ISHA Seminars: How does it work?
(text ©ISHA Berlin 😉 )

1. Application

The section organizing a conference/seminar announces an application period which is usually ca. 2 months before the respective event and lasts for 1-2 weeks. At the same time, the topic of the conference/seminar, the program and the workshops are announced, and an application form is provided at the section’s homepage.

2. Preparation

Shortly after the application period is over, the participants are made public and get to know if they got into the workshop of their choice.
Usually you have to confirm your attendance by paying a part of the fee in advance. After that you book the flights, buy the tickets and prepair a presentation of your choice for your workshop (15-20 minutes, your workshopsleader will contact you about that and give you more information).

3. The Conference/Seminar

The first day of an ISHA event is reserved for the arrivals, so you don’t need to come a day in advance. In the evening there’s an ice-breaking party where you can get to know everybody else.
The program of each seminar is different, but they all have roughly the same structure:
On 2 or 3 days there are workshops in the morning and/ or afternoon where you give your presentation. At the end all the topics discussed in the workshop will be summarized in a final (or funny) conclusion for the rest of the seminar participants.
Besides the workshopes there is some kind of an activity like a city tour, a visit to a museum etc. or you have some free time.

Each conference and seminar contains a day trip to a nearby city, castle etc., sometimes also to several surrounding sites.

In the evenings there’s usually at least one pub crawl and at least one party in addition to the famous National Drinks Party on the last evening. Each section brings a drink (usually spirits) from their country, and this is the opportunity to try all the other countries’ national drinks.
The last day is reserved for sleeping in, hugs and departures.
Often, there are additional, optional activities or just a free afternoon to explore the city on your own. At each Annual Conference and Autumn Seminar, there is a general assembly of all the ISHA officials and at least one person from each attending section, where organizational things are discussed and announced, further events are planned and officials for the next term are elected. At all the other ISHA events this is replaced by the similar, but smaller state of affairs.

At the workshops, there’s always one or two workshop leaders who have the role of a moderator. They are the ones who contact you in advance, who can help you to find a topic and who read your abstract. There are 5 to 10 people in each workshop, each one gives a presentation and usually there’s plenty of time to discuss thoroughly. At the end of each conference/seminar there’s a so called “Final Conclusions”, where each workshop presents its outcome to the other attendees. Usually this is done in a humorous way, a tiny play, a staged discussion etc. Sometimes, it’s also done at a huge round table with all the interested participants, where everybody gets to discuss about all the topics and where all the attendees try to find a conclusion for the whole conference/seminar.