2024 Finance & Operations Symposium

A Tale of Two Public Gardens

Small, large. Young, old. Rural, urban. Our public gardens are as diverse and unique as the plants they contain. These differences impact how we manage human resources, budgeting, finance, data analysis and much more. We can learn from one another and our approaches to the problems, successes and day to day of our organizations. What tale does your garden have to tell?

Dates: September 10-12, 2024
Location: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Pittsburgh Botanic Garden
Pittsburgh, PA

Hotels: Book your room by August 9th
Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place, $159/nt | Book now!
Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburgh – Downtown, $229/nt | Book now!

  • January 2, 2024: Submissions open
  • February 16, 2024: Proposals due
  • April 2024: Notification of acceptance
  • July 2024: Registration opens
  • August 2024: Hotel deadline

Individuals who are public horticulture professionals, volunteers, or trustees with current Association membership are eligible to present and submit the sessions as the Session Lead Presenter.

Anyone with an interest in public horticulture from disciplines or organizations outside public horticulture are strongly encouraged to join us as presenters. However, commercial service providers and non-members may not serve as a Session Lead Presenter for sessions but are encouraged to collaborate with others to submit session ideas and participate as presenters.

Interested in becoming a member? Email info@publicgardens.org for details.

Session Lead Presenter Expectations

  • Coordinate session logistical details
  • Organize session focus, format, and presenters
  • Develop session content
  • Specify session room/site setup and audiovisual needs

Symposium Planning Committee/Association will:

  • Notify all presenters when a session is accepted
  • Provide guidance, as needed, to session presenters
  • Work to resolve specified room/site setup and audiovisual needs

For any questions, please contact Lauren Garcia Chance, Associate Director Professional Development, at lchance@publicgardens.org.

The Education Symposium will feature a variety of sponsorship and promotional opportunities to choose from. Corporate members interested in sponsored workshop or speaking opportunities should contact Sara Wilson Meyer at swmeyer@publicgardens.org.

Review the following format descriptions in order to determine which best fits your proposed session.

35 Minute Presentation: Presentations or discussions that are structured and focused on a single topic are highly encouraged, with one to two speakers being recommended for the presentation. The time allocated for the presentation includes Q&A.

75 Minute Presentation: A variety of formats may be used to build 75-minute sessions, such as panel discussions, case study comparisons, interactive formats with small group breakouts, and more. Multiple presenters are encouraged to lend broader perspectives to these longer sessions.

2.5 Hours Workshop: This format is ideal for workshop leaders to share their knowledge in a focused learning opportunity. Workshops usually have an interactive, hands-on component to enhance the learning experience. Workshops require a workshop registration fee per attendee unless subsidized through sponsorship. The average workshop attendance is 15-20 participants.

Sessions Should:

  • Offer practical takeaways for participants, share planning, evaluation, or other tools, if possible.
  • Offer an inside perspective on what it takes to build engaging, entertaining content that educates in a public garden/arboretum space and connects the audience to nature.
  • Sessions should engage with the audience and allow time for discussion; attendees learn from each other as well as the speaker(s).

Session Selection Criteria:

  • Intent and learning outcomes for attendees are focused, well presented, and thoughtfully articulated
  • Topic and presenters (when applicable) represent a wide range of perspectives, regions, and garden sizes/budgets/missions
  • Presentation appeals to all levels of experience
  • Session is pragmatic and allows participants to learn from one another in addition to the speaker(s)

Association Staff and Planning Committee Members reserve the right to edit the title and description. Requested AV and room setup will be accommodated as able but cannot be guaranteed.

  • Lead Presenter’s Information
    • Name
    • Email
    • Phone Number
    • Job Title
    • Organization/Affiliation
    • Are you a member of APGA?
  • Co-Presenter information
  • Presentation Format (30- or 60- Min Session)
  • Presentation Title: Titles should be concise and to the point. Your title should accurately reflect the content of your session.
  • Presentation Description: Create an engaging description that will attract attendees and be used for selection and marketing purposes. (250 word max)
  • Learning Outcomes: Explain what action/outcomes you want your participants to take as a result of your presentation/workshop. (50 word max)
  • AV & Supplies Requirements (select all that apply from list)
  • Room Setup (select all that apply from list)

By submitting a session proposal, you agree to the following on behalf of all those listed in your session:

  1. All speakers must register for the symposium or may choose to present and attend only their session. Registration discounts or waivers are not available for speakers. (Note that we invite applications in May for financial assistance through our Garden Scholars program)
  2. Any expenses incurred to participate in this conference are the speakers’ responsibility and will not be reimbursed by the Association. This also applies to printed materials as Association Staff will not have the ability to print materials for attendees and speakers while onsite.
  3. No substantive changes in content or presenters are made without prior written approval from Association Staff or Symposium Planning Committee.
  4. The Association will be notified immediately if an emergency would prevent this session from being presented at the Symposium. In the event an originally listed presenter is unable to attend, the session coordinator will provide a substitute presenter of equal expertise for approval by the Association.
  5. I warrant and represent that this session/workshop is my own original work, factually accurate, conforms to IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility) principles, and contains nothing libelous or otherwise unlawful. I have the authority to present the content in my presentation or I have obtained all necessary permissions or licenses from any persons or organizations whose material is included or used in my presentation.
  6. During my presentation I will not engage in any type of promotional marketing or selling of any product or service whose material is included or used in my presentation.