Session formats

For each proposal you submit, you must select from the following options the session format for which it is being submitted.

If you have an idea for a different type of format, please contact us via email before the call for proposal deadline.


A ‘panel presentation’ is a group of presentations proposed as a ‘package’ through the call for proposals. As the panel proposal is submitted as a package, the proposal is therefore accepted or rejected as a whole.

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A café session is a structured conversational process intended to facilitate open and intimate discussion and to link ideas within a larger group to access the ‘collective intelligence’ or collective wisdom in the room. Participants (or discussants) move between a series of tables where they continue the discussion in response to a set of questions, which are focused on the specific goals of each café sessions.

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In a fishbowl session, chairs are arranged in a circle surrounding a ‘fishbowl’ of speakers. Participants have the opportunity to join the conversation, share their own thoughts, experience and best practice on the content matter should they so wish.

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Presentations offer the opportunity for a speaker to present on a focused topic for 30 minutes.

The presentation will be paired with one other presentation in the same program track, each on a common key interest area or representing different perspectives on a similar issue. These sessions comprising two presentations are referred to as ‘thematic sessions’.

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Lightning presentations

Lightning presentations build upon the successful and popular AIEC e-poster sessions at previous AIECs. 

Short 5-minute 'lightning presentations' take place in the main stage of the Lightning Lounge at the start of the session. Once all formal presentations are done (usually 3 to 4 presentations per session) the audience breaks out into groups for small group discussions at the individual touch screens situated around the Lightning Lounge.

Presentations will be grouped by key interest area into sessions scheduled into the program.

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Key dates

3 February - Call for proposals opens

6 March - Call for proposals closes

1 June - Early bird registration opens

31 July - Standard registration opens,
              early bird closes

8 October - Registration closes

13-16 October - AIEC 2020