Frequently Asked Questions

Investing in the Future: Redefining the Annual Meeting Experience

From the moment the decision was made that the 2020 INFORMS Annual Meeting would take place in a virtual setting, INFORMS has been dedicated not only to transitioning the traditional physical meeting online, but to redefining the virtual meeting experience.

Following months of thoughtful research and consultation with partner organizations, we have identified and invested in multiple technology platforms that will provide attendees with unlimited access to groundbreaking research and presentations from across the global OR/MS community, and in turn enable presenters to share their work with a wider audience than the traditional in-person format.

But we didn’t stop there. To truly redefine the virtual meeting experience, we had to identify and implement new technology to effectively bridge the physical space between us to provide attendees the same invaluable opportunities to connect, network, and build lasting personal and professional relationships, that until now, only resulted from face-to-face interactions.

Careful and considerate conversation regarding registration fees began almost simultaneously with the decision to transition to a virtual meeting platform. From the start, our intent was to identify a responsible reduction in rates, in recognition of the financial hardships that many organizations, institutions, and individuals are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all while balancing additional factors that include:

  • The significant investment of transitioning to and hosting a meeting on multiple virtual platforms;
  • Preserving the unique value of the research presented at INFORMS conferences;
  • The value associated with unlimited access to content unique only to a virtual event;
  • Additional savings incurred in regard to travel and hotel expenses;
  • Investment of INFORMS staff time and effort; and
  • Research and collaboration with similar organizations to identify industry standards for a virtual event of this size and scope, to name a few.

We do understand that even with the discount, attending the virtual meeting may still be cost prohibitive to some, and are dedicated to working with the INFORMS and OR/MS community to identify opportunities to offer support. For assistance in your particular situation, please reach out to our Customer Service team at informs@informs.org.

Most of all, we look forward to welcoming you to an exciting new virtual Annual Meeting experience, one that we hope exceeds expectations and redefines for attendees what it means to connect, collaborate, learn, and grow.

 

 General Questions
What will a virtual annual meeting look like?
What are the dates for the virtual meeting?
What do I need to attend the virtual meeting?
Networking with other people is a big reason I attend. How will you offer this benefit online?
Will Sessions be interactive? Will I be able to ask questions of the authors or speakers?
Will Sessions be synchronous or asynchronous?
Will I still be able to earn PDUs for sessions I attend?
I am unavailable during the scheduled broadcast time. Will I be able to watch the presentations at a later date/time? 

Registration 
When can I register for the virtual meeting and how much will it cost?
Why is the registration rate so high?
What is the cancellation policy for the virtual meeting?

Abstracts/Speakers

Will the recordings be available after the meeting? 

Can I present live instead of uploading a recording? 

I’m presenting in a contributed session from 8-11am, how long should my recording be, and do I need to be there that entire time? 

I’m a Session Chair. Do I need to upload a recording?

Do I need to register if I am presenting?

Has the abstract submission processes changed since the meeting is now virtual? 
Do I need to register if I am presenting?
What is the submission deadline?
Will I have to present live or submit a prerecorded presentation?
What platform will the sessions be presented on?
Will there be Q&A sessions with speakers?
Will there be a Virtual Poster Session? 

Exhibitors/Sponsorship
Will there be an exhibit hall?
I am an exhibitor/sponsor for the annual meeting. How does this affect me?
How can I become an exhibitor or sponsor the INFORMS annual meeting?

General Questions

What will a virtual annual meeting look like?

We are currently developing a robust virtual meeting that will offer live sessions, pre-recorded “on-demand” sessions, poster session(s), an exhibits program, sponsorship program, social/networking opportunities and more.

What are the dates for the virtual meeting?

The dates of the meeting are November 8-13.  Please be sure to check the annual meeting web site for updates.

What do I need to attend the virtual meeting?

To attend the virtual meeting, you will need a good internet connection, your mobile device or computer and a valid registration. You will receive instructions prior to the virtual meeting.

Networking with other people is a big reason I attend. How will you offer this benefit online?

We understand the value that attendees get from engaging and interacting with other attendees. We will continue to share details regarding how we plan to build those opportunities into the virtual experience.

Will sessions be interactive? Will I be able to ask questions of the authors or speakers?

It is our intent to provide as interactive a platform as possible. These interactions will only be available for registered attendees of the virtual Annual Meeting.

Will sessions be synchronous or asynchronous?

TBD

Will I still be able to earn PDUs for sessions I attend?

Yes, you can collect PDUs for participation. The fillable PDU form can be found here.

I am unavailable during the scheduled broadcast time. Will I be able to watch the presentations at a later date/time?

Yes, there will be on-demand access to presentations.

Registration

When can I register for the virtual meeting and how much will it cost?

Registration information including updated pricing is on the Register page.

What factors are used to determine the registration rate?

While it may appear that a virtual meeting and video costs are lower, they are significantly higher than you would expect due to the virtual meeting platform to “house” all the events that happen during the Annual Meeting such as small committee meetings, networking rooms, the exhibit hall, posters, multiple sessions, and even pre-conferences events. Additionally, we have increased expenses such as data storage costs for after meeting (on demand content) and hired a virtual meeting expert to ensure we provide the best experience and to increase our knowledge in the new virtual meetings format.

What is the cancellation policy for the virtual meeting?

No refunds will be issued for the virtual meeting.

Abstracts/Speakers

Will the recordings be available after the meeting? 

Yes. For three months after the meeting ends.

Can I present live instead of uploading a recording? 

INFORMS is asking people to pre-record. INFORMS cannot ensure quality for live presentations and with a meeting of this size, we are not suggesting it. The Zoom Q&A room will not be recorded or monitored (no changing hosts, recording, muting attendees, etc.) and it will not be a part of the on-demand content after the conference dates. 

I’m presenting in a contributed session from 8-11am, how long should my recording be, and do I need to be there that entire time? 

Contributed recordings should be 15-minutes long. All talks in the session will be released at 8am and attendees should watch them from 8-10am. Then from 10-11am, attendees should join the Zoom link for live Q&A. Please make sure you’re present for the live Q&A from 10-11am and preferably for as much time between 8-10am as possible. 

I’m a Session Chair. Do I need to upload a recording? 

Yes. Please introduce all your speakers in a brief (1-2 minute) recording. It will play first in the session. You can upload it in the Presentation Portal

Do I need to register if I am presenting?

All presenters must register in order to present.

Has the abstract submission processes changed since the meeting is now virtual? 

An abstract is still required and the only difference in the submission process is you will need to upload your prerecorded presentation.

Who manages the video in the virtual platform?

CTI Meeting Technology. This is the same platform that you used to upload your abstract.

Will there be Q&A sessions with speakers?

Yes, each session will have a live text chat along with a link for a zoom room to continue the conversations following the session.

Is INFORMS offering support for presenters who do not have the technical skills to record their own talks, or does that responsibility devolve to the session chairs?

There is a helpful video and important tips listed here http://meetings2.informs.org/wordpress/annual2020/presenter-tips/

Can I still edit my title, authors, and abstract text? 

No. The editing deadline was Oct. 12th.

If I can’t upload my talk by the deadline (e.g., my company/agency requires internal review and approval of all conference presentations), will I still be allowed to present and can I request an extension?

Yes. Please contact Cassie McKay at INFORMS.  

Where can I upload my recording? 

Click Here to Upload in the Presentation Portal

Will there be a Virtual Poster Session? 

Yes. There will be a Virtual Poster Session along with the Poster Competition.

Is there a mechanism for bringing questions from the chat in the session window into the chat in the discussion room?

The Session Chair has been asked to keep the session on track.

Are presenters required to use Zoom to record their talks or is the only requirement for an mp4 file? 

The only requirement is mp4 file

If I am unable to sign the video release form due to company guidelines what do I do?

Please contact Cassie McKay at INFORMS.  

Has the abstract submission processes changed since the meeting is now virtual? 

An abstract is still required and the only difference in the submission process is you will need to upload your prerecorded presentation. Detailed information coming soon.

Do I need to register if I am presenting?

All presenters must register by August 31.

What is the submission deadline?

The deadline for submissions is July 30, 2020.

Will I have to present live or submit a prerecorded presentation?

The majority of the presentations will be prerecorded.

What platform will the sessions be presented on?

More information coming soon.

Will there be Q&A sessions with speakers?

Yes, and we will provide more information in the coming weeks.

Will there be a Virtual Poster Session? 

Yes. You can find more information about the Poster Sessions and submitting a poster here.

Exhibitors/Sponsorship 

Will there be an exhibit hall? 

Yes, we plan to offer an interactive exhibit hall as well as sponsor/tech demos. There will be exclusive exhibit hall times to interact with sponsors and exhibitors.

I am an exhibitor/sponsor for the annual meeting. How does this affect me?

Thank you for your support. The virtual meeting will have several new and exciting opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors. We will send updated information.

How can I become an exhibitor or sponsor the INFORMS annual meeting?

The virtual meeting will have several new and exciting opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors. Contact Olivia Schmitz for more information.