2019 National Planning Conference

Call for Proposals

NPC20 | Houston | April 25–28

Call for Session Proposals

Play a Part in Next Year's Premier Planning Event

APA's National Planning Conference is a first-class event that brings together thousands of planners, planning commissioners, appointed and elected officials, and students. Whether your goal is to contribute expertise and help drive change in the field of planning, learn from your peers and adopt new practices, or connect with like-minded planners who are solving everyday challenges similar to yours, make plans now to join APA April 25–28, 2020, in Houston.

You are invited to submit a conference session proposal from May 31 through noon on July 1.

Review both the NPC20 Educational Tracks and Topics and the descriptions of education proposal types we are soliciting. The proposal submission portal will close at noon (CT) on July 1. (NOTE: The submission period is different for poster proposals. See "Important Dates" below.)

Who May Submit

Only members of the American Planning Association may submit proposals for NPC20. Nonmembers are encouraged to join APA and enjoy the benefits of membership in APA's worldwide community of planners. Alternatively, nonmembers can partner with an APA member who will submit the proposal. Members and nonmembers alike are welcome as conference speakers.


APA seeks to represent and build more capacity for diverse perspectives within the association and throughout the profession. APA encourages its members to embrace and prioritize these efforts in preparing for NPC20 and beyond.

Diversity is an inclusive concept that encompasses — but is not limited to — race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexuality, ability, educational attainment, spiritual beliefs, creed, culture, tribal affiliation, nationality, immigration status, political beliefs, and veteran status. Please consider equity, diversity, and inclusion as you develop content, choose contributors, and identify speakers for your proposed NPC20 session.

Participant Guidelines

Carefully review the NPC Participant Guidelines below before submitting your proposal and be sure to share it with any invited participants.

  • For sessions with multiple speakers, we encourage designated speaking roles for at least two APA members.
  • All session participants (including moderators and speakers) must register for the conference. APA members are required to pay the member conference rate.
  • Nonmembers are welcome as conference speakers. Our guest registration option allows nonmember speakers to participate in their sessions only at no charge. APA members do not qualify for guest registration.
  • As a professional courtesy, speakers are encouraged to speak in no more than two sessions.
  • All speakers included in a proposal must have an APA website account. Every APA member has one. A nonmember speaker who does not have an APA account may create one at no cost.

The value of your proposal depends on the knowledge and skills of the speakers you invite to participate. Your NPC20 session proposal must include a brief (≤ 100 words) description of why each speaker is qualified to present on the proposed session subject matter. You also may upload biographies that validate your speakers' knowledge, skills, and experience.

Please review the NPC Session Participant Roles and choose the appropriate role for each faculty member you include in your session proposal.

Session Types and Formats

Please choose from a variety of NPC20 Session Types and review the room setups described for each NPC20 Session Format.

Proposal Tips and Examples

NPC20 Proposal Tips and Tricks

NPC20 Proposal Template for Educational and Deep Dive Sessions

NPC20 Proposal Template for Let Me Tell You A Story or Ignite Series Session


Submit Your Proposal


Submission Help

Looking for a little help using the proposal submission portal? Watch this walk-through video.

Proposal Review

All proposals will be peer-reviewed to ensure that sessions chosen for the NPC20 program reflect innovation and diversity in planning research, practice, education, and professional development.

APA will notify everyone who submits a proposal by December 9, 2019, whether or not the proposal was accepted for the NPC20 educational program.

Important Dates

May 31–July 1, 2019 (noon CT) Submit proposals for sessions and mobile workshops
July 15–August 5, 2019 Proposal peer reviews
December 9, 2019 APA notifies proposers and speakers of proposal decisions
Submit proposals for posters
December 11, 2019 Registration opens for APA members only
December 9, 2019–January 8, 2020 (noon CT) Submit proposals for posters
January 9, 2020 Registration opens for everyone
February 14, 2020 APA notifies poster propersers of poster decisions
March 4, 2020 Speaker registration deadline
Early bird registration ends
April 25–28, 2020 NPC20 in Houston