Sample Submissions

To assist in creating a successful submission, below are samples of successful and unsuccessful submissions and the reasons for each decision.


Learning from Visitors: Innovations in Audience Research 

60-minute session 

Audience facing description: 

If audience research makes you think of clip-board surveys, or binders of data that once seemed useful but are now just taking up space, come learn about innovations in research practice. Three case studies will give attendees a launching off point to think anew about research practice in their organizations. Examples will be low cost and replicable. Effective approaches for advocating for audience research will also be shared. 

In 50 words or less, describe your presentation:  

Participants will be introduced to 3 case studies of innovative audience research projects and the effects the research had for the organization. Examples will be low budget and replicable. Handouts will provide "how-tos" about adopting these practices. Effective approaches for advocating for audience research will also be shared. 

In 50 words or less describe what participants will learn from your presentation:  

Participants will leave prepared to think anew about their institutional practice of audience research, armed with approaches to advocate for a stronger institutional commitment to research, and prepared with 3 examples of the kinds of projects they can take back to their organization and adopt. 


Reasons this would be a successful submission 

  1. Three case studies presented. Speakers would ideally be from three different types/sizes of institutions. 

  1. Clear takeaways for attendees including a physical handout (handouts are NOT required but serve as an example of a submission going the extra mile) 

  1. Presentation has clear impact for a broad audience from small to large, university to rural, etc. 

  1. No jargon, easy to understand


Keeping up with inevitable change: Strategic planning 

½ Day Workshop 

Audience facing description: 

This workshop aims to help organizations of all sizes to understand why strategic planning is important and how an organization might approach this essential exercise. Participants will complete a mock strategic plan as a group, using the tried-and-true framework from [Expert]. Through the stories of three different organizations, participants will gain insights into the strategic planning process and outcomes.  

In 50 words or less, describe your presentation:  


An overview and explanation of framework for strategic planning will begin the workshop by [Corporate Expert]. [Institution 1] will then share insights around their 2016-2022 Strategic Plan; [Institution 2] will speak about their strategic goals and how they developed them; and [Institution 3] will speak to their current strategic planning process.  

The group will be led through the strategic planning process with a hands-on exercise. Using a fictitious organization as the example, workshop participants will read through financial statements, background information on the market in which the garden operates, an organizational chart, and other relevant documents that will inform the strategic planning process. The group will report back throughout the workshop and share ideas. Participants will develop an understanding and excitement for strategic planning. 

In 50 words or less describe what participants will learn from your presentation:  

No matter the size of the organization (acreage, budget), strategic planning is essential. The group will provide a framework that is tried and true and can serve as a takeaway and a guide going forward. 


Reasons this would be a successful submission: 

  • Integration of corporate expert (non-sales pitch) and multiple institutions 

  • Targeted to a wide audience 

  • Hands-on exercise included AND described 

  • Appropriate amount of content for a ½ day workshop 



Planting the Seed: Cultivating Teen Volunteerism in Your Garden 

30-Minute Session 

Audience facing description:  

Join us to explore how to cultivate teen volunteers, plant the seed for new teen programs, and how to hybridize your current volunteer program to appeal to teens. We will discover that when provided with relevant and meaningful experiential learning, teen volunteers can be beneficial to your institution's mission by fostering environmental awareness, instead of plant blindness, to ensure that the next generation is rooted in your Garden.  

In 50 words or less, describe your presentation:  

30-minute Multi-Speaker Session Moderator-Teen Volunteerism topic PowerPoint with video integration 2-3 Speakers from our garden with featured aspects of topic  

In 50 words or less describe what participants will learn from your presentation:  

Building or Reconstructing a Teen Volunteer Program Using technology and social media to recruit teens  


Reasons this would NOT be a successful submission: 

  1. All three speakers from the same institution could indicate a lack of diverse perspectives (ensure speakers from same institution bring diverse persepectives) 

  1. Three speakers in a 30 min session = too many 

  1. This submission was difficult to read and understand due to lack of sentences, random capitalization, etc. Lacked clarity and coherence. 

  1. If rewritten and with 1-2 speakers may have been an accepted session! 

361 hits