Call for Presentation Proposals

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society and Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society are the co-hosts of the 2014 Washington State Genealogical Society Annual Conference. The conference will be held at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center and the Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. This is a Call for Presentation Proposals for our conference with the theme, "Improved Genealogy through Better Methodology".


                                                When: August 15-16, 2014

                                                Where:  Arlington, WA

                                                Submission Deadline: November 15, 2013

The above societies are dedicated to quality instruction of our members and the public. From the beginner to the more advanced genealogist, we plan to pass along basic methods of research.

Demographic Profile of Conference Attendees: The WSGS State Conference usually draws attendees of all experience levels, from hobbyist to professional. We have been known to draw some attendees from Canada and surrounding states. Our focus on Saturday will be on methods and techniques. The added presentations on Friday will focus on different record types and/or specialized topics.

Presentation Suggestions: The program committee specifically seeks proposals that will provide exceptional, informative, and unique educational experiences for conference attendees.

Categories for submission may include:

·         Methodology: (e.g. Documenting Sources, Genealogical Proof Standards; Evaluating & Analyzing Information, etc.)

·         Communication: (e.g. Social Media, Blogging, Family History Writing, Copyright & Plagarism, etc)

·         Maintenance & Conservation: (e.g. Records Preservation, Organization w/o computer, Organization w/ computer, Photographs, etc)

·         Types of Repositories: (e.g. Brick & Mortar Resources, Courthouse, NARA)

·         Record Types: (e.g. BMD vital Records, Adoption, Church, Census Substitutes, Military, Newspapers & Obituaries, Tax Records. Wills & Probate, Land Records)

·         Technology & Digital Resources: (e.g. Internet, Web Tools (i.e. Google), Site Specific Search Strategies, Software & Apps, Strategies for Research, Tablets in Genealogy, etc)

·         Ethnic Groups (e.g. Native American, Jewish, British Isles, Canadian, etc)

·         Migration: (e.g. Emigration and Immigration, Naturalization, Migration Routes)

Tips for Submission of Presentations:

The 2014 Conference has 10 speaker sessions available.

·         Propose new, fresh presentations.

·         Propose sessions with a variety of topics, experience levels, etc. Diversity of presentations will have a better chance of being selected.

Session Length: Presentation time slots are a total of 75 minutes in length to include a 15-minute question and answer period.  We welcome 2-part sessions that examine topics in depth.

Submission Requirements:

Proposals should be submitted electronically, in PDF or Microsoft WORD format, to [email protected]. File names should include your last name, first initial and a proposal topic.  Example: (Jones S - Computer Organization). Each proposal should include:

·         Speaker(s) Name; including mailing address, telephone, email address;

·         Presentation title, not to exceed twenty five words, and a brief but comprehensive summary of the presentation not to exceed forty words - to be used in the program, if selected;

·         Identification of the audience level;

·         Brief speaker biography, not to exceed twenty-five words;

·         Presentation outline;

·         Resume of recent presentations speaker has given;

·         Prior speaking experience. Speakers who have not spoken at a state conference are encouraged to submit an audiotape or CD recording of a recent presentation by either email or mail;

·         Speaker(s) biography for syllabus (1 page or less);

·         Camera ready photograph for brochure and syllabus.

Number of Presentations: Speakers are encouraged to submit multiple proposals to a maximum of five (5), as some speakers will be invited to present a minimum of two presentations at the conference. There is no limit to the number of proposals a speaker may submit.  At its sole discretion the program committee may select, none, or some of presentations submitted by speakers. We currently have 10 - 75 minute sessions available.

Special Consideration: will be given to those speakers who permit their presentation handout material to be posted online to the conference website (attendee secure) for downloading and/or printing by conference attendees or with transfer of handout material to CD or thumb drive at the conference.

Distribution of Presentation and Copyright Considerations:

·         Speakers retain copyright to all content and syllabus material;

·         Conference Program Committee will provide syllabus materials online, on CD or thumb drive and in printed form by request. Digital material will not be available after the close of the conference on Saturday afternoon.

Expectations of Speakers:  In keeping with standard conference practices, the following speaker expectations will be incorporated into speaker contracts:

·         All materials , including signed contract, marketing brochure and website content, syllabus material, must be submitted on or before stated deadlines;

·         Sessions will begin and end as scheduled;

·         Presentation visuals will be in digital format and prepared using presentation software (e.g. Powerpoint, Keynote, Prezi,…);

·         Syllabus material is required for every presentation. Content should summarize the content of the class and or supplement presentation material (e.g. bibliography);

·         Syllabus material should be between 2 and 6 pages per presentation. Acceptable formats are PDF or WORD. Committee may reformat material as needed;

·         Speaker will provide website links, announcements and other assistance in promoting the conference;

·         Speaker will provide his or her own laptop computer for presentations. Conference committee will provide projectors for each classroom.

Conference Speakers will receive:

·         Complimentary registration for all speakers;

·         Syllabus in electronic format;

·         $50 presentation honorarium for individual presentations;

·         Meals on the day of their presentation;

·         Promotion links from conference website and/or blog to speaker's website and/or blog for marketing purposes of the conference;

·         Access to conference digital projectors;

·         Complimentary Recreational vehicle parking on school grounds.

Conference Committee will not reimburse speakers or pay for the following:

·         Car rental from airport or hotel/motel to the conference location;

·         Expenses charged to hotel/motel room, including Internet access. Wireless Internet is available at the conference site.

·         Parking fees;

·         Ground transportation to or from the airport and/or hotel/motel;


Some speakers may wish to make other presentations while in the area to maximize exposure and income. The program committee will be glad to discuss expense-sharing with other organizations if the speaker schedules other area appearances within two weeks of the conference.

Key Dates:

September 28, 2013   Call for Presentations issued

November 15, 2013    Call for Presentations deadline for submission

December 15, 2013    Selection and notification invitation of selected speakers

January 1, 2014           Deadline for camera ready photograph for brochure and promotional material

January 15, 2014         Issuance of contracts

February 1, 2014         Deadline for return of signed contracts

May 1, 2014                Deadline for syllabus materials (2-6 pages per presentation)

About Washington State Genealogical Society: Every year WSGS sponsors an Annual Conference and Annual Meeting. It is held in alternating years in the west side and the east side of the Cascade Mountain range. Two years prior to a conference, a call is made to local genealogical societies to host the conference. The hosting society is given responsibility to select a locale for the conference and to make all arrangements relating to the actual conference. It is recommended that hosting societies involve at least one nationally known speaker for the conference. The hosting societies may determine the length and scope of the conference, including facility fees and registration fees, with the approval of the WSGS Board of Directors.

Skagit Valley Genealogical Society is a small society comprised of less than 100 members with approximately 1/4 of those residing outside of the geographical location. This society is located in Skagit County, in Northwest Washington approximately 60 miles south of the Canadian Border covering a region from the Pacific Ocean and the San Juan Islands on the West to the top of the Western ridge of the Cascade Mountains

Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society  was founded in 1985 and is a mid-sized society comprised of over 150 members with most residing inside the geographical location.  This society is located in Snohomish County, in Northwest Washington approximately 45 miles north of Seattle and approximately 25 miles north of ferries to Bainbridge Island and the peninsula on the West.



Leave a Reply