2020 Call for Session Proposals


October 29+30

SNEAPA 2020 @ A Distance


Proposal Submission Deadline EXTENDED: August 21 August 28 at 11:59 pm EST

Submit Proposals at: Online Form

Questions: programs@sneapa.org

Downloadable PDF: 2020 SNEAPA - Call for Sessions - FINAL.pdf

Please note that the PDF Call for Sessions has not been edited to reflect the new submission deadline.

The Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island Chapters of the American Planning Association are excited to co-host the SNEAPA 2020 Virtual Conference on October 29 and 30, 2020.

We are planning for up to 500 participants at the virtual conference but may be able to accommodate additional attendees if there is sufficient demand. All sessions will be recorded and available to participants (for CM credit) for 12 months following the conference.

Share your expertise and experiences in planning, development, and related fields by submitting a session proposal for the 2020 Southern New England American Planning Association (SNEAPA) Planning Conference. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, SNEAPA 2020 will be online-only. Due to the virtual format, only one session will be offered during each block so we will only be offering a limited number of sessions. The Conference Committee encourages you to submit forward-looking sessions that will help participants adapt to the “new normal.”

Since this is our first online SNEAPA, the Conference Committee expect to work more closely with session organizers than in past years. We will be offering a limited number of sessions, so session organizers/speakers must expect to meet (virtually) with the Conference Committee twice before the conference. The first meeting will occur during the session review process to help the Conference Committee make its final selections. The second meeting will be a “dry run” in the week before the conference to ensure that everyone is able to connect and operate the platform. Additionally, all presentations must be submitted in advance of the conference. Do not submit a session proposal if you are unable to commit to these meetings or submitting a final presentation prior to the conference.

Session Proposal Format

We seek session proposals that will provide attendees with knowledge and skills necessary to apply best practices in planning, design, and public engagement. In addition to general session that will be widely-applicable and interesting to our attendees, the 2020 SNEAPA Committee is seeking proposals that: include content that helps planners adapt their work to our changing world; addresses how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected (and will continue to affect) the communities in which we work; and/or provide an interdisciplinary approach/view to or/of our profession’s critical challenges. We are also seeking sessions that address racial and social equity and include diverse panelists/speakers.

Session Relevance

All session proposals shall offer a professionally-relevant learning experience to planners, students, and other professionals interested in local or regional planning, community engagement, infrastructure, and regulatory process. Certified planners will look to your session for a specific educational opportunity that can be used for AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) credit.

Session Length

Proposals should be designed for a 60-minute session (including q+a/discussion). Law and Ethics sessions will be 90-minute sessions.

Session Proposal Review Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed on their:

  • Creativity and strength: The Conference Committee is seeking new and exciting sessions that have not been presented at recent planning conferences.

  • Completeness: Incomplete session proposals will not be accepted or reviewed. If you are proposing an interactive session, please be sure to include all the details and technical requirements.

  • Relevance to current planning trends and professional skill-building.

  • Diversity, quality, and relevant background of presenters: The Conference Committee seeks multidisciplinary sessions with presenters from multiple professions and/or organizations as well as presenters from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities.

  • Issues relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion should be woven into all session proposals.

  • Applicability of topic to all three states: Sessions should provide information and learning objectives that are relevant to a wide array of conference attendees.

  • Educational objectives: sessions should be eligible for AICP CM credits.

  • Interaction with Conference Committee: Selected session organizers and speakers will have the opportunity to meet (virtually) with the Conference Committee during the proposal review process.

Session Proposal Content

Proposals will be judged on quality and completeness. Proposals must include the following information:

Title: A short, interesting title that accurately reflects the focus of your session.

 Topic: Please choose one of the following topics from the drop-down menu.

  • Affordable and Market Rate Housing

  • Community Engagement and Public Participation

  • Economic Development/Finance, Community Revitalization, and Community Development

  • Environmental, Energy, or Infrastructure Planning/Permitting

  • Ethics

  • Land Use or Zoning and Ordinances/Bylaws

  • Law

  • Municipal Planning (Including Small Town/Rural Planning)

  • Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Planning

  • Planning and Public Health

  • Social Justice, Equity, and Diversity

  • Sustainability, Resiliency, and Adaptation

  • Technical Tools and Professional Skill Building

  • Transportation and Transit Planning

  • Other (please provide)

Abstract: Provide a short summary that clearly identifies the background, methods, outcomes, and conclusions of your session. (200 word limit)

 Takeaways: Clearly define what information, concept, or idea you want your audience to take away from your session. Identify why this information is relevant and important for your audience to know. (60 word limit)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Please explain how your session will incorporate social equity, diversity, and inclusion into the content and/or how your session relates to APA’s equity and social inclusion agenda including who we plan for and who we should be planning for in terms of the country’s changing demographics. A session can meet this objective in multiple ways, some examples include, but are by no means limited to: including speakers who come from diverse or typically-marginalized populations, examining your session topic through an equity lens, sharing inclusive projects and efforts in low-income and/or minority communities. Please consider creative approaches. (100 word limit)

 Presentation Format: Define the format of the session (workshop, panel, etc.); explain how your session will engage the audience and what technology (beyond a traditional webinar platform) you might need. If you are proposing an interactive session format, please clearly specify what type(s) of engagement of activity attendees will participate in.

  AICP Certification Maintenance (CM) Criteria: Describe how your session offers a professionally-relevant learning experience and meets the educational needs of a typical AICP-Certified planner. Sessions must meet the CM Eligibility Criteria: 1) Activities must (a) meet a planning related objective, (b) be unbiased and non-promotional, and (c) communicate a clearly identified educational purpose or objective; 2) Activities must (a) be led by one or more experts on the subject matter discussed, (b) use learning methodologies and formats that are appropriate to the activity’s educational purpose, (c) involve the use of materials that do not include proprietary information, and (d) be timed in a manner consistent with the time for which the activity was registered for CM credit (75 minutes = 1.25 CM credits) and that only the portion of the activity meeting CM criteria is registered for CM credit (300 word limit)

 Session Organizer / Conference Contact: Identify the organizer of your session. This person will be SNEAPA’s contact for your session and will be responsible both for submitting your session presentation before the conference and coordinating a "dry run" with conference organizers and session speakers. Provide name, organization, email address and phone number for Contact.

 Contact Information for Session Presenters: Provide each presenter’s name, title, organization, professional credentials (AICP, PE, AIA, LEED AP, etc.), email address, and phone number. If the presenter’s professional credentials are not listed here, they will not be listed on the SNEAPA website.

Due to the virtual format, the Conference Committee is limiting the number of speakers/panelists to no more than four (4) per session.

 Presenter Biographies: A short biography is required for each presenter (100 word limit per presenter)


Notes and Requirements for Speakers/Presenters

All speakers and presenters MUST register for the SNEAPA Conference.  Due to this year’s online format, we are unable to offer complimentary registration for speakers.

SNEAPA does not reimburse speakers for any conference-related expenses.

 Submission of Session Proposals

The deadline for submitting proposals is August 21 August 28, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST. Late or incomplete proposals will not be accepted. The Committee asks that you submit session proposals at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfvJhQkTauCSFFHIZvd0INKmMzO3sp_9Hh40UqX2G7YjVC9Hw/viewform?usp=sf_link. Questions can be emailed to programs@sneapa.org.

Since this is our first online SNEAPA, the Conference Committee expects to work more closely with session organizers than in past years. Since we will be offering a limited number of sessions, this year’s review process will include a virtual meeting with speakers/panelists and the Conference Committee. It is anticipated that these meetings will occur August 31 – September 11, 2020. Depending on the number of responses, the Conference Committee may complete an initial review prior to scheduling these virtual meetings or may meet with all session proponents. For this virtual meeting, session organizers and speakers will be asked to expand upon their session proposal and share an outline of their proposed presentation. Session organizers will be notified of the Conference Committee’s decisions by September 23, 2020.

Final presentations must be submitted to the Conference Committee by October 16th and the Conference Committee will schedule a “dry run” of each session between October 19th and 23rd. The session organizer and all speakers, panelists, and moderators are required to participate in the “dry run” to ensure that everyone is familiar with the conference’s platform.

Important Dates

  • Session Proposals Due: August 21 August 28 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Mandatory Meeting with Conference Committee (as necessary): August 31 - September 11
  • Conference Committee Decisions: September 23
  • Final Session Presentations Due: October 16
  • Mandatory Dry Run: October 19 - 23
  • SNEAPA 2020 @ A Distance Conference: October 29+30