2016 Session Formats

We offer a variety of formats for both speakers and attendees to find the session that fits them best. Explore all seven options to discover which one fits your speaking style and goals.


Panels let a group of individuals convene around and discuss a particular topic. You can format your panel in a variety of ways. Formats include:

  • Opening with a short introduction followed by a moderator-lead Q&A
  • Short presentations by three and four participants followed by an interactive dialogue amongst them
  • Presentations followed by an audience driven Q&A

We highly encourage diverse, cross-organizational or interdisciplinary panels. Your panel must have a specific core point of contention. Successful submissions will include who will take which side of that issue.


Are you ready to share your in depth knowledge about a particular technical topic? We’d would love to see your presentation. Each presentation should be 20-30 minutes long and will include a Q&A session. We will group multiple presentations on similar ideas into one-hour time slots.


Interactive by nature, workshops are presenter-lead, structured training followed by in-depth discussions, exercises or problem solving. Apply to lead a workshop, and help others develop their skills.

Birds of a Feather (BOF)

BOFs are guided, interactive discussions. You and your fellow facilitators will introduce the topic (about twenty percent of your allotted time) and then lead conversation with the audience. Your role will be to keep the discussion on topic and civil.

Student Opportunity Lab

The Student Opportunity Lab (SOL) is an interactive session where attendees can seek personalized advice. At GHC, this interactive forum focuses on students and the practical techniques and tools that can help them achieve their career goals. We host SOL in a large room where students can float between tables of ten. Each of these tables will have a speaker and a defined topic. These speakers will hold “mini sessions” lasting for 20 minutes. Students will attend 7-9 of their preferred mini sessions, depending on the total duration of the session. If you want to teach students just starting their career how to navigate the workforce, apply to run a table.

General Poster Session

GHC hosts one of the largest technical poster sessions in the U.S. It’s the perfect opportunity to informally present your research to conference attendees and experts in your field. Designed to help you solicit constructive feedback, the poster session lends itself to those who are still exploring an idea and have not fully developed their results into a completed paper.

ACM Research Competition

In addition to the general session, individual students submitting posters for GHC can opt to have their posters also considered for the ACM Student Research Competition (sponsored by Microsoft Research). The ACM Student Research Competition will be held in two phases. The first round of the competition evaluates the student’s research during the General Poster Session. Finalists selected by judges during that round will present their research the next day by giving fifteen-minute, formal PowerPoint presentations. Judges will evaluate your research for quality, clarity of both the oral and visual presentation, and the significance of your work. We will announce the winners Friday at a general session. The winners will continue on to ACM’s Grand Finals, hosted at a later date. Benefits of participation include:

  • Reimbursement of travel expenses up to $500 (provided by ACM, not ABI)
    • Receipts above $25 must be provided
    • Only certain types of expenses included
    • An ACM representative will present you with a packet during the General Poster Session that will explain their reimbursement process and answer your questions
  • Special Recognition in the online schedule