website logo

Submission Requirements

Submission Requirements
Deadline: Friday, April 5, 2024

  • View a step-by-step walkthrough of the Submission Form to see what information is required.
  • Program Session submissions should include multiple speakers and preference will be given to complete submissions which include information for all speakers. Please do not include TBD or placeholder information.
  • Exhibit Presentations - If you are interested in submitting an exhibit presentation, there are two sessions: "On the Boards" features exhibits that are currently in design and "What’s New in Exhibit Design?” showcases recently built and open exhibits. Each session typically has seven (7) short presentations which are each eight (8) minutes with a maximum of two presenters. One of the presenters must be from the institution. If you're interested in being considered for one of the two exhibit sessions, please contact Keith or Sue by March 29.
    • On the Boards (exhibits currently in design) - Keith McClintock,  Principal, SH|R Studios
    • What's New in Exhibit Design (exhibits recently built and open) - Sue Chin, Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement, Zoos and Aquarium, Wildlife Conservation Society

The deadline for submitting your abstract/proposal is Friday, April 5, 2024, 11:59 pm Pacific Time. AZA does not accept late submissions.


Speaker Requirements

  • All speakers must be registered to attend, either for the full conference or the day on which they are speaking. 
  • It is required that all speakers and attendees 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. Proposals from commercial entities are encouraged to include zoo and aquarium voices in their submission. 
  • If a speaker is not able to attend in-person, they can submit a pre-recorded presentation. Presenting live via Zoom or any other streaming service is not an option. Speakers who submit a pre-recorded presentation do not need to register, but the Commercial Membership requirement still applies.
  • While there is no limit to the number of submissions an individual can be included in, an individual will only be allowed to present in a maximum of two (2) sessions. If an individual is accepted in more than two (2) sessions, it will be up to the individual to find replacements in the additional sessions.

Submission Format Options
  1. 90-minute Program Session
    • Can be formatted in a variety of different presentation styles; AZA encourages unique and different presentation styles
    • Session submissions should include multiple speakers and preference will be given to complete submissions which include information for all speakers. Please do not include TBD or placeholder information.
    • Audience participation and engagement is required
       
  2. NEW! 40-minute Program Session
    • Can be formatted in a variety of different presentation styles; AZA encourages unique and different presentation styles
    • Session submissions should include multiple speakers and preference will be given to complete submissions which include information for all speakers. Please do not include TBD or placeholder information.
    • Audience participation and engagement is required
       
  3. 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.
       
  4. 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
       
  5. 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 17. Authors must be registered attendees and be present at the Poster Reception on Wednesday evening, September 18. 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. You will be asked to identify the one track that your abstract most relates to. The Committee reserves the right to assign your abstract to a different track.

If you have questions about your proposal, please contact the Annual Conference Program Committee liaison(s) for the track you're submitting to.

 Animal Management, Health & Welfare
Topics that fall within the track include, but may not be limited to, animal care, husbandry, health/veterinary care, wellbeing, enrichment, behavioral husbandry, welfare assessments & assessment application, registrar duties such as shipping & permits, animal & staff safety, nutrition, animal staff recruitment/management/retention & DEIA, taxa/species specific sessions, use of technology in animal care, and pest management.
 Education
Topics that fall within this track include education, learning, and engagement efforts and programs across audiences, formats, and delivery methods as well as topics such as DEAI; conservation action; evaluation and research; leadership and staff development, and revenue generation when focused on education teams or programming.   
 Aquarium Affairs
Proposals addressing aquarium-specific topics including but not limited to marine-related animal research and studies, aquarium trends and challenges, and marine and coastal ecosystem conservation efforts.
 Public Relations & Marketing
Topics that fall within this track include, but are not limited to, inventive strategies for championing wildlife conservation, enhancing visitor engagement, and establishing compelling institutional brands through advertising as well as earned and owned media. 
 Business Operations
Covers best practices in business operations, emerging financial issues, revenue-generation and expense management, guest experiences, and green and sustainable practices in partnership with the Green Scientific Advisory Group (GSAG).
 Volunteer & Intern Engagement
This track covers a variety of topics specific to engagement with volunteers and interns, including recruitment, training, program management, communication, program culture and DEIA.The primary objectives for this track include networking with diverse peers, staying informed on emerging trends and acquiring practical strategies to advance the collective impact of community involvement in conservation and mission of AZA.
 Conservation
Topics including, but not limited to, scaling conservation impact, best practice learnings to support greater effectiveness, DEAI/indigenous and community-led approaches to nature preservation, social science efforts that are driving conservation behavior change, innovation/tech solutions to accelerate success, proven measurement and evaluation tools to assess impact, efforts to integrate environmental sustainability and biodiversity conservation, and topics that are aligned with global goals and frameworks (IUCN, CBD, SDGs, SAFE, etc.). Submissions aligned to the above will be prioritized over general conservation project report-outs.  
 Workplace Culture, Staff Engagement, & Professional Development
Covers an array of people-related topics including, but not limited to leadership, employee engagement, DEAI, and growing the skills of the people at your facility. 
 Development & Membership
Sessions focus on various fundraising and membership related topics, in an effort to learn from peers of various sizes and locations. We seek to highlight best practices, emerging trends, and more.
 Trends & More
Topics that fall within this track include but are not limited to trends within the zoo and aquarium industry, zoo/aquarium design, strategic/facility/interpretive planning, construction, capital campaigns, maintenance, horticulture, human resources, professional development, data/technology, safety, and AZA Promises. Additionally, includes topics related to the mission of the AZA Trends Committee.

Connect with Others
If you're working on a proposal and want to connect with other thought leaders, check out these resources: