FAQs for 2021 SWPACA Virtual Conference

RegistrationConference PlatformConference ScheduleConference PresentationsAudience Expectations |


Where do I register for the conference?

You will register for the conference here, the conference platform designed by OpenWater. While it looks similar, this is not the same system that you used to submit your proposal for the conference. We recommend, however, using the same username and password for ease of use. While we understand this is not ideal, due to various timelines for building the online platform, this was the best option this year.

Why are you charging for an online conference?

SWPACA is a large conference, and in order to accommodate a conference of our size, it requires the use of an online conference platform with accompanying developers, project managers, and technology support. After doing an extensive search of virtual conference platforms, we selected OpenWater, a company that works primarily with academic conferences. Of all the representatives we spoke to, OpenWater offered the most dynamic and easy-to-use platform that could replicate – as close as possible – how we operate our conference.

Is there any monetary assistance available for the conference fee?

We offer “travel” awards in the form of registration reimbursement for undergraduate students, graduate students, and contingent faculty (non-fulltime adjuncts or instructors). You can find the application details here; the link to the application is here. Graduate students are also welcome to submit their conference papers for a graduate student paper award (which is also in the form of registration reimbursement).

Can I register more than one person at a time?

Yes! The person doing the registering will need to create an account and submit the details for all the users they are registering. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that the email addresses used for each registrant match the email address used to create an account for that user in the system. The email address will tie the paid registration to conference access for that user.

My institution requires a more substantial receipt than the one I received via email after I submitted my payment. Who do I contact for a detailed invoice?

We understand that different institutions have different requirements about receipts for reimbursements. If your institution requires a more detailed invoice, please contact Tamy Burnett (tburnett@soutwestpca.org) or Kathleen Lacey (klacey@southwestpca.org) for assistance.

Conference Platform

What conference platform are you using for the 2021 virtual conference?

We are using a platform called OpenWater that partners with Zoom. They have extensive experience with conferences of our size and format.

What technology/software do I need?

You will need a computer, microphone, and a webcam. Most computers now have mics and cameras already installed. If you’ve used Zoom or Skype before, you already know what to do! We will provide practice sessions for presenters throughout the conference. We do encourage you to practice using zoom (free accounts available at zoom.com) with friends or colleagues prior to the conference if you are unfamiliar.

Is tech support available during the conference?

Yes! One of the key features OpenWater is able to provide is live tech support during sessions to ensure things stay on time and run as smoothly as possible.

Conference Schedule

When will the conference schedule be available?

The conference schedule will be available via PDF on our website in mid-January and on OpenWater in February.

What time zone is the conference taking place?

In the spirit of Albuquerque, we will be conducting the conference on Mountain Time (UTC-7) (the same time as Denver).

Can I record and upload my presentation if I am in a different time zone?

Unfortunately not. All conference presentations will be live and in real time.

Conference Presentations

How do I log in to the conference?

You can log into the conference using this link!

How do I know when I will be presenting on my panel?

Typically, the area chair or session chair will follow the order of presentations in the program/schedule. Each presenter has 15 minutes to present their paper. All presenters are expected to be present throughout their panel’s entire scheduled time.

I’ve never given a virtual presentation before. What should I expect?

This will actually be quite similar to giving a presentation in person. If you typically read your paper (without any visual aids) for a conference presentation, you’ll do that in front of your webcam. If you usually share a PowerPoint, images, or clips, you’ll share your screen while you read/discuss your paper.

Can I share audio or video clips?

You can, but please be aware that the quality may not translate well. Internet connections vary, so we recommend keeping these as short as possible if it is necessary to use them during your presentation. Aside from playing the clip on your device, you can also share a link in the chat to the clip so that the audience may take a moment to watch it, and then return to the presentation. We further recommend that you arrange to share from a hardline connected computer during your presentation if you plan to show clips. As always with technological elements, be prepared to pivot if the clips don’t work (be prepared to describe them, etc.)

Audience Expectations

How do I participate as an audience member in a virtual conference?

Much in the same way you would if we were in person! First, we do expect audience members to stay for the entire panel if possible. Second, we expect that audience members and presenters will keep their cameras on during the entirety of the panel if at all possible. Just as you (hopefully) wouldn’t be visibly distracted or disengaged during an in-person presentation, we ask that you show the same courtesy in this online environment. There’s nothing worse than giving a presentation to a bunch of black screens. And finally, during the Q & A at the end of the panel, the area chair or session chair will moderate discussion via the raise hand and/or chat functions.