Call for Proposals

CalSAE is seeking educational learning sessions for the ELEVATE Annual Conference 2024, held April 29 - May 1 in Burbank, CA. To deliver a positive learning experience, CalSAE welcomes proposals designed to advance the work of association professionals, business partners, and the industries they serve.

Proposals should:

  • Offer different learning formats designed for the adult-learner
  • Provoke discussion and audience interaction
  • Provide relevant strategies and tactics to common challenges

CalSAE is a CAE Approved Provider of year-round educational programs led by experts in the association community including association professionals, consultants, and industry partners. Our members value different learning formats, insights on industry trends, strategies to lead their organizations, new ideas on meetings and events, practical membership models, and other thought-provoking content to advance the industries they serve.

Submission Deadline Extended to Sept 5


Proposal Tips
  • Collect your Thoughts - we recommend you prepare your proposal in Word first, then go to the online submission form.  Download Word Prep Doc.

  • Content is King - Be thoughtful and thorough when developing your proposal to describe the intent of the session, key takeaways and learning objectives.

  • Make It Compelling - If it's canned, it's spam. Our attendees will expect that the speakers at CalSAE events understand the unique needs and challenges of the association industry.

  • Be Authentic & Vulnerable - Speak of failure as well as success.

  • Know Your Audience - Attendees are composed of non-profit association executives, their staff, and industry partners who run the gamut from hotel sales managers to professional service providers and consultants. Learning levels are diverse, with most participants ranging from mid to high-level, or applied to strategic level.

  • No Sales Zone – Sharing knowledge, industry insights and trends is the most effective marketing to promote yourself or your business. Our participants are savvy professionals. Sales pitches disguised as education will result in poor ratings and lost opportunities.

  • Be Interactive – CalSAE members attend events to learn and to network. Thoughtful interaction infused into educational programs is a wonderful opportunity for attendees to learn from the speaker and from each other. 

Proposal Review & Selection

Multi-Step Review Process

  • Step 1: Volunteer Peer Review Process – this step is a blind review of the session proposals by CalSAE volunteer members. Speaker informant is omitted during this phase so the focus of the review is on the quality of the content in the proposal. Do not include your speaker information in the session title, description or elsewhere other than when asked for it explicitly in the submission form – such as in the bio field and in the past speaking experience field.
  • Step 2: STEAK Committee – highly rated proposals from step 1 are reviewed with speaker names revealed. In this step, the proposals are more thoroughly evaluated beyond the content, as the speakers' background, credentials, experience, etc. are all taken into consideration.

Selection and Timing

  • Selections for ELEVATE 2024 will take place in late October 2023.
  • If your proposal is not selected for ELEVATE, you may still be considered for other CalSAE speaking opportunities such as Seasonal Spectacular 2023, regional event programming, live webinars, etc. These programs are scheduled throughout the year and you will be contacted if selected for one of them to confirm your availability in advance.

Honorarium & Travel Reimbursement (if applicable)
  • Honorariums are not provided for most CalSAE events.
  • Travel stipends may be provided for those without the financial support of their company and who are traveling a long distance to participate.
  • Speakers selected through the Call for Proposals will receive a discounted registration and are encouraged to participate in other programs during the conference. 

Submit a Magazine Article

You can also share your expertise with the association community by contributing an article for The Executive magazine. Please use this form to submit an article idea.

Ideas or Questions?

Please contact Megan Denhardt, CAE with any questions about the proposal process.