Call for Participation guidance

What we're looking for

Anything you're enthusiastic about. If you enjoy it, the odds are we will too! You don't need to be an expert to propose anything. For ideas on what we've hosted before check out what we've had on previously:

We have five types of proposal: talks, performances, workshops, youth workshops and installations. If your proposal doesn't neatly fit into one of these categories, pick the most relevant and we'll work with you to figure out what's best.


We have three fully-equipped stages that can host a person or group to speak about something they find awesome.

Previously our stages have hosted talks on bees, locking-picking, and in-depth discussions on Linux containers.


In the evenings we want to fill the site with music, art and films. Whether it's a DJ set, algorave or classical we want to hear you!

Similarly we'd love to showcase interesting films and documentaries, so if you have stuff to show get in touch.


Workshops are one of the most popular features of EMF. Hosted in both our dedicated marquees and by various villages they allow attendees to try something different or pick up new tricks for old skills.

Examples of workshops include arm knitting, spork-making, and programming.

Youth Workshops

We have a dedicated area with content for those under 13, and are looking for workshops that are both entertaining and educational.

At previous events we've had workshops on everything from giant bubbles to making weather stations, lego robots to 3D printing, pom-pom making to storytelling, and bridge building to geocaching.


Installations run all weekend. Some are static and brought on to the site for people to look at or use, while others are built over the weekend.

More detailed guidance is available on the Installation Support page.

Entries for this include a retro arcade, a ride-on duck, and a spaceship in a caravan.

Timeline chevron-down

The call for participation is split into multiple selection rounds lasting several weeks.

All unaccepted submissions are considered in each round, and the top-rated submissions are accepted. Any submissions not accepted in a round of reviews are automatically entered into the next round and will be considered again.

Review rounds will close on the following dates:

  • March 5th
  • March 20th
  • April 5th
  • April 20th
  • May 5th
  • May 20th

You will recieve an email updating you on the status of your submission after each review round.

A few weeks before the event the submissions that will be on the main stages and in the workshop tents (i.e. not hosted by villages) will be locked and the schedule will be created. The call for participation will remain open until the week before the event but the submissions will be set to villages.

The process chevron-down

We believe diverse views make a better event. To facilitate this we use an anonymised review process for talk and workshop submissions.

  1. You send us your amazing submission.
  2. We anonymise it. If we can't, we may ask you to re-write bits of it; we'll provide as much feedback as we can to make this easy.
  3. The anonymised title & description are sent to our reviewers. These are a diverse set of people chosen from amongst our community.
  4. Each reviewer scores the submissions in their category depending on how interested in the topic they are.
  5. The submissions are then ranked using the reviewers' scores.
  6. The top submissions are accepted. Regardless of whether your submission is accepted, we'll let you know. In early rounds we'll only be accepting a small number of submissions, but you may be accepted in a later round (in which case we'll let you know).
  7. If your submission is accepted, we'll check that you're happy with its title and description before they're added to the schedule.

The FAQ chevron-down

I have (further) questions!
If it's not here (or in the wiki FAQ) then feel free to email us.
Why do you have your own messaging system?
Because wrangling email from multiple people, possibly on multiple topics (i.e. if one person has several submissions) rapidly gets very tricky. We realise being sent a "you have pending messages" email sucks and we'd rather not do it but we just couldn't make alternatives work in the time we had to implement all of this.
What goes through the anonymised review process?

We use the review process for the bulk of the content we host: talks and workshops. Youth workshops, performances, and installations are treated separately (generally by a smaller group of people).

Why don't youth workshops/performances/installations go through the same review process?

In the case of youth workshops we have to check details more thoroughly. Performances and installations are more difficult to anonymise and often have more stringent requirements.

Do I need a DBS check to run a youth workshop?

No (but if you have one, please let us know).

The formchevron-down

This section will highlight a couple of important points about the forms.

Name & Email
We use these to create a new account. Your personal details won't be seen by our review panel.
Title & Description
A short summary and fuller description of your proposal. As these will be anonymised, please try to avoid personally identifiable information. They'll also be used to produce our schedule (although you'll have a chance to edit them beforehand).
Depending on the type of your proposal you will likely have different needs. If we know what they are ahead of time we can help make sure they don't cause problems. Basic equipment, including microphones and projectors, will be available to everyone.
The help checkbox
If you're unsure about your proposal and would like some help with it, or if you want some advice on carrying out your submission (e.g. preparing slides, running a workshop) tell us! We don't consider lack of experience a problem and we welcome those who haven't given talks before.
Preparing talks, planning workshops and building installations take time, and we don't want to waste yours. If you let us know how much notice you require to organise your submission we'll do all we can to let you know before that deadline.
Duration (talks and workshops)
We have a fixed amount of space and time during the event. By letting us know how long your talk or workshop will run for we can figure out where to place you in the schedule (this doesn't apply to installations as it's assumed they'll run for most of the weekend).
Attendees (workshops only)
Workshops involve more interaction than talks and this often puts a tighter limit on the number of attendees. Estimating the number of people that you feel capable of teaching at once will help us organise the schedule.
Attendees Equipment (workshops only)
Things attendees will be expected to bring themselves (e.g. laptops for a programming workshop).
Cost per attendee (workshops only)
Many workshops have a material cost, and obviously it is unfair to ask you to bear this. Letting us know what this fee is likely to be will help us plan.
Size (installations only)
Unlike talks and workshops, we need to plan for installations to coexist with each other. This size information doesn't have to be incredibly precise, but a reasonable estimate allows us to find a good place to put it, as well as ensure it's viable.
Funding (installations only)
EMF has some limited amount of funds that we can use to help installations.