Kuyumjian Consulting

Musings

What Makes for A Good Session Proposal?

It’s been a quiet few autumn here at Kuyumjian Consulting. Rather than conducting work in the field, I’ve been busy talking with peers as much as I can. Mostly this means attending organizational meetings, sitting in on webinars, joining conference calls, and posting on message boards. Conference season is almost done (you can catch me at the American Evaluation Association meeting in Cleveland towards the end of this month!), but that only means proposal season is just beginning. Since I’ve been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time talking at conferences, I thought to pay it forward a little by sharing out what I’ve learned going through the proposal process (for conferences only, not grants… though I do have that experience too).

A group of emerging professionals have pulled together a web chat series of “Visitor Studies 101.” The inaugural discussion was “What makes for a good session proposal?” Myself, along with several colleagues, shared our thoughts on experiences on the following:

Turns out my colleague, Kaylan Petrie at the Museum of Science, Boston, was participating in the web chat… and projecting us on her wall! Welcome to my home office!

Turns out my colleague, Kaylan Petrie at the Museum of Science, Boston, was participating in the web chat… and projecting us on her wall! Welcome to my home office!

  • Determining the right session format for your proposal

  • Writing clearly, and asking for editing support to make sure your idea comes through

  • When to be the lead writer, and when to collaborate on the proposal

  • Ways to address the conference theme in your proposal

  • Insights and consideration from the reviewer’s perspective

  • And tons more!

While the conversation was specific to the recent call for proposals from Visitor Studies Association, I do believe a lot of these ideas can translate to other annual meetings… mostly because I’ve successfully applied them to other proposals to those meetings and conferences.

If you’re curious to learn more, you can view a full recording of the conversation. Awkwardly you get a good 20 minutes of set-up in the recording. The good stuff begins around the 23 minute mark. A link to the recording is here. Spoiler alert: my intern/cat Saskia does NOT make an appearance.

Taline KuyumjianComment