I am currently preparing for the submission of my first paper to an academic conference and I've just seen this table of important dates:
What is "paper bidding"? Why is that before the submission deadline?
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In conferences with paper bidding, reviewers get to indicate their preference for each paper (i.e. "I'm interested in reviewing this one, not interested in reviewing that one").
The bids are typically based on the abstract (which is why many conferences have an "abstract submission deadline" before the submission deadline). That way, by the time the papers are submitted, they can be distributed to reviewers immediately.