The Call for Presentations is now closed. Late submissions will not be accepted. Submitters will be notified of decisions in February 2023.

How the Call for Presentations Works

The 2023 ICMA Annual Conference Planning Committee has identified tracks for sessions listed under “Presentation Tracks”. Please look through the list to see if something sparks a new idea for a presentation and speaking opportunity for you and submit a session proposal through our online submission site.  We are planning for an in-person event with potential opportunities for digital sessions, too.

When you submit your presentation, consider the presentation format, the information/content, and the amount of time needed to deliver the content.

Do you have an idea for a session that would be of interest to our attendees that doesn’t fit into one of the tracks? When logged into the submission site, just select “Other” to submit your session proposal.

Important Dates to Remember

Monday, November 7, 2022

Call for Presentations Opens

Friday, December 16, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Call for Presentations Closes
Late submissions will not be accepted

A Step-by-Step Process to Submit a Presentation

  1. Go to the ICMA Submission Site »
  2. Click “Join Now” to create an account
    • 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
  1. Enter a Session Title
    • Titles are limited to 125 characters
    • Please be sure session titles are grammatically correct and ready for print
    • Do not use all capital or all lower-case lettering
  2. Choose a Session Type (Presentation Format)
  3. Click “Submit”

In this section you will be assigned several tasks:

Task 1. Speaker Information

  1. Add New Speakers/Submitters
    • This requires contact information including title and email.
    • 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 themself.
    • For optimal consideration, proposals should include complete speaker information  Important!- If you are submitting and speaking during the session, be sure to check the speaker role when you open your profile to edit.
  2. Click “Save Speakers” to continue to the next task if all the speaker information is complete.
  3. 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

  1. Choose the session track, topic and target audience(up to three).
    • You will be asked to describe how the session will benefit the target audience(s) you identify.
  2. Enter 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 in printed materials.
  3. Click “Continue” to continue to the next task.

Task 3. Learning Objectives

  1. 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”. The learning objectives should answer the question “What will the attendee take away from this session?”.
  2. Click “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, 2022 cutoff date.

If you have any feedback regarding the submission process, you will have an opportunity to provide feedback.

Presentation Tracks

ICMA has aligned the tracks for the 2023 ICMA Annual Conference education sessions with the 14 Practices for Effective Local Government Management and Leadership. Each of the Practices are included within at least one track.  Additionally, several specific topics identified by the Conference Planning Committee to be included in the 2023 Annual Conference program have been included.

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

  • Civic Cohesion
  • Building Civic Leadership

Presentation Formats

An educational session consists of a formal presentation made by an expert(s) on the subject. The presenter(s) does/do 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. Presentation presenters are encouraged to prepare a PowerPoint to go along with their presentation, using the PowerPoint template which will be provided to them by ICMA upon acceptance.

Session Length: 60-minutes (45-minute presentation + 15-minute Q&A session)

Limited to FOUR (4) speakers per session.

Intended Outcome:

  • Caring (about the topic)
  • Insights
  • Awareness
  • Understanding
  • Comprehension
  • Reflection
  • Knowledge

A discussion is a group conversation between a small group of participants on a specific topic or issue. Discussion sessions typically include a 5- to 10-minute introduction by the organizer to introduce the topic, followed by discussion and feedback from participants. Discussions are meant to be interactive between the facilitator and attendees. As such, they take place in rooms set for up to 60 participants seated at roundtables.

Session Length: 60-minutes

Limited to FOUR (4) discussion leaders/facilitators per session.

Intended Outcome:

  • Targeted feedback
  • Engaging discussions
  • Networking with similarly interested participants

A skill-building workshop is 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 skill building workshop instructors with guidelines on how to develop their sessions, activities, PowerPoint slides, participant guides (strongly recommended), and post-session communications/activities. Skill-Building Workshops are meant to be interactive between the facilitator and attendees. As such, these take place in rooms set for up to 60 participants.

Session Length: 120-minutes

Limited to TWO (2) instructors per session.

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

Tips for 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.  The strongest proposals will not just highlight the issues and solutions of today, but will consider how local governments can adapt and innovate to future-proof themselves against challenges over the horizon.
  • Include a take-away – Attendees are looking for concrete take-aways from sessions that will help them address similar issues in their own communities.  More specific descriptions of tools, skills, or performance-based strategies to be gained are generally preferred.  Sessions should align with the Practices for Effective Local Government Management and Leadership.
  • 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 (including those outside of the United States), 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 conduct a product demo, advertise or promote a product, service, or company. Companies wishing to submit a session that is focused on a product demonstration or commercial in nature should contact Megan Sherman ( for information on our ICMA’s Product Theaters.
  • 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 Product Theater.

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. Learn more about ICMA »

The 2023 ICMA Annual Conference begins on Saturday, September 30, 2023 and ends on Wednesday, October 4, 2023. This year’s annual conference will be held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. We are planning 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:

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 125 characters)
  • Session type (i.e.- discussion)
  • Session track- (i.e.- Strategic Leadership)
  • Session topic- (i.e.- Climate)
  • 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 conduct a product demo, advertise or promote a product, service, or company.

If a supplier company wants to promote a product, service, or company, a product theater can be purchased.  Please contact

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

All speakers MUST REGISTER for the 2023 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 comp speaker registration.

It is an honor to present and speak in front of their peers, thus 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 and be future-focused. Ideas should be educational, non-commercial and provide value to a wide-ranging group of ICMA conference attendees.  Sessions should provide at least one (1) take-away for the attendees and align with the Practices for Effective Local Government Management and Leadership.

Within the submission site you will have the opportunity to identify to which audience members your session is applicable.  Identify up to 3 target audiences.  If your session applies to more than 3, identify the primary audiences.

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 February 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.

Yes, please see presentation type descriptions. If your session includes speakers over and above the limit, ICMA staff will work with the submitter/moderator to determine which speakers to cut from the session.

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.

Yes, ICMA values the perspectives and practices of local government professionals from around the globe.

When you enter your information in the submittal portal, be sure to check the box indicating that you are a speaker for the session you are submitting.  Failure to do so will prevent you from receiving crucial emails sent to speakers.

Prior to December 16th, you may log back into the submission site to modify your submission.

After the session has been accepted, 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 30, 2023 through Wednesday, October 4, 2023.  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 meetings will be recorded for those speakers not able to participate in the training meeting.  The first training sessions will be held in March and repeated in June.

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

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 on the digital platform. Recordings are not distributed to speakers.

Please email Felicia Littky, Manager of Conference Education Programming, at