Session formats

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

More information will be available in April when the call for proposals opens.

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


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


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 thoughts, experience and best practice on the content matter should they so wish.


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’.

Lightning presentations

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

Short 5-minute 'lightning presentations' will be pre-recorded and available on-demand on our virtual platform. As a selected number of lightning topics will be grouped into 75-minute sessions at the conference, attendees will get a chance to visit three lightning stations (situated in the Lightning Lounge) to discuss the lightning presentation in small groups with the presenter and other attendees.