Annual Conference Submission Guidelines and Tips

Thank you for your interest in submitting a presentation for the 2023 NAIS Annual ConferenceCultivating Community. This page will provide guidelines, tips, and information for submitting an effective NAIS proposal. 

The submission deadline was June 17, 2022. Submissions are now closed. Decisions will be announced in September. 


This year's theme is Cultivating Community. Community is the thread that binds us together. It's a shared language, a common purpose, and a safe place to land during difficult times. Independent school communities strive, now more than ever, to create connections and relationships that will enable all members to thrive. We encourage all who submit proposals to present at the Annual Conference to reflect this theme and allow it to inform your session design. 

Submission Types

There are three different types of submitted presentations at the NAIS Annual Conference. Each individual may only submit three proposals for each presentation type. To prepare in advance, please view the submission requirements below, which will outline what information is needed for each.
  • Three-Hour Workshop: These interactive half-day workshops will take advantage of extra time for engagement and learning and require additional registration.
  • General Workshop: These one-hour presentations will be offered throughout the conference and will be organized by six tracks: Communication and Advancement, Governance, Leadership Development, Management, the Classroom Experience, and the Student Experience.
  • PechaKucha: These rapid-fire storytelling PowerPoint presentations follow the 20 x 20 rule: 20 slides that advance automatically, at 20 seconds per slide. Visit our YouTube page to find examples from past events. You can find out more about this unique presentation format at pechakucha.org
 
Tips to make your proposal stand out:
  • Pick a topic that is timely, relevant, thought-provoking, and one that genuinely interests you. What challenges and successes are you witnessing on school campuses and how can those lessons be applied more broadly?
  • Be clear and captivating in your title and description. A good title will invite the attendee to join by making the topic and coverage distinct and engaging. Make sure that your description supports the title.
  • Know a lot about a topic? Prove it! Let us know what research, case studies, examples and even anecdotes support your expertise.
  • Proofread and edit what you’ve submitted so reviewers know you’ve taken the time to perfect your submission.
Check out the 2022 workshops for inspiration.  

What criteria is used to review proposals?

Presentation proposals should be timely, carefully considered and prepared, interactive, and provide resources, takeaways, and action points. To ensure that every participant feels their time spent in workshops is valuable, reviewers will consider some of the following criteria when evaluating presentation proposals:
  • Relevance: The proposed session should interface with the felt needs, challenges, and opportunities in today’s schools, organizations, and society.
  • Approach: The following should be clear: the session description and objectives; how the session adds value to the conference and serves attendees; who the target audience is; what modes of facilitation the presenters will use; and what takeaways participants can expect.
  • Creativity and innovation: The session should bring to bear a new lens or perspective on its topic.
  • Demonstrated expertise: The session should present original research, applied knowledge of (others’) recognized research or theory, models or use of evidence-based practices, personal mastery, and/or reflective practice.
  • Impact: The session should lend itself to professional or personal application. It should be designed to encourage attendees to contemplate follow-up, continued exploration, and action planning on various levels.

FAQs

Q. Will the conference be in-person or virtual?
As of this date, the 2023 NAIS Annual Conference will be held in person in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the application you can indicate whether you are also open to participating in any online programming that may be offered through NAIS. Although we cannot confirm what format your workshop will take, we will review all submissions based on the strength of the content and communicate the possible formats with notifications.

Q. What information should I prepare?
Please view the submission requirements at the top of this page to see what information you need to prepare, including word limits. Make sure to also collect all the information for your co-presenters before you start the submission process, if applicable.

Q. What is the submission and review process?
Submissions are now open through June 17, 2022. After that time, a team of reviewers will assess all proposals and final decisions will be made, according to our review criteria.

Q. Who can submit a proposal?
You do not need to be from an NAIS member school to submit, although preference is given to submissions to NAIS or other state and regional association member schools. It is highly encouraged that any submitters who are not affiliated with a school (member or non-member) pair with an NAIS member school for consideration. If selected, solicitation or promotion of services during your workshop presentation is strictly prohibited.

Q. When will I know if I’ve been accepted?
Notifications will be emailed out in September to the main submitter.