22nd International AIDS Conference
Amsterdam, Netherlands | 23-27 July 2018

AIDS 2018 Pre-conferences

At AIDS 2016, the International AIDS Conference (IAC) took a fresh approach to its traditional format by integrating 16 pre-conferences into the core conference as a single event. This change facilitated delegates’ access to dynamic pre-conference programming and offered pre-conference organizers administrative and logistical support. Given the success of this approach – with all pre-conferences exceeding anticipated capacities – the format will be used again for AIDS 2018. Specific questions can be directed to [email protected].


Pre-conferences are meetings that are held for one to two days immediately before the official Opening Ceremony. Pre-conference participants typically number from 100 to more than 1,000, and the events engage delegates in population-specific or issue-specific programming that is HIV and AIDS related. Meeting organizers have full discretion over the programme, deciding if the meeting is open or invite-only and if it is free or requires additional registration.

Timeline and selection process

Due to the popularity of this programme, applications are reviewed and selected on a rolling basis:

  • July 2017:
    The programme will kick off at IAS 2017 in July 2017 with a public announcement and a call for proposals.
  • 1 September-15 October 2017:
    Interested organizations should submit letters of interest that include a brief description of the focus, scope and size of the events.
  • 1 November-30 November 2017:
    All organizations will be informed if their submission has been accepted, and all agreements will be signed with all selected pre-conference organizers.
  • 1 December 2017:
    Selected pre-conferences will be announced.

Package options

A conference liaison will be assigned to all confirmed pre-conferences to answer questions and facilitate planning between organizers and appropriate suppliers as needed. Based on the size of the pre-conference meeting, the following room packages are available:

Less than 300 participants
300-499 participants
500 to 999 participants
Large +
1,000+ participants

Prices are excluding VAT. VAT will apply to non NL VAT registered businesses.

Depending on availability, room packages will be booked on a rolling basis. If required, offices can be booked upon availability and at an additional cost.

All pre-conference packages include the following:



Venue rental

Rooms are set up in a theatre style. Alternative set ups are available, but may be subject to additional costs.

Audio-visual equipment

Basic AV equipment (lectern, microphones, projector and screen, sound system, technician/s) is provided. Additional AV requirements are charged separately.

Programme development

An online planner is available in April to enable pre-conference organizers to share speakers, create complementary programming, and prevent content or speaker conflicts. Additionally, a list of confirmed speakers can be provided on a rolling basis, so pre-conference organizers may choose to invite speakers who are already confirmed and/or supported for AIDS 2018.


All pre-conference attendees must be registered for AIDS 2018. For those participants not attending the conference, each pre-conference organizer will receive a set number of free registrations based on the room package booked. These can be distributed at the organizers’ discretion.


All pre-conferences have access to basic Wi-Fi within the venue, which supports basic internet access and usage, such as email, social media, and browsing.

Speaker Centre

Pre-conference speakers and organizers have access to the Speaker Centre beginning Friday, 20 July to upload presentations through the presentation distribution system. On-site support is provided at no additional charge.


Pre-conferences have access to abstracts submitted to AIDS 2018 and may benefit from the extensive review process undertaken for the conference or are welcome to score the abstracts using their own process. Should conference abstracts be presented, pre-conference organizers must apply for co-submission rights and abide by the conference embargo policy.


AIDS 2018 can confirm which pre-conference attendees are supported by the conference to enable pre-conference organizers to determine how to best distribute their own scholarships.

Media and marketing

Key announcements, updates and promotions around pre-conference programming are incorporated into AIDS 2018 communications, including print, social media and the web. Additionally, the Media Centre is open for journalists to use on site and is equipped with a press conference room.  


Pre-conferences benefit from the security services and entrance control used for the conference.

Medical services

Medical services for pre-conference delegates are available.

Digital signage

Logos and event information are displayed on digital screens outside the meeting room/s if available and applicable.

Report-back session

Space is reserved in the conference programme for rapporteurs from the pre-conference sessions to give a summary of the outcomes of the pre-conference meetings.

Pre-conference organizers have access to official conference suppliers, benefitting from a highly competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process and reduced pricing for optional services.

Optional package items, available at additional cost, include:




Pre-conference organizers benefit from bulk printing rates used for the conference. A pull-up banner for the corridor and additional signage such as stage banners or lectern posters can be ordered directly with the supplier.    

Breakout rooms

Small 50 – 75 pax rooms are available and can be booked throughout the day as needed, depending on availability. Rooms are booked on a first come first served basis.


Set-up and catering for events such as receptions or film screenings alongside, or within, the pre-conference area are possible.  


Interpretation services – interpreters and/or equipment - are available upon request.

Photography or recording services

Conference photographers and videographers are available upon request.


Shipping can be arranged directly with the conference supplier – DB Schenker – and pre-conference organizers benefit from reduced rates.


Skilled support can be arranged directly with the conference supplier.


Inexpensive staffing arrangements can be made with conference volunteers if extra support is required.

Delegate Attendance


Conference registration

Participants must be registered as AIDS 2018 delegates in order to attend pre-conference meetings. Day passes will be available for purchase for those who do not plan to attend the conference. A set number of day passes, based on room package booked, will be offered to each pre-conference organizer to distribute at their discretion, including invited guests, speakers and on-site staff.  

Pre-conference registration

Pre-conference organizers are welcome to host open or invite-only events. For open events, attendance will be first come first served, based on room capacity. For invite-only events, registration should be handled by pre-conference organizers. Upon request, AIDS 2018 organizers can confirm if pre-conference participants are registered for the main conference.

Pre-conference fees

At the organizers’ discretion, pre-conferences may charge additional fees for attendance. Any fee would be in addition to conference registration and must be managed by the pre-conference organizer.


Pre-conference organizers will be able to contact the IAS in March and May 2018 to enquire if specific individuals have applied for and/or been awarded a scholarship. Requests should be submitted in one collated list. No additional information about scholarship applicants or recipients will be shared (gender, age, key population, HIV status, etc.). Pre-conference organizers who wish to award their own scholarships should do so separately from the conference system.

Programme support and coordination

Programme development and presentations

An online planner is available in April 2018 to enable pre-conference organizers to share speakers, create complementary programming, and prevent content or speaker conflicts. Pre-conference organizers must enter their programme into an online portal by 31 May 2018. If complete content is not uploaded by the deadline, the pre-conference may not be included in the public conference programme.

The Speaker Centre is open to help with uploading presentations to the conference system. It will not be possible to upload presentations directly in the session rooms.

Speaker planning and coordination

Pre-conference organizers will be able to request a list of confirmed conference speakers in March 2018 and again in May 2018 in order to support pre-conference programme building. Please note that AIDS 2018 is not able to provide funding for pre-conference speakers.


Pre-conference organizers will benefit from being able to access abstracts submitted to AIDS 2018, including scoring from our rigorous peer-review process, and can invite authors to present at their events.

There are three points in the submission process at which abstracts are shared:

  1. After submission closes: This option is for organizers who wish to undertake their own abstract review.
  2. After abstract selection: This option is for organizers to access the scores and selection status.
  3. After late-breaker selection: This option is for organizers to access late-breaker abstracts not selected for presentation and to invite those authors to present at the pre-conference. Abstracts accepted as AIDS 2018 late breakers are NOT available to pre-conference organizers.

Abstracts are shared through several different mechanisms. Pre-conference organizers select abstracts by:

  • Exploring relevant track categories from the list of AIDS 2018 categories
  • Looking at presenter demographics
  • Searching for keyword/s in abstract titles or texts.

When pre-conference organizers have received requested abstracts, they are responsible for selecting (and reviewing, if applicable) abstracts for their own event. The IAS provides author contact information, so pre-conference organizers can contact authors directly.

On-site logistics

Room set up and AV

All session rooms will be set up in a theatre style. Other seating arrangements (either classroom or banquet style) may be possible (subject to additional set-up costs) and must be ordered by the pre-conference organizer through the venue/official build-up supplier upon approval of the IAS. Organizers will have access to the room from 06:30 to 20:30. Advance access is not possible.

Session rooms contain the following basic AV equipment:

  • Lectern with microphone, laptop and mouse
  • Chairperson table with microphone/s (number of microphones depending on room package)
  • Projector and screen displaying PowerPoint presentations for the audience
  • Preview monitor for the chairperson table
  • Microphones on stands for audience questions (number of microphones depending on room package)
  • Sound system
  • Conference lighting
  • Technician/s

The pre-conference organizer must order any additional AV requirements through the official AV company to ensure conference AV requirements are respected. Session recordings can be provided at additional costs.

A limited number of breakout rooms for 50 – 75 pax are available and can be booked on a first come first served basis.


Food outlet/s will be available within the conference venue for delegates to purchase hot/cold drinks, snacks or lunch items during the pre-conference meeting days. However, if a pre-conference has catering requirements, arrangements can be made directly through the venue. Catering will be set up inside or outside the room depending on space availability and the catering requested. Any catering space outside of the room must be pre-approved by the IAS and the venue.


Set-up and catering for events such as receptions or film screenings alongside, or within, the pre-conference area are possible. Items such as flowers, table linens, premium food and beverage, stanchions, and music can all be arranged directly with the supplier or the venue.

Print signage

One pull-up/retractable sign (maximum size: 950mm x 2,000mm) per pre-conference may be placed in the corridor at the entrance to the main room. Additional signage within each room may be used on stage or within the room depending on space; the exact location/s are to be reviewed. These and other signage requests, such as table or lectern signs, along with delivery, must be arranged directly with the official signage supplier. All signage must be provided by the pre-conference organizers and pre-approved by the IAS prior to production.

All rooms will include conference branding.


Interpreters and/or equipment can be ordered directly with the selected supplier.

Photography and video recording services

Conference photographers and videographers can be booked upon request.


Shipping arrangements can be made directly with DB Schenker, the official conference shipper, enabling pre-conference organizers to benefit from conference shipping rates.


Space in the core conference programme will be allocated for a report-back on pre-conference presentations and outcomes. Pre-conference organizers interested in participating should source a rapporteur to summarize the key highlights of the pre-conference and prepare a short presentation for AIDS 2018 delegates. Pre-conference organizers who wish to have a report-back must notify the AIDS 2018 organizers by the end of March 2018. Organizers can also submit a written rapporteur summary from their event, which will be compiled into one “pre-conference report-back” document and posted on the AIDS 2018 website after the conference. Conference organizers will provide guidelines for rapporteur presentations.


AIDS 2018 has acquired the best rates in different price categories for conference delegates and groups. Accommodation should be booked through the online accommodation form, which opens on 1 December 2017.

For group accommodation bookings (more than 10 rooms), the details, including arrival and departure dates, number of rooms, price range and any other requirements, should be sent to [email protected].



Once all pre-conferences are confirmed, the key announcements, updates and promotions will be incorporated into AIDS 2018 communications, including print, social media and the conference website. This will include:

  • A media announcement of the pre-conference schedule as part of a standard AIDS 2018 media advisory
  • At least two AIDS 2018 emails sent to the official marketing list as part of the larger registration marketing series
  • An AIDS 2018 email sent to all registered delegates with final pre-conference programme details
  • Regular social media promotion of both the full programme and individual pre-conference meetings through the AIDS 2018 social media channels.

Pre-conference organizers will manage all attendee communications for their specific meeting. AIDS 2018 organizers will send regular updates through an email list to the official marketing list, all conference delegates and individuals who register to receive updates through the AIDS 2018 website. Organizers inviting non-conference delegates to attend pre-conference meetings can separately send email contacts to be added to the conference communications list-serve.

Pre-conference organizers are encouraged to share updates to be promoted through AIDS 2018 digital channels where appropriate.


There will be a dedicated pre-conferences webpage on the AIDS 2018 website, which will give each pre-conference organizer space to describe their event. These will be updated regularly. Pre-conferences are to be listed in the same format as AIDS 2018 sessions in the printed programme.

A complete description of the event will be posted on the online programme. Additionally, PowerPoint presentations delivered at pre-conferences can be posted to the online programme.

If pre-conference organizers decide to film their events, these recordings can be posted on the online programme and the conference YouTube page. If this option is of interest, we highly recommend pre-conference organizers secure professional recording services. IAS reserves the right to decline content that is not accessible due to poor picture or sound quality.   


The Media Centre, equipped with a press conference room, will be open during the pre-conferences for journalists to use on site. The use of the press conference room will be free of charge for all pre-conference organizers, but will require pre-booking.

When not in use by conference organizers, the press conference room can be used by third parties; this refers to all parties other than the conference organizers, including presenters, NGOs, international organizations or agencies and/or industry representatives.

Any media attending a pre-conference meeting must register and be accredited through the AIDS 2018 official media registration process. Pre-conference organizers will not have direct access to the AIDS 2018 media list.