American Planning Association

North Carolina Chapter

2020 North Carolina Planning Conference

October 20-23
Durham Convention Center
301 W Morgan St


Join your colleagues and head to the 2020 North Carolina Planning Conference in Durham! This year’s conference is scheduled for October 20-23 and will be held at the Durham Convention Center located in central downtown Durham. The Durham Marriott City Center will serve as our conference hotel and is connected to the convention center. The Durham Convention Center and Marriot hotel are steps away from Durham’s vibrant bar and restaurant scene.

The focus for this year’s conference is Embracing Equity. As planners we know our profession has had many lasting impacts on the communities we serve, and our most vulnerable have not always been best served by our plans and actions. As we reflect on past impacts, we embrace planning alongside our communities to ensure equitable outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable. To that end the Conference Committee is working hard to build an agenda to empower participants and supply them with fresh ideas to take back to their communities. This year’s Conference will feature concurrent sessions, lightning rounds, networking opportunities, vendor displays, and mobile workshops highlighting Durham and the surrounding communities. The Conference will kick-off Tuesday night with an Exhibitor and Sponsor Meet & Greet Reception followed by a dynamic Opening Session on Wednesday morning. Wednesday evening the conference committee will host a Welcome Reception and we will wrap-up Friday afternoon with a special networking lunch event.

The 2020 Conference Committee is planning much more so be sure to join us for what promises to be a dynamic, informative and exciting conference!

Convention Center
Where will the 2020 North Carolina Planning Conference take place?
This year’s conference is located at the Durham Convention Center. For more details on the convention center, please visit

Official Conference Hotel
Is there an official hotel for the conference?
The link to the conference hotel and our special conference room rates will be available in May.

Conference Location Information & Links
Where can I find more information on Durham and the surrounding communities?
For more information on Durham and the surrounding communities, please visit the following links:,,


  • When will the conference online pre-registration be available?
    Conference registration typically goes live the first week of July. If possible, we will try to open registration earlier. An eblast will go out to our listserv announcing when registration is officially open.
  • When will conference online pre-registration end?
    Conference pre-registration will end September 21, 2020.
  • Can I register for the conference after online pre-registration ends?
    No, after September 21 all registrations must be done onsite. Keep in mind that onsite registration rates are higher than pre-registration rates.
  • What were the 2019 pre-registration fees?
    The 2019 pre-registration fees were:
    Full Conference (APA-NC Chapter Member) – $314, Full Conference (Non-Member) – $354, Full Conference (Citizen, Board, or Retired/Life APA Member) – $244, Full Conference (Student) – $75, Tuesday Only & Friday Only – $75 each day, Wednesday Only & Thursday Only – $249 each day
  • Do you anticipate an increase in the fees for this year’s conference?
    Due to increasing costs, we anticipate there will be an increase in the conference registration rate for the 2020 NC Planning Conference. However, we are working to keep any increase in registration costs as low as possible.
  • How do I register for the conference?
    Attendees will be able to register for the conference electronically. A link to the registration site will be available when registration is open.
  • Do I need to be a member of APA or APA-NC to register?
    No, you do not need to be a member of either organization.
  • Do you allow changes and cancellations to registrations?
    Changes and cancellations are usually permitted through the close of early registration. Note that there may be a fee for any cancellations or changes. More information will be available when registration opens.
  • Do Students receive a discounted rate?
    Students with a valid ID receive a discounted registration rate. The Student registration rate does not include Tuesday night’s Exhibitor and Sponsor Meet & Greet Reception or the Wednesday night Welcome Reception. Students can attend the conference sessions but must pay for mobiles and other activities that require additional payment. We do not offer free conference registration for those students who like to volunteer at the conference.
  • What types of payments do you accept at Onsite Registration?
    We accept check and credit cards.


Speaker & Session Proposal Information

  • Are you now accepting session proposals for the conference?
    The 2020 North Carolina Planning Conference Committee will announce Session Proposals in April – May timeframe. This year’s conference theme is: Embracing Equity
  • Where do I go to submit a session proposal?
    All sessions will be submitted using our new online proposal submission platform, Submittable
    More information will be posted on the website soon.
  • What information will I need to provide for my proposal?
  1. Session Title: Choose a title that catches the audience’s attention and please don’t make it too long.
  2. Planning Topic: The Conference Planning Committee strives to provide a balanced conference program for our guests.
  3. Session Summary – Provide a BRIEF three sentence (maximum) summary, no more than 60 words, of the proposed session. This summary will be used to prepare the conference program description.
  4. Detailed Description: The description should be no more than 350 words and accurately depict the content of your session and the learning objectives to attract the appropriate audience. Proposals should consider ways for sessions to be engaging, interactive, and hands-on, and consider real world scenarios to walk participants through the application of an idea or tool. Please do not use bullet points. Draft your description in narrative form.
  5. Speakers: Include a complete list of confirmed speakers. We highly suggest recruiting a representative panel. Avoid choosing all the speakers from the same organization and try to include a mix of panelists in the public sector, private sector, nonprofit sector and academia. The following information is required for each speaker: Speaker Name: Including any professional designations if applicable (AICP, PP, PhD, PP, RLA., etc.); Speaker Agency/Company; Speaker Address; Speaker Telephone; Speaker Email; Speaker Biography: Narrative of 100- 200 words written in the 3rd person that includes the speaker’s current position, professional credentials, education and 2-3 sentences describing the speaker’s expertise in the subject matter. DO NOT submit resumes or bulleted lists. **Note that speakers/presenters may be contacted directly by APA to confirm their information when APA-NC submits the sessions for CM Credits**


Sponsors and Exhibitors

  • My company/organization is interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at this year’s conference, do you have any information available?
    More information on sponsoring and exhibiting at the 2020 North Carolina Planning Conference will be available on our website in April.