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Call for Special Sessions

The 2023 Call for Special Sessions is now closed. Please email us if you have changes to your proposal or questions. 

Special Sessions are opportunities for individuals to organize a set of presentations on a topic of their choosing and can include presentations, panels, discussions, and Q&A. Special Sessions will be held in meeting rooms with theatre-style seating. Although not required, we are very interested in proposals that address the Fire Congress themeAll special sessions will be presented in-person in Monterey, and we are not planning for virutal participation at this time. 


Special session organizers determine the topic area, choose speakers, plan the session length and format, and develop synergy between the presentations. Organizers may also choose to follow their Special Session with a Fire Circle to continue important discussions or work on synthesis projects.

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 and pay the abstract submission fee by the July 15 submission deadline. Special Session organizers will then review the abstracts submitted for their session, inform speakers of acceptance, and provide a final schedule to congress planners.

At the Congress, organizers introduce and summarize the session, serve as the session’s moderator and timekeeper, and facilitate discussion and questions. Please consider our efforts to improve diversity and inclusivity as you plan your special session and invite speakers.

Special Session organizers can choose to fill one to three presentation time blocks, which are 90 minutes long and sessions can include presentations, panels, discussions, and Q&A.

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 15 minutes to maintain a compatible schedule across all sessions. For example, you might decide to have a 30 minute overview followed by three 15 minute presentations. Or you might have a 15 minute introduction, a 1 hour panel, and a 15 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 lunch.

Special Session proposals are evaluated for inclusion based on the clarity of the abstract and draft agenda, the relevance of the topic and its appeal to attendees, and available rooms and time in the congress schedule. We will contact organizers with overlapping topics or themes to determine if their sessions can be merged.

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

  • Contact information of the organizer(s)
  • 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
  • Draft agenda, including potential speakers and their presentation title/topic and expected method of participation (virtual or in-person)

Special Session organizers and presenters must pay a registration fee to attend and present at the Fire Congress. There are options for reduced registration fees through volunteering and one-day registrations, and we will also have scholarships for those that require financial assistance.