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April 7, 2021

Six Tips for Creating Your Best AU 2021 Proposal

Speaker at AU

We’re already a week into the AU 2021 Call for Proposals. From new workflows and thought-provoking conversations to industry-leading case studies and time-saving tips, professionals from the fields of architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and media are showing what they know and sharing their discoveries.

AU 2021 will be a digital event held this fall, and we’ll only have room for about 300 classes, which could make this year’s process extremely competitive. Make sure you give your proposal the best chance of success with these tips:

1. Address this year’s focus topics

You’ll find the topics and trends that we’ll be focusing on for AU 2021 listed in the Proposal Requirements FAQ. Make sure that your proposal clearly relates to one or more of these. From automation to cloud-based collaboration, generative design to digitized construction, tell us how your work connects to the changes that are shaping the future of industry.

2. Advance the conversation

With every AU, we're moving our industries and understanding forward. So don’t submit the same proposal you did last year (even if it was accepted!). Instead, show us how you’re building on past discoveries to take the next step and reach the new possible.

3. Revise and refine

Creating a good proposal takes time—and probably a few revisions. Rather than freestyling your proposal into the online form, first download the Proposal Worksheet as a Word document, use it to draft your proposal, then improve. Maybe share it with a colleague, get feedback, and make it even better.

4. Select the right class format

Think about the kind of knowledge and insight you want to share. If it’s a workflow or a process you want to teach, then an instructional demo may be the best fit. If it’s a big idea or a trend you want to explore or a particular project you want to share, then you’ll want to give an industry talk. And if what you really want to do is facilitate a conversation around an important topic, then propose a panel.

5. Write a clear title

The title of your proposal is your chance to make a great first impression for your session. So, make sure the title is clear, descriptive, and concise. A good exercise is to ask yourself: if this were a news story, what would the headline be? Tell us clearly and simply what we’ll learn and how this can help us grow as professionals.

6. Tell a good story

AU classes are about more than just the data and the outcome. Bring us into the story by sharing the challenge you faced, the discovery you made, the process you followed, and the growth you and your team experienced. Find the right angle that will engage your peers as people and as professionals. Ask yourself what key aspect of this would hook you if you were a potential attendee. And don’t hold back—tell us all the secrets.

Sometimes, it helps to see something done well. Check out these sample proposals to help orient and inspire you.

Community voting is also open. After you submit your proposal, raise its visibility and ask your community to give it a thumbs up. And give your own thumbs up to any proposals that you’d like to see become classes in the fall. You can up-vote as many proposals as you want.

Submit your proposal for AU 2021 before Call for Proposals ends on April 30. We can’t wait to see what you have to share.

What are your top tips for crafting the best proposal? Share with us on Twitter using the #AU2021 hashtag.