Update on the RecSys 2021 Conference Format & Registration

4 min readJul 7, 2021


Text: General Chairs RecSys’21

Dear RecSys colleagues,

Since we are opening our registration page later this week, we would like to take this opportunity to explain to you a bit more about the conference and its format.

We understand that the past year has been enormously challenging for most of you. We are tremendously grateful for the work that our community has put into making RecSys 2021 a success so far. Our co-chairs have done an outstanding job in many areas, and we have broken several records of submissions and acceptance contributions so far. We are certain that RecSys will be a very pleasant and interesting conference!

We are lucky to say that most COVID-related measures have currently been removed in Amsterdam and we hope to see many of you here. At the same time, we also know there are many other countries where the situation is still concerning. We feel it is imperative to enable all of you to attend the conference and to present your work in the best way possible. To make this possible, we are introducing an adapted format of the conference. In this post, we explain the structure of the program.

RecSys 2021 will be a physical conference with an online component. Attendees in Amsterdam will enjoy the usual RecSys experience of in-person talks, workshops, tutorials, keynotes and social events. Our venue, the Amsterdam Conference Centre, features large halls and high ceilings and is ideally suited to be adapted to any social distancing that may still be required at the time of the conference. Remote attendees will enjoy a first-class virtual experience on our dedicated virtual hub that will enable them to watch talks in real-time, ask questions to presenters and connect with sponsors.

Photo by Javier M. on Unsplash

In order to kick off RecSys, and to ensure that all of us can connect regardless of where we are, we will also host a virtual social event on Friday 24th September from 16:00–19:00 CEST (approx). Our social event will feature a mix of recsys topics, icebreaker opportunities, and the usual RecSys social atmosphere!

The Program
We are blown away by the number of submissions we have received on this year’s main track. In total, 49 main-track papers have been accepted, which is an acceptance rate of 18.4%. We plan to have all papers be presented in 15 minute-slots (10 minutes talks + 5 minutes Q&A), and the participants will be able to ask questions to authors not only during the presentation but throughout the conference in our RecSys Virtual Hub.

We have received a record number of submissions for our industry track, with a very diverse set of industries being represented. These talks will be presented in theme-based sessions that are similar to the main track, and as posters during the virtual kickoff event.

Demos and Late Breaking result contributions will be presented as posters and interactive demos in the venue during our lunch breaks, and will be presented via on-demand video in the RecSys Virtual Hub.

Photo by Azhar J on Unsplash

Due to our hybrid format, our schedule is somewhat different than in previous years. Main-track paper sessions will run from 14:30 CEST to 19:30 CEST from Monday to Thursday. These are the golden hours in which most of the regular RecSys attendees will be able to watch the presentations live, even when they are in different timezones. Moreover, our virtual hub will allow attendees to watch recordings of the streams soon after the session has ended.

We will offer two tutorials every day from Tuesday to Thursday, between 09:30–13:00 CEST. Tutorials will be presented in-person at the venue and streamed live in the RecSys Virtual hub. Recordings will be made available for participants whose timezones do not align well with CEST morning hours.

Finally, workshops represent a large part of what makes RecSys so interesting! We have adapted the schedule for workshops to enable both physical participation and also virtual interaction on an equal footing. Physical workshops will be held from Tuesday to Thursday between 09:30–13:00 CEST and all day on Friday, parallel to the RecSys Challenge, while virtual slots for the workshops are available on Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd. The schedule and set up will be tailored to the needs of the workshop’s organizers and participants. Some of the physical workshops may decide to record and/or stream.

Update: The RecSys 2021 Program is final and available in the conference site.

We are making RecSys more equitable this year. Attendees from countries that are “economically developing” (as designated by the ACM) will pay a reduced fee. In addition, we will continue to support the attendance of the conference in many different ways thanks to our +Inclusion program, our Doctoral Symposium and our Student Volunteer program. Moreover, we offer flexibility to change your registration type if needed, to ensure that all of you can decide to attend RecSys that best suits your personal situation and needs.

It’s needless to say that we are looking forward to RecSys 2021. Please keep an eye on our social media channels to know when registration will open. Other updates will also be announced on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter outlets.




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