The Annual Symposium is online this year, is this something that you expect to continue in the future?
No, COVID-19 presents unusual circumstances. We are planning to have our official 60th anniversary of AGIFORS in-person in Toulouse, France next year and continue our in-person meeting tradition.
Why do we have to pre-record our presentations?
Many professional societies, including AIAA and INFORMS, are pre-recording presentations. Pre-recording helps minimize delays due to switching control from moderators to speakers, helps ensure that speakers stick to their allotted presentation time, and allows for greater audience participation through asking Q&As.
Why do we have two programs this year – the online broadcast program and the offline supplemental program?
We are offering two programs as we expect to receive a large number of technical presentations, particularly since many of our spring study groups had to be cancelled. We believe that it is particularly important for the AGIFORS community to exchange ideas and information this year, so we are having all those who have abstracts accepted record their presentations. This will enable anyone who registers for the Symposium to view the technical presentation and follow-up directly with the speaker if there are questions. We do not have the ability to broadcast all presentations live, so will be selecting a limited number of technical presentations (around 10) for the live broadcast based on theme and balance of topics across study group areas.
What is up with all of these strict deadlines this year? Seriously, if I don’t submit my recording by September 28th I’m off the technical and/or vendor program?
Yes, that is correct. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes effort that goes into preparing for a live broadcast. We have hired a production engineer (who has done live broadcasts for television) and are working who needs time to prepare the recordings for the live broadcast and supplemental programs. We do not have the ability to offer extensions this year on submitted presentation recordings and materials.
If I submit a .mp4 file for my presentation, will others be able to download it?
We are currently working with our production engineer to ensure that the videos can be viewed, but not downloaded. The PDF version of the technical presentations will be posted to the AGIFORS presentation database, which is free for all members.
Why do I have to participate in a practice session with the production engineering?
During the operations conference, which was last June, we experienced a lot of issues with speakers connecting to their microphones and video to the software we were using. This was a particular issue with those using Macs. The practice session ensures that we work out these and similar bugs prior to the live broadcast.
My vendor presentation was accepted, will there be a live Q&A session?
No, vendor presentations will be broadcast on Friday, October 23, 2020 but there will be no live Q&A session. This is consistent with AGIFORS’ policy for the symposium, that is there have never been Q&A sessions after vendor presentations at our in-person events.
Why do I have to register by September 28th if my abstract/technical presentation is accepted?
We need to be able to communicate by email with you and verify that the invitations we send you to connect to the software are not disappearing in your spam folder.
Will you send instructions on how I’m supposed to create a recording as an .mp4 file?
Yes, we are working on putting together instruction manuals on how to do this.
Will you have a social program similar to what was done for the operations conference?
Yes, that is the current plan. We are scoping out new software that will allow us to do “break out sessions” more dynamically – stay tuned for more information!