A conference abstract is a conference organiser’s first impression of you. It is a chance for you to highlight the expertise and value you can bring to the event. However, conference organisers receive hundreds of abstracts before an event, so how can you make sure yours stands out?
Our abstract management experts support organisations regularly in processing and preparing abstracts for presentation at academic conferences. We know how to identify abstracts that will deliver high-quality conference content that engages audiences.
What to include in your conference abstract
Some organisations have proposed this formula for writing conference abstracts:
topic + title + motivation + problem statement + approach + results + conclusions = conference abstract
While this formula is evident and easy to follow, we think it can be simplified further:
Title + Problem Statement + Purpose + Methods
By simplifying the steps involved in writing your conference abstract, you will likely find it easier to keep it concise and engaging.
The title of your conference abstract should clearly state the topic you are focused on. Not only will this help the reader quickly understand your abstract, but it will also help staff members and automated systems identify your abstract relevancy amongst the enormous assortment of submissions.
Try to make your title as exciting and attention-grabbing as possible. This will help the organisers remember you.
Make it clear to the organisation what the current problem is as early as possible so they can become invested in learning about the solution.
Along with your problem statement, you should also outline the explicit purpose of your work so that the organiser can determine if and where you fit into the conference schedule.
While some experts recommend breaking down this section into minute detail about the approach and results, we have found that many organisations accept partial or condensed abstracts. Their main concern is whether your research is relevant, reliable, and ethical. You can provide this assurance by providing details about your method, including controls and an overview of your processes.
Six tips to get your abstract selected for the conference
1. Submit your abstract as early as possible
As we mentioned, the conference abstract is an organisation’s first impression of you. By submitting your abstract as early as possible (and not right before the deadline), you can demonstrate that you are an organised individual who is actively updated with organisation news.
Many organisations start reviewing abstracts before the deadline, so by submitting yours as early as possible, you may be able to secure a spot at the conference before spaces become more competitive.
2. Research the conference
Your abstract should be tailored to the organisation and conference you submit it to. Research what the organisation and its members value to highlight these aspects of your research when writing your abstract. You may also find it helpful to mimic the organisation’s tone and style in your writing so that they can feel confident in your ability to resonate with their audience.
3. Use the right keywords to get noticed
During your research, identify words and phrases that the organisation often uses and will likely be scanning the abstracts for. This can help you get selected when staff members are sorting through submissions.
4. Read the guidelines carefully
No matter how good your research is, if you do not follow the abstract submission guidelines, you risk rejection or a delay in getting your abstract processed. Follow the organisation’s advice on formatting, language, and submission process to give them exactly what they want.
5. Be concise
Organisations receive hundreds (sometimes thousands) of abstract submissions for their conferences, so they are often under considerable time pressure to review them all. Keep your abstract concise and focused on ensuring they have time to read and understand your research thoroughly. If your abstract is too extended, they will likely find it difficult to review it fully before moving on to the next submission.
Tip: Avoid filler words and phrases that can be shortened. For example, rather than “it is important that everyone”, write “everyone should”.
6. Avoid jargon
Abstract reviews are often delegated to abstract management teams or junior staff members in an organisation. While these teams know the desired topics for the conference, they are unlikely to be subject matter experts, which means that high-level jargon or shorthand may go misunderstood. To ensure your abstract is fully understood, keep your language as simple as possible with minimal use of complex jargon.
Providing comprehensive abstract management means selecting and delivering the right content, and we use the latest technologies to do this for associations worldwide. At Congrex Switzerland, we understand the importance of delivering the right content during your conference. We have a dedicated abstract management team with years of experience in events of all sizes. Get in touch with our team for support with your next conference.
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations, and corporations.