2020 SSP Virtual Conference FAQ
- Why was the 2020 SSP Conference transitioned to a virtual event?
SSP consulted with industry and academia leaders and partners, assessed the feedback from the recent SSP member survey, and discussed options with our onsite venue in Savannah, GA. After thoughtful consideration of the needs of all parties, the decision was made to transition the onsite conference into a virtual experience—2020 SSP Virtual Conference.
It was important that a safe and globally accessible solution was provided when gathering our professional community in the pursuit of “20/20 Vision & Beyond.” This was the best and safest course of action for members and attendees worldwide given the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
- What factors were taken into consideration when making the decision to move the event online?
The health and safety of all involved drove the final decision to make the 2020 SSP Conference a fully virtual event. Many factors due to the pandemic were considered when making this difficult decision, including:
- Global travel restrictions and company/university travel bans
- Shelter in place mandates across the U.S.A. and globally, impacting onsite participation
- Anticipated self-quarantine and social distancing requirements extending well into the future
- Unprecedented cancellations of other domestic and international events
- Why wasn't the 2020 SSP Conference postponed for a later date so that we could all gather together in person as originally planned?
We could not postpone the meeting for a later date for a variety of reasons. Some of the key reasons for this decision included:
- The inability to confidently predict a future date where travel, budget, governmental, and strict safety restrictions due to the pandemic would be lifted for all of our global attendees.
- Timeliness and relevance of the leading scientific content that is planned in our robust program. We are eager to share the excellent keynote speakers, sessions, workshops, and ePosters that have been scheduled, and to provide access to multiple networking opportunities where you can discuss strategies, job opportunities, and help each other during this challenging time.
- What is meant by a virtual event?
Our virtual solution aims to provide an engaging, accessible, and inclusive platform to enable our global community to connect, learn, share knowledge, and advance this year’s mission of “20/20 Vision & Beyond.”
The virtual event will allow participants to easily access important topics, research, and content that was originally developed for the onsite experience. The new, virtual experience will also provide opportunities for participants to network, connect, and share knowledge, products, and solutions. SSP is working diligently to develop this informative and engaging virtual experience. More specific details regarding our virtual event will be shared by SSP in the coming weeks via email and the conference website.
- Will the virtual event be held over the originally scheduled dates?
At this time, we intend to hold the live virtual event from October 26 – November 6, around the same dates as the originally scheduled onsite event. We also intend recorded content to be accessible to attendees well into the future. SSP is working diligently to transition the onsite program to a virtual experience. We thank you in advance for your patience as we develop an inclusive, virtual experience. More details regarding the virtual format and programmatic approach will be shared in the coming weeks. Continue to visit the conference website for all the latest information.
- How will I be able to access the virtual content?
SSP has acquired Zoom licenses for meeting content and staff has been well trained on the platform. Depending on the programming type, either Zoom Meetings or the Zoom Webinar platform will be used to deliver the virtual conference content.
Zoom can be easily accessed on computers/laptops, smartphones, and tablets/iPads. If your organization blocks Zoom, you could use a personal computer, phone or tablet to view live content from a network that is not connected to your workplace. All registrants will have post-conference access to recorded sessions for On Demand viewing at a time that better suits their needs. More information will be shared via the conference website as the program becomes more defined. Stay tuned!
- Will there be a mobile app?
Yes! All registrants will have access to meeting content on a dedicated website that you can access through your preferred browser on a computer, smartphone, and tablet/iPad. Registrants can access meeting content in our mobile meeting app. The mobile meeting app will be the same that you saw in 2018 with all the same features, including Program Guide, Abstracts, Exhibitor and Sponsor Information, as well as the ability to communicate and schedule meetings with fellow attendees. The app will also have access links to all the virtual content, to include all keynotes, scientific sessions, workshops, ePosters, and surveys.
- Do I need to be registered for the 2020 SSP Virtual Conference to present my abstract?
Yes, as with past onsite meetings, you must be registered in order to present your abstract. Presenters MUST register by September 23, 2020 or your abstract will be withdrawn from the conference. All presenters will hear from SSP Headquarters via email in the coming weeks with important instructions on presenter registration. There will also be information for presenters on the conference website.
- I'm an oral presenter of a scientific session or workshop. What will happen to my session in the virtual event?
All speakers will be hearing from SSP Headquarters via email in the coming weeks. Please continue to prepare your presentation. We are planning to include all scientific sessions, workshops, and posters in our virtual format. All registered presenters will have their abstracts published and will be able to include their session in their resume/CV as a conference presentation.
- I need to prerecord my presentation. How do I get started?
SSP will provide more information to registered speakers on how to prerecord and upload their presentations prior to the start of the 2020 SSP Virtual Conference. We will send out a speaker toolkit that includes best practices for this purpose. This information will be shared with all registered presenters in the coming weeks in speaker email communications and on the conference website.
- Will posters be included in the virtual event?
Yes, the 2020 SSP Virtual Conference will include ePosters. Poster presenters will have the opportunity to interact with attendees through our ePoster platform. SSP Headquarters will email out more information on ePosters and post updates on the conference website in the coming weeks.
- When will registration open for the 2020 SSP Virtual Conference?
Registration will open on August 17. Rates and other important information are posted on the registration page.
- I pre-registered for the in-person 2020 SSP Conference in 2019. What will happen to my registration now that the conference has transitioned to a virtual event?
For your convenience, your registration will be transferred to the virtual event. In the event that you are owed for the difference in registration fees, SSP would like to give you the following options for your remaining balance:
- Use the balance left over to register additional people from the same company
- Donate the remaining balance to the SSP Foundation
- Refund the remaining balance
- What is the cancellation/refund policy for the 2020 SSP Virtual Conference?
Cancellations MUST be made in writing and received by SSP no later than October 7, 2020. Cancellations received by this date are subject to a $25 processing fee. Registration cancellations received after October 7, 2020, are NOT subject to a refund. You may transfer your registration to another member of your organization..
- What happens to the sponsorship dollars my company gave now that the 2020 SSP Conference is a fully virtual event?
We are happy to work with each company directly with their available options. Sponsors can reach out to Tressa Patrias to get started.
- Can I get reimbursed for my 2020 SSP Conference exhibit booth now that the conference is fully virtual?
Please contact Tressa Patrias directly, who will gladly review all exhibitor options.
- What other options do I have to engage with virtual event attendees?
As part of the virtual event experience, we are exploring several options to provide our valued exhibitors an effective way to engage prospective and nurture current customers. Tressa Patrias and team will be reaching out to our exhibitors and sponsors very shortly, or you can contact her directly here.
- I secured lodging in Savannah, GA over the original in-person conference dates. What will happen to my hotel/housing reservation?
Cancellations of any hotel/housing reservations previously made in Savannah, GA are the responsibility of the individual on the reservation and must be made directly with the hotel/property and in accordance with their cancellation policy.
- Does SSP reimburse me for any travel expenses incurred (i.e., airfare, rental car fees, visa fees) now that the event has transitioned to fully virtual?
SSP is not liable for any travel expenses incurred, which include, but are not limited to, nonrefundable airfares or ticket change penalties imposed by the airlines, rental car fees/cancellation fees, visa fees, etc. Please speak directly with your travel vendors, as they may have their own reimbursement options for you.
In the event we have not answered your questions, please contact us right away. We will address your concerns as soon we are able.