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Submission Requirements

Please review the below required information that you will need to provide on the Call for Papers Submission Form.

Vaccination Requirement

As a science-based organization, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums encourages all registrants, instructors, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and staff attending AZA meetings, courses and events to be up-to-date with vaccinations of all kinds, including COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. While vaccinations are encouraged, providing proof of vaccination is not required.

Registrants are required to agree to the Attendee Liability Waiver and Assumption of Risk Policy upon registering, agreeing to comply with any state or local mask mandates in place for indoor events until further notice. If no mask mandate is in place, attendees are encouraged to wear masks if they wish, but not required.

Membership and Registration Requirement

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 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.

Presenting virtually is not an option. All speakers must be in-person. Recorded presentations will be accepted.

Submission Deadline

The deadline for submitting your abstract/proposal is Friday, April 7, 2023, 11:59 pm Pacific Time. AZA does not accept late submissions.

The Annual Conference Program Committee will meet in May to review abstracts/proposals. Submitters should be notified of the Committee's decision by early June. A draft program will be available online in July.

Submission Title and Description

You will be asked to provide a title for your session, presentation, or poster, as well as a 250-word description. The description should be a summary of what will happen during your session or presentation, or a summary of the content of your poster.

Submission Format Options

You will be asked to select one of the four session format options.
  1. Program Session
    • 90 minutes in length
    • Can be formatted in a variety of different presentation styles; AZA encourages unique and different presentation styles
    • Audience participation and engagement is required
  2. Individual Presentation
    • 15 minutes in length
    • Accepted Individual Presentations will be combined into a session with 3-4 other presentations with time for Q&A.
  3. The Evening Buzz - Individual Presentation
    • 5 minutes in length
    • Accepted Buzz presentations will be combined in a session with 8-10 other individual "ignite" style presentations with time for Q&A
  4. Poster Presentation
    • Well suited for presentations of complex and technical methods and/or results.
    • Accepted Poster Presentations must be on display in the Exhibit Hall by 9:30 am on Tuesday, September 12. Authors must be registered attendees and be present at the Poster Reception on Wednesday evening, September 11. 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.


You will be asked to identify the primary track that your submission falls into. You will also have the opportunity to identify keywords that relate to your submission. 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  Workplace Culture, Staff Engagement,
 & Professional Development
 Development & Membership  Trends & More

Additional Information for Program Sessions Only

  • Diverse Perspectives: You will be asked to provide a short description of the diverse range of perspectives present in your session. This includes speakers from institutions of varying size and budget, speakers from zoos and aquariums, etc.
  • Marketing Description: If your proposal is accepted, this description will display in the online schedule. It should be engaging and explain to attendees why they should attend your session.
  • Additional Speakers: Program Sessions should include additional speakers. You will be asked to provide a presentation title, 50 word description, as well as contact information for your speakers. You should only be submitting individuals that are confirmed and have agreed to speak in your session. The Committee does not want information for individuals who are authors or contributors to your paper or poster, nor TBD information. There is no limit to the number of additional speakers, but please be mindful of session time limitations.