The League of California Cities is soliciting session proposals for the 2021 Planning Commissioners Academy. We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to share your ideas, knowledge and expertise with this important audience! The League of California Cities is actively monitoring the response to COVID-19 and continuing to consider impacts on mass gatherings. We will continue to follow local health guidelines. While the Planning Commissioners Academy is currently scheduled to take place March 24-26, 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, Cal Cities is also considering options to move this important programming to a virtual conference setting. If that were to happen the conference dates may shift slightly. Either way, the session selection process is an important step in moving forward with the conference planning, and we appreciate your input and contributions.
Submissions, from any individual, group, business or organization, are welcome through January 21. Please remember that all sessions require a well-conceived presentation, good visuals, and a great deal of rehearsal!
Only proposals submitted online through the proposal form will be considered. As there is a limit to the amount of words allowed within the title and description of each proposal, it may be helpful to draft the proposal in a word-processing program first, then paste the final version into the online form.
This educational event is geared towards planning commissioners but provides planning directors, staff and other interested officials, including elected, the opportunity to learn about the major planning and land use issues facing cities.
Securing a spot on the program is highly competitive, with approximately twenty-five percent of proposals being accepted. You can increase your chances by preparing a thorough, thoughtful and complete proposal that tells how your session would help city leaders and those who work within city governments to improve their careers and communities. When preparing your proposal consider the following elements:
Take a few minutes to review these tips for successful proposals
Over ninty-five percent of each year's conference programming comes directly from the open call for proposals. Sessions may be scheduled as a general session or concurrent session at the League’s discretion. Select one of the available formats listed below that best fits your topic and desired outcomes or propose an alternative session format.
This format permits approximately 45 - 60 minutes of an engaging presentation by a single speaker. Depending on time restrictions, the presentation may be followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers with the audience or a moderator.
Propose a Keynote Speaker
Panels consist of a moderator and a maximum of three speakers who participate in a 60-minute engaging presentation and discussion followed by approximately 15 minutes of questions and answers.
Propose a Panel Discussion
Fifteen (15) minute bursts of information on one topic by one speaker followed by five (5) minutes of questions & answers. Typically, these engaging presentations are based on focused projects or personal experience.
Propose a Speed Session
An interactive conversation with attendees on the selected topic. A facilitator may offer a maximum of a 10-minute presentation on which the issue/concern is framed for the attendees and then guide the discussion with prepared questions. At the conclusion of the discussion, the facilitator will spend some time summarizing key findings, suggestions, and points. In total, this session is scheduled for 75 minutes.
Propose a Facilitated Discussion
Be creative! If your session does not fit one of the above formats, this is your opportunity to propose something different. Please be sure to provide the time, room setup, and other important details. Alternative formats will be accommodated based on interest level and space and set-up availability.
Propose an Alternative Format
Submissions will be reviewed by a program planning committee.
The League reserves the right to modify accepted proposal session titles, descriptions, presenters or other elements as necessary to insure balance, quality and enhance marketability. If an originally accepted speaker cancels, the session may be disqualified. Additional speakers not included in the original proposal are not permitted to be added without review and approval.
Successful Proposal Considerations
What are the practical applications of your ideas? Have you included reasoning and documentation to support your conclusions, recommendations and outcomes? Conference attendees prefer presentations focused on outcomes or results. Make the definition and background portions of your presentation brief. Highlight problems encountered, options available, choices made, documented pre- and post-change effects and lessons learned.
Will your presentation expand knowledge beyond entry-level basics? Most conference participants are elected officials, appointed officials, and seasoned professionals. In general, direct your presentation to an intermediate or advanced audience.
Does your presentation advance existing ideas or present new ideas? Has this material been presented elsewhere? You might apply proven techniques to new problems. Or identify and apply new approaches, techniques or philosophies. Assess the degree to which an application is a new tool. Avoid highlighting a named product or service…focus instead on the general attributes, benefits and drawbacks of a given application, process or tool.
Do you have an appropriate number of examples? Documenting comparative results convinces participants that your ideas have been tested in the real world.
Will your presentation still be up-to-date and cutting-edge in six to nine months when the conference occurs? Will your topic have implications in the future? How relevant is your topic in the context of pending legislation, regulations and technology?
What attendees want to learn is the reality versus the hype, the positive and negative attributes, problems encountered but not often discussed, realistic expectations for the operational use and adaptability to a changing environment. They are searching for guidelines and models to simplify or manage their own application or installation.
Are your conclusions supported by data? Attendees place a high value on supporting data in assessing the value and applicability of presentations. Include adequate and convincing details.
Have you included sources of information, benchmark data or other examples?
No commercials / proprietary information for particular products, services or vendors are permitted.
The quality, completeness and accuracy of the proposal will be considered during session selection process.
Panelists should reflect the diversity of California with a north/south, large/small, urban/rural representation when possible.
To ensure a variety of perspectives, League policy limits the number of times an individual, group, business or organization can speak at a single conference. In addition, each panel should have no more than one panelist per city/county, firm, company or organization (exceptions may apply)
In the end, you must make your case for the importance of this topic and its relevance to participants. Have you made the best case you possibly can?
The League of California Cities is unable to provide complimentary registration or any reimbursement of expenses, travel, or other compensation. We recognize and deeply appreciate your interest and commitment. The success of our program depends on the efforts of practicing professionals willing to volunteer their time to professional education.
If you would like to attend other sessions, you will need to register for the conference. Registration will be open in early winter at www.cacities.org/events.
We value your privacy and will never share any of your personal information nor sell your e-mail address to an outside party.
Submit a proposal now
Deadline - Thursday, January 21
1400 K Street, Suite 400Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 658-8200Fax: (916) 658-8240
Strengthening California Cities through Advocacy & Education