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International Conference & Exposition Proposal Content Requirements

Please review the important information below to ensure you meet the proposal requirements.

Proposal Types

There are five (5) proposal types:

  1. Education session: These sessions feature one or two speakers and should provide attendees with relevant material in a particular content or industry track. They are either 60 or 75 minutes in length and will be determined at the time the overall programming is set.
  2. Innogizer: These are active learning sessions that incorporate highly experiential activities, such as dance, improv, drumming, games, and so forth, into an energetic and innovative session.
  3. First-Time ATD Speaker: This type is for individuals who have not spoken at the ATD International Conference & Exposition or ATD TechKnowledge Conference. First-time speakers will be required to submit a video.
  4. Panel: Panels are moderated sessions of no more than four panelists plus the moderator. The moderator should have a predefined set of questions based on an overall program design for the panel discussion and incorporate audience questions and feedback into the discussion. As with other sessions, please show how the content will be immediately appropriate to the participant’s job.
  5. Preconference Workshop: These full-day workshops precede the start of the conference and are designed to offer an in-depth treatment of a topic to a smaller audience. They should be highly interactive and capture the best techniques, information, and topic application.

When you enter your proposal, you will be asked to select a session format that best describes your session.

Proposal Types (PDF)

Session Development

ATD education sessions are learning experiences first and foremost, and as such must be noncommercial in content and delivery. Your primary goal should be the attendee's learning experience rather than a showcase for your ideas, products, and services. You will gain exposure for those things by providing something tangible for participants to take away. The more you can put yourself in their place in developing your session, the better your chances will be of being selected and receiving positive evaluations from participants.

When developing your proposal submission, make sure the content is informative and relevant, with clear and immediate application to the learner's work. Be sure the content corresponds with the applications to the job. Consider including interactive or hands-on methods to support learning within the conference session framework.

Proposal Submission Fields

There are nine (9) required fields that must be completed before submitting a proposal. Be prepared to enter information into each of the following fields:

  1. Session Title
  2. Speaker(s)
  3. Description/Abstract
  4. Application on the Job
  5. Session Description
  6. Tracks/Learning Approach/Target Audience
  7. Delivery Methods
  8. Presentation Sample
  9. Videos (All first time ATD speakers are required to submit a video.)

2019 ATD International Conference & Exposition Proposal Template (PDF)

Session Description

We require two (2) types of session descriptions.

  • Description/Abstract: This section is for INTERNAL REVIEW USE ONLY. Our submission process is very competitive. We use a Program Advisory Committee to review and score proposals and make recommendations for final selection. This section should explain to the committee the basic background on your subject matter/topic, what you will discuss in your session, and what prerequisites would be needed to attend. Please think of this section as a deeper dive into your subject matter; it should be written so the committee can understand exactly what will be delivered to attendees.
  • Session Description: Designed to be a short description of your session that, IF SELECTED, would be used for the publicly facing program guide, app, and website and any potential marketing pieces. Please consider the impact this requirement has; you should NOT simply repeat what you entered for Description/Abstract. Think of this area in terms of what would say to encourage an attendee to come to the session. If applicable, please include any prerequisites that would be required to make the attendee’s experience more beneficial. Text is very limited, so please be succinct.

Please write both descriptions clearly and concisely, making sure to include all necessary information. The focus of the descriptions should be on the content that will be delivered, not an editorial on the topic or an advertisement for the speaker or topic. Please write in the second person (you) and avoid references to the speaker and their published work by title.

Commercial presentations for products or services may be delivered as Expo Demo sessions. For information on exhibiting and these session opportunities, contact your ATD Sales representative.

Application on the Job (Objectives)

Your application on the job should show how the learner will be able to apply your session content back on the job. Session participants evaluate sessions positively or negatively according to how much they can use the information on the job.

Begin your application with action words like apply, analyze, develop, examine, assess, or evaluate to ensure your applications are action-oriented statements. You are required to submit at least one Application on the Job and may have up to three.

Make sure you can deliver on the objectives you choose! We are expecting you to deliver a deeper level of knowledge or skill to ATD learners.

Writing Learner-Focused Application on the Job (Objectives) (PDF)

Tracks and Topics

To create a well-rounded conference program and respond to feedback from attendees, ATD has done a significant amount of pre-planning for the 2019 conference education program. The topics listed within the tracks are a result of this planning and cover core and current topics, as well as trends.

2019 ATD International Conference & Exposition Tracks and Subtracks

Learning Approach

You will be asked to select a learning approach that most closely defines your session proposal. This layer is designed to focus on the program at the greater depth within each track. ATD will select proposals to ensure that all learning approaches are covered by the offered sessions. If your proposal fits into more than one learning approach, please select the one that is most relevant.

Target Audience

The majority of conference participants are training and talent development professionals from around the world. The conference audience ranges from novice part-time practitioners to highly experienced full-time professionals. The expected attendance for the 2019 International Conference is more than 11,000 attendees from 75 countries. Please ensure your content is suitable for a diverse audience.

For your proposal, please specify no more than two (2) target audience groups from this list of options.

Delivery Methods

How you plan to deliver your session is as important as the content. The ATD International Conference & Exposition is the largest event for talent development professionals worldwide. Your session should provide attendees with the knowledge, strategies, and solutions they need to effectively train and develop talent.

All speakers are asked to continue our shared quest for quality of both content and delivery of sessions. Remember that this is a learning experience. Even if you are a seasoned trainer or facilitator, spend some time researching and practicing some of the key strategies for facilitating learning. Limit your use of PowerPoint as a delivery method. Please note that slides and any supplemental materials will be provided electronically via the conference app and online. Your cooperation in providing these in a timely manner will be essential. Attendee experience is enhanced when speakers provide access to their presentation and materials electronically.

  • Design interactive ways to engage with the participants and have them engage with each other within the conference session framework.
  • Deliver content that supports the Application-Focused Learning Objectives.
  • Model as many of the concepts you are delivering in the session as possible and practical.