Virtual Meeting FAQs

Virtually Anywhere,
August 3-6

ESA will hold a totally virtual Annual Meeting this year from August 3–6 in response to the pandemic. The virtual meeting will provide four days of inspiration and community, an opportunity to focus on your research and your career, and a way to connect with colleagues and leaders from across the field. Below are frequently asked questions about the virtual meeting.

What can I expect each day of the meeting?

  • A plenary video followed by live Q&A with the keynote speaker.
  • A live virtual panel focused on an emerging topic.
  • More than 3,000 talks and posters available on demand (during and after the meeting dates).
  • Asynchronous Q&A for all presentations.
  • Live video networking sessions each day.
  • Career Central talks available on demand (during and after the meeting dates).
  • Exhibits to learn more about important products, software and services.

When will presentations take place?

All presentations (talks and posters) will be available on demand starting August 3rd. Attendees will be able to view presentations as their time allows during and after the meeting dates.

How will talks and posters be presented?

Talk and poster files will be uploaded by presenters in advance. Ideally recorded audio will be included for talks, although we recognize this will not be possible for every presenter. We will use the software we had planned to use on site in Salt Lake City (Conference Exchange’s Podium) to help guide presenters through the file upload process. We will provide instructions and recommend best practices for preparing their files for upload.

How can I ask questions of presenters?

Most engagement will be asynchronous: attendees will be able to leave questions for presenters and presenters will be able to answer them as their time allows. We will encourage attendees who are interested in a more real time experience to browse on demand presentations and leave questions during certain windows of time each day.

How will meeting engagement happen?

We recognize that engagement with other attendees is a critical benefit of meeting attendance. We will host a prerecorded plenary video each day followed by live Q&A sessions with each keynote speaker. There will also be a virtual panel each day that will highlight high profile topics that have emerged during the pandemic. Each day will end with several video networking sessions.

What if I want to withdraw?

Presenter should cancel in writing by email to Jennifer Riem. Include the abstract ID so that we can make sure we note the correct presentation. If possible, please let us know by June 4, 2020.

Will my abstract fee be refunded?

If you cancel your talk by June 4, your abstract fee will be refunded.

When will registration open?

Registration is now open.

What are the registration rates?

Registration will be required to upload and view presentations, and participate in live sessions. This year’s registration rates are:

 $60 Student Member                   $90 Student Nonmember

$190 Member                                   $260 Nonmember

What is the registration deadline?

Registration will close on July 23, 2020.

Are presenters required to register for the meeting?

All presenters must register for the meeting. Please note that abstract submission does not register you for the meeting. Registration will be required to view presentations and participate in live sessions. The ESA Opportunity Fund registration grants are being offered to offset the financial challenges many of our members encounter.

Why is ESA charging registration fees?

Convening the ESA virtual scientific Annual Meeting requires the purchase of sophisticated technology with licensing fees to deliver nearly 3,000 presentations and sessions with an unprecedented combination of synchronous and asynchronous elements, to provide robust cybersecurity, and to make all content available to registrants over an extended period after the meeting ends. In addition to covering the costs of technology, registration fees support the labor needed to execute the virtual event and to assist both presenters and attendees in these novel interactions.

The registration fees were set as low as possible and only cover costs. ESA does not expect to profit from this event.

You can read more in this blog post from 2019 about “Managing the ESA Budget“.

Will there be registration support?

The ESA Governing Board members recognize that scientific conferences play key roles in the growth of a discipline and in the careers of scientists, while acknowledging that access to these conferences is constrained by many factors. They authorized $20,000 in ESA Opportunity Fund registration grants to offset the financial challenges many of our members encounter. Additionally, sections and chapters are offering additional funds for registration grants. ESA encourages its members to apply for an ESA Opportunity Fund registration grant if needed and will evaluate adding more award funds if the program is oversubscribed.

How do I apply for a registration grant?

Begin the process here. (**Please do not register and pay the registration fee if you apply for a registration grant; wait to register until you have received confirmation from ESA.)

ESA Opportunity Fund registration grants will be awarded in the order in which they are received. Applications are due June 30. ESA Section and Chapter grants may have differing selection criteria and application closing dates. You may apply for both types of registration grants, but you are only eligible to receive one registration grant.

Who is eligible to apply for a registration grant?

All ESA members are eligible to apply for a registration grant. Membership benefits are numerous (beginning but not ending with a substantial discount on meeting registration), and we hope you will join us!

ESA is a community of 9,000 scientists, researchers, decision makers, policymakers, and educators who advocate for ecology and provide a voice for ecologists. ESA strengthens connections within and outside our community to support your work and promote ecological science. We recognize that these are hugely challenging times in higher education, research organizations, and other professional workplaces. Registration grants are part of our investment in a broader diversity of participants, bringing new ideas, scientific approaches, and perspectives to our discipline.

What steps is ESA taking to make the Annual Meeting accessible?

ESA is working to take advantage of virtual meeting technology to make the 2020 event as accessible and inclusive as possible. All of the Virtual Meeting presentations and question/answer sessions will be available to registrants for several months after the Meeting concludes. The ESA plenary talks and panel sessions will be closed-captioned. We are exploring affordable options for additional ways to increase accessibility; check back for updates on these arrangements.

ESA has a Code of Conduct for Events that all participants must agree to abide by to ensure that the Annual Meeting is a safe and inclusive environment for all participants; the Code will be upheld to assure that our virtual interactions are safe and welcoming for all.

Will there be a Career Central?

ESA is committed to fostering the career development of its members, so we will be featuring content to that end in a virtual Career Central. Sessions will cover data skills, career exploration, career navigation, and some particular skills unique for ecologists. Specific details will be announced as the schedule comes together.