2020 Conference: Call for Presentation Proposals

Deadline 1 July 2019

Please review the full "Call for Presentation Proposals" information below before submitting your profile and proposals. Download PDF copy.

Submit your speaker profile first and then submit your proposals.

Call for Presentation Proposals

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce its Call for Presentation Proposals for the 2020 FGS Family History Conference, "Blazing Trails in the Heart of America" to be held 2–5 September 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Proposals will be accepted from May 1 through July 1, 2019.

“Blazing Trails in the Heart of America” references the many trails that our ancestors traveled through the heartland as they moved west. From the Santa Fe, California and Oregon Trails we traversed the Midwest and West to populate our nation. The 2020 FGS Family History Conference will build on the foundation of our ancestors in the Midwest and beyond. This event will draw attendees of all experience levels, backgrounds, and interests, and we encourage submission of topics that explore under-recognized areas of genealogical research.

Submissions of Presentations

Speakers interested in presenting lectures or workshops for 2020 must submit their proposals through this portal using the Submit Speaker Profile and Submit Lecture Proposal buttons above. FGS welcomes submission of all topics; new presentations are encouraged. Speakers are highly encouraged to submit the maximum number of proposals, eight per individual. Panel sessions or co-presenters may submit up to two additional proposals per primary point of contact. Presentations may cover any relevant genealogy or family history topic. All sessions should have some element of methodology and skill-building.

Candidates are encouraged to include more than one of the below themes:


Society Management:

Topics specifically designed for society leaders and volunteers; workshop programs, panels, discussion groups, and/or focus groups will be given special consideration.


Non-Traditional Record Categories:

Not all genealogically related information can be found in vital records and censuses. Presentations about academic sources, databases, and reference materials not specifically designed for genealogy; special interest manuscript collections; sources found in museums, occupational archives, university libraries, and so forth, are encouraged.


Genetics & DNA:

Beginner, intermediate, and advanced lectures on DNA, genetic genealogy, and the application and integration with traditional family history are desirable.


Social and Cultural Communities:

Areas of specific interest include:

  1. Native American, British, African, African American, Caribbean, Dutch, Swedish, Irish and Ulster Scots, Hispanic, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Asian.
  2. All religious practices descriptive of any settlement to this area from the colonial era to the present, including but not limited to Native peoples, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, all Christian denominations including Quaker, Mennonite, Amish and those historically considered Non-conformist, etc.


Military Records:

Topics focusing on military and civil service throughout history will be considered.


Midwestern Records:

Topics that include Missouri as well as its surrounding states as part the Midwest should be considered.



Topics that include migration to and through Missouri and the Midwest should be considered.


Traditional presentations including Research Methodologies and Strategies are also encouraged.


All proposals must be submitted through the Submit Speaker Proposals and Submit Lecture Proposals buttons on this page and must include the following information:

  • Speaker’s name, address, telephone, and email address
  • Lecture title, not to exceed 12 words, and a brief, but comprehensive, outline
  • Lecture summary, not to exceed 25 words, to be used in the conference guide, website, and app.
  • Identification of the audience level; beginning, intermediate, advanced or all
  • Speaker biography, not to exceed 30 words, to be used in the conference guide, website, and app.
  • Resume of prior speaking experience


Societies and businesses are encouraged to submit proposals for sponsored presentations for the 2020 FGS Family History Conference. The sponsoring organization will cover its speaker’s costs to present the lecture, which includes travel, accommodations, meals, and other associated costs. Sponsored speakers must abide by all speaker deadlines and syllabus requirements and will receive complimentary registration to the 2020 FGS Family History Conference and electronic syllabus materials. The deadline to submit sponsored lectures is 1 July 2019. The program committee reserves the right to discuss with any interested sponsoring organization alternate options to participate in the program.

Session Length

  1. Presentations should be 50 minutes long, followed by a 10-minute Q&A.
  2. Workshops, on-site programs at local repositories, and other formats are encouraged in two-hour increments. All-day workshops will also be considered.


  1. Invited speakers receive an honorarium, travel compensation, and conference registration as well as per diem and hotel nights based on the number of presentations given. Invited speakers receive compensation according to the FGS Conference Speaker Compensation Policy.
  2. Sponsored speakers only receive conference registration and syllabus materials. See more about sponsorships above.

Additional Information

  1. Invitations to participate will be issued no later than 1 October 2019. Syllabus format guidelines will be sent to speakers at that time. The deadline for acceptance and submission of signed speaker contracts is 31 October 2019.
  2. Camera-ready syllabus material, due 31 March 2020, is required for each general presentation and will be included in the syllabus distributed to all conference registrants.

Presentation Sample

If you have not presented sessions at an FGS Family History Conference or other national conference before, we invite you to submit a short (15-minute) sample audio or video in electronic form of a recent presentation via email to program2020@fgs.org.


Any questions or inquiries can be directed to program2020@fgs.org.

We look forward to receiving your proposals and considering your expertise for inclusion in our 2019 programming.