SATW: Inspiring Travel Through Responsible Journalism.

Call for Speakers – 2020 SATW Annual Convention

Key points:


– SATW is seeking engaging, enlightening and relevant speakers for the Professional Development program at its 2020 Annual Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 13, 2020. Proposals submitted also will be considered for future SATW Professional Development programs.

– Some expenses (such as registration, airfare, hotel, etc.) may be covered, depending on the individual and situation. Please note that, as a nonprofit organization, SATW is unable to pay speakers fees.

– Completing the application below does not guarantee or imply that the applicant will be selected for the 2020 convention or other SATW programs.


SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) is a professional organization composed of the travel industry’s most experienced journalists, photographers, editors, broadcast/video/film producers, bloggers, website owners, public relations experts and hospitality industry representatives primarily from the United States and Canada.


SATW, founded in 1955, has more than 1,000 members. “Active” members are content creators who contribute to some of the most influential print, digital, audio and broadcast platforms.  “Associate” members represent travel and hospitality brands and media relations agencies.


SATW is the premier networking organization bringing these professions together. Because all applicants must agree to the organization’s Code of Ethics, SATW maintains the highest level of professional excellence.  Learn more at



SATW Annual Convention

Professional development is an important part of our annual convention. We seek dynamic speakers who are successful professionals in their fields, who have unique expertise or insights and who can address our members in engaging and enlightening presentations.


Presenting at SATW is an opportunity to connect with travel writers, editors, broadcasters, photographers, videographers, influencers and media relations professionals representing destinations and travel businesses around the world.  SATW conventions average 200 attendees; 65 percent are Actives, and 35 percent are Associates.


SATW members vary from newer practitioners specializing in emerging media to seasoned and respected journalists and communicators.


Other SATW meetings throughout the year include Editors Council, Freelance Council and Chapter Meetings (Western, Eastern, Central States, Canadian).  SATW is developing new professional development programs such as the upcoming Website Publisher’s Conference.



SATW 2020

The 2020 Annual Convention will be October 11-15, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Professional development at the 2020 convention will be Tuesday, October 13.  At a minimum, speakers should plan to arrive Monday, October 12.



Professional Development Sessions

Speakers are sought in three general categories:


– “How to/Hands on”: These sessions help attendees further their skills relevant to travel communications such as writing, photography, digital and social media, etc.

– “Industry Knowledge”: These sessions provide information relevant to travel communications and the travel industry as a whole.  This could include trends, research, best practices, etc.

– “Grow Your Business/The Whole Professional”: These sessions address topics beyond travel communications that are relevant for all attendees. Topics could include business planning and strategy, career development, negotiating skills, etc.


Presentations should be about 50 minutes, including time for questions. Consecutive sessions may be available for speakers proposing hands-on activities during the second session.  Depending on the topic, speakers may be grouped in panels. Speakers also may be asked to participate in additional sessions.



Selection Process

Those submitting applications are not guaranteed a speaking opportunity.  Applications are reviewed and accepted based on applicability, relevance, programming needs and speaker qualifications.  Decisions and selections will be ongoing until the program is finalized.



Application Form

After clicking the application button below, you’ll be asked to provide your basic contact information as well as an overview of your proposed session. Be prepared to provide:


– Links to any previous speaking engagements

– Short bio – 500 characters or link

– Link to photo/jpeg

– Area(s) of expertise

– Proposed session title

– Session description (What are the benefits to attendees?)

– Outline of your presentation

– Objectives (What will attendees take away from your session?)

– Should attendees have any special experience or working knowledge related to your topic?  Should they bring a laptop or other equipment? Will they need to download an app or software before attending?

– Additional information you want us to know

– Would you be interested in presenting to another SATW meeting –  Editors Council, Freelance Council and Chapter Meetings (Western, Eastern, Central States, Canadian) or other SATW programs that may be developed in the future?

– Applicants are encouraged to submit a video of themselves describing your proposed presentation.


Please send any questions to Catharine Hamm, [email protected].




An agreement must be signed and before any speaker announcement.  Points include:


Compensation:  Some expenses may be covered (such as registration, airfare, hotel, etc.), depending on the individual and situation.


Production: SATW will arrange or provide a screen, a projector and sound at the designated venue. Any additional equipment may be coordinated through SATW staff. Any expense beyond the above equipment will be at the speaker’s expense. It is understood that SATW also provides significant indirect support including but not limited to promotional material production and distribution, web-based registration capability and staff support.


Collateral materials: Speaker(s) must provide a brief biography, a jpg formatted headshot, a presentation title and a session description. SATW reserves the right to edit presentation title and session description for style and length.


Presentation Deck: Speaker(s) will provide an electronic copy of the material to be presented, displayed and/or distributed at the presentation (“Presentation Materials”) no later than three weeks before the presentation. Edits may be suggested by SATW staff and committee members. The Speaker warrants and represents that s/he is the creator and author of the Presentation Materials (or has written permission from the creator and author of said materials) such that the use of the Presentation Materials in connection with this agreement and such that it may grant SATW the license below and will not infringe any rights of third parties. Speaker grants SATW the right to record the Presentation.  The Speaker hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless SATW from and against any and all claims arising from the use of Speaker’s Presentation Materials. Speaker warrants and represents that it is not relying on “Fair Use” as a basis for use of any part of the Presentation Materials. Speaker warrants and represents that the Presentation Materials are not libelous.


Copyright of materials: Speaker(s) understands that the Presentation itself, as well as any related educational material provided by the Speaker, may be made available to the attendees, members of SATW and other interested persons, and SATW specifically reserves the right to record the presentation and to distribute to its members in perpetuity. If presentations include images that require copyright permission, the Speaker agrees to obtain and document the required permission(s).


Avoiding promotion/bias: Speaker(s) may not promote his/her services or products, or those of his/her employer/company, or those of any vendor in association with the presentation. Presentation(s) must not contain commercial overtones of any kind. Speaker must disclose any arrangement, agreement or financial interest that it may have with any person, entity, product, producer of product, service or provider of service addressed in the Presentation to SATW before the presentation.


Limitations on presentation: The session is intended to be a presentation by the Speaker. No additional Speakers may be added without the consent of SATW.  This agreement is not assignable or transferable by Speaker and is personal to Speaker.


Independent contractor: Speaker is an independent contractor of SATW and not an employee.  SATW is not responsible for income, Social Security, unemployment, workers’ compensation or any other state or federal employment or tax withholding.


Termination of agreement: The parties agree to block the date and time of the presentation on their schedules. Either party may cancel this agreement by providing written notice to the other party sixty (60) days before the scheduled date. Notice by email is acceptable but must be confirmed by telephone.


Timeline (subject to change):

– February 14, 2020: Deadline for speaker proposals

– June 2020: Speakers to be confirmed

– July 2020: Collateral materials due (see above)

– August 2020: Speakers to inform SATW of AV needs

– Three weeks before convention: Final presentation deck is due (see above)

Freelance Council
(journalists, photographers and content providers)

You are a publicist or public relations representative in the travel industry. All fees are in US Dollars.





Application fee is $125

New Member fee is $200

Annual dues are $300



Associates Council
(Travel brands and Public Relations in the travel industry)

You are a travel journalist who receives
payment for the content you produce in
published outlets and you reach a significant
audience, or are a website/blog
owner with an average of 10,000 UVs
per month. All fees are in US Dollars.


Application fee is $75

New Member fee is $100

Annual dues are $155



Editor’s Council

You work primarily as a staff editor of travel media with a readership of 25,000 or more per month, or are a salaried editor or staff writer. All fees are in US Dollars




Application fee is $75

New Member fee is $100

Annual dues are $155



SATW is has four geographical chapters:


  • Canadian Chapter
  • Eastern Chapter
  • Central States
  • Western Chapter

Click Here to find out more about becoming a member