What do we mean by a “Virtual Conference”? We decided to bring the conference to you! With everything going on regarding the COVID 19 pandemic, the AMR Conference Committee decided to try a virtual conference this year.
We chose the Whova Web Application which not only incorporates Zoom for video chats and webinars but also has virtual networking (that will start before and continue well after the conference), surveys, virtual booth space where attendees chat with exhibitors, and much more…
We will open the virtual conference web applications weeks ahead of time so you can get used to browsing around and start chatting with other registered attendees and exhibitors. This way you can plan ahead and arrange your schedules to sign up for sessions you are interested in attending.
How do I access the virtual conference?
STEP 1 – Register for the AMR Conference through treatminewater.com and the EPCAMR store for the PA AMR Conference (like every other year) and we will give you the credentials/instructions to access the Whova Virtual Conference Applications in a follow-up email. We will use the email you registered with so be sure to follow the instructions on our Registration Page carefully.
STEP 2 – Once you register, visit the Whova Web Application. The first time you visit Whova you will need to sign up for a free Whova Account. Please don’t try to access Whova Apps before registering as you will need the username (email) and password supplied by us.
After that, you should be ready for the virtual conference!
What do I need to participate? You will need a computer or smartphone/tablet with internet access to participate in the conference. You won’t need to download anything as the Whova Web Application runs through your internet browser (Internet Explorer does not work, and there can be sound issues with Microsoft Edge. Firefox should work fine. Google Chrome is preferred). Optionally, there is a Whova Mobile App for your smartphone you can download through the Google Play or Apple App store. Although most of this conference will be using Zoom Video, you won’t need to download it or register for it separately and you don’t necessarily need a webcam to participate in the webinar presentations as there will be chats, polls, and Q & A text options to participate. With all that said, your internet does not have to be the highest broadband speeds (dial-up internet speeds work in a limited capacity). Virtual networking among attendees and exhibitors will also be through text unless we host a video chat among attendees with audio and video capabilities. See Zoom System Requirements for more specifications.
Here is a primer for navigating the Whova Web App…
Whova Application User Guide: Get more out of virtual conference participation by visiting the Whova Application User Tutorial for more info. The tutorial shows you how to do things in both the Web App and the Mobile App. There are instructions on how to:
- Sign in
- View the agenda and plan your schedule
- View live streams and session videos
- Use the session Q&A
- See who is attending the event
- Join discussions on the community board
- Start or join a virtual meetup
What if I have a problem accessing the Whova App? Test it out early! We will have limited capabilities to test your connection during the conference. Can you get on the Whova Web App link in Step 2 above? Visit the exhibit hall and see if you can watch videos (hint: ARIPPA has a video). We are troubleshooting before the conference and learning workarounds every day. Whova uses Zoom’s Web SDK to embed Zoom Meetings into the Whova Web App. Unfortunately, Zoom’s Web APK is behind in quality and features as compared to the native Zoom App.
Here are some things to try:
- Maximize your browser containing the Whova Web App to fill your entire screen. Some more buttons may appear (i.e. “Ask A Question” button in the live presentation sessions).
- Re-join the session by simply refreshing the page in your web browser.
- Join the live stream through the Whova Mobile App on your smartphone or tablet.
- Organizers can provide you with the Zoom Link to participate directly through Zoom’s native app which usually has better audio and/or video quality than the Zoom Web SDK (this is a fix especially for a known issue with satellite internet lag time). Please contact Michael Hewitt to see if arrangements can be made to allow you to participate with a direct zoom link.
Scholarships: Being that this is a virtual conference, there will be no travel scholarships this year. A 50% discount is worked into registration for non-profits. This is on your honor, but we will be checking non-profit status through the registration process.
Professional Development Hours (PDH): Certificates will be presented by the PA AMR Conference Planning Committee (specifically for professional geologists, engineers, and surveyors) following the conference. Attendees that wish to participate should notify Anne Daymut ahead of time (so we know to track it for you). Credit hours will be assessed upon the time spent in sessions (verified by session feedback response). Be sure to fill out your name in the session feedback for each presentation you attend. Presenters at the Conference are eligible to receive additional credits beyond attending sessions at the Conference.