Call for Speakers FAQs

APCO International is seeking thought leaders and industry experts in emergency communications to submit session ideas. Potential speakers should have a strong grasp of emerging issues, innovations, and technology in the emergency communications industry. Speaking at APCO provides the opportunity to share your knowledge with thousands of attendees and network with industry peers.

Below are a series of frequently asked questions regarding the submission process

Call for Speakers Process |  Review Process |  Speaking at APCO 2024

Call for Speakers Process

Q: When does the Call for Speakers open and close?
A: The Call for Speaker opens October 2, 2023, and closes December 13, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Q: What topic should I submit for consideration for the APCO 2024 Conference and Exposition?
A: We are looking for content leaders who can speak on a wide array of topics that are innovative, engaging, inspiring, and informative for emergency communications professionals. APCO International’s goal is to offer relevant, timely education and training to our attendees do their jobs more effectively and make their agencies more successful. Some current topics for 2024 to be considered are:

  • Challenges in the Comm Centers
  • Training and Employee Growth
  • Situational Awareness/Planning for Major Events (mass shootings, fires, floods)
  • Health and Wellness
  • Cybersecurity
  • FirstNet
  • Public Safety Apps
  • Ethics
  • NG9-1-1

Q: What submission information is required?
A: The following information is required in order to submit a presentation proposal and to be considered for APCO 2024:

  • Detailed information on the presentation topic
  • Speaker information
  • Learning objectives
  • Track/topic/audience

A PowerPoint or similar is not required but is very helpful when reviewing your written proposals. While it does not have to be the final presentation, a good rough draft helps the reviewers grade sessions.

Q: What should I write for “Learning Objectives”?
A: Well-developed learning outcomes are participant-oriented, observable, and measurable. Describe the skills, knowledge, and/or learning outcomes participants will be able to demonstrate as a result of this activity. (For example: At the end of this session, participants will be able to…)

Q: For what tracks can I submit a presentation proposal?
A:  You can submit a proposal for these tracks in the APCO 2024 educational program:

  • Communications Center Management
  • Cutting Edge Developments
  • Cybersecurity in Public Safety Communications
  • Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Situational Awareness
  • FirstNet: Transforming the Future of Emergency Communications
  • Frontline Telecommunicator
  • Leadership Development
  • NG9-1-1 and Emerging Technologies
  • Radio and Wireless Communications Technologies
  • Wellness in the Emergency Communications Center

Read more about the tracks.

Q: Can I submit my presentation for more than one track?
A: Presentations should only be submitted once. You can only choose one track and it should be the one that best categorizes your presentation based on the description given.

Q: Can I submit more than one submission?
A: Yes, there is no limit on the number of submissions each person can submit.

Q: What happens if I don’t have all the required information to complete my proposal?
A: You will have the ability to change, edit, or withdraw your presentation proposal until the deadline. If you are missing a required piece of information, you can save your work and log back in at a later time to enter the information prior to the December 13, 2023, submission deadline. Please note: all proposals must be complete in order to be considered. Any proposals left “Incomplete” will not be considered for APCO 2024. Each submission you complete will receive a confirmation email so if you don’t receive one, you know your submission is incomplete.

Q: How can I be sure the information I type will not be lost?
A: All information should be created and saved as a word processing document (such as Microsoft Word) prior to beginning the online submission process. Information can then be pasted into the appropriate fields on the web. Click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of each step to ensure the information is not lost.

Q: Do I have to submit my presentation proposal online?
A: Online submission of proposals is required.

Q: Do I have to have an email address to submit online?
A: Yes, confirmation and notifications will be done via email. Please use an email address you check regularly. Also, allow emails sent from APCO so they don’t go into spam. If someone else is submitting for you please add a CC email to ensure the speaker receives notifications as well.

Q: How will I know if my proposal was submitted successfully?
A: Once you have finalized your submission, an email confirmation will be sent to you confirming receipt of the presentation proposal. Before you submit your proposal, please make sure all steps have been completed, including the last step by checking the box to finalize your presentation proposal.

Review Process

Q: What are the review criteria for presentations?
A: All submissions are peer-reviewed by APCO’s Professional Development Events Committee. Reviewers consider the following:

  • Does the topic address a contemporary public safety issue?
  • Can the presented information apply to different-sized agencies and a diverse audience?
  • Is the topic unique and information not available through other sources?
  • Is the course description clear and concise? Can attendees easily tell what to expect by reading it?
  • Are the learning objectives clear and can be met in the allotted time?
  • Does the presentation support APCO’s high standards and reputation for having the best professional development sessions?
  • Are the proposed speakers qualified to instruct the workshop topic?

Q: How is the review process conducted?
A: Peer reviewers are assigned based upon track selection. Reviewers will evaluate the submissions based on quality and criteria noted above. Top recommendations will then be evaluated by APCO leadership to ensure the entire educational program is well-balanced. The educational program will be announced in late March of 2024. All those who submit presentation proposals will be notified via email prior to Flash Day, April 1, 2024, whether their presentation(s) were accepted or declined.

Speaking at APCO 2024

Q: When do presentations take place?
A: Educational sessions are available each day of the conference starting on Sunday, August 4, through Wednesday, August 7. Professional development sessions begin as early as 8:30 a.m. and run throughout the day, ending as late as 4:30 p.m.

Submission of a proposal is a commitment that the speakers will be available to speak on any conference day and time as assigned by APCO staff.

Q: If accepted, how much time will I be given to present?
A: All sessions are 60 minutes including Q&A.

Q: Can I promote any products or services during my presentation?
A: No, APCO does not allow the promotion of products and services during educational sessions. Speakers can talk about products and services that have been used to solve a problem or address the presentation topic.

Q: If my proposal is accepted, will I receive any compensation for presenting at APCO 2024?
A: APCO does not pay speakers or reimburse for travel or hotel expenses.

Q: If my proposal is accepted, will I receive complimentary registration for APCO 2024?
A: Yes, each accepted speaker and co-speaker (up to four) will receive a complimentary registration to the conference. (Does not include tickets to special events.)

Q: How are session rooms set up? What audiovisual equipment will be available for my presentation?
A: All session rooms will be set to maximize seating. A podium and head table for four (4) on a small stage is standard in each room for presenters. Additionally, the following AV equipment will be set in each room:

  • Screen and LCD projector (with HDMI connector)
  • One (1) wireless lavaliere (for presenter/moderator)
  • Two (2) wireless microphones on head table (for panelists)
  • One (1)  audio unit (for presentations with audio)
  • Two (2) handheld microphones on stand (for Q&A from audience)

Speakers are required to bring their own laptops with the prepared presentation. We will have a “Speaker Ready Room” onsite for speakers to check the presentations prior to their sessions.

Q: I’ve never presented at an APCO Conference before. What is expected of me?
A: APCO members and staff invest a considerable amount of time to ensure all speakers are set up for success. Prior to the conference, APCO will send a series of emails updating you on the next steps of the process.

If you do not see your question answered above, please contact:

Whitney Chong
APCO Events Services Manager
APCO International