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Session Proposal Preparation and Selection Process

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It is essential that Conference Sessions show impact as well as ways in which they can be implemented across the field. It is critical that sessions be developed with specific learning objectives in mind. In addition, Conference Sessions must feature practitioners from the fields of arts marketing and/or fundraising. Proposals from independent consultants are welcome, but should feature additional speakers who can address the daily work and experiences of conference attendees.

We encourage session proposals that demonstrate a diversity among panelists, including organizational size, artistic genre, and geographic location. Americans for the Arts reserves the right to make adjustments to session proposals, including panel make-up, format, and description.

Sessions may NOT be used to sell a consultant's services or products; our exhibiting and advertising opportunities are available for this purpose


Step 1: Consider the Programmatic Theme – FUELING CHANGE.
Across the nation, arts organizations and the communities they serve are in a constant state of evolution. As an arts marketer, how do you successfully maintain organizational relevance while building sustainability in our rapidly changing world? How do you meet change with a responsive, creative, and flexible approach? This year, we will explore what Change really means for arts organizations working to stay ahead of the marketing curve. With continuous shifting trends in the landscape of arts marketing and audience engagement, arts organizations must go beyond the “Embrace” of Change. Instead, we need to desire change, seek it out, work for it, and invest in it; we need to Fuel the Change.
Austin, Texas, is the perfect place to learn strategies and tactics that you and your organization can use to create a culture that embraces innovation, and is change-enabled. As a city that embodies a culture of change, Austin's culture is always growing and shifting. As the political center of the state, Austin’s identity has transformed from a small town to a thriving city for music and counterculture, to a tech idea hub. The changes that the city of Austin has seen have fueled inventive and unconventional thinking, forward-thinking solutions, and a willingness to experiment.
Exciting results await for arts organizations that fuel change within their organizations and communities. Join us in in Austin, Texas to find out where the change is heading and learn the strategies and tactics for adapting to meet the demand.

Step 2: Designing Your Proposal
Please consider the following factors when developing your proposal.

  • Target Audience: What type of audience is your session designed for? Executive Directors? Beginners in the field? Marketing Directors? Large, medium, or small budgets? Various levels of professional experience?
  • Learning Objectives: You must include three things you expect attendees to learn from this session.
  • Relevance to Theme: How does your session link to the conference theme? Are there lessons to be learned from your session about how organizations can take their marketing to the next level?
  • Program Replication/Applicability of Topic: Demonstrate how your program could be applied in a different size organization or differently resourced organization.  Show how the idea might be replicated outside of your own discipline.