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Photo by Cheryl Gerber/AP Images for the HSUS

Frequently Asked Questions

This page explains the presentation proposal process for Animal Care Expo, the largest professional development conference and trade show for animal welfare professionals and volunteers. If you would like to be considered as a speaker, use this as a guide as you turn your presentation idea into a well-written proposal.

When and where is Animal Care Expo?

Animal Care Expo 2025 will take place April 15-18 at CAESARS FORUM in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Who attends Animal Care Expo?

Animal Care Expo is attended by those who work and volunteer in animal shelters, rescue groups, and national animal protection organizations and includes leadership, operations staff, marketing and fundraising professionals, veterinarians and vet techs, kennel staff, animal care and control officers, trainers and behaviorists, and more.

What is the timeline?

Presentation proposals will be accepted through the online form until 11:59 PM EDT, Wednesday, July 31, 2024. After the Content Review Team has assessed all presentation submissions and made their selections, anyone who submitted a proposal will be notified of the status by the end of September .

May I submit a presentation proposal for a colleague?

You may submit a presentation proposal for a colleague who has asked you to submit on their behalf. Please DO NOT submit a presentation without the consent of the proposed speaker(s).

All workshop presenters receive a complimentary full conference registration for Animal Care Expo 2025 but are otherwise responsible for their own travel and expenses. Please ensure that all individuals listed in the proposal have this information and will be available at the appropriate time during the event.

How many speakers can you have, per workshops?

The speaker limit is (4). Please ensure each speaker provides a meaningful contribution to the objectives of the workshop. While we are allowing up to four speakers, you are not required to include the maximum number of speakers when submitting your proposal. Learning Labs may be the exception to this.

What are the chances that my presentation will be selected?

We receive hundreds of presentation proposals every year. Proposals are selected on a wide variety of progressive topics relevant to animal sheltering and rescue. The odds of a presentation being selected depend on the quality of the proposal, the total number of proposals received and the quantity of similar proposals. Please understand that opportunities are limited, so not every proposal can be accepted. The HSUS reserves the right to select presentation topics and speakers at its sole discretion and may reject a proposal for any reason.

Proposals will be selected based on the following criteria and tracks will not be determined until after presentation are reviewed and selected:

  • Relevance of Topic: Is the topic of relevance, importance, value, and/or interest to Animal Care Expo attendees? Proposals that clearly describe innovative and creative work unavailable through other sources will receive the highest priority.
  • Workshop Outcomes Achievability: Is there alignment between the stated session outcomes and the proposal description?
  • Quality of Submission: Does the proposal demonstrate quality, as measured by accuracy, clarity, comprehensiveness, and depth of demonstrated understanding of the topic?
  • Engagement/Knowledge Transfer: Does the proposal provoke discussion, audience engagement, and/or facilitate knowledge transfer and development of new competency?
  • Speaker Qualifications and Experience: Does the speaker(s) have the qualifications and experience, ensuring a range of backgrounds and perspectives?

The top presentations of 2024 in San Antonio were:

What Expo participants want:

  • Deep dives into topics
  • Specific best practices, strategies and tools they can use
  • Audience engagement
  • Clear learning outcomes

What Expo participants do not want:

  • A presentation dominated by basic content or an overview of your organization’s programs
  • Presentations that do not match the presentation description
  • Presentations that focus on sales pitches for products or services
  • Unprepared speakers making a presentation they are unfamiliar with

NOTE: We are committed to refraining from using terms that further perpetuate narratives that place and describe communities of color as deficit populations (i.e. using the terms ‘vulnerable’, ‘at-risk’, or ‘low-income’ to describe a particular racial or ethnic group). Use of this language implies there is something inherently flawed in that community and places blame on the individual or a particular racial/ethnic group. Language should be respectful of communities and identify the system that has failed to invest in creating an optimal environment for positive health outcomes as the problem.

What can I do to improve the likelihood of my presentation being chosen?

  • Fill out the presentation proposal form completely, correctly and on time.
  • Consider submitting an advanced-level presentation for those attendees with many years of experience in the field.
  • Choose a primary and secondary topic for your presentation. Subjects like "dog behavior" and "fundraising" are very general, so be sure to explain what specific aspects your presentation addresses in the description section. A better example would be "using clicker training to improve dog behavior in the shelter" or "how to attract new donors through Instagram."
  • Make the most of the abstract description space. Do your best to paint a clear and accurate picture of what your presentation entails.

Are there additional opportunities for speakers to connect with attendees?

All speakers receive complimentary full-conference registration including a learning lab. We encourage your participation at the conference before or after your presentation. There are a variety of networking opportunities to connect with conference participants. We may also invite you to apply to host a round table discussion or co-host a coffee chat to further engage with conference participants.

Can I submit more than one presentation?

Yes, we encourage you to submit multiple proposals for consideration. If you choose to submit more than one presentation, please be sure to complete a submission form for each one. Organizations are not limited to the number of proposals they wish to submit. However, no more than five proposals will be accepted from one organization.

How much time is allowed for the workshops?

Standard workshops are 75 minutes and Learning Labs are 6.5 hours with a 60 to 75-minute lunch break.

Do Expo speakers receive compensation?

All workshop presenters are responsible for their own travel and expenses. As a general rule, the HSUS will provide each Animal Care Expo speaker with complimentary full-conference registration, however we do not want the inability to cover travel expenses to prevent a speaker from presenting at the conference.

As a part of the speaker submission process this year presenters will be asked to indicate whether they will need financial assistance via a question on the presentation submission form. Speakers’ need of financial assistance will not be factored into the selection process.

The Humane Society of the United States is committed to increasing the inclusiveness and diversity of our movement and our work, as reflected in our statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Animal Care Expo is the ideal venue to integrate a wide range of perspectives in our approach to create a humane and sustainable world for all animals. We strive to ensure a range of backgrounds and perspectives among our speakers, conference participants and in our presentation content.

To make our conference more welcoming for all, and to ensure participants get to hear and learn from the best possible group of speakers and presenters, we will:

  • Support speakers who need financial assistance to present at the conference, including hotel and travel, by inviting them to complete a grant-subsidized speaker application that could offset travel expenses associated with presenting at Animal Care Expo.
  • Ask speakers who are able to cover expenses associated with presenting at the conference to forego making a financial support request. By covering their own attendance, for-profit companies, exhibitors, sponsors, and non-profit organizations that have a budget for training can help us offer grants so we can welcome and support speakers for whom attendance might otherwise be a challenge.
  • Continue to provide all speakers with complimentary full-conference registration including a learning lab, (3) lunches, (2) evening receptions with dinner, and the Expo party.

Can representatives of for-profit companies submit presentation proposals?

Yes, but make sure your proposal isn’t simply an advertisement for your company. Presentations must aim to educate shelter and rescue professionals, not sell them a product. Overtly commercial submissions will not be considered.

What are the other requirements?

  • Each speaker must sign an Event Speaker Agreement.
  • Each speaker must submit a short biography and headshot.
  • Unless local, all accepted speakers are required to stay within the official Expo group housing block, regardless of financial assistance from HSUS.
  • Each speaker must prepare a PowerPoint presentation and bring that to Animal Care Expo on a USB drive. If speaking jointly, we require collaborating with your co-presenters to prepare a joint presentation (see below).
  • Speakers who are presenting a workshop together must collaborate, prepare, rehearse and bring one joint PowerPoint presentation to Animal Care Expo on a USB drive.
  • A minimum of one digital handout is required for each workshop and each Learning Lab by the provided deadline; a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation is a recommended handout.
  • Each speaker must be available to present at any workshop date and time slot during the conference.  We cannot accommodate individual requests for specific date and time slots.

What should I expect if I am selected to present at Expo 2025?

If your proposal is selected for Animal Care Expo, we will contact you via email by the end of September to confirm your availability and proposal content. You will have access to a speaker management portal that will include information and deadlines for registering for the conference and submitting your headshot, bio, PowerPoint, relevant handouts and more. We reserve the right to edit your workshop and/or Learning Lab title and description and/or ask you to co-present with another speaker(s).

What should I do if I have other questions?

Please email the Events team at expo@humanesociety.org with questions or technical issues about submitting your presentation proposal.