Seattle In-Person Meeting Will Go Virtual

In light of the ongoing concern about the COVID-19 pandemic and continuing restrictions nationwide on in-person meetings, as well as our members’ overwhelming response to our survey about health and safety concerns, the AAG will shift to a completely virtual annual meeting experience in 2021. While we are encouraged by recent news of breakthrough treatment and prevention options, the pandemic’s current trajectory indicates that it won’t be fully resolved by April.

All previously submitted in-person sessions will be automatically converted to virtual by December 1st. If you do not wish to host your session virtually please contact us at or remove your session from the submission system. Note that removing a session does not also remove the submitted abstracts.

In-Person Registrants: View Your Options

If you are a session organizer and need a specific date or time for your session, please fill out our Scheduling Request Form.

Experience the virtual meeting on our new platform!

View sessions, create your calendar, visit our exhibitors, attend virtual field trips, schedule mentoring sessions—plus, meet friends and colleagues more easily than ever in the chat area and networking events.

>>  Check out the Final Program Platform

Preparing your presentation or session or planning your calendar? View our TOOLKIT to help you get started! 

Paper Session

A paper session includes a series of individual presentations followed by discussion.

  • 75 minute session, 15 minutes per presentation
    5 presenters per session, or 4 presenters and 1 discussant
    An abstract for each presenter is required
    For paper sessions that do not use the full 75 minutes, additional presentations may be added after the submission deadline to complete the time

Note: If you require other types of audio/visual equipment, please contact Oscar Larson at

Poster Session

Posters are exhibited for informal browsing with opportunities for individual discussion with poster authors. Graphic materials will be displayed on a 4' x 8' poster board (landscape-oriented only) supplied by the AAG. Since a poster format is best when your material can easily be communicated visually, text should be limited to brief statements. 

  • Each presentation should make a unified, coherent statement
  • Materials, both textual and visual, should be of professional quality and be clearly legible from a distance of four feet (4')
  • Abstracts for each presenter are required and posters will be displayed and presented during the session 
  • Poster presenters can upload a digital file of their poster which will be visible in the session gallery before and after the meeting

Lightning Paper Session

The lightning paper session is a larger group of very short presentations summarizing research or studies in process in a particular field. It provides the audience with rapid and intensive overview of research and also allows for more in-depth discussion among presenters and the audience.

  • 10-14 presentations per session
    3-5 minute presentation for each
    25- to 45-minute interactive roundtable discussion following presentations
    Maximum of 10 PowerPoint slides per presentation 
    Abstracts for each presenter are required and are presented during session


Guided Poster Session

A guided poster is a short oral summary of problem, data, method, and findings presented in poster format, followed by a one-on-one or small group discussion with interested listeners. Each presenter will post illustrations and other relevant materials on a poster board supplied by the AAG. All oral summaries will be given at the beginning of each session before participants disperse to the poster boards around the room. 

  • 75 minute session
  • 8-12 presenters per session, 3- to 5-minute presentations per participant
  • 30- to 45-minute interactive discussion following presentations
  • 4' x 8' poster board (landscape-oriented only)
  • Abstracts submissions for each presenter are required and are presented during session

Panel Session

A panel session consists of participants examining a topic followed by questions from audience members.

  • 75 minute session
  • 4-6 panelists - can include introduction and discussants
  • No formal presentations or abstracts, any abstracts submission would be sorted into the appropriate paper or poster session

How to Organize a Session

Organized sessions are a great way to bring distant colleagues together to discuss current research and to advance the field. Anyone interested in the advancement of geography may organize one or more session(s) for the AAG Annual Meeting.

Use the Session Gallery, AAG Knowledge Communities, external listservs, and other channels of communication to publicize your session to potential participants.

Organize your session(s)

1. Have your session participants register for the Annual Meeting, submit an abstract if necessary, and provide you with their 8-digit program identification number (PIN)
2. Log in to the abstract and session submission console
3. Click “New Session” and follow the onscreen prompts to submit the appropriate session type
4. Click "Save and Submit"
5. Check for confirmation via email that your session has been submitted
6. Your session (and Call for Papers, if applicable) will now be visible in the Session Gallery.
7. If you find that you need to edit your session, you may do so by returning to the submission console any time before the final editing deadline, typically in February. However, it is imperative that all participants be added to your session before the session organization deadline which is typically in November.

Tips for successful session organization

  • CFPs can be posted in the most preliminary planning stages - all you need is a tentative title and brief description of how interested participants should get in touch.
  • The Session Gallery is searchable, allowing attendees to filter by session type, sponsor group, keyword, theme, and space availability.
  • Each session must use all 75 minutes of allotted time. For paper sessions that do not use the full 75 minutes, additional papers may be added after the submission deadline.
  • If you plan to organize more than one session and would like to run the sessions sequentially, please give them the same, but numbered titles (differing subtitles are fine). For example: Geography Today 1; Geography Today 2. An example of a subtitled approach might be: Geography Today 1: Where Are We?; Geography Today 2: We Are Here.
  • All sponsorship of sessions must be approved by the Specialty or Affinity Group or external organization listed. Learn more about session sponsorships for external groups.