Submitting for a conference paper:
When you are submitting a proposal for a conference paper, you are expected to have the paper completed, whether that be scholarly or empirical. The feedback you are garnering is based on how to improve it for potential publication and for it to be manuscript ready. Generally, you will be grouped with people/papers that are similar to you, so you might get less individual engagement, but can see related themes and questions across. Conference papers are usually two types:
I generally choose conference posters or round table discussions when my research is still in infancy, because of the type of engagement I want to receive, which is more tailored. For example, on one hand, for conference paper presentations, your audience will not always be at your session just for you, but could be interested in other papers (which isn't bad, but just a reality.) On the other hand, for posters, the people who are approaching your poster are ones who are interested in your work and so you will be fielding questions and comments specifically tailored to you. Likewise, for round table discussions, people are there and sit at the table because they want to talk about your work. One thing to note is, for conference posters, make sure to know the dimensions (and remember that poster printing technology has advanced so you can print on things like iron-free clothes now, which help decrease luggage space!)
Submitting for a panel/session:
If you are submitting with this, you are coordinating the people you want on the panel or session (which may or maybe not include you.) Most of these sessions require a coherent theme, not just amongst the panelists, but also with the conference theme/vision. These types of sessions are a great way for people to share out what they are working on, experiencing, and more~
On the ASHE (Association for Higher Education) website, you can find some great examples of each: www.ashe.ws/exampleproposals
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