Session Formats

The conference programme contains a mix of presentation formats and these are described below:

Theatre Style

In paper sessions, authors present abbreviated versions of their papers, followed by audience discussion. The format generally allows for three or four papers with approximately 5 minutes for the chair’s introduction, 20 minutes per author presentation and 15 minutes discussion.  Session chairs may adjust the timings based on the number of presentations scheduled for the session.  In the case of multi-authored papers, more than one person may present, but multiple presenters are urged to be attentive to the total time available to them.


Timing: 45-60 minutes per roundtable

The purpose of roundtable sessions is to allow maximum interaction among the presenter(s) and audience. Roundtable presenter(s) should therefore see themselves as facilitators of wider discussion and be prepared to introduce themselves and their research by a short presentation (maximum five PowerPoint slides) which is designed to engage interest and stimulate reflective audience participation.  This format lends itself to any research topic; but we see it as being particularly appealing to those who value peer discussion as a means of validating their research analysis, as a means of stimulating further research, or as a ‘safe haven’ within which controversial topics may be explored. Roundtable sessions will not be chaired as the presenter(s) role as facilitator subsumes the role of Chair.


Timing: 45-60 minutes per workshop

The purpose of a workshop session is to actively engage members of the audience.  Presentations are brief, allowing adequate time for interaction and discussion.  It differs from a roundtable in that the presenter(s) should aim to structure the session such that participants take part in guided activities.  As is the case with roundtables this may stimulate wider discussion, but  presenters choosing this format will need to outline the nature of the planned activity/activities which will prompt the discussion. This format offers presenter(s) the opportunity to work with their peers to explore a common problem, project or shared interest and has in the past led to new insights prompted by the activities undertaken during the session.  Again these sessions will not be chaired as the presenter(s) role is to guide the activities and ensuing discussion.

Abstract Submission Criteria

For information on submission criteria, click here.

Chairing Sessions

All sessions are chaired to manage the time available, to promote discussion and to ensure that speakers are supported appropriately.

Conference App for Mobile Devices

The free Conference App will be available to download at the end of May and will provide delegates with additional content, including biographies of conference speakers, venue floor plan, research funding opportunities, networking and much more.

Full Papers

Full papers from the conference programme will be available to BELMAS members on the Society’s website after the conference.



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Conference and the Coronavirus

Given the risk to health posed by the global pandemic of COVID-19, BELMAS Council has confirmed that the 2020 Conference has been cancelled. Further announcements will follow in due course.