What You Can Expect from the Virtual SMS 40th Annual Conference

We are pleased to share initial details and open registration for the first-ever virtual Annual Conference! This will be an exciting opportunity to engage with our members in a format that provides more accessibility than ever before. We hope that you will join us and participate in the discussion, as the potential to learn new things in these times of change is enormous, and so is the potential for us to develop ideas that will help transform our world.

Conference Features: 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:

More Opportunities to Hear and Engage with Research: In a virtual environment, you do not have to miss out on one session because you attended another in the same timeslot. Simply attend one live and watch an on-demand recording of the other at your leisure. Attendees of live presentation sessions will be able to engage with presenters and each other through live discussion, chats, Q&A, and polling during the session. Those who watch the recording can still leave feedback for the authors in the session’s discussion board. It will be easier than ever for authors to collect feedback on their work.

Multiple Ways to Network with Colleagues and Meet New People: Virtual attendee interactions at the virtual SMS Annual Conference will go beyond just in-session chats. Participants can directly message other attendees, schedule 1:1 video meetings, post in discussion forums, join small-group video chats, and more!

Keep the Engagement Going: The conversations don’t have to stop after the live conference has concluded! Registrants can visit the platform for weeks post-event to watch session recordings, participate in discussion forums, and send messages.

To accommodate as many participants as possible, the conference’s competitive program (typically Sunday afternoon-Tuesday) will be spread across half-days from October 26-30. Content will be presented live in the window of 11:00 and 16:00 UTC. Access to on-demand content and asynchronous activities will be available at any time.

Workshops, IG Sessions, and meetings typically held at the Annual Conference will take place at times before and following the competitive program. These activities are included in the conference fee and will be on the same platform, but to alleviate the conference time commitment, the activities will be scheduled outside of the main virtual event on October 26-30. 

The full conference program is now available to view! Click here to check out the schedule. 

The virtual environment allows us to host panel, paper, and common ground sessions that you have come to expect from SMS, with some additional perks and special features. We are also adding flexibility for presenters by offering authors the option to pre-record their presentation to be viewed during their session time.

We understand that the environments in which we are all now working have changed significantly since your proposal was first submitted, and so we do understand that authors’ ability and interest in presenting may also have changed. As is the case every year, we require that at least one author of each accepted proposal registers to attend the conference in order to confirm presentation in the program. The Presenter Registration Deadline is July 7th.

Securing an accurate commitment of planned presentations is critical to developing the program schedule and ensuring that all who seek to have their research presented can do so. Invited proposals without a registered author by the deadline will be withdrawn from the program.

SMS recognizes the extraordinary challenges our members are facing and believes that continuing to convene is as important in this new environment as ever, even if the format of the convening must change. Therefore, SMS is subsidizing the costs of the conference in order to alleviate costs to members and is again keeping its membership fees flat.

Registration for this year’s annual conference includes:

  • Access to all conference sessions
  • Access to IG sessions, meetings, and workshops
  • Access to the conference platform post-event
  • 2021 SMS Membership

  Registration Type

  Conference Fee  

  Discounted 2021 Membership  

  Total Cost  

  2020 Regular Members




  2020 Student & Emeritus Members  








  Non-member Students




Please be sure to read the Registration Policies before completing your registration.

Registration Fees for SMS 40th Annual Conference

Registration Type Fee
Member US$ 300
Student Member US$ 175
Non-Member US$ 320
Non-Member Student US$ 245