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.Registration is now open 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.

Technical Questions Posted August 1st 2020

  • I can’t access any talks or posters.
  • I’m trying to add an event to my personal schedule but I don’t see a + icon next to any live events.
  • I can’t see asynchronous Q&A sections for sessions or presentations.

Solution to all of the above problems

Are you logged in as a registrant using the same email address you used to register? We included your registration address in our “Know Before You Go” message in case you are using multiple email addresses regularly and don’t remember which one you used to register. Please check this message if you’re not sure and try logging in with your registration address if you’ve been using a different one.

If you have saved favorites, contacts, or other important information already using a login that is different from your registration email, please contact and ask us to change the email listed for your meeting registration to match the one you are using.

Most Common Questions

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:


$190 $260
$60 (Student) $90 (Student)

Answer Details

I can’t see a specific talk or poster, or several talks or posters

Solution: This could be caused by either a specific presentation being unavailable or a browser issue. Over the weekend, a small subset of the video files are still being reviewed for visual and audio quality before they are made visible on the website. We are also waiting on a few presentations to be uploaded by presenters who have been affected by current events and needed more time. However if you are seeing a pattern of missing presentations, there may be an issue with your browser. If you have a second browser available on your computer, please try that and see if it works better.
If none of these solutions solve your problem, please email

I don’t know how to turn closed captioning on in the Plenary, the Discussion Panel sessions or a Live Q & A Session I requested to have captioning for.

An image demonstrates how to use a closed caption control.
Our captioners will join 10 minutes before start time to test the captions. AS soon as they start captioning for the first time, there will be a small notification:
Participants can turn the captions on by either clicking on Closed Caption is available, or by clicking on the Closed Caption icon (CC) and clicking on Show Subtitle.

Captions – Instructions

In order for anyone to see the captions, every user will need to click on the CC button at the bottom of the screen and select ‘Show Subtitle’. They will also have the option to change the size by selecting the Settings option, and click ‘View Full Transcript’ if they need a bit more text.
Captions will appear as long as there is content to be captioned (dialogue).

What can I expect each day of the meeting?

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

When will talks and posters be available?

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 and will be available for attendees to view any time starting August 3rd. Talk presenters are encouraged to record audio for their slides (through screen capture), although we recognize this will not be possible for every presenter. All posters and as well as talks that do not include audio will be available as PDF files.

Does the ESA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting have an official hashtag?

#ESA2020, Join the conversation and follow us on Twitter

Will presenters be able to interact with other attendees?

We recognize that engagement with other attendees is a critical benefit of meeting attendance. For all talks and posters, attendees will be able to leave questions for presenters and presenters will be able to answer them as their time allows (asynchronous Q&A). Live Q&A discussions for some of the invited papers sessions, workshops, and special sessions will take place daily through Zoom. The online program will indicate which sessions will have live Q&A once these have been scheduled. These Q&As will complement the on-demand content available for these sessions.  Attendees will also be able to communicate through private messages.

What will the meeting’s live content look like?

We will offer a number of opportunities each day for attendees to participate in live video sessions with the opportunity to ask questions of keynote speakers and expert panelists. In some cases, attendees will be able to participate in video discussions in smaller groups. We will host a prerecorded plenary video each day followed by a live Q&A session with the keynote speaker. There will be a discussion panel each day that will highlight high profile topics that have emerged during the pandemic. Live Q&A sessions will be offered for some of the invited paper sessions, workshops, and special sessions. Each day will end with several video networking sessions.

How do I cancel my registration?

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:


$190 $260
$60 Student $90 Student

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 present, view presentations, ask and answer questions, and participate in live sessions.

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 offered additional funds for registration grants.

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 to view for several months after the Meeting concludes. Presenters are offered the option of using asynchronous and live Q&A for invited talks (SYS, OOS, INS), workshops, special sessions, and Career Central.  Contributed Talks and Posters will only have asynchronous Q&A.

The ESA plenary talks and Live Panel sessions will be closed-captioned in real time and in the on demand versions. ESA will provide close captioning (slides and voices) for on demand sessions upon request for those who are hearing impaired. All presenters are asked to provide a PDF of their talk in conjunction with the presentation. If you need accommodations under the American Disability Act (ADA) or have other special requests, please contact us at in advance of the meeting.

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.  View the specific details as the schedule comes together.

When and where should I upload my presentation?

The deadline for all presenters to upload their presentations is Monday, July 27th at 5:00 PM Eastern (2:00 PM Pacific). All speakers will receive an email with a unique link and instructions for uploading their presentation to our website.

Help! I’m not receiving speaker emails

Be sure to check your junk mail folder if you have not been receiving meeting updates for speakers. Some recipients have been having issues with meeting emails being misidentified as spam. Whitelisting and the domain is the best way to make sure these emails go into your inbox.

How do I prepare my poster for upload?

Posters should be in a PDF format. If you created your presentation in PowerPoint, please use the “save as Adobe PDF” option to save your file in the correct format for upload.

Please check your junk mail folder if you don’t see an email with an upload link during the first week of July, and email if the emails are not getting through to you.

How do I prepare my talk for upload?

Talk presenters have two options for uploading their talk.

Option 1 (Slides Only): You can upload your slides as a PDF file. If you created your presentation in PowerPoint, please use the “save as Adobe PDF” option to save your file in the correct format for upload.

Option 2 (Audio + Slides With Transitions): You can use a screen capturing program to create a video file (MP4, FBR, MOV, or M4V) that captures your slides, including transitions, and the audio for your presentation. Think of a Zoom presentation without your webcam turned on.

The webpage where speakers will upload their presentations has complete guidelines and instructions, including video tutorials to help talk presenters capture audio and slide transitions. Please check your inbox and junk mail folder if you don’t see an email with an upload link during the first week of July, and email if the emails are not getting through to you.