Here are the key things to know about participating in virtual sessions during this year’s Annual Meeting. 

If you’re presenting, you should also see Information for Presenters.

Program

This year, the Annual Meeting will include a wide range of events and sessions for our attendees in both modes — virtual and in-person — including an exciting lineup of panels and plenaries raising timely and important issues, as well as networking, happy hours, jam sessions, and more.

You can view the program on the 2021 Annual Meeting Hub.

About the Annual Meeting Hub

The virtual meeting will take place on the 2021 Annual Meeting Hub that provides the program, a virtual exhibit gallery, and a portal to Zoom, the communication platform for all live sessions and events.

Anyone can see the meeting hub, but only registered participants can access virtual sessions, recordings, and presenter contact information. 

See Using the Meeting Hub for more information.

Accessing Sessions

Registered attendees will sign in, then simply click a link to go straight from the description of a session in the schedule to its live Zoom meeting. The Zoom sessions can only be accessed from the online platform, which is scalable to any device; no call in information will be provided.

  • You must Log In to see the links to “join session” on the session details page, which will appear there on the day of the session. If you can’t see the link that day, you probably haven’t logged in. How can you tell if you’re logged in before then? It will say “My Profile” instead of “Log In” in the top right-hand menu.
  • “Join session” links will not be functional until 30 minutes before the scheduled start.
  • All participants will be placed in a waiting room until the session’s Zoom host admits them.
  • Presenters may use the 30-minute lead time to prepare; audience members will be admitted by the session host at the scheduled start time.

Recordings

Because most live sessions will be recorded, attendees will have the chance to see anything they missed at any time through the end of the year. Allow about a day for recordings to be added to session descriptions in the schedule after live sessions.

Meeting in Zoom

Most sessions and events will make use of Zoom using the Meeting format. Webinar mode will be used for a few sessions as necessary.

See our Help with Zoom for guidelines and best practices, as well as technical help. This detailed guide covers settings for presenters as well as for attendees.

Policies

Please review our 2021 Annual Meeting Policies before registering, which includes information related to cancellation, social media use, and other important matters.

AFS strives to ensure that all meeting participants have equal opportunities to engage in and contribute to its Annual Meeting. Chairs and presenters should review our guidelines for accessible presentations. Attendees should contact us at [email protected] six weeks before the meeting to request other accommodations that may be necessary to facilitate their participation.

Expectations

Because we will be interacting with one another via Zoom, it is important to familiarize yourself with “netiquette,” or general norms and expectations for communicating online. Try an online search on “netiquette” for some important general principles if this is new to you. 

For this meeting specifically:

  • Test your equipment before the conference, including your microphone and video. All presenters and chairs should have a stable web connection to avoid technical issues. See “System Requirements” in Help with Zoom.
  • In general, mute your microphone when you are not speaking in order to reduce background noise.
  • While individual circumstances may influence your choice about whether or not to keep your video on, we recommend that you do, whenever possible, to allow attendees to see each other even in a virtual space. Depending on your device capacity and Zoom software version, there may be options for creating a neutral or an AFS logo background if you would prefer for participants to not see the place where you are sitting! Ask [email protected] for assistance in planning a workable background for your video presence.
  • Zoom Chat can be a great way to engage with other attendees during virtual sessions, and we encourage friendly and constructive comments, even during presentations. If you find the chat distracting, you can hide it from view, then review or even download the chat text near the end of the session to see if you missed any substantive suggestions.
  • If you plan to move between sessions, keep your audio and video off while you move from panel to panel to minimize disruption.
  • Follow instructions from chairs and moderators to ensure a smooth virtual session, especially concerning how to ask questions.
  • As with any meeting, be courteous and forgiving. Allow chairs and moderators to handle disruptions.

Privacy

By default, most virtual events and sessions will be recorded to make that content accessible to those who can’t attend the live virtual sessions. Social events and discussion sessions will not be recorded. These recordings will be available at least until the end of the calendar year for registered attendees to watch on-demand.

As an attendee, if you do not want to be recorded in a session, please do not attend the session. The program will indicate which sessions are not recorded so that you know ahead of time which ones are viable options for you. Chairs and presenters, please contact us at [email protected] if you do not wish to be recorded.

AFS collected permission from presenters concerning sharing email addresses. The email addresses that we were given permission to publish will be shared in an index of presenters on the conference platform.

For more specific information information, see: