Frequently Asked Questions

Please check frequently asked questions about the ISOCARP Congress below. Can't find the answer to your question? Send us an e-mail at or call us at +31 703 462 654.


1. What is a hybrid congress?

A hybrid congress is a congress that combines a live in-person gathering of delegates with a virtual online component. The in-person part of the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress will take place at the Msheireb Downtown in Doha, Qatar on 8-11 November 2021, with selected sessions to be livestreamed for the virtual-only registrants. The presentations of virtual-only registrants/authors will take place during the virtual-only sessions between 28 October and 2 November 2021.


2. Why is the ISOCARP 2021 Congress going hybrid?

The priority for this year's congress is the in-person gathering in Doha, Qatar. That is planned for November 8-11, 2021. We intend to hold a hybrid Congress to adapt to the current global circumstances and accommodate people who may not be able to travel due to mobility restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Ensuring that the Congress is inclusive and accessible is essential to our objective of improving the planning practice through the creation of a global and active network of practitioners, including expanding its scope of application by reaching out to a much larger audience.   

3. Given the continuing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, why not go fully virtual? 

The health and safety of our Congress participants remain our top priority. However, we also acknowledge the fact that virtual alternatives do not and cannot replicate the in-person experience, despite innovative technologies and approaches. Our experience from last year's fully Virtual Congress was very promising and well received by the delegates, and we would like to build on this while providing the richness, authenticity, and energising atmosphere of our in-person Congress. Should there be a change in circumstances, we will be ready to adapt to the situation and postpone the in-person component of the hybrid congress. We will continue to monitor the pandemic situation and follow recommendations and guidelines issued by global and local health authorities.


4. How will the content differ between the virtual component and the in-person Congress?

All abstract contributions will go through the same blind review process to ensure the same quality standards. However, the virtual congress will be more limited in terms of technical content and will have fewer sessions. The plenary sessions, special sessions, technical tours, site visits/workshops, and regional events (co-organised by the hosting partner - the Qatari Ministry of Municipality and Environment), Awards, and special keynote lectures are planned to be held in-person with the possibility to be live-streamed for the virtual attendees. The virtual events will be recorded and available on-demand on the Congress website. 


5. What time zones will be used for the virtual sessions? 

This is still to be determined. We will provide regular updates about the virtual sessions on this page.


6. What is the abstract submission deadline?

The Call for Abstracts is now officially closed. The Result of Abstract Selection for the first  and the second call for contributions was sent to all primary authors on July 1, 2021 and September 1, 2021. Authors of accepted abstracts are invited to upload their paper on the platform until 15 September 2021 (10:00 PM UTC). 

7. How can I submit an abstract?

You may submit your abstract contribution through our online platform. You first need to create an account to be able to submit an abstract and attend the congress. If you already have an account on the ISOCARP 2021 Congress website, then you do not need to create a new one. Please find the step-by-step instructions here.  

8. Is there a character limit for my abstract?

Yes, your abstract may contain no more than 600 words. The submission portal detects this limit and automatically cuts excess words/characters when the text is copy-pasted from another source. Be sure to check this before submission. 

9. What is the "abstract synopsis" on the submission portal?

Abstract synopsis is a shortened version of your abstract. It should contain no more than 60 words. If the abstract is accepted for publication and/or presentation during the Congress, the synopsis will be included in the Congress brochure.

10. Will my abstract automatically be considered for the 57th ISOCARP World Planning Congress?

No. All abstracts will undergo a blind review process to be carried out by the Congress Team. You will receive a notification of acceptance or rejection within 2-4 weeks after the submission deadline. 

11. Can I submit my abstract under more than one category and/or tracks?

No. abstracts may only be submitted for consideration under one category. Abstracts that appear to be replicate versions of the same study will not be accommodated. 


12. Do I need to register to attend the ISOCARP 2021 Congress?

Yes, you need to register and pay the fees--either as regular attendee or as presenting author--to be able to attend the sessions of the Congress. All relevant information regarding fee categories and registration are available on this page. ISOCARP, as a non-profit organisation, is unfortunately not in the financial position to easily waive fees. However, it handles the fees in different categories.

13. I would like to have access to the in-person congress as well as its virtual component - do I need to register separately? 

If you register for the in-person Congress you will automatically be registered for the virtual events. No additional fees will be charged. However, if it is the other way around (registered for the Virtual Congress but would like to attend the in-person Congress), you will need to pay for the price difference. Fee information is available on this page.


14. I am one of the authors of a research paper/case study report. Am I required to register for the Congress to have my full submission included in the Proceedings?

Yes. At least one author (of submissions with multiple authors) will have to register by the indicated deadline to have their contribution published in the proceedings. 



15. As a virtual attendee, may I ask questions or participate in the in-person discussions?

Yes, but only in selected in-person sessions. Nevertheless, the digital sessions will be interactive and will allow dialogue among all attendees. 


16. Will all sessions be available online for all attendees?

Only the virtual events will be recorded and available online. The parallel sessions and live sessions of the in-person congress will not be recorded.


17. What are the Sessions and Forums I can join?

If you register for the in-person category, you will have full access to all sessions, plenary events, tours, workshops, forums, and regional events. If you register for the virtual component, only selected sessions will be available. The Congress programme in Doha is available here. Information about the fully virtual sessions are available on this page.

18. I have registered for the Congress and submitted my full contribution. When is the schedule of my presentation?

The Congress Team members of each track will decide on the presentation schedules (incl. format and length of the presentations) once all contributions and registration fees have been receivedThe (presenting) author who has registered for the Congress will receive an automated notification of his/her schedule via email (by end-September/mid-October) with all the relevant information.


19. Do I need a visa to enter Qatar?

Citizens of over 80 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into the State of Qatar. You may check if your country is eligible for visa-free entry on the following pages: Visa information and Visiting Qatar. Please check the visa application procedures with your local embassy. Do you need an invitation letter to submit together with your visa application or to your institution? E-mail us at For all visa and travel related assistance, prior to any action, ISOCARP requires the delegate to register first to the Congress (subject to full refund in case the delegate is refused entry).

20. Do I need to quarantine when I enter Qatar?

The Ministry of Public Health has updated its travel & return policy and now allows entry for business and leisure activities, with fully vaccinated people being exempted from hotel quarantine.   Discover the most up-to-date information about the health situation in Qatar.  Read the full and updated Qatar guidelines and regulations for travel and entry

21. Do I need to take care of my travel and accommodation costs?

All Congress delegates are responsible for their travel and accommodation costs. For a list of recommended hotels, please visit this page

Other questions? Drop us a line at



4813 hits