The 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference and Campus Rec & Wellness Expo has ended.

We look forward to seeing you in Phoenix for NIRSA 2020!

Welcome, Presenters

 The Call for Programs for the 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference & Rec Sports Expo is now CLOSED.

NIRSA received over 200 submissions. Thank you to all those who submitted proposals and to our 100+ members who served as reviewers!

  • If you have submitted any education proposal for NIRSA 2019, you will be receiving any updates about your submission from Please adjust your email settings so these messages are not directed to your junk folder.
  • Accept/Decline notifications for concurrent education proposals were distributed the week of 9/20. If you submitted a proposal but did not receive a notification, please check your junk folder or contact us at

  • If you submitted a proposal for Lightning Talk, Research Hour, or Poster Presentation, you can expect to receive an accept/decline notification not later than the end of October.

  • Information for Accepted Presenters

    • If you received an acceptance, you will receive your schedule notification in November. This notification will include the date, time, and location of your presentation.
    • Please review the additional presenter guidelines and membership information HERE
    • Registration for this event will open in November. All accepted presenters are required to register prior to the event date.

Thank you for your interest in contributing to the education program at NIRSA 2019 in Boston!
If you are interested in presenting at NIRSA 2020 (April 18-21, 2020, Phoenix) more information will be posted in Spring 2019.
Stay tuned!

The 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference and Campus Rec & Wellness Expo will provide an opportunity for us to gather as a community to learn, celebrate accomplishments, and network.

In addition to offering a variety of sessions that reflect the broad scope of our field, the program committee is seeking sessions that further develop and expand on this year’s theme: Join the Health & Wellbeing Revolution.

Please join us for this annual event that showcases the best of collegiate recreation. Please consider sharing your knowledge and expertise as a presenter. The proposal submission link will be available later in April. But, don’t hesitate to start preparing your proposal with the information available on this page. We look forward to receiving your program proposal!

Walter Kolis, MA, RCRSP
Chair, 2019 NIRSA Annual Conference Program Committee
Associate Director, Recreation and Athletic Facility Operations
Emory University

Submission Due Dates
  • Closed: Preconference Proposals
  • Closed: Concurrent Education Sessions
  • Closed: Research Hour
  • Closed: Poster Programs

  • Closed: Lightning Talks
  • Closed: Fitness Forum Programs
  • Closed: Career Services Center Session

Education Content

The education content at NIRSA Annual Conference is designed to provide attendees with the opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that support their growth in NIRSA’s Core Competency areas. It is strongly recommended presenters consult the Core Competency Framework when designing their proposal to ensure it helps achieve this goal.

In addition to the conference theme, the program committee encourages sessions that address these topics

Enable members to develop skills and strategies for creating an integrated approach to health & wellbeing.

Proposal Tips

Empower members to effectively tell the story of campus recreation to their own stakeholders on campus and beyond.

Proposal Tips

Present strategies and practices to help members incorporate the Association’s value of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion into members’ professional practice, programs, facilities and services.

Proposal Tips

Prepare mid-level professionals to serve in leadership roles as departmental directors and/or AVPs.

Proposal Tips

NIRSA 2019 Presentation Formats

NIRSA Annual Conference offers prospective presenters with a variety of formats to present their information and engage learners.

Preconference Programs

 The application period to submit proposals for Preconference Programs is closed. 

Preconference education programs will take place on Saturday February 16th, 2019. They are intended to be opportunities that offer in-depth, skill-building tools that focus on participants’ growth in NIRSA’s Core Competencies, career advancement education, and overall professional development. Pre- conference programs require participants to register in advance and pay an additional fee. When selecting pre-conference programs, we look for programs that that we predict will be appealing enough for participants to make the extra investment in time and money.

Pre-conference program proposals should demonstrate how the program will:

  • Provide an enhanced and in-depth exploration as opposed to a general overview
  • Offer distinct learning objectives with gained practical knowledge
  • Include an interactive or hands-on learning experience

Half-day and full day programs are welcomed.

Half-day (3-4 hours)

Full-day (maximum of 7 hours –this includes a 1-hour break for lunch, so plan for a maximum of 6 hours content time)

NIRSA 2019 Presenter Briefing

Concurrent General Interest Sessions

 The application period to submit proposals for Concurrent General Interest Sessions is closed.

These sessions are the backbone of the conference. These are competency -based sessions scheduled concurrently throughout conference. For the 2018 event, these sessions will be scheduled February 17th-19th, 2019. The duration for these sessions may be 60-90 minutes. The content should be designed to support participant’s growth in NIRSA’s Core Competencies.

Traditional sessions—usually include 1 lead presenter and/or multiple co-presenters.

Panel sessions –usually a group of 3 or 4 people who present aspects of a topic, with each panelist speaking from their experiences or interests. If you are submitting a proposal for a panel presentation, the maximum number of panelists is six, plus a moderator.

Concurrent general interest sessions are required to be designed to meet NIRSA CEU requirements.

Concurrent Session Proposals Guide


 The application period to submit proposals for Roundtables is closed.

Presenters should guide the discussion topics with an end goal of identifying and sharing best practices. Roundtable presentations vary, but typically include 10-20 minutes of presentation, followed by discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others to learn from and with those attending. Roundtables are an ideal format for networking and in-depth discussion on a topic.

In addition to inviting the general membership to submit roundtable proposals on hot topics, NIRSA Community of Practice Conveners are invited to either submit a roundtable proposal directly, or recruit presenters from their Community to host and facilitate a roundtable discussion.

Note: Although roundtables are recognized as valuable opportunity to learn from peers and share ideas, this format does NOT meet the criteria to be eligible for NIRSA CEUs.

Roundtable Discussion Form Guide

Research Hour Presentation

 The application period to submit proposals for Research Hour Presentations is closed.

The Research Hour is an opportunity for NIRSA members to present their research–be it as part of an academic program, a thesis project, or simply a research project the presenter has chosen to pursue. Presentations should be prepared to be 15 minutes in length. There will be multiple presentations scheduled for the hour. Consider presenting your research and sharing with NIRSA in the Research Hour!

Research Hour Form Guide

Poster Presentation

 The application period to submit proposals for Poster Presentations is closed.

A poster presentation showcases research and/or an institutional program. An effective poster operates on multiple levels. A successful one should serve as a source of information, a conversation starter, an advertisement of the presenter’s work, and as a summary of the presenter’s work.

Unlike a typical educational session, a poster presentation allows viewers to study information and discuss it with presenters. It combines text and graphics to make a visually-pleasing presentation that allows viewers a quick and efficient overview of a topic. Poster presentations are a great way to present research efforts—providing new and trending information to NIRSA membership!

Poster Space Requirements

The maximum space provided for a poster is 4 x 4. Presenters typically create a poster with the following dimensions: 2 x 3 profile or 3 x 2 landscape.

Poster Attending Hour

All lead presenters must have a current NIRSA membership when they submit their presentation proposal as well as during the Annual Conference. All confirmed lead presenters and co-presenters must register for the event. Co-authors may be recognized for their contributions to poster presentations, but only registered presenters will be allowed to attend the Annual Conference. Non-registered authors and contributors cannot present in any capacity. All poster presentations that are accepted into the conference must be attended by at least one presenter during the Poster Attending Hour (this will be a 1-hour commitment-date and time: TBD) to answer questions during the conference.

Poster Programs Form Guide

Lightning Talk

 The application period to submit proposals for a Lightning Talk is closed.

A Lightning Talk is a form of a conference micro session where presenters share information in a brief time. The Committee is currently seeking thought-provoking, high – energy topics that challenge attendees to think, learn….and laughing is a good thing too! The maximum presentation length for a presentation is 10 minutes.  Presenters may or may not use slides or other visuals. There is no slide count rule.

Note: Although Lightning Talks are recognized as valuable opportunity to learn from peers and share ideas, this format does NOT meet the criteria to be eligible for NIRSA CEUs.

Lightning Talks Form Guide

Fitness Forum

 The application period to submit proposals for a Fitness Forum is closed.

Fitness Forum classes are a great way to introduce new and upcoming fitness trends to the NIRSA membership. These high-intensity classes provide an opportunity for attendees to get some exercise while observing the instructor for teaching techniques. Fitness Forum classes are generally 40-45 minutes in length and occur in a designated space within the Expo Hall.

Note: Although the Fitness Forum is recognized as valuable opportunity to learn from peers and share ideas, this format does NOT meet the criteria to be eligible for NIRSA CEUs.

Fitness Forum Proposal Form Guide

Keynote & Guest Speakers

To incorporate perspectives from outside the NIRSA membership, the Conference Program Committee will budget time in the education schedule for guest speakers.  If you are a member who has a recommendation for a keynote or other guest speaker, please submit your recommendation.

If you are a not a member of NIRSA, but you are a speaker/facilitator who wants to be considered for a guest speaking engagement, please email NIRSA Director of Professional Development, Kristen Gleason.

Questions? Email