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Guide to submitting a Congress fringe event

So you have an idea for a congress fringe event that you think delegates are going to love. Use our guidance to help you with your application and maximise your chances of selection.

How fringe events are chosen

All delegates can attend any of the learning and development (fringe) events at Congress. They support CPD and contribute to re-validation requirements. To make these events more widely accessible an increasing number are being filmed and available to view live and on demand after the event via RCN Events TV.

Please complete the form ensuring that you highlight the learning outcomes, and how your event will benefit its target audience.

The deadline for submitting proposed fringe events is 29 January 2020.

What makes a good fringe event

When the Panel reviews each fringe event submission they look at whether the event:

  • will add value to Congress
  • will encourage employers to support their staff to attend
  • is relevant to nursing support workers, student and/or nurse members
  • is a collaboration, for example with another RCN group, external organisation or commercial partner
  • involves patients, or service users if relevant
  • if aimed at all delegates, demonstrates an awareness of different positions across the UK
  • is evidence-based and will be properly quality assured
  • has clear learning outcomes identified
  • demonstrates explicit links to other areas of RCN work including educational events and programmes
  • session aims and objectives are achievable within 45 minutes.

Before submitting your application ensure your event meets as much of the above criteria as possible and explain this as clearly as possible in your submission.

Choosing when to host your fringe event

Fringe event slots will be 45 minutes long. We recommend allocating 30 minutes for presenting and 15 minutes for audience Q&A and a maximum of 3 speakers for a panel discussion.

When completing the online submission form you are asked to identify any days/times your speakers can make. The table below details all the available slots during congress. 

If your fringe event is selected, you will be contacted via email in February 2020 to confirm the allocated time slot.

The RCN also offers opportunities to organisations wishing to host their own educational sessions. To discuss the options for sponsored educational events please email our corporate relations team or call 020 7647 3959.


Breakfast events 45 minutes
Before main hall debates commence
Lunch events 45 minutes
During main hall lunchtime break

Evening events 45 minutes
After the Main Hall conclusion
Monday 8 June  No fringe events    
Tuesday 9 June      
Wednesday 10 June      
Thursday 11 June   No fringe events  No fringe events  No fringe events

The format of your fringe event

Your fringe event could be in any one of the following formats:

  • Workshop/skills development - An opportunity for delegates to learn a particular new skill
  • Lecture - A talk/speech on a specific topic by a specialist/expert
  • Seminar - An informal interactive study on a specific topic, with a range of speakers
  • Discussion/debate - a topic introduced by a speaker who then facilitates open audience participation seeking their viewpoints; usually with a panel of representatives
  • Q&A session - Audience-led questions to a person or panel (usually senior in their field) without agenda.

You may wish to consider running a partnership event which may feature external (i.e. non-RCN) organisations but these must be led by the RCN. These should focus on the partnership and must not be a showcase for third-party products or services. Don’t forget to describe the format of your event when filling in the application form. 

Cost of hosting a fringe event

The RCN will cover the costs of room hire, catering (breakfast sessions only) and a standard AV package*. You are asked to provide details of any other costs as part of your submission. The Fringe Selection Panel will let you know if expense costs will be paid as part of their decision on your event.

We cannot pay speaker fees or honorariums and would only pay travel/accommodation costs if the speaker is not already attending Congress. Accommodation and travel is paid in line with the RCN expenses policy.

* The standard AV package consists of a laptop, projector and screen. Some larger rooms will have microphones. A full outline of your included AV will be listed in your event confirmation notification.
We are not able to pay any other costs associated with your fringe events.

Please email congress@rcn.org.uk if you have any specific questions.

Sponsored educational events

The RCN also offers sponsorship opportunities to organisations wishing to host their own educational sessions. To discuss the options for sponsored educational events please email our corporate relations team or call 020 7647 3940.

Please email congress@rcn.org.uk if you have any specific questions.

What happens next?

Submitters will receive an email in February with the outcome of the Fringe Selection Panel’s review. We receive many more submissions for fringe events than we have space for so please do not be too disappointed if your event is not accepted. We give everyone feedback after the selection process has taken place. The Forums Governance Group will be working with forums this year to encourage joint submissions and will be in touch with forums about this process shortly.






Submit a fringe event

Ready to submit your proposed event now you've read our guidance? Submit it here.

Page last updated - 18/10/2019