Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a Presenter

How do I present at the annual conference?
Most of the presenters at our annual conference are chosen from submitted proposals. The annual conference call for proposals usually opens in late October. The submission deadline for the annual conference is the same every year: December 4, at 11:59 pm Eastern. Presenters are notified as to the outcome of their submission in February.

How do I present at the regional conference?
Most of the presenters at regional conferences are chosen from submitted proposals. Please check each regional conference webpage for submission deadlines and other important information.

How do you choose which proposals to accept at the annual conference?
The annual conference committee selects which proposals to accept based on a number of criteria, including the proposal’s review score, comments reviewers made about the proposal, how applicable the content will be to attendees, and how well the topic fits into the overall mix and balance of conference sessions.

Each proposal is reviewed by a team of at least four SCUP members with expertise in the proposal’s topic. Reviewers score proposals on a number of factors related to the proposal’s quality and relevance.

How do you choose which proposals to accept at the regional conference?
A volunteer group consisting of council members, planning committee members, and other SCUP volunteers is responsible for reviewing concurrent session proposals submitted for regional conferences. Each reviewer is assigned a manageable 8–12 proposals to read and review, but can read all submitted proposals in their assigned categories. Each proposal has a minimum of four reviewers. Immediately following the submission deadline, concurrent session proposals are forwarded to reviewers, who then add a score and comments to each proposal. Both review scores and comments aid the conference committee in building a conference program that represents a balance of topics and content that both speaks to the theme and appeals to the diverse interests of SCUP’s constituency. They also look for emerging topics and opportunities to bring fresh viewpoints into the program.

The acceptance rate for submitted concurrent sessions varies from year to year, depending on the number of available concurrent session slots and the volume of proposals submitted. While there will always be more good proposals than space in the program, submissions are also considered for articles for SCUP’s scholarly journal, webcasts, or presentations at other SCUP conferences.

Do I need to be a SCUP member to present?
No, the call for proposals is open to everybody who can bring value to the topic of higher education planning. Read the call for proposals to become acquainted with topics and submission quality we are looking for. Keep your proposal educational, interactive, and non-commercial. The selection process is highly competitive, but richly rewarding.

Do presenters need to register?
Concurrent session presenters for both the annual conference and regional conferences are responsible for their conference registration fee—either a one-day registration (where applicable) or a full conference registration.

We wish we could waive or reduce the fees of concurrent session presenters, but there are usually over 200 of them at our conference, so it’s not financially possible for us.

Developing Your Session’s Proposal

What type of institutions typically attend these events?
We have every type of higher ed institutions attend our annual conference—four-year, two-year, research, public, private, for-profit, and a number of international campuses.

Who usually attends the conference?
Attendees at SCUP conferences include provosts, directors, principals, presidents, architects, institutional researchers, deans, facility directors, finance and budget officers, and planners of all kinds. Our conference also attracts attendees from municipal governments, nonprofit groups, and other organizations.

What topics are presented at the conference?
Programs cover a balanced spectrum of higher education planning interests: planning processes, stakeholder engagement, change management, implementation, alignment, etc.

How many people usually attend the conference?
We usually get around 1500 attendees at our annual conference. Regional conferences draw between 200–500 attendees.

I submitted a proposal to a regional conference. Can I submit the same proposal to the annual conference?
Of course! The annual conference committee is looking for strong programs, and submitting your proposal to a regional conference will not hurt your chances of getting accepted to the annual conference.

Can I video conference a presenter into my session?
If you propose to video conference in a presenter—or another means to include a presenter remotely—make sure that you tell us this in the outline of your session. Also, make sure that the presenter that you want to bring in remotely agrees to participate in this fashion.

I haven’t been able to confirm presenters on my team. Can I submit the form with “TBD” in the presenter name slots and confirm them later?
Reviewers will view a “TBD” as an incomplete proposal, and it may not be reviewed. Do your best to confirm the speakers in your session so you can give the fullest picture of your session to the reviewers. Make sure that everybody you list as a presenter knows they are part of your proposal, and that they intend to come to the conference and co-present in your session. Accepted sessions that drop or switch presenters will be re-evaluated for the program.

Are institutional representatives required if my firm submits a presentation?
Institutional representatives are not required on your proposal’s presentation, unless otherwise indicated in the Call for Proposals. However, we strongly encourage you to include someone from an institution if 1) you’re speaking extensively about a specific project and/or 2) your topic references the user experience.

What if I want to give a tour?
Karen Verhey, senior director of operations & events, oversees the development of campus tours at the annual conference. Please email her at Regional conference tours are developed by the conference planning committee.

Submitting Your Proposal

Can I get an extension past the submission deadline?
The review process begins the day after the deadline. We do not offer extensions.

Can I attach images within my online proposal submission?
No. The online submission form cannot accommodate image uploads.

Will I be able to view comments that reviewers made about my proposal after the selections are made?
Yes, once the review process is complete, you will be able to see reviewer comments on your proposal.

Conference Registration

Do I need to register for the conference?
Yes. Presenters must cover the conference registration fee. The annual conference offers both full conference and one-day options. Regional conferences do not have a one-day option—only a full conference option.

We believe presenters contribute to our educational community by their participation in the entire conference, not just their session. Proposal submitters must indicate that they have informed all presenters of the registration requirement before they can submit the proposal.

Am I automatically registered for the conference?
No. You must visit the conference registration page to register.

Is there a presenter discount?
No. As much as we would love to give our presenters a discount, we are not able to do so.

I’m only coming to the conference to present my session and I’m leaving right after. Do I still need to register?
Yes. We are not able to keep track of who is just coming in for their session and who intends to stay for the entire conference.

Presenting at the Conference

Who will be in my session’s audience?
Attendees do not sign up for concurrent sessions prior to the conference. Your abstract and stated learning outcomes will help determine who chooses to attend your session.

How will my room be set?
Read about A/V and room sets here.

How many people will be attending my session?
Since attendees do not sign up beforehand, we do not know how many people will be in your room. Room attendance maximums range from about 100 people to 225 people. A session survey that we distribute before the conference helps inform the room sizes assigned to each session. We do our best to assign adequate room space for each session and must work within the space provided within the facility.

Can I pass out handouts?
You can upload handouts prior to the conference that attendees will be able to download via our SCUP Events app. SCUP does not print handouts for concurrent sessions.

Do you have standard slides I need to use?
Feel free to use this template (PPT) or create your own. All slides must be formatted in 16:9 aspect ratio. Check out our slideshow standards and tips for more information.

Can I promote my product, service, or book during my session?
Presenters are prohibited from making any type of commercial announcement in their presentation room. This is a requirement of SCUP and also of the various professional groups who allow us to extend continuing education to their members.

Even in the vendor sessions, presenters are asked to focus on an exchange of knowledge and not on the vendor’s background and capabilities.

Will my session be evaluated? Will I receive a copy of my evaluations?
Attendees will fill out evaluation forms during and immediately following your session using the SCUP Events app. After the conference, they are compiled and every presenter in a session will receive the results. Individual session evaluations are also shared with members of the conference planning committee.