Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather sessions (BoFs) are initial discussions about a particular topic of interest to the IETF community. BoFs are usually held at IETF meetings, and requests to hold a BoF must be made significantly in advance of the meeting.

Key Info

Though some BoFs lead to forming a working group, BoFs may be used to gather a sense of the IETF community about a topic, without intending to form a working group. If a BoF community wishes to meet at an IETF meeting, this is requested at IETF BoF wiki, using IETF Datatracker credentials. The cutoff dates for BoF requests for each upcoming meeting are available on the IETF Datatracker, although earlier notice to an appropriate Area Director increases the chances for a productive conversation and informed evaluation for proposals.

Note that BoFs are not a required step in forming working groups. If an Area Director believes that the proposal is compelling, well thought out, and well organized, the Area Director can initiate the process of chartering a working group without approving a BoF.

Further information

Please read the BOF Procedures page for more information on how to submit a BOF.

Please read RFC 6771 for guidelines on how to best form a community to work on a proposal for new work.

Please read RFC 5434 for guidelines on how to best use the BoF process, if your proposal will require IETF meeting time to evaluate.


  • [1] RFC 6771
    Considerations for Having a Successful "Bar BOF" Side Meeting

    New work is typically brought to the IETF by a group of interested individuals. IETF meetings are a convenient place for such groups to hold informal get-togethers to discuss and develop their ideas. Such side meetings, which are not reflected in the IETF meeting agenda and have no official status,…

  • [2] RFC 5434
    Considerations for Having a Successful Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) Session

    This document discusses tactics and strategy for hosting a successful IETF Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session, especially one oriented at the formation of an IETF Working Group. It is based on the experiences of having participated in numerous BOFs, both successful and unsuccessful. [STANDARDS-TRACK]

Request a Birds of a Feather session for the next IETF Meeting

Visit the IETF BoF wiki