WHat are some elegant ways to describe the ending of a summit or conference where participants can engage the time however they wish. They can go elsewhere, network, leave... etc. but in the program a way of describing that without just saying "Free time" or "Networking"

  • 3
    What don't you like about "Free time" or "Networking"? What sort of thing do you consider "elegant"? Nov 9 at 19:34
  • Usually, they attend a reception or receptions.
    – Lambie
    Nov 9 at 19:48
  • Can you be more precise about what is on offer? Are you providing a space for them to meet and gather informally, maybe refreshments, or is it just a case of "conference over, get out of the building now"? It's not unusual to suggest some way of spending time whether it's "free time", "networking", "lunch", "sightseeing", "reception", "getting-to-know-you", "informal meetings", "private study", "view stalls", "exhibition", "coffee", "evening drinks", etc.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 10 at 14:50

3 Answers 3


I had this as a comment, but I decided it is culture that deserves to spread.

At the end of a science fiction convention there is usually an event called The Dead Dog.

This is a name lost in the mists of time. But it probably comes from slang for an empty liquor bottle. Or possibly it simply refers to the attitude of people who have not slept for 3 days or so, now released from the requirements of running the con, and so they wind up on some vaguely horizontal surface, looking like a dead dog.

It can be held in the official hospitality suite of the convention. Or it can be in some designated location such as the hotel pool. It can be in the official programming, or it can be exclusive, invite only.

There are usually no requirements or specific goals to be achieved. There is no requirement to arrive at any time, nor to stay for any specific time. It is up to the convention and their arrangement with the venue how late it stays open, and when the hotel starts to sweep you up with the other party debris.

If it is in convention-rented space you ordinarily only need to show your convention badge to get in. If there are hospitality supplies left, these are usually given out at the Dead Dog. So snacks or beverages or things that publishers have brought as give-aways.

The invited guests of the convention usually hang out at the Dead Dog at least for some time. So you often get to hang around very informally with your favorite science fiction author, TV show star, movie producer, cover artist, etc.

So, I suggest "The Dead Dog" for the time after a conference when the venue is available, but no formal programming is being put on.


My suggestion is

After the [event] there will be XX hours available for discussion before leaving.

Cambridge has

the activity in which people talk about something and tell each other their ideas or opinions

IMO this broad description is better than patronising attendees by telling them how to use the available time, as most will know what to do at these events.


(On the) sidelines

Observing rather than taking part, out of the action, as in Bolivia's neighbors remained on the sidelines, waiting to see which faction in the dispute would prevail. This idiom comes from sports. The sidelines are the two lines defining the sides of the court or playing field and the area immediately beyond them where, in such sports as football, the non-playing team members sit. [First half of 1900s]

on the sidelines

Here's an npr headline dating September 15,2022:

Xi-Putin meeting will happen on the sidelines of a security forum in Uzbekistan

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