2022 ICMA Annual Conference

The Call for Presentations is Now Closed

Our easy-to-follow submission process allows the local government community to participate in setting the program agenda for the 2022 ICMA Annual Conference.

Call for Presentations Step-by-Step Process

Click here to access the submission site. Then, click “Join Now” below to begin. You must create a new account. The submission site does not use the same log-in information as the ICMA website.

You will create an account profile that collects your contact information. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*). There is an option to add assistant information. They will be copied on all emails that are generated from the submission site should you add their information. If assistant information is not entered, they cannot later be copied on emails sent via the submission system.

In this section, you will be asked for the session title. Titles are limited to 75 characters. Please be sure session titles are grammatically correct and ready for print. Do not use all capital or all lower-case lettering.

Next, choose your Session Type (Presentation Format) – session type is not guaranteed and is subject to change. A list of presentation tracks are available on this page. Click “Submit”.

In this section you will be assigned several tasks:

Task 1. Speaker Information:  Add new speakers/submitters. This requires contact information including title and email at a minimum. Organization, a brief bio, and a headshot may be added by you, the session submitter, by clicking “Edit Speaker Name’s Profile”. If you do not have this information, you must click the “Invite Speaker Name” button to send an email asking the speaker to log-in and enter the information themselves. Important!- If you are submitting and speaking during the session, be sure to check the speaker role when you open your profile to edit.

Press “Save Speakers” to continue to the next task if all the speaker information is complete.

If the speaker information is incomplete, you will need to click on “tasks” on the blue menu bar at the top of the page to return to the list of tasks.

Task 2. Session Details:   Choose the session track and target audience(s), if applicable. You will be asked to describe how the session will benefit the target audience you identify. Next, a session description is required. There is a 300-word maximum for the session description. Please be sure the description is grammatically correct, contains no spelling errors and is ready for print. This is not a place to enter notes to the review panel, this is the place to enter the description for the session as it should read on the conference website and/or printed program booklet.

Press “Continue” to continue to the next task.

Task 3. Learning Objectives: Three learning objectives are required. Use action words to begin the learning objective, such as list, describe, define, demonstrate, conduct, etc. An example of a learning objective would be “the participant will be able to identify the steps needed to do XYZ”. Press “Continue” to move on to the next task.

Finally, click the “Save Submission” button and then “Submit”. It is important that you click both buttons. An email will be auto generated to all submitters/speakers on the session form.

Note: If the speaker information is incomplete, you will not be able to submit the session. Follow up with any speakers for whom you do not have the required information and remind them to log into the system using the email you sent in Task 1 above to complete their profile prior to the December 16 cutoff date.

You will have the opportunity to provide feedback regarding the submission process.

Presentation Tracks

Below is the list of tracks the Conference Planning Committee selected as priority areas for the 2022 ICMA Annual Conference education sessions. Though examples for each track topic are noted in parenthesis, please do not feel limited by the examples.

ICMA members continue to seek education and practical guidance on understanding and advancing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their local governments and communities.

Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to: understanding disability and accessibility issues (disability inclusion at work and why it matters, strengthening and diversifying your workforce with veterans, technology and accessibility); equity in housing, public works, planning and other service areas; elevating inclusion in your budgets; unconscious bias; cognitive diversity; student/next generation DEI issues such as key skills to achieve inclusivity and steps to success; and equity (fair treatment, equitable pay, recognition, access to resources and opportunities).

This track will aid local leaders in overcoming major challenges around communication and maintaining civility in their communities.

Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to: navigating polarization and the culture of contempt, best practices for working with mainstream and social media, managing mis/disinformation, effective community engagement, and fostering trust in local government.

This track will focus on the major economic development challenges and opportunities as communities seek not just to restore, but to redevelop and reimagine their local economies for long-term resilience.

Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to: using American Rescue Plan resources, securing and managing other federal funds, how to leverage trusts/foundations, housing and homelessness issues, infrastructure, brownfield redevelopment, how to combat the shift to online shopping in a downtown/business district, and dealing with major local economic shifts and shocks.

Managers are at the core of strong communities. This track will highlight solutions to challenges of leading teams from different levels of the organization.

Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to: council/manager relations, effective board and commission management, mid-level management support, ensuring mental health and happiness of employees, servant leadership and other leadership principles, recruitment and retention of employees, and volunteer recruitment.

This track will focus on leading practices for local governments to promote healthy, thriving, and resilient communities.

Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to: climate change implications, emergency and disaster preparedness, environmental justice, the power of arts and culture, government sponsored events, and parks, recreation, and open space issues.

Personal development is an essential component of professional development. This track will help local leaders commit to a balanced life and enhance personal capacity.

Specific topics of interest include but are not limited to: personal mental health, stress management techniques, and well-being for chief administrative officials, setting limits on the 24-hour job expectations, life in the fishbowl and effects on your family, finding your next job and when is a good time to start looking, how to interview in a public setting, succeeding in your current role, having fun, career wellness, personal care and growth, professional growth and retirement planning.

How will local governments continue to adapt their departmental operations and services to meet the needs of a post-COVID future?

Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to: remote work policies, innovations in service delivery, moving to a more digital platform, procurement and supply chain issues, recruitment for lower paying jobs in a high cost of living area, and the evolution of departments such as public safety, public works, or human resource.

ICMA is always in search of new and innovative ideas for speaking engagements and presentations. All ideas are encouraged!

Presentation Formats

Duration: 30-minute Q&A session (no formal presentation)

These sessions will allow attendees to ask a local government expert questions about working in the field and how to improve in their career.  Within session description, please include your area(s) of expertise.

Limited to ONE speaker per session.

Intended Outcome: career growth, solution exploration, engaging conversations and networking

Duration: 45-minute presentation + 15-minute Q&A session

Expert lectures are formal presentations made by an expert on the subject. The presenter does not have to be an acknowledged expert in the field but should be well-versed on the topic through experience and/or research. Experienced CAOs or other practitioners are welcome to submit.

Limited to ONE speaker per session.

Intended Outcome: caring (about the topic), awareness, understanding, comprehension, reflection, and/or knowledge

Duration: 30 minutes

Speakers will focus on one topic and give quick tips and skills to attendees.

Limited to ONE speaker per session.

Intended Outcome: specific skillset growth, understanding and/or knowledge

Duration: 60 or 90 minutes

Panels include multiple speakers focusing on one topic or issue for an engaging and informative 60 or 90-minute conversation.

Limited to FOUR speakers per session.

Intended Outcome: caring (about the topic), insights, awareness, understanding, comprehension, reflection, and/or knowledge

Duration: 60 or 90 minutes

A Roundtable is an interactive group discussion between participants on a specific topic or issue. Roundtable presentations typically include a 5- to 10-minute presentation by the organizer to introduce the topic, followed by discussion and feedback from participants.

Limited to FOUR discussion leaders/facilitators per session.

Intended Outcome: targeted feedback, engaging discussions, and/or networking with similarly interested participants

Duration: 30 minutes

The speaker will tell the story of something that impacted their lives and careers. Not a formal presentation, but rather a storytelling format.

Limited to ONE speaker per session.

Intended Outcome: understanding, reflection, insight and networking

Duration: 2-hours

Workshops are intended to be skill-focused, active, and engaging. The content and outcomes of the session should be specifically focused on one or more of the ICMA Practices for Effective Local Government Management and Leadership.  Please note: The ICMA Professional Development Staff will provide workshop instructors with guidelines on how to develop their own workshop flow, activities, PowerPoint slides, participant guides (strongly recommended), and post-workshop communications/activities.

Limited to TWO instructors per session.

Intended Outcome: Clear and specific performance-based outcomes and skills that participants can apply in a real-world context.

Duration: 60 minutes

A World Café is a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting a large group dialogue. The process begins with the first of two or more rounds of discussion for groups of 5-10 seated around a table. Each round is prefaced with a question designed to actively engage participants in an interesting discussion, idea generation, or solution exploration that can then be used to initiate localized post-conference actions.

Limited to FOUR discussion leaders/facilitators per session

Intended Outcome: idea generation, solution exploration, general understanding of several topics, and/or networking

Tips for Call for Presentations Success

  • Follow the instructions and read the Call for Presentations FAQ section for important information about the ICMA Annual Conference and tips for creating a great submission.
  • Create a future-focused, original presentation that covers the latest best practices, ideas, and innovations in the local government management profession.
  • Depth and specificity – the more specific your submission description is, the better. Drill down to what really matters to the local government management professional.
  • Your title should reflect your description – think simple, accurate, and succinct.
  • Diversity matters – session selection will reflect diversity in gender, race, and location of speakers as well as diversity in thought and opinion. Please keep this in mind if you are proposing a panel.
  • No product information allowed – your presentation must be noncommercial. At no time is it permissible for presenters to use their time slot to advertise or promote a product, service, or company. Companies wishing to submit a session that is commercial in nature should contact Megan Sherman (msherman@icma.org) for information on our Solutions Stage sessions.
  • When the submissions are being reviewed, if a presentation has product information, advertises, or promotes a product, service, or company, it will be considered for a Solutions Stage session.

Frequently Asked Questions

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference is the largest gathering of local government professionals in the world and offers an abundance of educational, information-sharing, and networking tools to help local government management professionals manage their communities in today’s complex environment.

The 2022 ICMA Annual Conference begins on Saturday, September 17 and ends on Wednesday, September 21. This year’s annual conference will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. We are planning for an in-person event. The conference may also include a digital component.

Local government management professionals of all career stages and backgrounds come to the ICMA Annual Conference each year.

The audience includes: Encore (retired) professionals, Chief Executive Officers, Assistant/Deputy Managers, Department Heads/Directors, Analysts/Assistants, Students/Interns, Small Community Managers, County Managers, Senior/Credentialed Managers and Managers/Local Government Staff from around the world.

Anyone! While non-members are encouraged to join ICMA to enjoy the benefits of membership, submissions are accepted by members and non-members alike.

All submissions must be in English and include the following:

  • Session title (limit of 75 characters)
  • Session type (i.e.- 60-minute roundtable)
  • Session track- (i.e.- Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)
  • Target audience(s)
  • Three learning objectives
  • Session submitter/speaker name(s), organization name, title, complete address, phone, and email information
  • Brief presenter biography, demographic information (i.e., community population, etc.) and head shot
  • Description of session (no more than 300 words)

Session information will be published on the ICMA Conference website, in the conference app and other channels, when available. All presentations must be noncommercial. At no time is it permissible for presenters to use their time slot to advertise or promote a product, service, or company.

If a supplier company wants to promote a product, service, or company, a sponsored session can be purchased.  Please contact msherman@icma.org.

ICMA reserves the right to cancel a session and/or change a speaker, if necessary.

All speakers must register for the 2022 ICMA Annual Conference and pay the appropriate registration fee. As a paid registrant, the speaker may attend and participate in all non-ticketed sessions and events held in conjunction with the conference.

ICMA does not provide honoraria or reimburse for travel or housing expenses.

Session descriptions should include tool(s) attendees can take back to their communities. Ideas should be educational, non-commercial and provide value to a wide-ranging group of ICMA conference attendees.

All submissions will be reviewed by the conference planning committee as well as by subject matter experts on the ICMA staff. Submitters will be notified by email in late January 2022, whether their proposal is selected for inclusion in the conference program.

All selected submitters will be contacted with further information including notification of all deadlines.  Please note it is crucial to the success of the conference that all selected speakers, moderators, etc. adhere to all ICMA deadlines.

Idea or speaker submittal does not guarantee selection.

Yes, within the submission system you will be asked to invite the proposed speaker to the site to complete their biographical details, as well as to accept the submission.


Expert Lectures are limited to one speaker.

Workshops are limited to two speakers.

Panel Discussions, Roundtables, and World Cafés are limited to four speakers.

ICMA will not contact speakers until after you have been notified of the session’s acceptance. Once you are notified by ICMA that your session is accepted, you should reach out to the speakers to let them know to expect an email from ICMA inviting them to speak and providing them credentials to access the speaker/session management site. Note- you will notify the speaker during the submission process that you have submitted their name with the session.

We are still assessing the digital components of the 2021 ICMA Annual Conference, including speakers presenting remotely at in-person sessions. At this point in time, please plan for all speakers to be present in Columbus for their session. Under no circumstances will a speaker for a roundtable, workshop or world café be able to present remotely.

Modifications to session descriptions and titles may be made up until a certain date. The date will be listed within the session/speaker management site. Only one presenter/speaker per session will have access to the task allowing these changes to be made. Late changes will not be accepted.

ICMA reserves the right to make recommendations and requirements for revisions of content and/or speakers within proposals as a condition of acceptance.

Sessions will be scheduled by ICMA for a time period that could occur at any time from Saturday, September 17, 2022 through Wednesday, September 21, 2022.  By submitting a session through the Call for Presentation system, speakers are agreeing to be available to present on any of those days and times.

Yes, an ICMA staff member will be assigned to each session to review the handouts and PowerPoints used for the session. The speaker must submit their materials to the assigned staff member prior to loading the materials into the session management system.

ICMA will hold speaker information/training sessions, virtually, prior to the conference. The meeting will be recorded for those speakers not able to participate in the training meeting.

Yes, registrants of the ICMA Annual Conference will have access to download session handouts and PowerPoint presentations.

For any session that is recorded, the recordings belong to ICMA and may be used in the future by ICMA for other educational/professional development opportunities for the local government community. Recordings can only be viewed by ICMA Annual Conference attendees. Recordings are not distributed to speakers.

Please email Felicia Littky, Manager of Conference Education Programming, at conferenceteam@icma.org.