Session types in the ERS Congress programme

The European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress is the largest respiratory meeting of its kind. The congress programme features a variety of session types to ensure formats are engaging and provide varying levels of interaction and focused presentations.

Abstract sessions

Learn more about abstract submission

These sessions feature presentations of all original abstracts that are accepted for the ERS International Congress.

Clinical trials sessions

Including the ALERT sessions (Abstracts Leading to Evolution in Respiratory Medicine Trials), these formats showcase important and very late-breaking clinical trial data from all respiratory disease areas. Presenters, session chairs and viewers will take part lively discussions on the presented trials.

Posters and e-posters

Abstract authors present their research in poster format in these sessions. The sessions cover all areas of respiratory medicine and science and discussion of new data is encouraged.

Oral presentations

In these sessions, abstracts authors present their key findings to live audiences. The sessions are moderated by experts and there is opportunity for discussion of all abstracts presented in the sessions.

Case-based sessions

Learn more about clinical case submission

Case-led sessions are based on real-world clinical cases that are submitted to ERS by the respiratory community.

Grand rounds

Grand rounds are interactive sessions that feature well-documented clinical cases that are of interest to respiratory health professionals. Attendees are asked to give your opinions during the session, by casting votes at each step of the diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.

Challenging clinical cases

These case-based sessions allow participants to understand the history, pathology, analysis and treatment of complex clinical cases in different topics. The session leaders, along with the clinical case presenters, will encourage and facilitate a discussion in order to examine and discuss each case. Participants are encouraged to actively participate in the discussion during sessions.

Lungs on fire

These interactive sessions cover eight key areas of respiratory medicine. A panel of experts is put to the test against the audience to diagnose real-life clinical cases. Each session is led by a discussant who will present the cases, and who is the only person in the room with the details of the cases. They will prompt lively discussions about the presented cases, while the panel and audience answer multiple-choice questions. The audience can also send their own questions throughout the session. The aim is to give the audience an opportunity to study real-life clinical cases, to learn and exchange ideas with a panel of respiratory experts, and to analyse the various diagnostic and therapeutic options.


There are a wide range of engaging lecture-style sessions included in the congress programme to facilitate the sharing of the latest information, research and clinical best practices.

Assembly members’ meetings

ERS members are invited to join these interactive meetings to get the latest updates from their Assembly, including information on funding opportunities, upcoming deadlines and ongoing projects. All times are listed in CEST.

  • Assembly 1 (Respiratory clinical care and physiology) – 01.09.2021 at 13:30–14:30
  • Assembly 2 (Respiratory intensive care) – 02.09.2021 at 13:30–14:30
  • Assembly 3 (Basic and translational sciences) – 31.08.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 4 (Sleep disordered breathing) – 30.08.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 5 (Airway diseases, asthma, COPD and chronic cough) – 03.09.2021 at 13:30–14:30
  • Assembly 6 (Epidemiology and environment) – 25.08.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 7 (Paediatrics) – 02.09.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 8 (Thoracic surgery and transplantation) – 30.08.2021 at 13:30–14:30
  • Assembly 9 (Allied respiratory professionals) – 24.08.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 10 (Respiratory infections) – 03.09.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 11 (Thoracic oncology) – 03.09.2021 at 18:00–19:00
  • Assembly 12 (Interstitial lung diseases) – 01.09.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 13 (Pulmonary vascular diseases) – 27.08.2021 at 15:30–16:30
  • Assembly 14 (Clinical techniques, imaging and endoscopy) – 31.08.2021 at 13:30 – 14:30

Expert view

In these sessions, experts present their views on important topics in respiratory medicine issues of interest to respiratory professionals.

Guidelines sessions

Featuring presentations of official ERS clinical practice guidelines that are prepared by experts and cover a range of topics in respiratory medicine.

Hot topics

Hot topic sessions cover the latest developments in key respiratory topics or areas of interest to respiratory professionals.

Joint sessions

These 1.5–hour long sessions are created in collaboration with other medical and scientific societies.

Journal sessions

In these sessions, researchers present their recently published high-impact articles from the European Respiratory Journal, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association and The Lancet.

Other language sessions

To recognise the global reach of the ERS International Congress, we are pleased to be able to offer a number of sessions in languages other than English.

Primary care programme

Lecture-based sessions within this programme cover the latest findings and best practices for primary care practitioners.

Pro/con debate

Short, 40-minute sessions where two experts present and discuss together the pros and cons of different topics related to respiratory medicine.

Respiratory meets other disciplines

Respiratory experts and leaders from other medical disciplines come together to discuss and present the links between both speciality areas.


State-of-the-art sessions cover eight key topics in the respiratory field and feature high-quality presentations delivered by world-leading clinical experts. Following these sessions, delegates will have the most up-to-date, clear and practical take-home knowledge relating to diagnosis, treatment and prevention in area.


In these 1.5–hour long sessions, four renowned experts present on key respiratory medicine topics or areas of interest to respiratory professionals.

Year in review

These popular sessions provide an overview of the most significant publications and discoveries of the year on a range of topics.


We host a number of activities at congress that provide attendees with practical presentations of clinical skills and non-scientific topics.

Skills labs

Skills labs allow delegates to experience a range of clinical skills used day to day by respiratory professionals. The labs will explain the procedures, devices and roles of the multi-disciplinary team, and in some cases touch on the interpretation of the results.

Professional development workshops

These sessions aim to provide team leaders, supervisors, senior respiratory physicians and more with practical tips and guidelines on non-scientific topics such as ethics, communication, education principles and teamwork.