the culture, or do you just want to have a beer with your most famous friends and feel validated because you got sponsors for it? If you are only surrounding yourself with people you already know, you are doing yourself a disservice. Reach out, and reach out before someone calls you out. You will win, personally and professionally, if you do.
...Are we clear here? Great. Now let’s all be awesome out there.
I'm with @mulegirl on this one. A wise man once told me that sometimes organizations give out awards just to make themselves look like the experts. This seems similar...