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Call for Proposals: APA Maryland's 2019 Conference

Now Accepting Conference Session Proposals!

Call for Conference Session Proposals

The American Planning Association – Maryland Chapter announces its Call for Session Proposals for the 2019 Biennial Planning Conference, which will be held October 6 through 8 at the Rocky Gap Resort & Casino, in Cumberland, Maryland. We hope you will be inspired by this year’s theme: Negotiating Change – Balancing Development, Climate Change, and Preservation in Maryland.

Our hope is to bring current issues, trends, challenges, and solutions that are shaping the planning profession today to the conference, but we need YOU to make that happen. We encourage you to propose new ideas, new presentation formats, solutions, tools, interactive sessions, and mobile workshops. We also invite participants to consider presenting in our Lightning Round sessions — where participants join others in a fast-paced series of entertaining 15-minute mini-presentations.

All sessions are usually scheduled in 90-minute increments. The exception is the Lighting Rounds that are assembled into a combined session of 90 minutes (15 Minutes per Speaker/Topic, 5 Speakers max) in length. We are also accepting posters for the Conference’s poster session from both students and professional planners.

Suggested Proposal Areas

  • Land Use

  • Transportation

  • Historic Preservation

  • Economy

  • Environment

  • Housing

  • Aging

  • Sustainability

  • Tourism

  • Other

Session Types

  • Moderated Panel Presentation. A 90 minute session consisting of 70 minutes of content and 20 minutes for questions.

  • Workshop. A 90 minute session consisting of 70 minute “lesson” on a practice, strategy, research method or other topics such that an attendee may replicate all or some of the methods presented, followed by 20 minutes for questions.

  • Lightning Round. A 15-minute presentation that will be combined with other lightning round sessions into a total 90-minute session consisting of five 15-minute rounds and 15 minutes for questions.

  • Poster Presentation. Both professional planners and students may propose a poster to be displayed during a portion of the conference. There will be an official 90-minute poster session where all presenters will need to be present to answer questions.

  • Mobile Workshop. There will be at least one mobile workshop at the conference. Proposals for mobile workshop topics may be submitted using the same guidelines as other sessions.

Submission Guidelines

  • Session format may be either panel presentation or facilitated discussion.

  • Sessions should be as interactive as possible.

  • Sessions should support the theme of the conference. Key concepts could be focusing on new ideas, lessons learned, challenges and opportunities encountered and how those were addressed.

  • Sessions will be a total of 90 minutes. If the format is panel presentation, a portion of the 90 minutes should be devoted to questions/discussion.

  • Lightning Round sessions are 15 minutes each.

  • Posters should be accompanied by a written abstract of the research being presented.

  • Session topics shall meet the AICP guidelines to be eligible for CM credit. All CM activities must (a) meet a planning-related objective, (b) be unbiased and non-promotional, and (c) communicate a clearly identified educational purpose or objective. In addition, the subject matter must be in an appropriate depth and level for the typical AICP member.

  • The session chair/facilitator will serve as the key contact for the session and is responsible for communicating all session information and details with session presenters.

  • Should the session proposal be chosen, the abstract, presenter names, titles and bios will be included in the conference program exactly as submitted.

Proposal Requirements

  • Session title, abstract and full description. The full description must include a content outline describing main theme and goals of the session. If there is more than one presenter, explain what each presenter will discuss. Please be as descriptive and thorough as possible. Remember that the content needs to have wide applicability, comparative perspectives and preferably an analysis of lessons learned. The full description shall be no more than 500 words. The abstract should not exceed 75 words.

  • Names, titles and biographies of presenter(s). The biographies should not exceed 100 words and should include presenters’ education and major work accomplishments relevant to the presenter’s session topic. Biographies should be written in the third person and include full sentences.

  • Session Type. Indicate type of session format for which you are submitting a proposal. (Panel discussion, facilitated discussion, mobile workshop, lightning session, or poster).

  • Audio-visual/electronic data needs. Include in the session proposal what needs you may have, including AV equipment, projector, remote controls, and Internet access.

  • Contact Information. Include the name, title, Twitter handles, biography and contact information for session chair/facilitator. If your session is chosen, any information provided will be shared on the APA Maryland and APA National websites and on various social media outlets.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed by the conference committee and evaluated with the following criteria:

  • Connection/applicability to the conference theme

  • Originality and quality of the proposed session

  • Ability to qualify for Certification Management credit

  • Diversity of presenters and the presence of multiple perspectives

  • Applicability to multiple regions

The conference committee will evaluate a variety of proposals, some of which may be similar, and will seek balance among topics and relevance to the conference theme. Proposals of equal merit cannot in all instances be selected when the result would be an imbalance in the conference’s overall coverage of topics, audiences and regions. *Presenters interested in attending in other conference sessions are expected to register and pay to attend.

Submission Deadlines and Details

The deadline to submit your proposal has been extended until all slots on the conference agenda have been filled, but please submit any proposals as soon as possible to ensure enough time for review. In the event your proposal is selected, you will be notified no later than June 1st, 2019. Submissions should be submitted electronically to If you have any questions regarding the proposal submission, please send inquiries to