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First Step: Judging by Topic Committee Representatives

A distinguished panel of AESP Topic Committee judges, who are energy professionals with subject matter expertise, will review and score abstracts submitted in their area. Judging is completed in a fair and objective process. Judges are bound by confidentiality and are required to declare any conflict of interest in entries over which they deliberate, in which case they will recuse themself. 

Abstracts are scored on a 1 (low) – 5 (high) scale on the following criteria:

  • Innovation, to ensure that the topic is unique and new to the AESP community.

  • Relevance and Impact, to conference attendees and AESP membership. Consider if the topic will inspire the audience and provide fodder for Q&A.

  • Speaker’s Qualifications, to ensure the presentation is high quality. Review resume and video (if provided).

  • Overall Impression, including the strength of abstract writing, clear direction, and cohesion.

The judges will also apply their own experience to assess the quality of the abstract. After initial judging, each Topic Committee team participates in a virtual meeting to review scores and abstracts. The top ~15 abstracts per Topic Committee team are sent on for review by the Conference Planning Committee.

Second Step: Final Selection by Planning Committee

Between 25-30 experts in the industry are invited to participate in the Conference Planning Committee. These individuals are selected based on their subject matter knowledge. AESP also ensures a strong mix of utility representation, board representation, geographic representation, and diversity of Planning Committee members. 

The Planning Committee members first review all abstracts and scores that have been passed on by the Topic Committee judging teams. They are also provided the scoring and feedback from the Topic Committees to ensure their feedback is considered. From there, a highly collaborative planning session takes place, where Planning Committee members select the final abstracts to be included as part of the agenda. If a topic area is missing, AESP may curate some content to balance out the remaining agenda.