Call for social events

We are very happy to inaugurate social events at the coming NeurIPS 2019. Given the steadily increasing amount of attendees of NeurIPS, it's becoming more and more difficult to meet colleagues with similar interests each year. In recent years, this issue was partially addressed by social events organized by corporations: such events brought together large number of participants to discuss research, career prospects, and unrelated topics in an informal manner. However, these events often failed to be inclusive due to non-transparent invitation policies that favored participants of very specific backgrounds (e.g., being from venerable institutions or already being socially well-connected).

This year, the NeurIPS foundation decided to take action and host social events accessible for all participants of the conference. The social events can provide an excellent opportunity for those with a common interest to meet up, discuss, collaborate, argue, or celebrate. We solicit proposals from all registered NeurIPS attendees on any scientific or non-scientific topic that are deemed to enrich the community.

The proposers are kindly requested to provide a short paragraph in which the scope of the social will be described. Each proposal should be backed by at least two organizers (preferably working at different institutions) who will be responsible for local organization of the event, and at least 6 guests who plan to attend. Organizers and guests should be registered participants of NeurIPS.

What makes a good social event? While our vision is to have a broad range of social events that are as diverse as possible, considering the following soft criteria should be helpful:

  • Reasonably broad appeal:
    Each event should appeal to about 100-150 attendees (due to room capacity restrictions).
  • Focus on social aspects:
    Rather than providing a stage for regular research talks, events should attempt to create a less formal environment that encourages discussion between all attendees. Open debates, round-table discussions, hands-on tutorials, coaching sessions and other forms of academic speed dating are encouraged.
  • Get creative with the topics:
    There are numerous interests that connect us both within and beyond machine learning and AI, and we’d be thrilled to host social events organized around less technical topics.
  • Diversity and inclusion:
    We aim to host a diverse range of events that represent all parts of the NeurIPS community, and also to help visibility of unprivileged minorities. That said, all socials should be accessible for everyone that wishes to participate.

What we provide:
The selected social events will be hosted each evening at the conference venue right after the main program ends at 7:00 pm, as official part of NeurIPS 2019. Since the NeurIPS foundation does not provide any direct funding beyond providing the space, socials should find their own sources of funding if they require further services like catering or A/V equipment. We find it quite likely that arranging sponsorships for social events will be relatively easy due to the official association with NeurIPS. Sponsors will be permitted to display their logos at the socials. Figuring out local organization details will be facilitated by putting the organizers directly in touch with the venue’s staff.

Code of conduct:
Being part of NeurIPS 2019, social events are subject to the general code of conduct of the meeting.

Important dates:

  • Deadline: November 8
  • Notification: November 15

How to apply:
To apply, please provide a 1-page pdf file including the names and institutions of the organizers and the guests, along with a short description of the activities planned at the proposed social event. Proposals will be evaluated by a small committee led by the social chairs. Applications should be sent to:

If you need any information, please feel free to contact us at:

Hope to see many of you there!

The Social co-chairs
Maria Skoularidou
Gergely Neu