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Call for Special Sessions

The Call for Special Sessions is closed. If you are a presenter in an accepted special session and still need to submit your abstract, please use the Oral Presentation online form

Special Sessions are opportunities for individuals to organize a set of presentations on a topic of their choosing. Although not required, we are very interested in proposals that address the Fire Congress theme and list of topics. Organizers determine the topic area, choose speakers, develop synergy between talks/speakers, and plan the session length and format. Special Sessions can include presentations, panels, discussions, and Q&A. Organizers may choose to follow their Special Session with a Fire Circle to continue important discussions and/or work on synthesis projects.

The number of Special Sessions is limited, so organizers are encouraged to submit their proposals early. Special Sessions will be evaluated for inclusion based on likely degree of interest, uniqueness of topic, and whether the session fits in the allotted time slots. We will contact proposers of special sessions with overlapping topics or themes to determine if those sessions could be merged. Special Sessions will be held in rooms with theatre-style seating holding 30-100 participants.

Once a Special Session has been accepted, the organizer is responsible for contacting potential speakers, obtaining their commitment, and instructing them to submit an abstract using the Oral Presentation Abstract Submission Form by the August 1 submission deadline. Special Session organizers will then review the abstracts submitted for their session and inform speakers of acceptance or rejection. Please consider our efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity as you plan your special session and invite speakers.

If the Special Session is not accepted or if the organizer decides to cancel the Special Session prior to August 1 deadline, interested speakers will be encouraged to submit their abstracts for consideration as an oral or poster presentation in the general session.

Special Session coordinators can choose to fill one to three presentation time blocks, most of which will be 1 hour 40 minutes long. Within each time block, organizers can vary the length of time given for individual presentations, panels, or discussions. However, any variations in length should be in increments of 20 minutes to maintain a compatible schedule for all sessions. For example, you might decide to have a 40-minute overview followed by three 20-minute presentations. Or you might have a 20-minute introduction, a 1-hour panel, and a 20-minute discussion and conclusion. We will attempt to schedule the number of time blocks you request consecutively on the same day. Keep in mind that the time blocks will be broken up by breaks and mid-day lunch.

Please have the following information ready when you submit your proposal:

  • Contact information of the organizer
  • Title and abstract of the special session
  • Short summary for the conference program booklet and mobile app (50 words or less)
  • Preference for day(s) and length of time needed
  • Tentative design/agenda (e.g., potential speakers and format within time blocks)
  • Request for a Fire Circle to complement the Special Session

**Important Considerations**

  • All Special Session organizers and presenters must register for the conference; we are not able to reimburse or waive registration fees for speakers.
  • AFE will not fill slots in Special Sessions when planned speakers are unable to attend; it will be up to the Special Session organizer to rearrange and fill the time in their session.