15NTC Session Highlights and Looking Ahead

The 15NTC in Austin was a fantastic event for many reasons. One major reason was the amazing collective contributions our speakers made to the Community. We were pleased to have such a dynamic and diverse group of folks participating this year, a growing number of which were joining us at the NTC for the first time.

While there are always lessons to be learned as we gather feedback—through evaluations, emails, and conversations with members of the Community (yup, we really do read them all)—we wanted to take a moment to share some of the highlights.


Your Feedback

We had over 1,300 responses to the individual session evaluations, and the results were pretty good and point to some clear areas where we can look to improve next year.

Following are a few aggregated data points from your evaluations, on a scale of 1-7 (1 = Poor, 7 = Excellent):

  • Overall Session Rating: 6
  • Did the content of this session match your expectations? 6
  • Please rate the speaker(s) and their delivery of this session: 6
  • Did you leave with clear action steps or ideas to bring back to your organization? 5.5

In addition, the Community shared many insightful comments to help both individual speakers and NTEN continue to improve the educational experience of the conference.

Speaker Lineup

We often get questions regarding how well the speakers represent the NTEN Community at large. This is a great question and one that is always at the forefront of our minds as we put the overall program together.

We saw the following stats for the 15NTC speakers lineup, highlighting some interesting data with room for continued growth:

  • 268 unique individual speakers represented 223 organizations
  • 75% of all sessions had at least one nonprofit represented in the lineup
  • Speakers represented 29 states/territories and 2 countries (US & Canada)

State/Territory Representation by Speaker

This year, we were very excited to add a new level of value to the sessions, since NTEN became an Approved Provider for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Continuing Education credits. Members of our Community participating in the CFRE program received access to 102 Approved credits and 93 NFR-only credits at no additional charge at the 15NTC. You can find more details here.

This is something we are rolling out to our other educational programs throughout the year, as well, so keep an eye out for more great opportunities.

What’s Ahead

I know it’s hard to believe, but we will be kicking off our Community-driven process to develop the content for the 16NTC as early as later next month. The following is a timeline of what that process looks like so you can get those creative ideas flowing and deadlines on your calendars.

Session Submission Process & Timelines

Please keep in mind that we received more than 600 proposals for the NTC last year and generally accept around 100-130.

  • May 18-June 26 (6 weeks) – Call for Submissions
  • June 29-July 3 – Holiday Break (4th of July)
  • July 8-July 31 (3.5  weeks) – Community Voting
  • August 3-August 21 (3 weeks) – Steering Committee Review & Staff Review
  • August 24-September 25 (5 weeks) – Session Selection(Program Development)
  • September 28-October 9 (2 weeks) – Selection Notification & Confirmation

Things to Think About

Gap Between Submission and the Event

Yes, submissions are due pretty far in advance of the conference, so how can you keep your submission relevant? Be thinking about how you can keep the submission focus on the topic now at the submission stage with the flexibility to fill in the fine details (case studies, data, etc) as we get closer to the event.

Context for Submissions

We will be sharing the results from feedback and data we received from participants this year to help inform your submissions. We will be sharing these in blog posts and free webinars prior to opening up submissions.

Steering Committee Invitation

Want to help shape the educational content for the 16NTC? We’re looking for 15-20 enthusiastic and diverse people who are dedicated the the mission of NTEN and the goal of the NTC being a place where people can Connect, Learn, and Change the world through participation in the event.

Steering Committee members are asked to:

  • Participate in several conference planning calls (approximately one per quarter), between now and March 2016
  • Contribute to discussion threads via a private group on the NTEN online community platform throughout the year
  • Participate in the jury voting process on breakout session proposals, help spot gaps in the program, and contribute ideas on how to add new and diverse voices to program
  • Bring that enthusiasm to the planning process and attend the 16NTC*

*Active committee members receive complimentary registration to the 16NTC in San Jose

If you’re already a member of the 2015 Leading Change Summit Steering Committee, we ask that you focus your energy there this year rather than trying to do both. Thank you!

Interested in participating? Send me an email (ash@nten.org), and we’ll get you added to the list to receive further details.

Ash Shepherd
Education Director
Ash has been in love with the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades, where he has worked in the areas of conservation, environmental education, social work, youth program development, and technology consulting. He has been an active member of the NTEN Community, serving as a co-organizer of Portland’s 501 Tech Club, and completing a three-year term on the NTEN: Change Journal's Editorial Committee. Ash earned a B.S. from the University of Montana in Resource Management and a Masters in Environment and Development from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa.