Call For Papers FAQ

The 2020 APCO WRC Program Committee is seeking industry experts & engaging speakers to submit papers to teach educational sessions to public safety professionals. Potential speakers should have a strong understanding, expertise and experience in Public Safety from frontline performance, high priority incidents and lessons learned to knowledge of emerging technology, innovations, and trends in the emergency communications industry. Speaking at 2020 APCO WRC provides the opportunity for you to share your knowledge with attendees, learn from experts and motivators such as keynote speakers Elizabeth Smart & Amberley Snyder, all while networking with peers.

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

Call for Speakers Process

 Q: When does the Call for Speakers open and close?
A: The Call for Speaker opens June 14, 2019, and closes September 1, 2019, at 0000 MDT.

 Q: What topic should I submit for consideration for the 2020 APCO WRC and Expo?
A: We are looking for experts who can speak on a wide array of topics that are innovative, engaging, inspiring, and informative for emergency communications professionals. The 2020 APCO WRC training committee’s goal is to offer relevant, timely education and training to our attendees. Training should help them do their jobs more effectively and make their agencies more successful. Some topics for 2020 to be considered are:

  • Challenges in the Comm Centers Leadership / Management
  • Training and Employee Growth
  • Frontline Performance / Engagement
  • Major Event Lessons Learned (case studies)
  • Situational Awareness/Planning for Major Events (mass shootings, fires, floods)
  • Cybersecurity
  • CAD / Cloud
  • ESInet / Firstnet / networking solutions
  • Location Accuracy
  • Public Safety Apps
  • Public Safety Vendor Products
  • Ethics
  • NG9-1-1

This list is not all-inclusive you may have a topic other than those listed above.  Please submit it!

 Q: What submission information is required?
A: The following information is required in order to submit a presentation proposal and to be considered for the 2020 APCO WRC:

  • Detailed information on the presentation topic
  • Speaker Information
  • Track/Topic/Audience
  • Learning Objectives

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.  This is the real measure of merit for the learning experience.  What are the take-aways?  What will the attendee learn and or experience that they will remember and take back to their agency to share with others? (For example: At the end of this session, participants will be able to…)

 Q: For what tracks can I submit a presentation proposal?
A: The 2020 APCO WRC educational program has six tracks.

  1. Frontline Operations
  2. Leadership Development
  3. Communications Center Management
  4. Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Situational Awareness
  5. Radio Technologies, NG9-1-1 and Emerging Technologies
  6. Exhibitors

*Please note that categories 1-5 are vendor agnostic and for general knowledge enhancement.  Track 6 is designed for vendor specific training and demonstration.

Read more about the tracks.

Q: Can I submit my presentation for more than one track?
A: Each presentation 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.  However, please do not submit the same presentation multiple times.  The grading committee’s volunteer time is valuable.

 Q: What happens if I don’t have all the required information to complete my proposal?
A: The submission process includes the option to save the progress of the form.  Use the link provided to continue the submission at a later time.

 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 program@2020apcowrc.org so they don’t go into spam. 

 Q: How will I know if my proposal was submitted successfully?
A: After you complete your submission an email confirmation will be sent to you.

Review Process

Q: What are the review criteria for presentations?
A: All submissions are peer-reviewed by Utah APCO’s Program 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, from the conference training committee, 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 the 2020 APCO WRC committee to ensure the entire educational program is well-balanced. The educational program will be announced in October 2019.

All who submit presentation proposals will be notified via email whether their presentation(s) were accepted or declined before the program is announced.

Speaking at 2020 APCO WRC

Q: If accepted, how much time will I be given to present?
A: All sessions are 60 minutes including Q&A.  If a topic warrants 2 consecutive session blocks (2 hours), please specify that in the submission.

 Q: Can I promote any products or services during my presentation?
A: Educational tracks 1-5 are not designed to allow the promotion of products and services. Speakers can talk about products and services that have been used to solve a problem or address the presentation topic but not promote or sell any specific product during the educational session.  Track 6, the “Exhibitor” track, is specifically designed for attendees to learn about specific products from the vendor and therefor is the only appropriate track for any speaker wishing to promote a product or service.

 Q: If my proposal is accepted, will I receive any compensation for presenting at the 2020 APCO WRC & Expo?
A: The 2020 APCO WRC committee does not pay speakers or reimburse for travel or hotel expenses.

 Q: If my proposal is accepted, will I receive complimentary registration the 2020 APCO WRC & Expo?
A: Yes, the primary speaker (one speaker per session) will receive a full complimentary registration to the conference, which includes evening and special events.

Q: What if my session is accepted and later I find I am unable to keep the obligation to speak?
A: Please make sure before submitting that you are approved to attend the conference and have funding for hotel and travel expenses.  If an unforeseen change occurs and you are not able to speak alert the 2020 APCO WRC Program Committee ASAP.  We are committed to providing attendees with a valuable and full educational experience.  We appreciate the precious resources agencies expend in sending their staff to WRC and want to ensure it is a worthwhile investment.

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

Holly Downs, 2020 APCO WRC Program Committee Chair.

program@2020apcowrc.org