Looking to Get More Involved with the Profession? Here’s How

By Tom Crosley | Posted on October 27, 2017

Blog Teaser

It can be tough to connect with like-minded people. Online communities are great, but there’s simply no substitute for in-person networking. The NRPA Annual Conference is the premier networking and education event for park and recreation professionals, and the best venue to share inspirational ideas. Now is your chance to contribute to the event and the field by submitting your education session ideas for the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference.

For those looking to become more involved professionally, speaking at the Annual Conference is a great approach! Inspire your fellow park and recreation professionals so that they may act to implement your successful programs, strategies and more.

It’s sort of like completing the circle, right? A wonderful way to give back to the profession, build your resume, and become a part of the growing park and recreation community.

For 2018, we are encouraging new, interactive and innovative session formats, solution-based session topics and original content. Be brave! Put “pen to paper” to submit an education session proposal for the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference being held in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Here are my time-tested five secrets for submitting a successful education session proposal:


1. Familiarize yourself with the "lingo".

You’ll see a variety of words used in the proposal form. Know the difference between a “learning objective” and a “learner assessment.” This is especially important for new speakers hoping to break-through. These resources can help you write a complete and thorough proposal.

2. Draft it out.

Create your draft version in Word before using the online form. Prepare the required session outline and save it to your desktop before you begin filling out the electronic proposal form. Also, it’s helpful to have your biography written ahead of time for you and your co-presenter. Visit here for a sample outline and sample proposal.

3. Include a variety of perspectives.

Invite appointed officials or allied organizations to participate in the session with you. This can add another dimension to your proposal and session.

4. Identify how you’ll connect with the audience.

No one goes to sessions to be bored. Make sure your proposal communicates how you hope to involve and interact with the session attendees, and help them participate and share in the discovery of learning! Interactive session proposals featuring interactive session formats will receive priority consideration for 2018!

5. Try something new!

You don’t just have to create a lecture-style session proposal. NRPA and the Program Committee encourages innovative and well-designed sessions, with an increased focus on subjects that support the Three Pillars of Health and Wellness, Conservation, and Social Equity. Specifically, we are striving to find energetic speakers to address the demographics shift in America, parks role in habitat and eco-diversity, and serving underserved populations.



Submit your session proposals by Friday, December 1, 2017 for a chance to win a free full-package registration to the conference.

Submit Your Proposal


The NRPA Annual Conference will be held September 25-27, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Submit Your Education Sessions