Virtual Conference FAQ

The conference is being held on a virtual conference platform. Registered attendees of the conference can click here to access the platform. 

All sessions must be accessed through the virtual SMS 40th Annual Conference platform. Once you are on the conference platform, you can find the session you are presenting in by navigating to "Schedule" then "My Agenda". Then select the session you would like to join. 

All sessions must be accessed through the virtual SMS 40th Annual Conference platform; for security purposes, no individual Zoom links will be distributed. Once you are on the conference platform, you can explore all sessions, including searching for a specific person or session number or keyword by navigating to "Schedule" then "Agenda". There is a search feature in the right-hand corner, or you can filter by track or session format. You can then add this session to your "My Agenda" by selecting the plus sign so it is easy to navigate to later. 

Yes! Our conference platform runs best on Google Chrome. Click here to download the Chrome browser if you do not already have it on your computer. 

Yes! To get the most out of sessions, we recommend you have version 5.3.0 of Zoom or higher on your local computer. This will allow you to access all of the features you may need to present at your session as well as have a smooth networking experience. Click here to get the newest version of Zoom and download Zoom Client for Meetings. 

Visit the Reception Desk menu then go to the Help Desk. The Help Desk has resources including video tutorials and additional FAQs.  The Help Desk will also be staffed from October 19-30. Please check the Help Desk for specific hours. 

Presentations and Sessions FAQ

All SMS 40th Annual Conference sessions will be Paper sessions. Common Ground sessions will not be offered in this year's virtual format.

A Paper Session is composed of 3 - 4 proposals that are presented sequentially by their author(s), with a short amount of time allotted for audience members to ask questions. Please click here for more information regarding a Paper Session, and click here for suggestions to improve your Paper Session presentations. 

The Competitive Program of the conference will officially begin on October 26, 2020, and will end on October 30, 2020. Workshops, IG Sessions, and meetings typically held at the Annual Conference will take place October 19 - 25, 2020, and at times before and following the competitive program. These activities are included in the conference fee and will be held on the same platform.

Due to the size of the conference and the complexity of constructing the conference schedule, it is very difficult for us to accommodate special requests. We do recognize that occasionally there are extenuating circumstances that prevent a presenter from being available on a specific day. In cases like these, please email the SMS Executive Office at and let us know of your constraints, and we will make an effort to take them into consideration when building the schedule.

It is highly recommended that authors present live during their assigned session date/time for the SMS Virtual Annual Conference. However, authors have the option to pre-record a video presentation of their proposal that will be shared during the assigned presentation time.

The following is an overview of the two presentation options to help you determine the right one for your presentation:

  • Live Presentation
    • Proposals that are presented live will be delivered during your session at the assigned date/time via Zoom Meetings accessed through our conference platform.
    • Presenting live will help maximize interaction and engagement around your proposal. Authors who present live will receive both synchronous and asynchronous feedback and can engage in direct conversations with co-presenters and participants of the live session.
    • Presenting live requires the following: a computer, a stable (preferably hardwired) internet connection of at least 1.0Mbps, a microphone and speaker (headset preferred), a built-in or external webcam, and a basic understanding of Zoom Meetings functionality (such as using screen share) or the willingness to join a tutorial session.
  • Pre-Recorded Presentation
    • Pre-recorded proposal presentations will be shared as a video during a live session, or as a complete video session if all presenters in a session have pre-recorded their presentations.
    • If you and your co-authors are unavailable to present at your assigned session date/time, or if you will not have a stable internet connection, pre-recording is recommended.
    • Session Chairs will do their best to encourage discussion of all proposals. However, pre-recorded presentations may not receive the same amount of engagement and feedback as those presented live.
    • Those choosing to pre-record their session will be provided access to cloud-based recording software that will be used to record and submit presentations in one easy step. Additional instructions for this option will be provided following the deadline to indicate your decision to pre-record or present live (August 31).
    • Session recordings will be due by September 23.

If your proposal has multiple authors, please first discuss this decision with all involved. The deadline for indicating your decision in the SMS website is August 31. You may change your answer if needed up to this deadline. After the August 31 deadline, all those who have indicated that they will pre-record will be sent instructions and a unique link to record and submit their presentation.

To indicate your decision to present live or pre-recorded please follow these steps:

In this year’s virtual environment, some adaptations have been made that affect the role of Session Chair. Please read the following information carefully, even if you have served in the role previously. 

Presenting Authors have been given two options for the presentation of their proposals: presenting live or submitting a pre-recorded presentation. The presentation options will result in three types of sessions: Fully Live, Live with Pre-Recorded Video Supplement, and Fully Pre-Recorded. 

Fully Live: All proposals in the session will be presented by their authors in real-time on Zoom via the conference platform. Chairs of this session type will also be “live” in the Zoom meeting, and will be responsible for welcoming participants and calling the session to order, calling on/introducing presenters, timekeeping and enforcing time limits, and facilitating and encouraging discussion. Chairs of live sessions will be aided by a session volunteer who will assist with technical and administrative aspects of the session. 

Live with Pre-Recorded Video Supplement: This session will also take place live on Zoom via the conference platform, however while some of the presentations will be delivered live by their authors, at least one proposal presentation has been pre-recorded to be played during the session. Chairs of this type of session have the same responsibilities as those listed for the Fully Live session, and they will also coordinate with the session’s volunteer for the pre-recorded presentations. 

Fully Pre-Recorded: This type of session will be a pre-recorded video of all proposal presentations that will become available to watch at the scheduled session time. Chairs will begin watching the video at the scheduled start time and will interact with session attendees via written messages in the session’s chat, welcoming them to the session and encouraging chat discussion and feedback for presenters. 

If you've been nominated as a Session Chair, here's how to determine your session's type:  

First login to your SMS Online Account and navigate to 'myVirtual' then 'mySessions' to view the details of the session. Next to each proposal you will find small blue icons. The “person” icon means LIVE, and the “camera” icon means Pre-Recorded.  If the session has all “person” icons, it is a Fully Live session. If it has all “camera” icons, it’s a Fully Recorded session. If there are both icons within a session, the session will be Live with Pre-Recorded Video Supplement. 

Registration FAQ

Registration for the 2020 Annual Conference will open mid-June 2020. Registration will close on the last day of the virtual conference.

Yes, current SMS members receive a reduction on their registration fee. Click here for more information on becoming an SMS member.

Yes, SMS conference registration fees include a special rate for 2020 student members. Click here for more information on becoming a student member of the SMS.

If you are a student, but do not want to be a member in 2020, there is a non-member registration option that includes 2021 Student Membership. If you select this registration option, we require that you submit proof of 2021 enrollment from the PhD granting institution and a confirmation letter from a major professor. 

Our goal is to replicate as many in-person conference elements as possible in order to facilitate a variety of session types and deliver multiple opportunities for engagement and interaction, with a mix of live and asynchronous content. Here are some of the exciting benefits of our virtual event. You can learn more on this webpage

Submissions FAQ

We ask that authors submit their proposals using our online submission system. The deadline to submit is February 21, 2020.

We ask that all authors follow the submission guidelines for their proposal. If these guidelines are not followed, the submission runs the risk of being desk-rejected.

The deadline to submit a proposal is FEBRUARY 21, 2020.

Yes; you can be named as an author or co-author on no more than 2 proposals.