Concepts and Terminology

The Components

pretalx is split into a range of components (also called “apps”, following the Django terminology). These are the most important ones:


Templates, models, and utility methods used in all areas of pretalx live here.


This component contains all models and methods regarding events, organisers, teams, and their relationships with each other.


Everything concerning email sending and templating takes place here.


The custom pretalx user model, as well as speaker profiles.


All matters regarding schedules, scheduling, talk slots, conflict resolution, etc, come from here.


This component contains the submission model and all other models that are tied directly to it, such as tracks, submission types, questions and answers, the submission state machine, etc.


In this frontend component you can find all templates and views for the public schedule pages.


This frontend component contains all templates and views for the submission workflow and the private speaker area.


This frontend component holds all templates and views for the organiser backend.


All matters regarding the RESTful pretalx API live here.

The Concepts

This is how pretalx sees the world – so if anything here strikes you as very wrong, chances are pretalx will not work well for you. If this happens, please let us know by opening an issue!


pretalx tries to treat its users as the persons they actually are. This involves allowing people to be both organisers and speakers at one or multiple events. Even submitting proposals to an event and then reviewing other proposals is something pretalx allows (although the submitter will never be able to see the reviews their own submission received).

It is expected that people can take part in as many events as they like, in any role they like. Naturally, a non-bounded number of people can present any talk.

Events and organisers

Events take place once, over the course of one or multiple days. Events belong to an organiser, which is an entity that can take on one or multiple events.

Teams run events or certain parts of events for an organiser. A team is defined as a number of people who share the same rights and responsibilities with regards to one or multiple events. People can be in multiple teams. A team can run multiple events, and most events will have multiple teams associated with them.

Submissions and Reviews

Submissions (or: proposals) are a cornerstone of how pretalx’s understanding of the world. A submission will have at least a title and as many other fields as the organisers have specified, either by requiring or removing the built-in fields, or by adding questions of their own. A submission will probably have one or multiple speakers.

Submissions have a state. They start out as submitted. While they are submitted, they can be deleted or withdrawn. Organisers can then change the submission state to accepted or rejected (typically after the CfP has closed and the review phase is over). An accepted proposal can then be confirmed by any of their speakers (or the organisers, who can set any submission to any state, if need be).

Both accepted and confirmed submissions can be canceled to indicate that a planned presentation will not take place after all.

Schedules and Slots

A schedule is a versioned programme of an event. Any event will have at least one schedule – the unreleased, work-in-progress schedule. At any time, organisers can “freeze” this schedule to a released version, that will go by a name organisers can choose. Speakers will receive updates if their presentations have been moved, and attendees can look at the changelog to see differences between versions.

Slots are the scheduled instances of a submission. Regularly, a submission will have one slot per schedule, but submissions can also have more than that, for example if a workshop will be held twice.