2022 Call for Session Proposals

IDA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, September 21-23, 2022 and is the premier educational gathering for professional place managers and urban champions around the globe. Attendees will gain actionable insights and tools to help strengthen vital urban centers and commercial neighborhoods.

IDA seeks session proposals that provide solutions to emerging trends around economic development initiatives, inclusive places, public space maintenance and activation, marketing and communications, environmental sustainability, social equity, strategic planning, infrastructure, affordable housing, public safety and homelessness.

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Submission details and topic guidelines are below. When submitting your session proposal, please keep in mind the committee looks for diversity in topic, geographic region, race, ethnicity and gender for the makeup of a panel. Previous conference session surveys have indicated a need for racial diversity in speakers as well as content related to small to medium size districts/budgets. When submitting your application, we ask how your session will address these needs.

Please note: Each submitter is limited to two submissions. Each speaker will be limited to two session speaking roles. When contacting speakers for your submission, please be aware if someone is already proposed for another session.

The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, January 31, 2022, 11:59 PM ET. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Carolyn Dellutri, Director of Professional Development, at

Joint proposals including peers from multiple size cities/budgets will be given higher priority for consideration. Full consideration will be given to all complete submissions using the following guidelines:

  • Proposal offers fresh topical ideas and reflects the diversity of IDA’s membership.
  • Proposal includes three learning objectives. Please answer the following statement for each learning objective: “After this session attendees will be able to…”.
  • Proposal is relevant to the work of place management professionals.
  • Proposal includes innovative approaches and perspectives.
  • Proposal engages the audience and presents forward-looking approaches to new challenges.
  • Proposals may include up to two speakers for 60-minute sessions and up to three speakers for a 75-minute session.

Domains of Professional Practice: Conference sessions should fit within one of the seven core domains below and found here. These seven core domains should act as a framework for urban place managers to utilize in furthering their professional careers and to aid in their work enhancing vibrant urban places. Urban place managers lead, curate, organize, convene, and push for positive change and economic growth.

  • Economic Development: Business Recruitment; Business Retention, Market Analysis/Market Research; Real Estate Financing; Historic Preservation Financing; Real Estate Development & Redevelopment; Attainable Housing- Workforce and Affordable; Residential development; Nighttime Economy; Tourism; Innovative Financing Methods; Working with entrepreneurs through Incubators, Co-working spaces and food halls; Retail recruitment including restaurants, national chains, local independents and pop-ups.
  • Planning, Design and Infrastructure: Downtown visioning; downtown master planning; real estate development, zoning, land-use and permitting; streetscape improvements; transit-oriented development; multi-modal transportation; accessibility; sustainable infrastructure; open space planning; bicycle infrastructure; parking operations/management; way-finding; attainable housing initiatives and historic preservation.
  • Public Space Management & Operations: Clean, safe and hospitality; placemaking; activation; parks and open space; homelessness, panhandling and social services; opioid epidemic; beautification and landscape; public safety; public art; sidewalk activations; facilities management; street banners and holiday décor; parklets; technology trends for managing, responding, tracking and reporting.
  • Policy and Advocacy: Government Relations; Research; Stakeholder/Community Engagement; Equity and Inclusion; Social Issues; Legislation.
  • Marketing, Communications and Events: Branding: Public Relations; Public Engagement; Communications; Marketing strategies; Data and Metrics; Messaging and Reporting; Sponsorship and Fundraising strategies; Technology Trends; Crisis Communications plans.
  • Organizational Management: Governance; District Assessment models, District Formation and enabling legislation; Operational Systems; Board Management; Managing your team; Non-Profit Finance.
  • Leadership Development: Leadership Skills; Visioning; Board Leadership including roles / responsibilities / expectations; Strategic planning with your team and board; External Relationship Building.
  • Deadline: Monday, January 31, 2022 11:59PM ET. Submissions received after that date may not be considered. To get started, please complete the form above. You can stop, save and return to work at any time before the deadline. When you’ve completed the form, please click ‘Submit’ at the bottom. Please remember that speakers are required to register for the conference. Options for daily registration will be available.
  • Note: Submitting a session does not guarantee selection. IDA reserves the right to select ideas and speakers to fit the needs of our diverse audience. Pre-registration will open in late spring of 2022. If you’re looking forward to Vancouver, start the conversation now on Twitter using #IDAVAN22.