Dear all,
 
In this newsletter, we inform you about the SIG 27 virtual conference. We’ve learned from your suggestions and previous virtual conferences and hope that this conference will meet or exceed your expectations! Registrations will open on October 20th, and close on November 20th.  

Formats and program

The conference will run for three days (December 14-16), with sessions taking place in the afternoon only (timezone UTC +1). Prerecorded presentations and posters will be available a week beforehand. 

The conference has three aims: learning something new, discussing ongoing work, and providing networking opportunities. To achieve this aim, we have live sessions and prerecorded sessions, and we host the conference in Gathertown and Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom. You can find the preliminary conference program here

As you can see, we have scheduled ample time for networking activities. Some of these will be scheduled (e.g., small-group lunches with a prespecified theme), others are not pre-structured. Gathertown allows for virtually walking around in the conference area and talking to people that are close, which hopefully results in conversations similar to those in a live conference. For those of you who feel less comfortable with this, all sessions except the poster sessions will be hosted on Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom and will also be accessible through links.

Session types

Paper presentations and No-or-Not-so-perfect-data presentations
Participants who submitted a paper presentation or No-or-Not-so-perfect-data presentation are requested to record a 5-minute presentation. Links to longer presentations/supplementary materials for interested listeners can be added to the presentation. During the conference, there is a 10-15 minute slot assigned for each presenter, in which they can answer questions about their recorded presentation. Each speaker will be assigned to be a discussant to one other presentation. The discussant does not need to prepare a presentation but is asked to open the discussion by asking the first question. We aim to assign you to a presentation with a similar topic. Presenters can also choose to convert to the poster format. 

Symposia
Symposia organizers are assigned an hour for their symposium and can fill in this hour as they wish. Symposia organizers are requested to communicate with their presenters about their expectations and are requested to communicate their plan for the session with the organizing committee at least two weeks before the conference.

Posters
Poster presenters are requested to submit a high-resolution poster. The poster session will take place in Gathertown. In Gathertown, participants can walk around in a virtual poster hall, and if they get close enough to presenters or the poster boards, they can open the poster and ask questions. No time is scheduled for pitches. Posters will be available throughout the conference.

All attendees can also submit an unreviewed poster. Please include the words ‘peer-reviewed poster’ or ‘unreviewed poster' close to the heading.

More information on how to submit the presentation and/or poster will follow soon. If you submitted an abstract but cannot attend the conference, please inform us so we can remove you from the program. Please also inform us if you are a speaker and can only attend part of the conference. You can e-mail Ellen (e.m.kok@uu.nl) with any questions or remarks.

Important dates

Important dates can be found here.

Pricing

In contrast to some of the other conferences, we will ask for a small fee from all participants. This is mostly to cover costs that we make to enhance your conference experience: We need to pay for the use of Gathertown, and we pay for students to support the technical part of the conference. Furthermore, we have some administrative costs. The prices can be found here.

 

We hope to meet many of you online in December. We would like to thank all members that provided us with ideas and wishes regarding conference formats. Any further comments or ideas for the conference are very welcome!