Managing Presentations and Abstracts

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Managing speaker presentations and abstracts in EventsAir lets you cover all aspects of submission, review, selection and more. The information below covers the essentials of the abstract and presentation management process, and you can tailor this to suit your needs.

NOTE: The tools and portals we talk about in this document are very flexible, so we’re discussing in general terms the set-up, configuration, and how they’re used. Only you and your organization will know the specific steps and processes you’ll need to undertake. 

Overview of the Presenter and Abstract Management Process

Below is an outline of how EventsAir can help you manage the process of authors submitting their abstracts and biographies, reviewers being assigned and giving feedback, and final papers being allocated to an agenda session.


Step One: Configure options in Set Up (Presentations Module)

Before you can start accepting submissions for your event, you’ll need to configure the Presentations module (in the event Setup panel) so you can collect the right information.

Presentations - Preferences

This where you set up optional fields and tabs. You can also enable or disable Concurrent Sessions for your program. Your options include:

Optional Fields

  • Paper Reference – any reference number or code you’d like to use internally.
  • Preference 1 and 2 – as event manager, you can give first and second preferences for Presentation Type, Session, Themes and Sub Themes.

Tip: These are just suggestions, so you can still categorize papers however best suits your program.

  • Presentation Time – give session start and end times to prospective speakers.
  • Presentation Order – allows you to indicate the order in which the paper will be presented during a session.
  • Question Time – the number of minutes allocated for audience questions.
  • Poster Board Number – an optional field if you have an internal reference number.
  • Abstract Book Page Number & Author List Page Number – select if you’d like these included (if collating a book outside of EventsAir).

Optional Tabs

  • Biography – either you or the presenter can add a biography for the speaker.
  • Authors – either you or the presenter can enter additional authors’ details when there are multiple authors.
  • Reviewers – Entering Reviewers’ names here means they can be assigned to papers. 
  • Enable Review Panel – allows you to create a ‘panel’, made up of a group of reviewers. You’ll need this if you want to be able to assign reviewers via the Abstract Workflow App.
  • A/V – Audio-visual requirements (works the same as it does for the Functions module. A/V items defined in Functions will also show up here and vice versa). Presenters can nominate their requirements/requests when they submit their paper.


  • Enable Concurrent Sessions – Select this if you want to be able to have multiple sessions running at the same time.
  • Synchronize session name with paper title – Select if you want the session to automatically be renamed to match the title of the paper being presented.


  • Enable Audio/Visual Interpretations – This will be available as an option (for interpretation into other languages / signing for attendees with hearing impairment) if you have other relevant OnAIR settings enabled.

Creating Your Session Setup

Use the plus symbol next to Session to see the Session Setup screen. The process for setting up Sessions is similar to setting up Functions, with some notable exceptions (including features such as Session Surveys, Live Polling, and Live Q & A). You’ll find many features under Session Setup, and in Presentations, but we’re mainly looking at the those relating to abstracts and reviews.

Presentation Type

You can specify the different types of Presentations to take place at the event. Example Presentation Types can include:

  • Keynote Presentations
  • Panels
  • Workshops
  • Poster Presentations

Themes and Sub Themes

These features are optional, but they are a useful way to set up broad categories to help you organize and describe Presentations with similar content. They’re also very useful if you want to allocate reviewers based on themes. Sub Themes are a further categorization under each Theme.

For example, you could have a Technology Theme and a Global Perspectives Theme. Under the Global Perspectives Theme, you could have Sub Themes for each continent or region. You could allocate a reviewer to a particular theme or sub-theme based on their area of expertise. 


Keywords are your own terms or words, chosen to help locate specific categories of presentations. There’s no limit to the number of keywords you can create. Presenters can choose which keywords apply to their paper when they submit. You can also color-code these to make it easier for attendees to search for presentations based on particular keywords.

Paper Status

Paper Status contains definitions you create to help classify the status of submitted papers or presentations. For example, many organizations use:

  • Submitted
  • Resubmitted
  • Reviewed
  • Accepted
  • Rejected

However, you’re free to create whatever Paper Status terms will fit your requirements.


Locations are shared with the Functions module. Any Locations that have been created for a Function are available when creating a Session and vice versa. You can then access these locations when creating a session, and the information will be available on Merge Docs, Agendas and Attendee Apps etc. If you want to, you can also create a virtual ‘location’ that only applies to online sessions.


Checklist items in Presentations are action items that need to completed by specific dates, outside of EventsAir. These may be things such as:

  • Posting a welcome pack
  • Asking the session chairperson to do a pre-event introductory call with the speaker
  • Following up with the speaker after the event to get their feedback on the venue

This is a useful way to make specific notes with due dates that will attach to each speaker's attendee record. 


You create your document specifications so that EventsAir can provide fields and a method to upload , store, and manage the files (including images).

You can define the following:

  • Name (for example, Abstract, Chart etc)
  • Whether or not this is a Presentation Supporting Document. [You can think about this as something you want people to upload at the time they submit their Abstract, to support their application. If not, you can make it an Additional Document, which would normally be uploaded at a later date. An example of an Additional Document could be a speaker whose abstract has been accepted uploading their Final Paper.
  • Type of ‘document’ (can include images and links):
    • PDF
    • Uploaded Document
    • Plain Text
    • Image
    • Link
  • Size Limit – a file size limit (in Kb/Kilobytes) for each document. This only applies to PDFs, documents and images. The maximum limit is 5MB per document, so that you can access them from AIRDrive. However, you can set a lower limit if you wish.
  • Order – specify the order in which these should appear in the presentation record – you can change the order in the portals themselves.

Audio Visual

Like Location, AV Items are shared with the Functions module. Any AV Items that have been created for a Function are available when creating a Session and vice versa.

During the submission process, Presenters can nominate which AV Items they’d like to request from the list you’ve defined.

Session Role

Many conference organizers assign multiple roles for a given session. Within EventsAir, you can create a library of roles specific to your requirements. These can include Chairperson or Sponsor, Panel Moderator, Presenter etc. Roles can be assigned to an existing contact, or a new contact can be created and assigned a specific Session Role as required.

Assigning Session Roles is especially important for virtual and hybrid events as this is where you nominate AIRCast Studio Hosts and Moderators and Interpreters.

Session Live Interpretation

If this is enabled, you will see options to create or add languages. This is where you create the library of available Interpretation Categories (for example, Spanish, French, Japanese, Sign Language) according to what your event requires. You can specify what type of output will be available to the Interpreter:

  • Name – the name of the Interpretation category (e.g. Spanish)
  • Button Label – the name of the button label here (e.g. español)
  • Type – choose Audio [audio only], Visual [video only, typically only used for sign language] or Visual with Audio [i.e. video with audio, the most commonly used option.]

You will also need to create a session role that has Session Interpreter selected and a language nominated. Then within a session, you can select this role and apply it to your interpreter’s contact record. When they log into the session, they will see an option to go live and translate, based on the output type you specified. 

Review Criteria

You can use this to create a pre-defined list of benchmarks that your reviewers can evaluate against. You can also indicate the importance of each factor by adding a ‘weighting’ percentage (as long as your total doesn’t exceed 100%). For example, you can ask reviewers to rate each abstract for the following:

  • Content – you might want to say this is weighted at, say, 45%
  • Accuracy – example weight could be 40%
  • Relevance – example weight 10%
  • Visual Appeal – example weight 5%

The fields in Review Criteria are:

  • Name – the name of the criterion.
  • Score Type – ways for your reviewers to input relevant information:
    • Check Box – checked indicates the criterion has been met. (You can add the weighting percentage for the criterion.)
    • Date – to record any relevant date(s).
    • Score – a number that falls in a pre-set range. You need to also enter the range (for example, 1-5). You can indicate what weighting you want this to carry.
    • Number – use for numbers that may not fall in a known range. (e.g. word count)
    • Percentage – score out of a hundred.
    • Tag – create your own list of tags for reviewers to select from. Tags can also be weighted for importance.
    • Text – free-form text, for when no other category carries enough information.
  • Display Ordering – you can assign the order in which each criterion is displayed to reviewers. For example, if you give this a 1, it will appear first (2 will appear second and so on).

Review Panel

If you have multiple reviewers, you can set up a Review Panel. You must set up at least one Review Panel if you want to assign reviewers via the Abstract Workflow App. 

Submissions made via the Presentation Portal can be automatically assigned to members of the specified Review Panel if they match your chosen parameters, such as Presentation Types, Themes, or Sub-Themes.

Step Two: Interactive Sites and Marketing Tag

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to create interactive sites to use in your presentations process. A marketing tag will also help you quickly search for Authors and Presenters in your contacts:

  • [Presentations] Contact Site – An interactive site where any prospective speakers can create a new contact record before submitting their abstract.
  • Speakers Registration Site – A dedicated Speakers Registration Site. You can set the Paper Status for access to this site (for example, Paper Accepted), so that authors can only register to be presenters once their paper has been reviewed and approved.
  • Add Marketing Tag when Account Created – In the Setup panel for your event, use the Marketing module to create a Marketing Tag such as “Presenter”. We’re setting this up now so that when we come to set up our Presentation Portal in a moment, we can attach this tag to any new account created through the Presentation Portal contact site, to help track unfinished submissions.)

Step Three: Configuring the Presentation Portal

You can set up the Presentation Portal very simply or create a more complex set up to meet your needs. The Presentation Portal makes it easy for potential Presenters to apply, have their submission reviewed, and register if accepted. You can even create separate Presentation Portals, such as one calling for Abstracts and one for invited speakers. The portal allows users to:

  • Create an Attendee Record
  • Submit an Abstract (and other documents)
  • Receive feedback from reviewers
  • Register as a Presenter if accepted

Name your portal and set your live dates. (Later, you can nominate closing dates for submissions that are different to your app live dates. Be aware if you extend your closing date for submissions, you need to also update your app live dates.)

Settings – Include Section

Under Settings, you can define what sections to include or exclude. The options are Theme, Available Keywords, Authors, Affiliations, Presenting Author Bio, Additional Info, and Capture AV Requirements. You can enable or remove a section by checking or unchecking the box beside each one.

Other Settings

You can nominate what Presentation Types can be submitted via the Portal, and/or which themes and keywords will be visible. Including some things while excluding others may be useful if you want to directly manage certain types of presentations, such as your Keynote.  If you only nominate one presentation type here, that type will automatically be applied to any presentation submitted via the Presentation Portal (i.e. they won’t see any options).

Important: Abstract Document – This is a mandatory field because you need to nominate which file or document will be the Abstract Document sent to Reviewers.

More Settings

  • Title Maximum Word Count and Presenting Author Bio Maximum Word Count – Specify and enforce maximum word counts for Titles and Biographies.
  • Submission Close Date – Nominate the last day for new submissions.
  • Capitalize Author Name – If an author accidentally types, for example, "drew stevens", this will be changed to "Drew Stevens".
  • Limit Presenting Authors to – Limits how many co-authors can be presenters on the one paper. 
  • Automatically match authors to existing Contacts – If one of your authors creates an account via the Presentation Portal contact site when they already have a contact record, based on name and email address matching, a merged record will be created.
     NOTE: This doesn’t work the other way around. If an author with a contact record later tries to register via your normal registration website, a duplicate record may be created. Use your normal processes to scan for and remove duplicate records.
  • Show Reviewers' Comments – Comments made by the reviewer(s) will be visible to the author.
  • Show Reviewers' Details – If you’ve allowed Reviewer Comments to be visible, you can also choose to let the author see who reviewed their Abstract. As blind reviewing is the usual process, use this with caution and inform all your reviewers and authors beforehand.
  • Send an Alert when a submission is completed – If selected, you’ll be notified on the Alerts panel of EventsAir each time someone puts in a submission.
  • Maximum number of papers an individual can submit – Use this if you’re worried that frivolous submissions may slow down your review process. If an author tries to make a second paper and this is set to 1, it will prevent submission (so adjust if needed).
  • Automatic Submission Email Merge Document – Sends email when an author submits.
  • Automatic Resubmission Email Merge Document – Email to confirm resubmission. 
  • Notification of Paper Resubmitted Email Merge Document – Sends an email to the reviewer(s) when the author resubmits.
  • Paper status for registration – Nominate which Paper Status(es) will allow people to use the Registration Site you nominate below. For example, you may want separate registration sites for presenters and general attendees. You can use this setting to specify that only contacts whose Paper Status is either “Accepted as Oral Presentation” or “Accepted as Poster Presentation” can register on your dedicated Speakers Registration Site. 
  • Contact Site – Select the interactive site you’ve created. (When users land on the Welcome page of the Presentation Portal, they will start by clicking "Create New Account", which creates their online account. Then they’ll be asked to ‘Update Contact Information’, and that’s how they create their actual attendee record through this contact site.)
  • Registration Site – Select your Speakers Registration Site here (if you want to enable this feature). Authors can only register here when their paper matches the status(es) you nominated above.
  • Add Marketing Tag when Account Created – Here is where you’d use a marketing tag you created earlier, for this purpose. It will attach the tag automatically to anyone who submitted their contact details using this contact site. Later, you can use search filters to find anyone with this tag who didn’t complete the submission process and send an email reminder. 

Presentation Portal - Content tab

Some basic text content and default headings are already set up in the Presentation Portal, however you can also add more if you’d like to, under the Content tab.

For example, in the Abstract Payment Section, you can create settings to accept payments if you’re charging a fee to submit Abstracts. 

You can give further instructions on AV requirements, allow authors to edit their abstract, and add extra pages if your event requires other sections.

You can also ask for various types of further information and extra documents, such as presentation slides.

Note: As mentioned earlier, Supporting Documents are those submitted along with an Abstract to support the author’s application; Additional Documents are those submitted later (for example, the final paper or poster can be uploaded here after it has been reviewed and accepted).


The Localization tab can be used to give alternative spellings or wording where needed. For example, your authors may prefer the wording “Closing Date” to “Close Date”. You can also use this feature to create a Presentation Portal in other languages. You can set up a language in your event, manually change the labels to override the default, and then apply it to a particular site. You would then change the default for each label in the Presentation Portal.  This option is not available in all apps, and you will need to create a portal for each language. 

Step Four: Creating a Reviewer Portal

The Reviewer Portal looks similar to the Presentation Portal, but it’s for Reviewers.

The Reviewer Portal allows one or more contacts to have access to the presentations you want them to see and review. Reviewers use the portal to sign in and review, comment on, edit, and/or score the submissions you’ve assigned to them. 

Important: The Reviewer Portal can only be used by a Reviewer after they have a pending review allocated to them and the relevant session type/keywords/themes are enabled in the portal. Allocated reviews will also appear on the reviewer’s Attendee Record.

When a Reviewer logs in to the portal, they can see information including but not limited to Title, Presentation Type, Themes, Keywords, Authors, Affiliations, the submitted Abstract, supporting documents and more. These are usually in a Read-Only format, but you can also allow editing by the reviewer. 

Depending on configuration, the Reviewer can score the submission, make notes, and/or leave comments which can be seen by the organizing committee, and possibly the author (depending on the settings you’ve chosen in the Presentations Portal).

Again, depending on the configuration, the submitting author can be notified if the reviewer has asked them to edit the submission. Authors may also resubmit, if required, if this is how you’ve set up your process.

Step Five: Creating Your Abstract Workflow App

The Abstract Workflow App makes it easier for the organizing committee to manage submissions and put together the presentation program, without needing to be EventsAir users.

Once all reviews and scores have been submitted, you can use the Abstract Workflow App to perform a variety of tasks, such as accepting Abstracts, assigning presenters to sessions, and help you to manage your session schedules, AV requirements, etc. You can also monitor the review process and create new sessions.

The Abstract Workflow App allows you to:

  • Create and edit Sessions, Concurrent Session Blocks and Locations
  • View and edit the Agenda
  • Accept or reject submissions (or edit them if set up that way)
  • Assign Abstracts/Papers to Reviewers
  • Keep track of Reviewers’ progress
  • Assign Abstracts/Papers to Sessions
  • Collate all submissions into a single document (Abstract Book)
  • Export Individual Reviewer Status and Presentation Review Details (this feature is under “Utilities” on the app)


Settings in the Abstract Workflow App

The Abstract Workflow App is where papers are assigned a status, such as whether a submission is Accepted or Rejected, based on reviews.

You would usually then set up an appropriate notification Merge Doc to be sent to submitting authors to let them know whether or not they’ve been accepted as a speaker.

You can also enable or disable any of the following Navigation Tabs:

  • Manage Sessions
  • Allocate Reviewers
  • Monitor Reviewers
  • Accept Abstracts
  • Allocate Abstracts
  • Agenda
  • Utilities [This is where you find Abstract Book and exports/reports]
  • Search

If you don’t want all authenticated users to access all features, you can also create more than one Abstract Workflow App.


As with your other apps and sites, be sure to set all dates in line with your requirements and update these if anything changes later (for example, if you decide to extend the deadline for submissions).

Most of the other settings are self-explanatory, and like all EventsAir tools, offer many customization options, depending on your particular requirements.