Nonprofit Organizations at the AES Annual Meeting

The American Epilepsy Society welcomes its members and the broader epilepsy community to the AES Annual Meeting. We are pleased to provide opportunities for nonprofit organizations to participate as attendees, exhibitors, advertisers, and sponsors.

While the primary purpose of the event is to provide top-quality medical education, share the latest scientific findings, and provide other career-building opportunities for epilepsy clinicians and researchers, AES shares many of the same goals and challenges as other nonprofit organizations working to improve outcomes for epilepsy patients.

How Nonprofits Can Be Involved at AES

AES provides an Epilepsy Resource Area for qualifying nonprofit organizations involved in advocacy, patient outreach, non-clinical patient services, and research funding.

Qualifying nonprofit organizations and networks are welcome to:

  • Secure a place either in the Epilepsy Resource Area or the general exhibit floor
  • Hold an In Conjunction With (ICW) meeting or event, provided it is approved by AES
  • Engage in relationship building, stewardship, and marketing activities with donors and supporters, provided these activities do not compete with or detract from AES programming and fundraising
  • Launch special outreach and/or messaging campaigns during the week of the AES Annual Meeting, provided AES is a partner in the campaign. The AES contact for organizations interested in launching a campaign is Anne Gramiak

Nonprofit organizations and networks may not:

  • Hold any meetings or events during the AES Annual Meeting that have not been approved by AES
  • Organize events or engage in solicitation activities that compete with or detract from AES programming and fundraising
  • Sell any items through the exhibit booth or at meetings or events, per AES guidelines for all exhibitors
  • Provide ribbons or pins or other designations for AES attendees that identify them as donors to a nonprofit organization other than AES

General Guidelines for Nonprofit Participation at the AES Annual Meeting

  • Nonprofit exhibitors: must observe all exhibitor rules. Most nonprofit exhibitors are located in the Epilepsy Resource Area. AES makes every effort to provide equitable space and clear guidelines to support the nonprofit community that shares the Epilepsy Resource Area. 
  • Meetings, receptions, press conferences, and other events: during the one-week period that begins on the Tuesday before the start of the event and continues to the last day of the event on the following Tuesday, any meetings or events that include Annual Meeting attendees may be held only if they are approved by AES. AES reserves the right to decline any request for an event or meeting involving Annual Meeting attendees. 
  • Virtual or in-person media events: Virtual, digital, or streaming media events—including but not limited to podcasts, social media events, and radio broadcasts do not need AES approval. These events may not originate from the AES Annual Meeting exhibit hall or other AES spaces. They may not use any AES logos or graphics. Speakers and guests who are AES members may mention that they are AES members and are participating in the AES Annual Meeting. AES will consider partnering with other nonprofits on selected events. The AES contact for organizations interested in partnering on an event is Nicole Rodriguez.
  • Messaging: any messaging at booths or tables, or in any materials or any other event-related outreach done pre- or post-meeting must conform to all AES messaging guidelines.
  • Sponsorship and advertising: AES ads and sponsorships may be purchased by nonprofit organizations. Organizations with total revenue of $1 million or more in their last fiscal year must have an exhibit booth to purchase these products. Organizations with total revenue under $1 million in their last fiscal year may purchase these products whether or not they are exhibitors.
  • Photography and recording: AES policies for photography and recording apply to all exhibitors and participating organizations.
  • Registration category: Staff of epilepsy-related nonprofit organizations and individuals with epilepsy and family members or caregivers may register for the AES Annual Meeting in the Advocate category. Physicians (those with MD, DO, MBBS or equivalent) may not register for this category. AES conducts a post-event category audit and if appropriate, invoices are sent to attendees who register in incorrect categories.
  • Corporate recognition by nonprofit organizations: while the display of corporate recognition from nonprofits and organizations other than the American Epilepsy Society is generally discouraged, AES will permit exhibitors to display such recognition in a modest fashion. 

Compliance with all AES policies and guidelines, in the spirit of supporting the AES commitment to opportunities that are fair and equitable to all stakeholders and to ensure an optimal attendee experience, is expected and appreciated.

AES reserves the right to limit or decline requests from noncompliant organizations for participation in future AES events.

Nonprofit Pricing

In general, both nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies are subject to the same exhibitor benefits, policies, and pricing at the AES Annual Meeting. However, we are pleased to provide special discounts to qualifying nonprofit organizations:

Special Opportunities for Epilepsy Leadership Council (ELC) Members:

  • Complimentary full-meeting registration: each organization that is a member in good standing of the Epilepsy Leadership Council (ELC) will receive one complimentary full-meeting registration. This is in addition to the complimentary exhibit hall-only registrations they receive based on the type of their booth.
  • Special offers: organizations that are members of the Epilepsy Leadership Council (ELC) may from time to time receive special offers and pricing on selected opportunities to support their participation in the AES Annual Meeting. These offers will not be available to non-members of the ELC. Any special opportunities will be sent directly to the organization’s representative/s on the ELC.
  • Logo in printed program book: logos of ELC member organizations are displayed all together on a single page in the AES Annual Meeting program book in a four-color advertisement.
  • Hoyer Lecture: ELC organizations are offered the opportunity to include a slide in the Hoyer Lecture walk-in slides that are rotated during the convening of the Hoyer Lecture at the AES Annual Meeting. These slides typically feature information about each organization’s research program.

Recognition for AES Annual Meeting Participation and Support

AES recognizes exhibitors based on their total expenditure with AES on a specific list of items. Nonprofit organizations with booths either in the Epilepsy Resource Area or the general exhibit floor are part of the AES exhibitor recognition system.

  • What’s included for recognition purposes: AES will total each organization’s entire spend on booth, sponsorship, event advertising, and Epilepsy Currents advertising to determine an organization’s recognition level
  • What’s not included: research grants, registration fees, audiovisual, and other expenditures are not included in an organization’s total for AES recognition purposes.
  • Benefits based on level: nonprofit organizations receive the same benefits that commercial supporters receive at each recognition level except for invitations to AES private events. 

Recognition for Grant Support

AES frequently collaborates with nonprofit organizations on research funding, grantmaking, grant administration, and special projects to support epilepsy research and education programs.

  • Grant support recognition: grants from and collaboration with nonprofit organizations are recognized in multiple ways in the AES guidebook, on signage, and from the podium at AES events.
  • Complimentary registrations: in appreciation for grant support and collaboration, AES provides one complimentary full-meeting registration to each partner organization that makes a grant or grants through AES totaling $7500 or more in a given year. For the purposes of the complimentary full meeting registration, the recognition year starts on November 1 and ends on October 31 each year.

Science and Research Updates

Description: Smaller patient advocacy and research organizations that are members of the Epilepsy Leadership Council may apply to offer a Science and Research Update during the week of the American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting. A Science and Research Update is a miniconference held in the same city as the AES meeting but offsite from the AES meeting venues. It may be a half day (three hours) or full day (six to seven hours) event. While the audience may include multiple constituencies relevant to the organization’s work, the Science and Research Update must feature scientific content about some aspect about the condition or issue addressed by the organization that would be of interest to AES scientists, researchers, and clinicians.

Purpose: The American Epilepsy Society welcomes its members and the broader epilepsy community to its Annual Meeting each year. While the primary purpose of the AES meeting is to provide top-quality medical and scientific education for professionals who are AES members, we are pleased to support the greater epilepsy community by including opportunities for smaller patient advocacy and research organizations to organize science and research updates for their constituencies and for AES members. The intent is to provide smaller organizations the opportunity to convene a national meeting with the potential to reach and attract a larger number of science and research thought leaders to their event than they might do with a stand-alone meeting in another location.


  • Applications will open in late March each year, after the education program topics for the upcoming AES Annual Meeting have been determined. Applicants will receive notification within ten business days of submitting a complete application.
  • There is no application fee for Science and Research Updates.
  • The application and review process will be managed by the AES Senior Manager, Epilepsy Leadership Council and Partner Programs. The Senior Manager will coordinate with the AES education, scientific program, and meeting teams as needed to ensure all are informed about the applications and their outcomes.
  • Once the application is approved, the presenting organization is responsible for identifying and contracting its own meeting space, making all logistical and promotional arrangements, and covering all costs for its event. The AES meeting planning team will not be involved in supporting these events.

Qualifying organizations: An organization is eligible to apply for a Science and Research Update slot if it meets all these criteria:

  • Nonprofit patient advocacy or research organization
  • Organization’s programmatic work addresses developing or sharing scientific background of the disease state and/or provides research grants
  • Member of the Epilepsy Leadership Council
  • Average revenue per year over the past three fiscal years is under $2.5 million

Program guidelines and requirements:

  • The content of a Science and Research Update must focus primarily on science and research. The information presented must be related to the mission of the organization proposing the update.
  • Science and Research Updates must include a program with speakers. It may not be an actual or modified version of a poster session.
  • Science and Research Updates may not duplicate any educational content that is offered at the AES Annual Meeting during the year the Update will be presented. Further, they may not duplicate any science content at AES 2023, including scientific exhibits.
  • Science and Research Updates may not use faculty who are presenting at AES education sessions (not including satellite symposia) without approval from AES. It is the responsibility of the nonprofit organization to determine if there is any overlap in faculty either by asking the proposed faculty for the Update if they are presenting at AES or by checking the AES education program when it becomes available during the summer/early fall before the AES Annual Meeting. If there is overlap, the organization may request approval by contacting AES Senior Manager, Epilepsy Leadership Council and Partner Programs.
  • Organizations providing a Science and Research Update must observe all guidance for nonprofit organizations (see above). Note that Science and Research Updates are not fundraising events or media events. AES provides guidance for nonprofit organizations relating to fundraising or media events.
  • Science and Research Updates will not be held in venues contracted by AES. Organizations holding an Update must secure their own space. AES will not assist in identifying or contracting space. Because the inventory of ballrooms close to the convention center is limited, AES will allow Updates to be held in AES contracted overflow hotels (Rosen Center, Rosen Plaza, and the Hilton) in Orlando. This exception is being made in 2023 and may not apply in future years. For AES 2023, Updates may not be held in the Orange County Convention Center or Hyatt Regency Hotel.
  • Organizations holding an Update will inquire and contract space for rooms related to the event including the plenary room, breakout rooms, staff office, or speaker ready room. Any other event or meeting must go through the ICW process and the placement of the location of the ICW request is not guaranteed.
  • Approving Update content does not guarantee placement in an overflow hotel, and these hotels will confirm content approval was received from AES before contracting space with the organization hosting the Update.
  • Science and Research Updates are not part of the AES in conjunction with (ICW) program.
  • At least one staff person from the presenting organization must be a registered AES 2023 attendee.
  • Science and Research Updates may be sponsored by private donors, foundations, or corporations. Any corporate sponsors must be disclosed in promotional materials. Support of a Science and Research Update will not be included in calculations of a company’s total spend at AES 2023 for recognition purposes.
  • All expenses related to the Science and Research Update are the responsibility of the ELC member proposing the update, including but not limited to space rental, audio-visual, and catering expenses.
  • An open invitation to all AES attendees is allowed. Organizations may invite people with epilepsy, families, caregivers, advocates, and others (in addition to registered AES attendees) to their Science and Research Update. There is no limit on the number of attendees allowed for Science and Research Updates. Organizations presenting a Science and Research Update may purchase AES advertising products to promote their event even if the organization does not have an exhibit booth.
  • Updates may be one half day (three hours) to one day (six to seven hours) in length. They must be scheduled during these allowed times. No other times are allowed. Below are allowed times at the AES 2023 Annual Meeting:

Note: these may be different times than ICW allowed times.

AES promotional support for science and research updates

  • All promotion of the Science and Research Update is at the expense of the presenting organization.
  • Any mention of the American Epilepsy Society in promotional materials or other materials about the Science and Research Update, including but not limited to signs, email promotion, websites, handouts, and mailings—must be approved by AES by sending the proposed copy or art to Please allow three business days for a response. Guidelines for using referring to AES and the AES Annual Meeting can be found here.
  • Science and Research Updates will not be included in the AES searchable program, nor the AES print program book. No information about Science and Research Updates will be included on the AES Mobile App, and recordings of Science and Research Updates will not be included in AES Digital Select for the on-demand period.
  • Signs and other print materials promoting a Science and Research Update are not allowed on-site in AES spaces in the convention center and conference hotels. Any signs and materials will be removed by AES without notice and discarded.
  • If the presenting organization is an exhibitor, a complimentary pre-meeting postal mailing list of AES registrants as of the end of the Early Bird registration period is provided in early to mid-November. An organization may use this list for a mailing to promote the Science and Research Update, but it must observe all rules related to the use of this mailing list.
  • If the presenting organization is an exhibitor, the Science and Research Update may be promoted in the organization’s booth.

Science and Research Update request formThe Science and Research Update application form is available here. Please direct questions to