What should you talk about during a SpaceUp?

Obviously, you have to talk about a space-related subject, which is actually a very large field – from astronomy to launchers technology, through state policies and commercial space business plans.
We are sure your head buzzes with ideas, so we recommend you one criteria to choose the one you will present: choose the one you feel most passionate about!

How does it work?

At the start of the two-day event we will have a grid set up on a large board. There will be time slots and different rooms available. You are encouraged to think of a topic you’d like to discuss, or something that you’d like to share, and write down a title and your name on a post-it note. Pick an open slot on the board and as the grid starts to fill up, you’ll find yourself with plenty of choices of interesting sessions to attend.


If there is a huge demand for a particular session we will ensure that it is held in the room with the largest capacity, but there will be space for smaller groups to have less formal conversations about a topic too.

Sometimes a session will generate a lot of excitement and ideas – which is great! In that case you can schedule another slot to discuss how to make those ideas happen or take the discussion further. It’s up to the participants to choose what is most important or interesting to them, and we will help facilitate the discussions. Be sure to get your talk on the board as soon as the day begins so you don’t miss out on your opportunity to participate.

A participative conference? Really? 

If you’ve never been to an “unconference” before, you might feel a bit hesitant about putting an idea on the board, or perhaps you just want to see how it all works first. That’s understandable and we have some dedicated speakers to help infuse the audience with ideas for discussion, but we’re a really friendly bunch and you’ll get much more out of the event if you are an active participant. There will be people who’ve been to previous SpaceUP events to help you out, and plenty of others who are new to the concept. We’ll be there to help connect you to interesting people and you’ll soon get into the swing of it.

Do I have to do a talk?

Everyone is encouraged to think of something that they would like to see in a session, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own. Talk to other people and find out what their interests are, perhaps you can team up with them and create something together. Your organising team will be happy to connect you to people with similar interests so you can develop a session idea together.

What makes a good session?

There are no rights and wrongs of putting on a session, the whole point is that it is your space to discuss something that you’re interested in, to share your knowledge, or plan a new projects. That said, here are a few helpful tips to get you started:

  • Embrace the open, interactive nature of SpaceUP… welcome people to your session
  • Talk about something you’re passionate about, your enthusiasm will shine through
  • Don’t be scared to pose a question as a session topic, this is a great opportunity to get input from a great range of people, even if there is no one clear answer
  • Got some specialist knowledge you think others would enjoy? Share it!
  • Save the sales pitch for another day, SpaceUP is about discussing, learning, sharing, not the hard sell of a product!
  • SpaceUP is at its best when people are sharing and discussing ideas, so if you are planning a more formal presentation style talk, make sure there is time for questions  and discussion of the topic
  • Debates can be exciting, find others with differing views and team up with them
  • Be prepared to evolve. Sometimes sessions start out as one thing and develop into something different depending input from the participants, be prepared to go with the flow
  • Have fun!

How long is a session?

It’ll be your call, but let’s say between 5 minutes (what is known as T-5 talk or lightning talk) and 15 minutes. Our nominal slots are 15 minutes each. But there’s no reason why you cannot chop and dice the slots!