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Tips for Submitting

It's important that your submission is well thought out, complete, and thorough. The information below will help guide you with your submission.

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Hot Topics

While AZA encourages submissions in a wide variety of topics, view Hot Topics that the membership are interested in hearing about.
Submission Formats
  1. Program Session - 90 minute time slot, which can be formatted in a variety of different presentation styles. The Program Committee expects Program Session submissions to include confirmed speakers. If you fail to identify additional speakers, it will weigh heavily on the review process. TBD speakers will not be accepted.
    AZA encourages unique and different presentation styles, including, but not limited to:
    1. Conversation Starter - Moderator is prepared to facilitate an open discussion along a particular topic. They begin with a 5 minute intro of the topic or sides of the topic, then opens to the audience for interactive discussion.
    2. Point-Counterpoint Panel - Moderated discussion focused on various sides of a topic, which may or may not include presentations.
    3. Collaborative Discussion - Attendees are actively encouraged to participate in the discussion, led by a moderator and speakers. May be in the form of roundtables topics.
    4. Moderated Panel Discussion - Three to four individual speaker presentations around a similar topic, developed with a moderator introducing and concluding the various speakers. Question and answer at the conclusion is encouraged to be built into the session time. 
    5. PechaKucha 20x20 and IGNITE - Simple presentation formats combining a number of images, times with presenter comments, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and you talk along to the images.
  2. Individual "Ignite" Style Presentation - 5 minute time slot, usually consisting of 20 slides for 15 seconds each.
  3. Poster Presentation - well suited for presentations of complex and technical methods and/or results
    • Poster presentations allow the audience more time to digest complex information and promote discussion between presenters and their audience. Posters typically reach a wider audience than short talks because they are on display for several days following the formal poster session.
    • Poster Presentations that are accepted must be on display in the Exhibit Hall by 9:30 am on Monday, September 9.  Authors must be registered attendees and be present at the Poster Reception on Tuesday evening, September 10.  This will give poster presenters an opportunity to discuss their work or findings with conference attendees.
    • Be sure to read even more information about Poster Presentations.

Tracks

These tracks organize sessions by like areas of interest. They do not preclude attendees from considering sessions outside of their identified track. Attendees are encouraged to review all sessions across all tracks.

 Animal Management, Health & Welfare     Education
 Aquarium Affairs                                       Public Relations & Marketing
 Business Operations                                Volunteer & Intern Engagement
 Conservation                                           Trends & More
 Development & Membership    


Role of the Moderator

The moderator is involved in planning and executing the entire session. They are the main point of contact with AZA staff. Please read the Responsibilities of Moderators for detailed descriptions of the moderator's role.

Once a session is accepted, the moderator is responsible for confirming all participants based on guidelines and deadlines set forth by AZA. If any speaker withdraws, the moderator must notify the Annual Conference Program Committee and submit a replacement candidate to the committee or the session will be subject to cancellation. Please note that all speaker changes are subject to approval by the Annual Conference Program Committee.


Registration and Membership Requirements

All speakers at the Annual Conference must be registered to attend, either for the full conference or the day on which they are speaking. Registration categories and rates are determined by the membership status at the time in which the conference is held.

It is the preference of AZA that all speakers within the zoo and aquarium profession be AZA members in good standing, or represent an AZA-accredited institution. Membership status does not guarantee acceptance or rejection of a presentation.

It is required that all speakers and attendees of the conference who represent commercial entities (i.e. providers of products or services and/or consulting) within the zoo and aquarium profession, be AZA Commercial Members in good standing, and/or participating at the conference by exhibiting or sponsoring.

AZA and the Annual Conference Program Committee would also like to encourage the participation of individuals from outside of the zoo or aquarium community. In the case of individuals from outside of the community, registration may be waived for the day. It is the role of the moderator to receive an exception from AZA for registration to be waived for those individuals who do not work in the zoo or aquarium industry, but have valuable experience and information to share.

Presentations must be educational in nature and not actively promote any particular product, service, brand, or company.

For more information on becoming a member of AZA, please contact AZA's Membership Services Department.

For information on how to become an exhibitor or sponsor, please contact Gina Velosky.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If I am selected as a speaker, do I have to register for the Conference?

All speakers at the Annual Conference must be registered to attend, either for the full conference or the day on which they are speaking.  Registration categories and rates are determined by the membership status at the time in which the conference is held. 

AZA and the Annual Conference Program Committee encourage the participation of individuals from outside of the zoo or aquarium industry. In the case of individuals from outside of the industry (outside of the industry is left to the discretion of AZA), registration may be waived for the day. It is the role of the moderator to receive an exception from AZA for registration to be waived for those individuals who do not work in the zoo or aquarium industry, but have valuable experience and information to share.

Do I have to be a member of AZA in order to submit an abstract or present at the Conference?

It is the preference of AZA that all speakers within the zoo and aquarium profession be AZA members in good standing. Membership status does not guarantee acceptance or rejection of a presentation.

However, it is required that all speakers and attendees of the conference who represent commercial entities (i.e. providers of products or services and/or consulting) within the zoo and aquarium community, be AZA Commercial Members and/or participating at the conference by exhibiting or sponsoring

I work for a company that provides products or services to zoos and aquariums.  Does my company have to be a Commercial Member of AZA to present at the Conference?

Yes. It is required that all speakers and attendees of the conference who represent commercial entities (i.e. providers of products or services and/or consulting) within the zoo and aquarium profession, be AZA Commercial Members and/or participating at the conference by exhibiting or sponsoring.

Presentations must be educational in nature and not actively promote any particular product, service, brand, or company.

I am submitting an individual paper to the Call for Papers.  Can I speak at the Conference?

Yes. While the Annual Conference schedule is made up of eight (8) 90 minute time slots, per track, for concurrent sessions, a total of 72 concurrent sessions, AZA does have opportunities for individual presenters to speak. At times, the ACPC will combine individual papers of similar topics together to form complete concurrent sessions. AZA has also added The Buzz, a compilation of short, informal presentations on a wide variety of topics.

If you want to put together a full session, you are encouraged to reach out to your colleagues in the zoo and aquarium community to find people who can join you on a panel. AZA Network is a great resource for members to find other members who do similar things as them. You can also contact members of the Annual Conference Program Committee for assistance and guidance.

Animal Management, Health & Welfare: Joe Barkowski, Gary Lunsford, Regina Mossotti

Aquarium Affairs: Deidre Murphy, Greg Whittaker

Business Operations: Rich Block, Doug Rickenbach, Adrienne Rowland

Conservation: Rich BerglRenee Bumpus, Tara Harris

Development/Fundraising & Membership: Chris Panek

Education: Amanda Lindell, Kelly Matis

Public Relations/Marketing: Tina Tison, Duane McGregor, Andy Wood

Volunteer & Intern Engagement: Lace Garland

Trends & More: Scott Barton, Craig Jacbos, Melissa Ruminot
(sessions that do not fall into one of the above tracks, including Exhibit Design, Diversity, Government Affairs, etc.)

Any suggestions on how to make my proposal more "attractive" to the Annual Conference Program Committee?

The ACPC looks for diversity in the panel of speakers. Representatives from zoos and aquariums. Large size institutions and small sized institutions. Institutions with large operating budgets and small operations budgets. Institutions with varying demographics. Institutions from different geographic regions. The more variety in a panel, the better.

The ACPC also looks for well-thought-out submissions. Submissions should include confirmed speakers (individuals who have already agreed to speak in your session). Submissions should not include TBD information.

What information do I need to submit? 

Please review the Submission Form Step By Step PDF to see what information is required.


Submit Your Proposal

After you have read all the above information, please use the Call for Papers Submission Form to submit your proposal.  All proposals must be submitted using the online form.

Call for Papers Service Center - Proposals can be saved in the system and returned to at a later date before submitting.  Submit your basic information and click the "Save and Edit Later" button on the review screen.  You will be emailed your Call for Papers Service Center login information immediately.  Be sure to log into the Call for Papers Service Center to submit your proposal by Friday, May 15, 11:59 pm Pacific, otherwise your proposal will not be reviewed.

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