Add a new conference session

Continuing with phase III - collecting proposed sessions and abstracts in OpenWater

Zack Schwartz avatar
Written by Zack Schwartz
Updated over a week ago

The following tutorial requires that you have completed the prerequisite Session Builder configuration outlined in this article. If you have completed your configuration, you can continue with this article below on building sessions for your conference.

Add a New Session

From your dashboard, click Manage on your Call for Abstracts program.

Under the Sessions drop down menu, click Manage Sessions.

Click Add Session.

Complete the required fields for the session which you configured from the previous article.


The restrictions options are important to discuss in detail. For any session, you can specify which abstracts are available to be pulled into that session.

  • Allow All Applications to be Added to this Session

This means any abstract available (as defined by the conditions in your session builder's Agenda Applications Conditions), general pool or not, can be assigned to this session.

  • Allow General Applications and those that Meet Certain Conditions

This option is a bit more restrictive. It permits general pool abstracts to be assigned to the session as well as those defined by conditions. Let's run through an example of a fake conference called the 2018 Annual Transportation Conference.

  1. The categories for the conference are Sea Vessels, Cars, Trucks, Planes, and Trains.

  2. We are adding a session called "Properly navigate your yacht in stormy weather"

  3. This session belongs to the Sea Vessels category. Therefore, only abstracts submitted to Sea Vessels should appear as available to be assigned to this session.

We will show where to set these visibility settings in the next section.

  • Only Allow Applications that Meet Certain Conditions

This is the same as the above example, except we exclude general pool abstracts.

Session Settings

After creating the session, tab over to Settings and verify the settings are correct. Make adjustments if necessary.

If you chose 'Meet Certain Conditions' while creating the session, you should see the Agenda Applications Conditions tab appear.

Click Add Condition and set the appropriate conditions for which abstracts are visible for assignment for this session. Following our fake example above, we should select Application Category Is 'Sea Vessel'.

The final tab, Session Chairs, allows you to add a session chair or session organizer. If your administrative staff is responsible for assembling abstracts into sessions, you can skip this step. However, in many cases, the individual who submitted the original session is the one responsible for assembling the session. In this case, you will want to click Add Session Chair and add that person as the chair of the session.

You can add more than one session chair - if you have more than one, you can set one chair to be the Primary Organizer. The primary organizer will be allowed to assemble the session. All other session chairs assigned to this session can view, but not edit or assemble the session. You can change the primary session chair by clicking Make Primary.

Next Steps

Repeat this process by adding all of the sessions for your conference. In most cases, this is a one-time data entry task by creating the sessions that were submitted from your call for sessions program. If you need help with this data entry task, contact your dedicated support representative and OpenWater can provide assistance.

Proceed to the next section - assigning abstracts to sessions.

Assign Abstracts to Sessions

As described during the configuration and setup - there are two ways to assign abstracts to sessions. The articles for each are linked below.

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