Call for Presentation FAQs


2015 Annual Conference
"Celebrating the past. Looking to the future."

October 25 - 28, 2015
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
New Orleans, Louisiana
#vrma2015

Rates go up after Sept. 9. Register now!

Call for Presentations: Frequently Asked Questions

The Call for Presentations is now closed. Presentation proposals were due Thursday, June 4. 

The Conference Programming Committee is currently reviewing all proposals that were submitted by the deadline; presenters will be notified by July 15. 

New for 2015: The Call for Education is now open year-round. If you missed the deadline for Annual Conference presentation proposals, please consider submitting a presentation
proposal for an upcoming event, webinar or article. 
Learn more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:
 


Who should submit presentation proposals?

All vacation rental industry professionals are encouraged to submit presentation proposals. The Conference Programming Committee is especially interested in receiving proposals from those who work for/own vacation rental management companies. You work every day to find innovative ways to increase revenue, improve homeowner satisfaction and keep guests coming back.

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I work for a vacation rental management company. Why should I submit a presentation proposal?

YOU are an expert in your field. You already have a treasure trove of best practices you can share based on your daily experiences in the industry. Sharing this knowledge elevates the entire professionally managed vacation rental industry.

The time you put into preparing for a presentation will come back to directly benefit your company. Take it from other managers who have previously presented at VRMA events:

"I was approached to present at the VRMA Western Seminar and was a bit hesitant due to the fact I've only been in business for six years, and the time commitment to properly prepare my presentation. I accepted, and was pleased I did so for two reasons: 1)The time I put into my presentation came back already to benefit our company as I had to look deeper into our own operations, ask questions, and research the best approach to some areas I was neglecting. 2) When I presented, I felt like it opened the doors to several other attendees feeling comfortable to approach me, give me their contact info, and further discuss ideas with me. Great networking opportunities were created."- Sarah Bradford, Owner, Winter Park Lodging Company, Winter Park, Colorado

"I highly encourage others in the industry to do what I've done and volunteer to do a presentation, sit on a panel, moderate an ask the experts topic ... and GROW. When you take the time to put yourself out there for others in your given industry; to watch you, listen to you and ask you questions; you begin to hold yourself to a different daily standard. Others who are like-minded begin to flock to you to share knowledge on their expertise and the vacation rental industry becomes a cultivation for life instead of job or career. Please reflect on what you do each day in your market and take a moment to share it with VRMA so we can all flourish."- Emily Eiland Gonzalez, Marketing/Public Relations Director, Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Gulf Shores, Alabama

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Are there specific topics the Conference Programming Committee is looking for?

The Conference Programming Committee has developed a list of suggested topics for presentations. This list is only a starting point; other ideas are welcome.

The Annual Conference will feature a total of 56 concurrent educational sessions on a variety of topics; programming will be offered in 7 session blocks with 8 breakout sessions per block.

Below is a list of suggested topics with estimates of how many sessions may be offered within each topic (session number estimates subject to change):
  • Accounting/Finance/Legal Issues (Approximately 8-9 sessions will be offered on this topic)
    • Best practices in managing taxes and bookkeeping
    • Measurements and forecasting
    • Keeping up with changing credit card processing regulations
    • Rental regulations
    • Estate planning
    • Risk management
  • Business Strategy (Approximately 11 sessions will be offered on this topic)
    • Competitive analysis
    • Market Trends
    • Establishing new revenue sources
    • Visioning
    • Leadership development
    • Distribution/pricing strategies
    • Selecting vendors and holding them accountable
  • Human Resources/ Information Technology (Approximately 5-6 sessions will be offered on this topic)
    • Identifying critical skills for each department within your company
    • Hiring, firing, and training staff based on essential skills needed
    • Implementing practices that ensure safety of staff members
    • Utilizing performance reviews to improve productivity
    • Emerging technology trends
    • Tools and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Marketing (Approximately 14 sessions will be offered on this topic)
    • SEM
    • Social media
    • Branding
    • Website development
    • Other online advertising
    • Public relations
    • Traditional (non-web) advertising
    • Distribution strategy
  • Property Services/Quality Control (Approximately 8-9 sessions will be offered on this topic)
    • Best practices within the areas of housekeeping, maintenance, laundry, pools/hot tubs
    • Training staff on skills necessary to perform their duties most effectively and holding staff accountable to standard practices
    • Effective and efficient operational processes
    • Managing inventory of tools and supplies
    • Chargeability of property services functions
    • Evaluating benefits of in-house versus outsourced services
    • Inspections
    • Interior design
    • Owner relations
  • Sales (Approximately 8-9 sessions will be offered on this topic)
    • Reservations
    • Group sales for weddings and events
    • Creating profitable concierge or guest services
    • Exceptional customer service
    • Driving new revenue
  • New for 2015 Annual Conference: Vacation Rental Industry Trends
    • Seven sessions will focus specifically on trends in and affecting the vacation rental industry

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I have an idea for a presentation, but I am nervous about presenting. What should I do?

Presenting doesn’t have to be scary! Presentation formats may include individual presenters, groups of presenters, and panels. If you have an idea for a presentation but are nervous about presenting, we encourage you to do one of the following:

  • Find moral support: Ask someone from your company, a colleague from another company, or a vendor to co-present with you or serve on a panel.
  • Contact us at education@vrma.com. We’re here to help!

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How many presentation spots are available?

The Annual Conference will feature a total of 56 concurrent educational sessions on a variety of topics; programming will be offered in 7 session blocks with 8 breakout sessions per block. With limited presentation slots, not all submissions will be selected.

Based on past attendee feedback, the committee strives to achieve the following mix of sessions by topic (subject to change):
  • Accounting/Finance/Legal Issues: 15% of sessions
  • Business Strategy: 20% of sessions
  • Human Resources/Information Technology: 10% of sessions
  • Marketing: 25% of sessions
  • Property Services: 15% of sessions
  • Sales: 15% of sessions
  • New for 2015 Annual Conference: Vacation Rental Industry Trends track
    • Seven sessions will focus specifically on trends in and affecting the vacation rental industry

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How are presentations selected? Will mine be accepted?

VRMA's volunteer Conference Programming Committee, comprised of vacation rental professionals representing a variety of company sizes, locations and models, takes its role in vetting proposals very seriously and works through a detailed process to determine the sessions that are accepted. Once all the presentations have been submitted, each committee member carefully evaluates and scores each and every submission based on feedback from past attendees, relevance to audience, and key take-a-ways. Scores are then compiled and ranked so that the committee can determine which sessions further the mission of  VRMA.

The committee strives to offer education on a variety of applicable topics and a balanced blend of both managers and supplier/vendor presenters. 
With limited presentation slots, not all submissions will be selected. Everyone who submits a presentation proposal will receive a response by July 15 regarding whether their proposal was accepted. (Please note: The First Presenter listed in the proposal form will serve as VRMA's point of contact for this notification.)

If your presentation is selected, each concurrent session presenter will work with a Conference Programming Committee member prior to the Conference  to ensure session content meets the VRMA's educational goals.


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Is there a specific format for educational sessions?

Most concurrent sessions will be 60 minutes in length. All proposals will be considered for 60-minute sessions.

Two to three proposals will be selected for 110-minute, hands-on workshop-style sessions. When submitting your proposal, you will have an opportunity to indicate if you believe your topic would lend itself well to this style of program and if you are willing to further develop your session content to fit this length.

All concurrent session rooms will be equipped with the following:
  • LCD projector & screen (presenters must provide their own computers)
  • Lavaliere and hand-held microphones for presenters 


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What is required of presenters?

The person listed as the First Presenter will be the primary point of contact for the Conference Programming Committee and VRMA staff. This person is responsible for gathering any additional information that may be requested during the review process. This person will also receive confirmation whether the proposal has been accepted or rejected. If selected. this person is responsible for coordinating the session. 

Presenters must agree to the following guidelines:

  1. Presenters participate as volunteers and as such are not compensated for their participation in VRMA events.
  2. Presenters are required to register for the Conference.
  3. Presenters may provide biography and company contact information on handouts and other presentation materials.
  4. VRMA strongly believes that the Annual Conference is an educational event to serve the best interest of its attendees. Speakers are to avoid any appearance of commercialism in their sessions. VRMA also believes that an objective presentation that meets the educational needs of the audience will do the best job of enhancing the credibility of the speaker and VRMA.
    a. Presenters will not use time during the session for self-promotion or promotion of their companies and/or products.
    b. Presenters will not display products or services for sale inside the meeting room.
  5. Presenters are expected to meet all deadlines for submission of materials and information related to their sessions, as outlined in the presenter packet that will be issued with acceptance notification.
  6. Presenters will arrive at their speaking engagement a minimum of 15 minutes before the session is scheduled to begin.
  7. Presenters are expected to arrive fully prepared for their presentations, with all speaking points, slideshows, and materials compiled and ready.
  8. Presenters will secure advance permission from the copyright holder(s) when using copyrighted materials as part of their presentations.
  9. VRMA reserves the right to use session materials (i.e., handouts) for educational purposes at its discretion, providing credit to the author.
  10. Each concurrent session presenter will work with a Conference Committee member prior to the Conference to ensure session content meets VRMA's educational goals.
  11. VRMA may audio or video record sessions or take photographs during the event. Presenters agree to have their likeness included in any VRMA media for promotional uses after the event.
  12. Presenters agree to have their biographical information used at the discretion of VRMA for the purposes of event marketing and promotion.
  13. In the event that a presenter needs to cancel, he/she will immediately turn over a copy of his/her materials intended for the event to VRMA so that a replacement presenter may use the materials in preparation of executing the session. In the event of cancellation, the presenter must reimburse VRMA for any expenses the organization has incurred for his/her participation in the event.

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I'm ready to submit a presentation proposal. What information do I need in order to complete the application?

All presentation proposals must be submitted via the online form by the submission deadline.

If you'd like to gather information before submitting the online form, here is a PDF version of the form for reference.

You will need to have the following information ready:

  • A presentation title (will be edited prior to publication)
  • A presentation description (max: 100 words; will be edited prior to publication)
  • A brief presentation proposal (including a high-level overview of your presentation for the Conference Committee to consider and any information that would indicate why this presentation should be selected. This does not have to be a full presentation.)
  • A list of the key take-a-ways your session will offer (to help the committee evaluate the relevance to VRMA attendees)
  • An understanding of the type of audience for this session (experience level, functional level, etc.)
  • Information about presenters, including company names/titles/experience level with topic/presenter biography (can be edited after submission if accepted)
    • Please note: You may add presenters to your session after it has been accepted
    • The person listed as the First Presenter will be the primary point of contact for the Conference Programming Committee and VRMA staff. This person is responsible for gathering any additional information that may be requested during the review process. This person will also receive confirmation whether the proposal has been accepted or rejected. If selected. this person is responsible for coordinating the session. 

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 What happens after I submit my proposal? 

All proposals must be received by June 4, 2015. After this date, VRMA's Conference Programming Committee begins the thorough and detailed vetting process to determine which sessions will be accepted for the 2015 Annual Conference.

VRMA's volunteer Conference Programming Committee, comprised of vacation rental professionals representing a variety of company sizes, locations and models,  takes its role in vetting proposals very seriously. Once all the presentations have been submitted, each committee member individually evaluates and scores each and every submission based on feedback from past attendees, relevance to audience, and key take-a-ways. Scores are then compiled and ranked so that the committee can determine which sessions further the mission of  VRMA. The committee meets weekly from May through July to make these selections and evaluate proposals; collectively, these volunteers spend hundreds of hours on the selection process alone. 

The committee strives to offer education on a variety of applicable topics and a balanced blend of both managers and supplier/vendors presenters. 
With limited presentation slots, not all submissions will be selected. 

Everyone who submits a presentation proposal will receive a response by July 15 regarding whether their proposal was accepted. Please note that t
he person listed as the First Presenter on the form will be the primary point of contact for the Conference Programming Committee and VRMA staff. This person is responsible for gathering any additional information that may be requested during the review process. This person will also receive confirmation whether the proposal has been accepted or rejected. If selected, this person is responsible for coordinating the session. 


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