Do you have a program or project that you’re particularly proud of that has effected change in your community? If so, we would love to have you participate as a speaker for the Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference, which this year takes place June 15-17 in Houston. Speaking at the KTB conference is a great way to teach others about the successes you’ve had in your community since conference attendees are always looking for tangible takeaways they can bring home and enact locally.
Who is the audience for the KTB conference?
The KTB conference usually has around 500 attendees representing a variety of sectors and organizations. You’ll find many affiliate representatives in the audience, some of whom are volunteers for their organization and others who are employed by their local governments. You’ll also find Board members and key volunteers in the audience, as well as people representing our partner organizations, like TCEQ, the Council of Governments, and other groups. We also usually have a variety of businesses represented, including the waste haulers, recycling companies, bin manufacturers, and other community improvement industry representatives. Some people will be brand new to the Keep Texas Beautiful network and this might be their first conference, and for many others, this is their 5th, 10th, or even 20th conference!
What makes a good session?
Breakout sessions at the conference are 75 minutes long and can have either one speaker or multiple speakers depending on what works best for the speakers involved. If multiple people speak during the same session, we would like for the presentations to flow well together and cover a similar theme. For instance, if the session is about volunteer management, two speakers representing two different communities could share different perspectives on how they organize and manage volunteers for community improvement events. Each speaker would have approximately 30 minutes to share their experience, their best practices, lessons learned, and takeaways that attendees may be able to implement in their community. Speakers should leave sometime during their presentation for questions, as our audience is usually very curious and eager to learn!
But what should I talk about?!
We’ve featured so many great sessions at the KTB conference over the past few years, and we can’t wait to feature more at this year’s conference! We are interested in putting together sessions on a number of different topics that are of interest to our audience. The most obvious topics we have sessions about pertains to KTB’s focus areas of litter prevention, solid waste management/recycling, and beautification. Some ideas for sessions around these topics include:
- Litter cleanup and prevention: Successful education and outreach tactics/programs around litter and illegal dumping, data collection, how to manage litter cleanups
- Solid waste management and recycling: Current recycling markets, how to run a successful recycling drop off center, recycling on trails or in parks, recycling programs in schools, anti-contamination campaigns
- Beautification: How to put together a community garden program, introducing pollinator gardens into your community, post-disaster restoration of green spaces, what trees to plant where, native and adaptive plantings, public art campaigns
- Community engagement and grassroots initiatives: How your work ties in with economic development and tourism, placemaking techniques, facilitating important conversations about community improvement at the local level
Outside of KTB’s programmatic focus areas, there are a number of other topics you could potentially speak about! Our attendees are always working to improve their professional development skills, so sessions related to professional development are always welcome. Examples of this could include:
- Professional development and nonprofit training: Diversity and inclusion programs or community work, nonprofit management topics, how to engage board members, how to be a better board member, fundraising best practices, grant writing
- Marketing and outreach: How to run a successful marketing campaign, social media tips and tricks, working with local media partners to increase your group’s reach
These certainly are not the full spectrum of topics that you could present on at conference! We are open to new ideas and topics, and if you have an idea that you’re not sure will work well for us, just let me (Sara Nichols) know and I can talk it through with you. We hope you (or someone on your team!) lets us know you are interested in speaking by submitting a speaker proposal by next Friday, February 28.
Blog Post Written By Sara Nichols, KTB Program Director.