Side Event Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

CFS Side Event organizers are asked to follow these criteria, guidance and conditions for Side Events:

  • Side Events must be relevant to food security and nutrition and the mandate of CFS. While Side Events that are on a current or ongoing theme of CFS activities are a priority, all requests will be considered, and events on new and emerging issues are also of interest.
  • Priority will be given to Side Events that are representative of the CFS multistakeholder model and have the different CFS constituencies, including Member Countries, in the panel. Side event organizers should have gender parity in their panels and youth should be involved where appropriate.
  • Side Events that are organized by stakeholders who have not previously held a CFS Side Event are encouraged.
  • Side Events should allow for as much interactivity as possible. A minimum of 50% of the side event time should be allocated for interactivity with the attendees.
  • Side Events cannot be in parallel with CFS sessions.
  • Room reservations are handled by the CFS Secretariat.
  • Side Events may be conducted in any of the six official UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese). Interpretation is organized through the Secretariat but paid for by the Organizer. It is not essential to provide interpretation although desirable.
  • Side Event Organizers are asked to pay close attention to the rollout details and be aware of their responsibilities (such as producing nameplates). These details will be provided once a Side Event has been allocated a slot.
  • After their Side Event, Organizers should prepare a summary of the outcomes and send it to the Secretariat by 31 October 2018. This will be posted in the original language on the CFS 44 Side Event web page. If a Side Event Organizer has previously not submitted a Summary, this may impact future requests.
  • In the event that the above are fulfilled, if spaces available exceed side event requests, the final decision will be made by the CFS Chair in conjunction with the Secretariat.

Here they are:

  • The deadline for submitting the completed Side Event form is 29 June 2018
  • The Side Event Focal Points listed in Section 1 will be notified of the result of their request by 27 July 2018
  • Requests for Interpretation must be made by latest 30 August. If you have requested interpretation but cancel it after 1 September, you will be charged anyway.
  • Side Event refreshments should be ordered by 30 September. Refreshments ordered after that may not be listed on the Side Event page.
  • Building pass requests should be sent by 5 October. Requests received after this time may not be processed.
  • Summaries of Side Events should be sent in by 31 October 2018

The email address for all Side Event matters is: [email protected]

Focal points are the people who will receive all the correspondence related to the organization of Side Events and who will manage the rollout. They should be people in a position to take action. Focal Points are asked to pay close attention to the rollout details and be aware of their responsibilities (such as producing nameplates, request building passes, sending in the summary, etc). Full details of what the focal points should do will be sent after slots have been allocated. There should be a minimum of two people.

The Side Event Organizers are the organizations or entities that are organising the Side Event. The organizations (not the individual names of the people representing their organizations) will be listed as Organizers on the Side Event page. An example of an organizer is “WFP” or "CGIAR"

Here they are:

  • Member Country
  • Regional Organizations/Initiatives
  • National Organizations/Initiatives
  • UN Bodies
  • Civil Society/NGOs
  • Agricultural Research Organizations
  • International Finance Institutions
  • Private Sector
  • Philanthropic Foundations
  • Multistakeholder Organizations
  • Academia
  • Other

Each Side Event is allocated a slot of 90 minutes. Please take into consideration that Plenary might run a few minutes over making attendees to your Side Event a bit late. Also your Side Event should finish promptly in order to allow delegates time to get back to Plenary.

Each year FAO assigns different rooms for CFS Side Events. You will be informed of your room when you are allocated a slot.

No it doesn’t. CFS Side Events should be multistakeholder and can include Member Countries. Please refer to the Criteria, Guidance and Conditions above for more details.

On the form there is space for eight organizers.

On the form there is room for six speakers or panellists. Remember that at least 50% of the time should be interactive with the audience.

You should strive for balance that represents the CFS multistakeholder model including having gender parity and the involvement of youth where applicable. Please refer to the Criteria, Guidance and Conditions above.

Side Events must be relevant to food security and nutrition and the mandate of CFS.

The title should be a maximum of 100 characters including spaces and the subtitle should be a maximum of 150 characters including spaces.

A catchy title means something that will attract the interest of CFS stakeholders. Between them the title and the subtitle should give information about what the Side Event will be about - and attract people to go.

The abstract should be a maximum of 2500 characters including spaces.

The format is for the Organizers to decide. It could be an interactive panel discussion, a keynote followed by debate, a series of presentations, etc. What is important is that at least 50% of the time is allocated for interactivity with the audience.

All Side Events should be related to food security and nutrition. Organizers may add up to four additional keywords relating to their event. The keywords are used to help ensure that Side Events with a similar theme or focus are not placed in parallel.

The CFS Secretariat cannot provide visa support letters for Side Event panellists or participants. The organizations of the Side Event Organizers should make the necessary arrangements for visas.

Any Side Event panellist or participants who are not CFS delegates or staff of FAO, IFAD or WFP will require a building pass to enter FAO premises. The Side Event focal points should first confirm their attendance at the Side Event (whether as part of the panel or the audience). After this confirmation they can request a building pass using the template provided by 5 October. Last minute requests may not be processed.

Side Event organizers are responsible for printing their nameplates on A3 paper (in colour if possible). They should bring them to their Side Event room 15 minutes before the start of the Side Event. Plastic nameplate holders will be supplied.

Yes. All rooms have a laptop connected to the display screen. You should bring your presentations on a USB to your Side Event room 15 minutes before the start. We suggest you test the material on the screen before the beginning of the Side Event.

Yes. During your Side Event the messengers will circulate a tablet for attendees to provide their email. You will be emailed the attendance list the week after the CFS session.

Yes there will. A photographer will take pictures during your Side Event. The photos will be loaded directly into the CFS 45 page on the FAO Flickr account. Please be patient if you don’t see your photos right away. The photographers are busy!

You may organize your own webcasting using services such as YouTube or Facebook Live. Please check to make sure that you bring everything you need to run these services and that they are able to run on the FAO WiFi network. We cannot give any support to webcasting.

Yes you can although not all meeting rooms in FAO allow refreshments to be served directly outside the room. After your Side Event has been allocated a slot, you may contact [email protected]a> to order your refreshments. The deadline for ordering refreshments is 30 September. Refreshments ordered after that may not be listed on the Side Event page.

Yes you can and we encourage you to do so. There will be a display table for Side Event Organizers to place flyers. Please don’t put your flyers in other locations as this is not allowed under FAO rules. For communication inside the FAO building, the Secretariat produces a package for the whole of CFS week. Individual Side Events – including those organized by FAO – are not promoted within the building, on the monitors or in the lifts. If you are in FAO please don’t request this service from OCC.

Yes you can. You can find the CFS 45 logo for download on the Side Event page. Please make sure you have the permission for any other logos that you may use including FAO, IFAD and WFP.

Yes you can. We encourage you to make your own publicity for your Side Event. You can invite journalists but please make sure they have confirmed their attendance and that you request a building pass for them by the deadline of 5 October.

Side events may be in any of the UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian). Interpretation is optional. If you require interpretation you must provide billing details in Section 4 of the Side Event Request Form.

No you don’t – interpretation is optional.

Unfortunately not. Only the officially accredited FAO interpretation services can be used.

Here are the charges:


If you do not see the languages you require, send an email with details and we will see what we can do.

For those in FAO please provide a Budget Code and Budget Holder in the form. For others provide the name, physical address and email contact of those who will pay. If you wish to split the interpretation charges between several people, please indicate the percentage split and provide the details for each party.

If you cancel interpretation after 1 September, you will still be charged the full amount.

Your Side Event Summary should be a maximum of 500 words using this template provided on the CFS 45 Side Event page. Please send it by the deadline of 31 October 2018.