SATW: Inspiring Travel Through Responsible Journalism.

Call for Speakers & Sessions – 2021 SATW Annual Convention

Deadline for proposals: April 1, 2021


Share your voice, your experience, your talents and insights—perhaps your biggest cautionary tale—with North America’s premier travel writing organization: SATW (Society of American Travel Writers). Presenting at SATW is your chance to connect with top travel media and content creators, as well as PR practitioners representing destinations and travel brands from across the globe.


SATW meets annually for five jam-packed days of meetings, media tours and professional development. Non-member presenters are welcome to join us for the entire event. Sample local color, join us for media tours, and network with travel industry professionals. Presenting at SATW is more than just a speaking gig.


Key points:


    • SATW is seeking engaging, enlightening and relevant speakers from diverse backgrounds for the Professional Development program at its 2021 Annual Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Oct. 3-7, 2021. Proposals submitted will also be considered for future SATW Professional Development programs. 
    • SATW does not customarily pay speaker fees. Some expenses may be covered, depending on the individual and situation. Non-member speakers/panelists/moderators may be provided round trip coach airfare within North America (or equivalent transportation) for one plus hotel/meals/transfer. SATW member speakers/panelists/moderators may be provided a 50% discount off of convention registration.  
    • Completing the application below does not guarantee or imply that the applicant will be selected to present at the 2021 convention or during other SATW programs.


SATW (the 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 (writers, editors, photographers, digital publishers, etc.) 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 all of those professions together. Because  all applicants must agree to the organization’s Code of Ethics, SATW is able to maintain the highest level of professional excellence among its members. 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. We are looking for diverse speakers to bring their expertise to all topics. 


Presenting at SATW is an opportunity to connect with travel writers, editors, digital publishers, 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 members,35 percent are Associates.


Other SATW meetings throughout the year include Editors Council, Freelance Council, Digital Publishers Council and Chapter Meetings (Western, Eastern, Central States, Canadian).   


SATW 2021


The 2021 Annual Convention will be Oct. 3-7, 2021, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Professional development will be presented on one day of the convention, to be determined. At a minimum, speakers should plan to arrive the day before their presentation.


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 Intelligence”: These sessions provide information relevant to travel communications and the travel industry as a whole. This could include travel research, trends, best practices, etc.
    • “Media Trends and Perspectives”: What the changing world of travel and media means for the creators of content, for the marketing and promotion of content and how a broader view of the Society’s mission—inspiring travel through responsible journalism—benefits not only our members but also the people who rely on our expertise.
    • “Growing a Successful Business”: 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 approximately 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.


SATW is committed to a diverse, equitable, accessible and inclusive membership that mirrors the traveling public as well as worldwide citizenry. Every effort will be made to ensure all races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and cultural and religious beliefs are welcomed throughout the SATW community, including membership and leadership roles. We appreciate diverse voices and seek to include full representation in all our events, activities and communications. 


Should conditions require it, the SATW Annual Convention may shift to a virtual platform (as it did in 2020). In such a case, speakers will present remotely via a platform arranged by SATW and will not be required to travel to Milwaukee. 


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.   




    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Job Title
    • Company
    • Address 1
    • Address 2
    • City
    • State
    • ZIP/Postal Code
    • Country
    • Phone
    • Mobile Phone
    • Email Address
    • Are you a member of SATW?
    • Short bio – 500 characters or link
    • 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? 


You are encouraged to submit a brief video of yourself describing your proposed presentation.


Timeline (subject to change):

April 1, 2021 Deadline for speaker proposals

April, 2021 Speakers to be confirmed

July, 2021 Collateral materials due (see above)

August, 2021 Speakers to inform SATW of AV needs

3 weeks before convention Final presentation deck is due (see above)


Please submit your proposal here.


Please send any questions to Professional Development Committee Chair Deborah Wakefield at [email protected].

Speakers Agreement


Submission of a proposal to present at the convention constitutes agreement with the conditions listed below. All speakers/panelists/moderators will be asked to sign the document below. 

It is agreed between SATW and you (“Speaker”) that:


  1.       PRODUCTION: SATW will arrange or provide a screen, a projector, and sound at the designated venue (Hilton Milwaukee City Center or the Wisconsin Center). Any additional equipment may be coordinated through SATW staff. Any expense beyond the agreed-upon 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.
  2.     VIRTUAL PRODUCTION:  Should the convention shift to a virtual format, speakers presenting remotely are responsible for providing or arranging necessary equipment to deliver the presentation virtually to those attending the convention remotely.
  3.     COMPENSATION: SATW does not usually pay speakers fees. Some expenses may be covered, depending on the individual and situation.
  4.     Non-SATW Members presenting in person: SATW may provide coach airfare for 1 person from within North America (or equivalent transportation) and registration for the convention, including hotel for 1-4 nights as required.
  5.     SATW Members presenting in person: SATW may provide up to a 50% discount  on convention registration. Airfare is not included.
  6.     COLLATERAL MATERIAL: All collateral material must be submitted to SATW no later than three weeks prior to the presentation date.  Once confirmed, speaker(s) must provide:
  7.     A brief biography,
  8.     A presentation title, to be agreed upon with the Professional Development Committee
  9.     A session description. SATW reserves the right to edit presentation title and session description for style and length.
  10.     PRESENTATION: 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 prior to the presentation. Edits may be suggested by the SATW staff and committee members. The committee may suggest edits. 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. 
  11.     Speaker grants SATW the right to stream and record the presentation and post it on to be viewed by SATW members and registered attendees, and to use images of the presentation in future promotion of the organization. 
  12.     The Speaker hereby agrees to indemnify, defend and hold harmless SATW from and against any and all claims arising out of the use of Speaker’s Presentation Materials.   Speaker warrants and represents that s/he 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. 
  13.     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 in advance of the presentation.
  14.     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 that SATW specifically reserves the right to record the presentation and to distribute the presentation to its members in perpetuity. If presentations include images that require copyright permission to use, the Speaker agrees to obtain and document the required permission(s). 
  15.     LIMITATIONS ON PRESENTATION: The presentation is intended to be a presentation by the Speaker. No additional Speakers may be added without the prior consent of SATW. This agreement is not assignable or transferable by Speaker and is personal to Speaker.
  16.     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.  
  17.     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 prior to the scheduled date. Notice by email is acceptable but must be confirmed by telephone.


Submission of a proposal to present at the convention constitutes agreement with the conditions listed above.  


This agreement must be signed prior to any speaker announcement. A copy of this agreement co-signed by SATW will be provided upon request


Rev. 1.7.21

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