No matter how well a conference is organized, no matter how attractive the host city is, a conference isn’t a conference without the learning opportunities. And that is where you can come in. It’s not too early to start thinking about submitting a proposal for the upcoming regional conference in Calgary. We expect the region to send out the call for proposals in November.
Never presented before? A regional conference is a great way to “get your feet wet.” The process begins with you submitting a proposal for a topic you would like to present on. If you’d like some tips on how to put together a good proposal, this tutorial is provided by NACADA.
What happens after I submit a proposal? After the proposal deadline, all proposals are reviewed by a Proposal Sub-committee. You will receive notification as to whether your proposal was accepted about two months before the conference begins. You will then be expected to register for the conference. You (or, hopefully, your institution) are responsible for all conference and presentation costs including the conference registration and any travel/hotel/meal expenses.
Someone from the conference planning committee (usually the proposal chair) will contact you about the logistics of your proposal (day, time, technology needs, etc.). You are responsible for bringing any handouts/supportive materials you want to provide your attendees. In most cases, you are also responsible for providing your own technology. Although not required, you may post your presentation and any additional materials on a website that attendees can go to to download what they want/need. Here’s example of that from the 2009 Best of Region 8 presentation. Posting materials online is a great way to keep your handout costs down. (Not to mention keeping your travel luggage light!)
Nervous about presenting solo? Co-present! Think about your topic and think about other people on your campus (or on other campuses) who do what you do. Presentations are often richer if multiple presenters provide multiple ways to doing the same thing. Remember, the conference attracts advisors and advising administrators from a variety of colleges and universities. They will benefit from learning how different offices or schools approach the same project/issue/challenge/opportunity.
Lecture format not your thing? That’s OK! There are actually a variety of presentation formats to consider. In addition to the lecture-type style where the presenter(s) talks for about 45 minutes and then open things up for a Q&A session, you can proposal a roundtable session or a panel.
Need ideas on what to present? Take a look at what’s being presented at the Annual Conference in Orlando this year. This may spark some ideas.
So get going on this! We expect some great proposals. And check the NACADA Region 8 site; the proposal materials should be up there when the Call for Proposal announcement comes out. See you in Calgary!