Submission Guidelines for the 85th Annual International Conference

A Virtual Experience   October 27 to 31, 2020

The annual conference provides many networking opportunities and supports ongoing professional development.  We want to help ABC members reach their goals and experience all that ABC has to offer. To assist you in submitting a proposal, please read the following guidelines carefully.  We hope you will please give permission for ABC to publish your extended abstract (proposal) in the Conference Proceedings (ISSN 2472-0658.)

Before submitting a proposal that includes other presenters, secure permission to include them in your submission.  Inform them that they need to register for, attend, and present at the conference should the submission be approved. Please do not include as co-presenter anyone who has not expressly agreed to be part of your submission and who will not register and attend the conference as your co-presenter. However, they can be listed as co-authors. Co-authors have contributed to the intellectual property being submitted, but they are not expected to present. 

Presenters must be either an "Organization Member" or "Organization Guest."  A presenter or co-presenter can create a free Organization Guest account (no member benefits), by visiting the ABC membership page at:   To keep all presenters in the communication loop, please establish the “Organization Member” or “Organization Guest” account prior to submission.  A guest account can be created and later turned into membership account; contact for assistance. 

Once approval notices have been sent, the submitter will be asked to “accept” the approved status within two weeks of the emailed notice by logging in to the submitter’s profile/My Presentations. Approval notices will be sent to the submitter, any co-presenters and any co-authors near mid-July.  You can also check submission status by visiting your ABC profile and going to My Presentations.

Conference Participation:

Any interested person may submit a business communications-related topic, register for, and attend the ABC annual conference. All presenters, including virtual presenters must register for the conference.  Members receive a discount at the annual conference and with continuous membership, their approved and accepted submission title is archived in the member profile.  The full submission is archived if the member is the submitter and maintains continuous membership. Guest members do not receive ABC member discounts nor archived submission details.

ABC REQUESTS ONLY ONE SUBMISSION naming you as presenter or co-presenter, except you may also submit to Research Roundtable, How Do You Teaching Diversity?, My Favorite Assignment, or Posters.

Your rigorous adherence to the submission process helps us continually improve the conference experience for all.  Proposals are reviewed and approved or declined based on all the submission details.

On the submission form, submitter is asked to indicate:

“I understand the criteria below are being used in the evaluation and selection process.”

  • Defines theme
  • Describes purpose
  • Describes goals
  • Describes methodology
  • Describes outcomes
  • Proposal is between 500-1000 words.  (Word count should not include any references.)
  • Program Insert Describes Presentation to Attract Attendees in 60-words or Less and is Written in 3rd Person
  • Besides How Do You Teach Diversity?, Research Roundtable, My Favorite Assignment, or Posters, ABC REQUESTS ONLY ONE SUBMISSION naming you as presenter or co-presenter. Did you limit submissions?
  • You and all co-presenters (if any) agree to register and present at this conference.

A program insert is included in proposal screening and, if approved, will be part of ABC’s archives.  Insert should entice attendees with key points of talk.  The insert is limited to 60-words. Selection of a particular “Track” does not influence the selection process, but along with “Focus” does help us best schedule your presentation.

The submitter is asked to respond "yes" or "no" to:

"I hereby grant the Association for Business Communication permission to publicly display my extended abstract (proposal). Should I choose to revoke this permission, I understand I may do so by contacting or other such contact as directed by the Association for Business Communication."

Session Types:  

Regular Presentation (20 minutes) -  You may propose a regular presentation (20 minutes) that will be grouped by the conference chairs with other presentations.  (Proposals with one or two presenters should be submitted as Regular Presentation.)

Group Panel (60 minutes)  - Three or more speakers on one topic.  Depending upon panel size and conference needs, a presentation may be grouped by conference chairs with another presentation.


Poster Session:

Presenters may enjoy this opportunity to discuss their research in a one-on-one interactive experience with their audience in a more informal setting. This longer-lasting display, with about 20 minutes of presentation time, can reach a wider audience than traditional presentations and offer a richer opportunity for discussion and feedback.  As with regular and group sessions, the poster title and description will be listed in the printed conference program.  Check the website in early July for poster preparation tips.


Pre-Conference Workshop:    

Workshops should be 2- to 3-hour, highly interactive, themed events that do not fit into the regular program. Participants should leave with a new approach to teaching, researching, or consulting in the realm of business communication that they can immediately implement. Examples of possible workshops include creating a scholarship of teaching and learning research project, understanding emotional Intelligence and designing appropriate assignments, working with international writers, and developing a solid assessment plan for a business communication course/program. Proposals on thematic topics are most welcome.  Indicate in your submission the proposed workshop length.

Research Roundtable:

If you are beginning a new project or have one in progress, and are interested in discussing a new method or theory and how it might apply to your research, or simply getting feedback on an idea, submit a proposal to be part of the 60 to 80-minute research roundtable, with 6-10 minutes presentation time.

Lightning Roundtable:

Look for Calls and submission instructions for How Do You Teach Diversity? offered by Jacquelyn Lowman and for My Favorite Assignment with Joel Whalen.

Propose a new lightning round with your 6 or 7 (or more) designated presenters, sharing a fast-paced, informative presentation. Propose your own theme, or choose one of these topics:

  • Social media in the teaching of business communication
  • Innovative research methods for business communication
  • New theoretical approaches to teaching/studying business communication 
  • Multicultural approaches to teaching business communication
  • Intercultural approaches to studying business communication

Spanish Presentation (20 minutes):

We invite proposals written in Spanish to be presented in Spanish at the conference. We hope to offer two sessions. We will issue a separate call for volunteers to read/review proposals submitted in Spanish.

Virtual Presentation:            NOTE:  For 2020, All Presentations will be Virtual

Each year, the ABC annual conference offers a limited number of virtual presentations. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, consider submitting a proposal to present interactively from your location to attendees at the conference. Two sessions will be held.  (Please note your time zone at beginning of your proposal.)  As with all presentations, virtual presenters must register for the conference.