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The APA-IL State Conference will once again offer a range of session formats. This means attendees can have more options for learning and a chance to try something new. We encourage you to think creatively and step outside the norm, whether that means an interactive workshop, a thought-provoking roundtable discussion, or a session that amplifies underrepresented voices. Imagine a session you would love to attend and make it happen!


Conference Details

2023 APA-IL State Conference

September, 11-13, 2023

North Central College, Naperville, IL


Session Formats


A facilitated discussion session allows attendees to share ideas and experiences on a given topic. The format allows for greater participation than traditional topical panel presentations. Facilitated discussion sessions focus on one topic that has broad appeal yet is specialized enough to allow participants to share their experiences with others. Organizers of these sessions may recruit one or two individuals that are known to have some expertise on the topic but their primary role is to lead the discussion and be ready with an overview and prompting questions


Mobile workshops will fan out around the state to visit the best of Illinois planning. Give your peers a first-hand look at your community or favorite project. Organizers of workshops are encouraged to think through site(s), speakers, and educational value. Organize a 1 - 3 hour tour in the greater Chicago area. Think through transportation arrangements and we'll help coordinate them. Mobile workshops are one of the top session choices for APA-IL in-person conferences.


Interested in making a short presentation? Submit your idea for consideration as part of a Fast, Funny, Passionate session or Speed Planning session. Both offer a taste of planning at its best through sessions that are fast-paced and interactive. How does it work? ​

  • Speed Planning - One project, topic, and/or speaker will present at one table for the entire session. Here’s where the real fun begins: every 15-20 minutes, attendees will be instructed to move to another table to listen to a different presentation.  Every 15-20 minutes a new group of people will be sitting at each table for the award winner or agency to do their presentation again. Think musical chairs, APA-IL style!

  • Fast, Funny, PassionateSeven to 10 of these bite-sized (seven-minute) presentations occur during a standard session. Typically, a presentation is based on a personal project or a short visual essay. Capture the flavor of today’s planning by making your audience laugh — and think. Submit a humorous and engaging five-to-seven-minute presentation and we will assemble it with others into a session that informs, captivates, and entertains the audience.

The APA-IL Conference Programming Committee will pair sessions in this category based on speakers and content. There is no need to specify a format when submitting your session proposal.​


A tradition for the APA‐IL State Conference. These sessions focus on one topic and feature a collection of speakers with common experience, but varying perspectives, on a given topic. These sessions may include a moderator and are given in presentation form with questions from the audience at the end.


We’re open to new and exciting ways of providing education to planners in Illinois. Put on your thinking cap and imagine a session that attendees will talk about till 2024! Put your best, creative foot forward and tell us how you would like to present your topic.

Submit a Session

Submit a Session

Are you interested in submitting a session?  Here are a couple of things you should know:

  • APA-IL is working with CGi event consultants to run the Call for Sessions. The submit link below will take you to their form.

  • Email notifications of selected sessions will be issued to session organizers in June. If your proposal is selected for a conference or event, you will be notified via email from . Please whitelist this address to ensure it doesn’t get caught in your spam folder!

  • This year's online submission form is different from previous years. No login is required.

  • Information in event programs and online conference materials will appear exactly as provided by you in the online form. Please check the spelling of all relevant titles, academic degrees, and professional designations.

  • Sessions offering Mandatory CM Credits will be evaluated by the APA-IL. Please see the Mandatory CM criteria at for requirements.

  • If space and time become limited, special consideration may be given to APA-IL Members when choosing sessions for the Conference. Click here for membership information.

  • You are welcome to make multiple submissions should you have more than one idea to present.

Terms for Speaker Compensation

We seek presenters willing to share their expertise without the expectation of payment in the spirit of cooperation, networking, and improving the profession. Presenters are generally responsible for their own travel, lodging, expenses, and conference registrations if they choose. Nevertheless, we are exploring various opportunities to make honorariums a reality in the future. We appreciate your understanding and patience.



Session Criteria

In order to ensure a balanced perspective in educational sessions, all proposals are reviewed and evaluated by APA-IL. Presentations are selected based on the following criteria:


  • The thoroughness of the subject matter and proposal.

  • Originality and relevance of materials.

  • Quality of learning objectives and takeaway tools offered to attendees.

  • Level of interactivity and diversity of presentation styles.

  • How your session addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion with regard to the topic of the session and the diversity of speakers. While sessions throughout the conference are expected to incorporate DEI, if you would like your session to be eligible for Equity CM, please refer to the guidelines at

  • The degree to which the presentation supports a theme or track, with priority given to selecting a comparable number of sessions for each track (if themes or tracks are offered).

Sessions must

  • Be led by one or more experts on the subject matter discussed.

  • Use learning methodologies and formats that are appropriate to the activity’s educational purpose.

  • Involve the use of materials that do not include proprietary information.

  • Session organizers must attend the session they are organizing.



  • Questions regarding the Call for Submissions online form? Email .

  • Questions about the conference or types of sessions? Email APA-IL and your question will be forwarded to the 2023 Conference Programming Committee.

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