About Outlier

Hosted by the Data Visualization Society, Outlier is an online conference that reflects and celebrates the global visualization community.

Yes! We host Outlier online so that anyone, anywhere can attend. 

Outlier aims to put forward a diversity of perspectives and ideas. Our team works really hard to recruit speakers across backgrounds of race, gender, geographic location, tooling, background, focus, visibility, and seniority, to name a few. We also strive to be as inclusive as possible by providing, for example, income-conscious ticketing options and live captioning during the event.

The next Outlier event will take place on February 4-5, 2022.

There are two types of sections within this conference: curated and open, with the schedule alternating between the two. Curated sections look similar to the standard “conference structure”, with a higher focus on talks, and only one talk running at once. The open sections consist of unconference sessions, have several tracks running concurrently, and are fleshed out based on attendee interests and preferences.

Registration & Logistics

You can get your Outlier 2022 ticket at this link.

We offer multiple pricing options because we don’t want the price of a ticket to be a barrier for anyone who wants to attend. Here is the list:

  • Support Outlier ticket – 299$
  • Standard ticket – 159$
  • Income conscious ticket – 59$

Read more about the different pricing options on the registration page.

We genuinely don’t want cost to be a barrier that keeps you from attending. If you’re not able to afford any of the paid tickets above, send us an email with the subject line “Free Outlier ticket, please”, and we’ll send you one for free. No questions asked.

*We’ll only ask you to pay the processing fee of our events platform, which is 10$ per person.

All tickets come with the same all-access offerings. No VIP attendees here!

The agenda is available here as a web app. You can also download it as a mobile app from Apple Store or Google Play.

Yes! They will be available in the Screening Room on the event platform and remain accessible for an entire week after the conference. 

Rules of Engagement

Yes, absolutely! On top of the DVS code of conduct, we ask you to follow a few additional rules during the conference. Why is that? 

The events committee is striving to be as transparent as possible, which includes ensuring the participants are aware of when something is an advertisement or a pitch. Additionally, we want to maintain an inspiring and engaging space that isn’t cluttered with recruiters and corporate messages.

While we may have attendees who run their own businesses, are involved with startups, or are hiring managers who are actively recruiting, Outlier is designated to be a safe space for attendees to come together, learn from one another, and share ideas without needing to swat away pitches.

Any sessions that are specifically for an individual or company to pitch their materials should be organized via sponsorship chats with the Outlier director, and will be clearly marked on the agenda as a sponsored session. This allows people to actively opt-in to sponsored sessions if they’re keen. It also prevents the Unconf from becoming cluttered with pitches and recruitment (Reach out to us if you want to become a sponsor, and host a sponsored unconference session).

If you see a pitch occurring during a session that is not clearly marked as a sponsored session, please alert us so that we can handle that appropriately.

Here are some examples of what is not considered as a pitch for non-sponsored events:

  • Casually mentioning that you have a book coming out as part of your introduction or as a side-note.
  • A tool user hosting an educational workshop on getting started with the tool with the purpose of educating and sharing skills.
  • Recruiters reaching out to participants who have volunteered their information as someone who is currently searching for a job and wants to connect to recruiters.
  • A hiring manager hosting a session on something totally unrelated to recruitment.

And here are examples of what is considered as a pitch:

  • Hosting a session specifically to promote your book, with the book being the focus of the session.
  • Someone who works at a software company hosting a demo / workshop around the software for the purpose of converting people to the tool.
  • Recruiters randomly reaching out to attendees.
  • A hiring manager hosting a session for the purpose of recruitment.

Not all people like having their photo taken. If you decide you’d like to take a photo of your group so that you can post it on Twitter and show everyone how much fun you’re having, please first ask people in the group if this is ok. It could be as simple as giving warning so that people can turn off their cameras if they’d like.

We ask that you be respectful of others, and that you not interrupt those who are already speaking. Remember to pause and give space for others to engage. Respect others’ opinions even when you disagree with them, so that they can show you the same respect.

You can see the full DVS code of conduct here.

To report a violation of either the DVS Code of Conduct or these Rules of Engagement, fill out this form. There will be someone on call to respond to form submissions and handle violations throughout the event, so that we can ensure issues are handled swiftly and appropriately.


An unconference (or unconf, for short) is a 1-hour long session that can be hosted by anyone in attendance. As long as you have a ticket to Outlier, you can host one or multiple unconference sessions!

For the most part, whatever you like! You can host a session in any style or format you’d like; see some examples below. When possible, please provide the style/format in your description, so people know what they are signing up for.

  • Talk
  • Panel
  • Discussion
  • Q&A / AMA (Ask Me Anything)
  • Hands On (e.g., workshop, hackathon, sketching contest)
  • Fun / Misc (e.g., games, music, etc.)

Download the mobile Outier app or visit the webapp to see what unconference sessions are already on the agenda. On the same agenda, pick one of the available unconference slots, tap it and add the details of your suggested session.

An Outlier team member will then be notified, approve your session and add it to the agenda along with the meeting room link.

We’ll also add you as a moderator to your session.

We encourage people to collaborate and work together. Is someone else already planning to host a discussion you’re also super keen to lead? Reach out to them! Perhaps they’ll want to join forces!

Unlike a traditional conference session, unconference sessions have less of a clear distinction between prepared speakers and audiences. Even if you present a talk, we hope you choose to leave room for discussion and questions. Everybody is encouraged to participate and contribute something interesting, whether through leading a session or sharing insights as participants.

This is totally up to you (as long as it does not violate the Code of Conduct, of course), so we suggest whatever you’re excited about! We imagine a lot of the sessions will be focused around data visualization topics. However, we also encourage people to plan sessions around topics that are only minorly tangential to data visualization, as well as topics that have nothing to do with data visualization. We believe that two people connecting over non-dataviz topics (e.g., animal welfare, hiking, etc.) or non-dataviz activities (e.g. yoga, games, etc.) is also a really great thing and we want to encourage that. 

Not sure what to do? Wanna mull over ideas with others? Post in the #unconf-brainstorming channel!

Some session topic ideas:

  • Start an interesting debate or discussion about deep issues (e.g., a discussion around the data visualization of issues such as COVID-19 or election polling)
  • Organize or suggest a panel on a popular topic
  • Lead a workshop on your favorite tool
  • Host an AMA; share your expertise!
  • Host a game, lead a yoga session, or some other fun activity
  • Give an informal talk on something you’re excited about
  • Share your obscure hobby!
  • Tell us about a niche area of dataviz you’ve fallen into
  • Share a live-coding session
  • Whatever else you can think of!

We’ve also started a doc of fun and silly ideas. Check it out! Have some fun ideas that we missed? Feel free to add them! 

You are encouraged to move around freely and as often as you like. Don’t feel the need to stay for an entire session. Move in and out as out of sessions as you please. Explore!

In this folder, you’ll find documents for planned unconf sessions (and more still being created). If during your discussion or activity, you’d like to take notes, you have a space for that! Or, if as the facilitator, you’d like to add links, etc., could be good for that, too! If you don’t see one for your session yet, you’re welcome to make one. 🙂

Nope! Unconf sessions tend to be a bit more off-the-cuff. But, if you have slides you want to share, feel free to bring them along.

Unless you have secured a clearly-marked sponsorship session through the events director as part of a sponsorship package, we do not allow product pitches. See more on this in the code of conduct section above.

Many of these sessions are intended for informal connections and discussions. We would recommend that moderators do not record discussions and more casual gatherings by default. Things like talks and panels could be recorded if the moderators so chooses. We would like to state very clearly that we will not make any session recordings public without the express permission of everyone recorded. We also don’t want people to not participate for fear of being recorded. Participate as you’d like and know that we won’t be sharing videos without expressed consent from all involved.

Moderators could check the box next to “Record this session?” to opt to record the session.

The sessions can accommodate at most 20 people on the screen at a time.

Note: depending on the number of participants on screen, the number of people who can watch the Session will also change.

  • 1 speaker: 3000 viewers maximum
  • 2 speakers: 1500 viewers maximum (this would include 1 speaker and 1 screenshare)
  • 3 speakers: 1000 viewers maximum
  • 4 speakers: 750 viewers maximum
  • 5 speakers: 600 viewers maximum
  • 10 speakers: 300 viewers maximum
  • 20 speakers: 150 viewers maximum

If there are more than 20 people in a discussion, we recommend you sort out a system for people to request being on the screen, and try to encourage rotation of participation.

You are encouraged to move around freely and as often as you like. Don’t feel the need to stay for an entire session. Move in and out as out of sessions as you please. Explore!

When a moderator is in a session, other attendees can click the button that says “Request to Share Audio and Video”. Clicking this button will open a panel for the moderator to view who’s requesting and click to add them to the video stream.

Once allowed, the speaker will choose their audio/video devices and then appear on camera. The moderator can take off speakers from the Session screen by clicking the Remove red circle icon.

Lightning talks

lighting talk is a five minutes long address to the attendees on the topic of your choice, and in the language of your choice. 

We acknowledge that some folks who applied to speak and were not selected may feel disappointed, and we totally understand that. If time and budget allowed, we would have loved to have selected many more.

Lightning talks are a great alternative way to get involved and share some of your most exciting insights and/or projects.

We ask you to keep the following in mind when recording and submitting the video:

  • You must be a ticket holder to submit a lightning talk.
  • The video must be five minutes or less in its entirety.
  • The talk should not contain any offensive materials and must abide by the Data Visualization Society Code of Conduct.
  • Do your best to create a quality video; here are some tips on how to best do this.
  • Lighting talks cannot be promotions or advertisements for any commercial purpose.

No! We are planning to accept all submissions as long as they follow the above guidelines.

Fill out this survey to submit your talk.

Please submit your talk before February 1st, 2022. 

Outlier Viz Exhibition

The Outlier Viz Exhibit is a virtual space to share data visualizations from Outlier’s attendees to inspire, give or receive constructive feedback, or to give and receive praise and encouragement.

Using a MURAL board as a central location, visualizations made by attendees can be shared in a community space. Attendees are encouraged to browse and participate on the MURAL board, using it to comment and connect with each other. The exhibition is meant to be a space for sharing only and not intended to be a contest or competition of any kind.

Participating in the Outlier conference can come in many forms as an attendee, and having a space to share visualization projects with the community is a great way to connect with each other. The exhibition will act as a gallery of visualizations of all kinds to represent the work of conference attendees

We ask you to adhere to the following when submitting a visualization:

  • You must be a ticket holder to submit a data visualization.
  • The visualization must not contain any offensive materials and must abide by the DVS Code of Conduct and Outlier Rules of Engagement.
  • The visualization cannot be promotional or an advertisement for any commercial purpose.

No! All submissions that fulfill the submission requirements and follow the guidelines will be accepted.

There is no deadline to submit, although submitting by February 3rd, 2022 is appreciated. Submissions that come after February 3rd may not make it onto the MURAL board throughout the whole duration of Outlier, but we will try our best.

Sponsorship opportunities

Speaker curation

Anyone working in the visualization field can apply to speak. Check out our 2021 speaker lineup here.

Outlier speaker application questions follow a three-part structure:

  • About you: we ask you to fill in some basic details like your name, email address, timezone, social media tags, and bio. 
  • About the talk: here we dive deeper into the objective, target audience, title and subject area of the talk.
  • Your expertise: we ask you to share relevant work, a video of you speaking and to describe what diverse perspectives you’ll bring to the event. 

The applications will be open from September 3 to October 17.

The team carefully reviews each application and selects the best candidates based on proposed talk quality and Outlier values. You can read more about last year’s speaker selection process here.

We will aim to alert selected speakers in early November 2021.

Yes! We would love for you to apply. If you get selected, you’ll have the option to be paired with an experienced mentor who will help you prepare the talk.

All speakers selected for the curated portion of Outlier 2022 conference will receive an honorarium of 450$ to cover the costs of putting together and recording their talk.