Session types

Focused symposia

These are the key sessions at congress. Each focused symposium is chaired by a recognised expert in the field, who leads a group of presenters, drawn from at least three of WCPT’s five global regions, through a series of linked, evidence-based and internationally relevant presentations. Question time with the audience explores the issues raised and the chair concludes by drawing together key take-home messages and implications for practice.

Discussion sessions and debates

This is where constructive debate and controversy happen, with delegates given the opportunity to explore hot topics with leaders in the field. Sessions start with brief introductory comments by the chair and speakers, followed by questions from the audience, with plenty of opportunity for lively debate, before concluding comments from the chair.

A classic debate is a formal discussion on a particular matter in which opposing arguments are put forward, questions from the floor addressed and which usually ends with a vote.

Networking sessions

Networking sessions are hugely popular at congress, offering an informal opportunity to meet and talk with colleagues who share common interests. A designated chair opens and guides discussions. All sessions consider how to continue communication after the congress. Sessions may also be facilitated in languages other than English.


Seminars offer an engaging way to have in-depth discussions on particular topics. Delivered by a diverse panel, they focus on clinical or professional issues and may be led by WCPT’s international subgroups or subject matter leaders.

  • WCPT professional seminars are designed to introduce delegates to aspects of WCPT’s international work or address specific professional issues of global interest. 
  • “Focus on…” seminars cover a range of topics related to physical therapist practice, research, education or management

Platform abstract presentations

There are three types: 

  • State of the art: 12 minute platform presentations from the highest quality cutting edge abstracts that are likely to influence practice, with an 18 minute moderated discussion led by a leader in the field. 
  • Classic: eight platform presentations lasting eight minutes each followed by three minutes for questions. 
  • Rapid five: a platform presentation session of 10 abstracts each delivering key messages using no more than five slides in five minutes (5 x 5) along with allocated discussion times with individual authors. 

Poster abstract presentations

Poster presentations are changed daily and are grouped by topic within the poster area in the exhibition hall. Posters are displayed for one day during exhibition hours, with presenters attending their poster for 40 minutes for discussion with delegates. 

Virtual poster walks

E-posters provide an opportunity for a chair to lead delegates through a small number of selected posters for discussions with presenters. A number will be facilitated in languages other than English.

Indaba sessions

The Indaba is a “meeting and inspiration zone” within the exhibition hall. First introduced at the WCPT Congress 2017, it constitutes one of the legacy outcomes from the first WCPT Congress held in Africa. This informal networking space aims to break down language barriers and the distinction between ‘speaker’ and ‘delegate’. The programming of this area will allow for some late topics prompted by delegates and support sessions in different languages.

Two areas will facilitate the more informal format:

  • Kitchen table discussions will explore a range of issues led by a facilitator and may include additional contributors sitting within the audience. 
  • “Points of view” discussions will allow for short talks and exchanges with the audience, drawing on their experiences.