My name is Susan Kistler, and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. It is my pleasure to contribute each Saturday’s post to the aea365 blog. AEA’s Call for Proposals for our 2010 annual conference is now online at http://www.eval.org/eval2010/default.asp. We welcome submissions that explore the breadth and depth of the field – this post is designed to give you a bit of insider help if you are new to AEA proposal submission.
Hot Tips: Here is a set of 8 tips for success when submitting a proposal to present at AEA’s annual conference, Evaluation 2010:
- Start Early: Review the Proposal Submission Forms and begin collecting your materials well ahead of the proposal submission deadline of March 19, 2010
- Focus on Evaluation Issues Rather Than Findings: Your audience will be evaluators, focus on evaluation process/management/planning/methodology topics – present findings to ground discussions of context or use but not as the primary focus
- Choose a Discussion-focused Format if You are a New Presenter: Review the list of session types, and perhaps consider a poster or roundtable if you are a fledgling presenter – these formats are more intimate and discussion-focused, and don’t require a formal stand-up presentation
- Understand the Presenter Limits: For AEA, presenters may appear within proposals no more than twice as a primary presenter and twice as a discussant – an extended explanation is on the Conference FAQ page – because of these limits, extend invites for multi-presenter sessions early to ensure availability for hoped-for co-presenters
- Spell and Grammar Check: Your proposal is an opportunity to put your best foot forward, be sure that it is professional and readable when submitted
- Use the Space Available: You’ll have up to 500 words to describe the relevance of your proposal, while you need not use 499, take advantage of the space to make a strong argument for its inclusion on the program
- Plan to Submit at Least a Day in Advance of the Deadline: If you have technology, weather, or personal challenges at the last minute, you will have a cushion that allows you to meet the deadline
- Use the Proposal Submission Checklist: We uploaded a Proposal Submission Checklist to the AEA eLibrary to help as you prepare
Bonus Tip – Book Your Room Early: While this has nothing to do with proposal submission, experienced presenters know to book as soon as the notice comes out about the room block availability or it can be a long walk to the headquarters hotel
And, perhaps the best tip of all? If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the AEA staff. We’re here to help! Try firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-508-748-3326.