PLACES 2024 | Session Proposal Guide

Ready to Submit a Session to PLACES 2024?

This Session Proposal Guide incorporates everything you need to know to create a strong and successful PLACES 2024 Session Proposal. As you develop your Session Proposal, keep in mind the following Guiding Questions, Tips and Tricks, and Session Types.

Guiding Questions

Considering these ideas from multiple perspectives and industries, we’ve selected three guiding questions for this year’s conference:

  1. How can the preservation field honor intangible heritage and share stories of place, particularly in the absence of physical structures?
  2. Given the built environment’s influence on our wellbeing, what types of programs and infrastructure are needed to foster social connection and healthy communities?
  3. How can our historic neighborhoods continue to adapt in ways that encourage people to take risks, experiment, and learn together?

We also welcome submissions covering evergreen topics, including foundational preservation practices, community organizing principles, and place governance.

Tips and Tricks

In keeping with our guiding questions and ideas, we’re hoping to see the following in every session. We’ll work with each presenter on developing or enhancing these once your session is accepted, but we welcome you to strengthen your proposal with the following:

  • Practical advice and how-tos: When attendees leave your session, they know how to apply the principles or what next steps they can take to enact a similar project/program. This includes sharing specifics about partnerships and funding (e.g., defining partnership in the context of your presentation and sharing what your funding sources were). Don’t just tell us what you did — tell us how!
  • Audience engagement: Attendees are involved in your presentation throughout, whether with opportunities to reflect, invitations to ask questions or share their perspective, or even just with beautiful photographs.
  • Place-specific content: This is a place-based conference after all! Tell us what about your project, program, or process is unique to your place and what’s transferrable to other places.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility: In order for our work to be effective, it must be people-centered, which means thoughtfully acknowledging and addressing DEIA challenges and opportunities in your presentation. We don’t expect you to be an expert in the field or to have employed a DEIA framework perfectly, but we ask that you bring that lens to your presentation.
  • Success: What did/does success look like for you in this project? How did you measure it? Would you use the same metrics if you did it again?

Session Types

All sessions are categorized into one of the following session types. Be prepared to identify and select which kind of session type best describes your proposal in the proposal form.

  • Tactical Solution Sessions: One concept or idea in a clear, quick format. This could be a case study, product demo, or project overview. (30 min)
  • Crash Courses: Topic- or skill-specific courses that help attendees develop skills or content knowledge in a specific area. (30-60 min)
  • Workshops: Structured and interactive sessions that encourage participants to learn from each other, consider their own solutions, and apply the gained knowledge both inside the workshop and in the wider world. (60 min)
  • Discussion-based panels: Involve a moderator who facilitates a discussion between a group of three to four experts, with the goal of being informative and entertaining. (60 min)
  • Presentation-based panels: Feature three to four experts who deliver short presentations on a related topic or theme, followed by a Q&A session moderated by the experts themselves. (60 min)
  • Mobile tours/field sessions: Educational walking tours or workshops that take attendees through specific projects and/or sites in the area. (2-3 hours)
  • Networking event/meet up: We’re excited to offer attendees the opportunity to pitch and facilitate their own this year. Please reach out to us about this opportunity in advance of submission.

Ready to Plan Your Session?

All Session Proposal submissions are due March 28, 2024. All submitted Session Proposals will be notified of their selection or rejection in mid-April.

Select Plan a Session to download a copy of the questions included in the Session Proposal form. Session Proposals must be submitted using our online form found at Submit a Session. Please plan to complete the online form in one sitting.

Thinking about an idea (or a few ideas!) and need help refining? Have questions about the form or process? Email Lydia Felty at ly***@pr********.org, or sign up for an office hours appointment to talk about your idea.

Banner photo by Casey Evans Media.