AFA Call for Presentations

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS
AFA is conducting a Call for Presentations for upcoming virtual and in-person events.

VIRTUAL EVENTS
Webinar presentations are scheduled throughout the year. All completed submissions for webinars are peer-reviewed on a rolling basis; if your presentation is accepted as a webinar, staff will reach out to confirm and schedule.

IN-PERSON EVENTS
Our next planned in-person event is FENCETECH 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee, scheduled for February 23-26, 2021. Educational programming is conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 23 and 24, 2021. Presentations begin as early as 8:00 a.m. and run throughout the day, ending as late as 5:30 p.m.

All presenters who wish to be considered for FENCETECH should submit their presentation proposals by July 24, 2020. All completed submissions will be peer-reviewed and the AFA 2021 educational program will be announced in September 2020.

*PLEASE NOTE: We currently expect to hold FENCETECH 2021 in person, but arrangements are subject to change depending on COVID-19. We will keep all of our speakers informed as the situation changes.

TOPICS/TRACKS
AFA is looking for a wide array of topics that are innovative, engaging, inspiring, and informative for fence and deck contractors across the USA. AFA’s goal is to offer relevant, timely education and training to help attendees do their jobs more effectively and make their businesses more successful. Attendees are interested in hearing the latest trends, installation techniques, and best practices from industry experts and peers. First-hand perspectives provide insight. Proposals should address contemporary or emerging issues confronting the fence profession.

  • Business Management
    • Insurance
    • Business Law
    • Budgeting/Finance
    • Crisis Management and Contingency Planning
    • Efficiency and Productivity
    • Marketing/Advertising/Social Media
  • Human Resources
    • Recruitment and retention
    • Personnel management
    • Essential HR Tools
  • Sales
    • Networking
    • Managing the sales team
    • Techniques (Basics & Advanced)
  • Installation Techniques & Updates
    • Gate automation
    • Schematics and blue print reading
    • Related to disciplines (chain link, wood, farm and ranch, ornamental iron, and vinyl)
    • Decks/Rails
    • Codes, standards and updates
  • Technology
    • Lead generation
    • Accounting software
    • Apps for increased business productivity and profitability
    • Estimating / bidding software

ABOUT THE AUDIENCE
Attendees are fence, deck and access control professionals. Participants include contractors, installers, business owners, upper management, sales staff — anyone charged with increasing performance in the workplace. Experience levels of the participants also vary from individuals new to the industry to seasoned veterans.

SPEAKER RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Provide high quality and engaging educational presentations.
  • Engage attendees through audience participation and discussion.
  • Ensure the presentation is not perceived as an infomercial (selling is not allowed; see additional info under Review Process / Evaluation Criteria).
  • Promote your participation in the event using social media outlets.

ABOUT THE PROCESS

CONTENT

  • A maximum of four proposals may be submitted by any one person within a calendar year.
  • All proposals must be educational in nature — sales-oriented (infomercial) proposals will not be accepted or considered. Draft presentations will be reviewed by AFA prior to the conference to confirm adherence to this policy. AFA also collects audience feedback from all education presentations to monitor quality and appropriateness of the content presented.
  • Multiple presenters are welcome. Each presentation should be submitted one time with the names and contact information of each additional presenter included.
  • AFA may record (audio, video of presentation slides, video of speakers, or any combination of these) presentations to share with its members via the internet and through other means. Presenters may opt out of sharing/recording their presentation.

COMPENSATION

  • AFA does not pay per diem, honoraria, or expenses for presenters. Where possible, AFA will help you gain added value through marketing, social media, and our various show publications.

AUDIO/VISUAL REQUIREMENTS FOR VIRTUAL EVENTS

  • AFA uses GoToWebinar as its webinar platform.
  • AFA staff will provide training and a technical run-through prior to the actual webinar.
  • To minimize lag and buffering, AFA recommends minimizing other activity on your network during your presentation and downloading any incorporated video or other media rather than streaming.

AUDIO/VISUAL REQUIREMENTS FOR IN-PERSON EVENTS

  • Presenters to provide computer and/or mobile device, appropriate cable (HDMI preferred) to connect your device to our video/audio projection system, and any software required for the presentation.
  • All presentation rooms will be set as theater or classroom style. A podium and head table is standard in each room. Additionally, the following AV equipment will be set in each room:
    • (1) LCD projector & screen
    • wireless presentation remote
    • audio speakers
    • (1) podium microphone
    • (1) table-top microphone for panelists
  • AFA will not provide internet access to presenters. For FENCETECH 2021, the Music City Center in Nashville provides free wireless internet in the meeting space that is designed for typical web surfing and checking emails. It is highly recommended to download any media included in your presentation instead of streaming.
  • Any additional requests will be considered at the discretion of the conference management and the availability of such resources. Conference management will have a small number of video adapters available for your presentation device. If you have a unique adapter for your presentation device, please plan to provide your own.

PROMOTION

  • FENCETECH is promoted in printed materials (The VOICE on-site conference guide and Fencepost Magazine), in Across the Fence e-newsletter and via emails and social media (Facebook, Twitter) to AFA members and potential attendees. Additional event advertising and editorial is placed in related trade publications.
  • Webinars are promoted in the Across the Fence e-newsletter and via emails and social media (Facebook, Twitter) AFA members and potential attendees

HOW TO SUBMIT
AFA uses the descriptions and wording you provide in your application to promote your presentation in marketing materials, programs, and social media, so please be sure to answer the questions completely and thoughtfully.

The deadline to submit for FENCETECH is Friday, July 24, 2020; webinars submissions may be submitted at any time. Please complete the submission form to provide your information and proposed topic details for consideration, which will include the following:

  • Presenter contact information.
  • Presenter bio focused on qualifications to present this information, including previous conference experience.
  • Links to sample video presentation(s) if available.
  • Presentation level, intended audience, topic/track category, type and length.
  • Specific, descriptive title (15-word limit).
  • Concise, clear and jargon-free description of the theme/purpose of presentation (75-word limit). Your description is the primary marketing tool for your presentation. It should be directed toward your intended audience and clearly state the benefits of attending.
  • A minimum of 3 performance-based learning objectives.

Submissions that do not include all of the above criteria will not be considered.

REVIEW PROCESS / EVALUATION CRITERIA
Reviewers will consider the following:

  • Does the topic address a contemporary fence, deck or access control issue?
  • Can the presented information apply to different-sized businesses and a diverse audience?
  • Is the topic unique and information not available through other sources?
  • Is the presentation 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 AFA’s high standards and reputation for the best conference presentations?
  • Are the proposed speakers qualified to instruct the presentation topic?
  • If the presentation is focused on a specific audience, is there a proposed speaker from that audience? For example, is it an attorney speaking in a legal presentation or business owner speaking at a business owner level presentation? The audience wants to learn from its peers and gain first-hand knowledge from those who have experienced the material or information presented.
  • AFA does not allow the promotion of products and services during educational presentations. Speakers can talk about products and services that have been used to solve a problem or address the presentation topic. Whenever possible, presenters should suggest alternative products and services as well.

Reviewers evaluate the submissions based upon quality and criteria noted above. Top recommendations will then be evaluated by AFA leadership to ensure the entire educational program is well-balanced.

NOTIFICATION
Your proposal is valued and will be carefully considered by our review committee. Decisions will be made and communicated to for FENCETECH submissions in September 2020. Webinar submissions will be notified on a rolling basis. We appreciate all submissions and if you are not selected for these upcoming programs, we welcome you to submit again for the following year.