Submission and Review Process

July 19 – 22  |  Online

Submission and Review Process

It wouldn’t be 2020 without a little craziness don’t you think? If you’re anything like us you’re ready to start fresh with 2021, and that’s exactly what we’re doing for Agile2021: Starting fresh.

Exactly how fresh are we talking here?

Agile2021 will be held online July 19-22, 2021. While online events are commonplace for Agile Alliance, this is the first time the Agile20XX conference will be virtual. Hosting an online conference is a lot different than our traditional in-person conference format. We’ve highlighted some of the changes you should be aware of before submitting on our What’s New for Agile2021 page. Once you’ve read that, you can return to this page for everything you need to know to submit to the conference.

If you’ve submitted to an Agile20XX conference before, you know the drill. We open submissions on a certain date, and on a certain date we close them. You have until the closing date to get your submission prepared and finalized. The process looked a bit like this:


The basic premise will be the same, but this year we’re accepting submissions in iterations. What that means to you is that — while there’s still an opening date and closing date for submissions — we will be accepting sessions three times during the submission period. The process will look more like this:



That’s nice and all, but why?

As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of difference between what we’ve done in the past and what we’re doing this year, but why are we doing this in the first place? We’ve made the decision to experiment with this model for multiple reasons, and we’ll elaborate on a few of them here:

  • Enhance conference marketing efforts. With previous conferences, we announced the program in its entirety in the spring before the conference. In many organizations, funding to attend conferences needs to be planned ahead of time and many don’t release the funds until the speakers are announced. By incrementally announcing speakers, we can start to give organizations an idea about what attendees will be learning without having to wait for the “big reveal” in March.
  • By announcing small batches of speakers at a time and spreading them out, we can promote individual speakers’ sessions more effectively, giving you a broader reach when delivering your message.
  • Given the additional effort required by the speaker to participate in a virtual event (for example, your session will need to be recorded up-front to reduce technology risk and provide a good attendee experience), we want you to have as much time as possible to prepare.

What’s in it for me?

We’re so glad you asked! The iterative selection process enables you to know earlier than in previous years whether or not your submission was selected for inclusion in the program. If you submit in the first iteration, for example, you’ll know by February 28th whether your session was selected. That is the fastest turnaround time yet for our conference.

Additionally, if your submission is not selected in the first iteration, you can continue to improve it and it will be considered for inclusion in subsequent iterations, meaning your submission has multiple chances to be selected. Because the submissions from the previous iteration are also up for selection in subsequent iterations, ensuring your submission stands out gets harder as time goes by. The advantage is yours to take. Submitting in the first iteration gives your session better odds of being selected.

While there are advantages from the selection and notification perspective, there are other reasons to submit earlier. First, you have more time to prepare. If you know your session was accepted in February, that gives you a two-month head start on the other speakers to prepare your materials for the online delivery format. Next, early acceptance gives Agile Alliance more time to market your talk to their audience, helping you amplify your message.

What Is The Program Team Looking For?

As in past years, we are looking for content in two formats: talks and workshops. At in-person conferences, the distinction between the two doesn’t really matter that much. You show up, do your thing, people ask questions, done. However, with our version of a virtual conference, there is a clear difference between the two.


These are single-person, pre-recorded presentations. The presenter will be online during the presentation to answer questions, elaborate points, etc. For talks, you are limited to one presenter, no co-presenters.


If you want to have the attendees break out and do some work, you have a workshop on your hands. When we say, “do some work”, we mean work that produces a tangible result. If you present an idea and want people to talk amongst themselves about that idea and report back, that isn’t a workshop for our purposes. You can have a co-facilitator if you like.

Workshops will be using Zoom Meeting.  You, as the facilitator will have host controls to manage breakout groups and discussions.  Given all sessions will be first come. first serve, workshops cannot require any prerequisite work to be completed before the conference dates.  However, worksheets or other information can be included for download in your session details.

What About Panels?

We are not taking submissions for panels through the submission system. However, we are always looking for great ideas to present, so if you have four or five colleagues and a compelling conversation, get in touch through the Contact Us links.

Did you say I get an honorarium? How?

For presenting a session at Agile2021, we are able to offer:

  • $250 Honorarium
  • 1 Complimentary All Access Pass, giving you access to
    • All LIVE content,
    • Watch recorded/On Demand sessions from all 3 time zones during the conference [July 19 – 23, 2021] and beyond
    • Complimentary AA membership

Please note the following:

  • ONLY 1 presenter can submit for a talk
  • For workshop sessions where there may be a co-facilitator, both presenters will be compensated

Ok, I get it, What does the timeline look like?

If you’ve made it this far, you likely want to know a bit more about the timeline for submissions. We’re currently planning one-month iterations, starting with the opening of the submission system on January 25th, 2021. The final day you can submit a session will be on April 15th, 2021 with two rounds of acceptances in between.

Iteration Dates (subject to change)
Open Deadline for Submissions Acceptances Sent
January 25, 2021 February 14, 2021 February 28, 2021
March 1, 2021 March 14, 2021 March 31, 2021
April 1, 2021 April 15, 2021 April 30, 2021


How do I submit my session?

Once the submission system is open, you have the option to post your submission as a 1) draft that nobody sees, or 2) draft that receives feedback from the review team.

The first option enables you to keep working with your submission until you are ready without getting premature feedback. We encourage you to use Creating a Great Submission as a guide for your submission structure.

The second option enables you to communicate directly with the track team so they can help you hone your submission.

Once you are satisfied that your submission is ready for evaluation with no more feedback needed, you should upgrade the submission to Submit for Evaluation.

The same review team that helped you with the feedback will be the evaluators.

Definition of the three submission states:

  • Draft submissions will not be reviewed, but the public can view and comment. Submitters can share the link and ask for feedback from friends and peers. Submitters use this state while working on their submissions.
  • Feedback Requested means the submitter is requesting feedback from the track review team to improve the submission before evaluation.
  • Ready for Evaluation means a session is ready to be evaluated by the track review team. If edits are needed, sessions should be moved back to a Draft state.
Action of Submitter Submission State  Review Team response
Create a draft submission Draft Review team does not see draft submissions.
Share the link to submission with friends and peers Draft/Feedback Requested/Ready for Evaluation The review team response depends on the state of the submission. People can provide comments in the comments section; these are visible to anyone.
Save as Ask for Feedback Feedback Requested Review team will respond within 48 hours. They will discuss the content and information provided to help make the submission the best it can be. Feedback is visible to the presenters and the review team.
Save As Submit For Evaluation Ready for Evaluation At least three members of the review team will evaluate your submission. You cannot see these evaluations.


This all makes sense to me, what else do I need to know?

There are a few things actually.

Don’t leave everything until the last minute. If you would like your submission to be considered for inclusion in the program for a given iteration, you must ensure that your session is in the Ready for Evaluation state by the end of the current iteration. (Refer to the list of iteration deadlines above.) If this isn’t done, the session will not be considered for the current iteration but will remain in the system and available for subsequent iterations should you move it into the Ready for Evaluation state at a later time. Should your session be selected during the iteration, you will receive a notification from the conference program team with additional steps.

The other thing — and this is really important — is that well-prepared submissions have an exponentially better chance of being selected. Take a look at the page “Creating a Submission That Increases Your Odds of Being Accepted” for crafting a submission that stands out to the content team.

Session Limits

Individuals may submit up to 4 sessions, regardless of whether they are the primary or secondary submitter. An individual will have no more than 2 submissions accepted into the program. Please note that only one speaker is compensated per talk and both presenters for workshops will be compensated, see the “What’s in it for me?” section above for more details.

What happens if I’m accepted? What do I have to do to prepare?

Congratulations — we’re excited to have you as a part of the program! You should expect to receive an email from the conference team notifying you that your submission was accepted. This email will contain several additional steps for you to take in order to finalize a few details and get your submission prepped for publication and marketing. You can find the schedule for when acceptance emails will be delivered above in the “So what does the timeline look like?” section above.