Conference Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register for the Annual Meeting?
Register for the meeting by visiting the Annual Meeting website. You can either complete the online form or print a PDF version of the form and fax or mail it to the NAPCRG office. NAPCRG accepts all major credit cards, except Discover, as well as checks for payment.
What is included in the cost of my registration?
Your registration provides you access to all of the plenary presentations, concurrent breakout sessions, and multiple social and networking receptions that make up the Annual Meeting. Additionally, you receive log-in credentials to utilize our mobile conference app to help navigate your Annual Meeting experience.
Are meals included with my registration?
At the Annual Meeting, NAPCRG typically provides daily breakfasts, lunch on the first full day of the conference, and several coffee breaks throughout the meeting. The Welcome Reception includes a cash bar. The evening event on the final night of the conference includes light fare, a drink ticket, and a cash bar.
Can I cancel my registration?
Please find NAPCRG's full conference cancellation policy here.
Can I purchase my conference registration when I get to the meeting?
We encourage all attendees to register for the conference in advance. This allows us to plan accordingly for the appropriate number of attendees and manage any accommodations needed. As a bonus, NAPCRG often offers an early-bird discount for those who register by the designated deadline.
However, we know sometimes plans are made at last minute. If you arrive at the conference and still need to register, please see the NAPCRG team at the registration desk for assistance.
How do I submit a proposal for the Annual Meeting?
Calls for submissions for the Annual Meeting are released early February preceding the meeting. Depending on the type of proposal, submissions are typically due late April.
Can I see what sessions will be presented before I arrive on site?
Yes. The program for the Annual Meeting is posted online as soon as it is finalized.
How can I find out when someone is scheduled to present?
The online searchable schedule for the Annual Meeting has information about each of the sessions being presented.
Where can I find guidelines and information about poster sessions?
During the presentation time, attendees are able to interact with authors of the posters, and discuss their research with them. Poster authors do not give formal presentations. You can visit the Presenter Information section on the Annual Meeting website for information on poster guidelines and setup/tear down times.
How can I attend a Pre-conference Workshop?
You can register for Pre-conference Workshops using the Annual Meeting registration form. Each workshop has a registration fee, which is used to help offset the cost of organizing the workshop.
What are the plenary sessions?
Plenary sessions are usually lectures or speeches designed to appeal to a broad range of meeting attendees.
Who can attend the Welcome Reception?
All meeting attendees are invited to attend the Welcome Reception on Friday night. Attendance is included with your registration.
Does NAPCRG have hotel rooms available for meeting attendees?
Yes. NAPCRG reserves blocks of rooms for attendees each year. You can learn more about how to reserve a room in one of these hotels on the Hotel and Travel page of the Annual Meeting website. Because we reserve rooms in bulk, room rates are typically lower than hotels in the area and provide the convenience of being on site where most activities take place.
Why do we meet in certain cities and not others? Why don’t we meet in a smaller city that might have lower hotel rates?
Several factors go into our choice of conference locations:
- We aim to meet in various regions of North America, alternating between the US and Canada when possible. We try to choose cities that members will enjoy visiting, but are also easily accessible for travelers, including those coming from outside North America.
- The NAPCRG Annual Meeting is unique in that we offer an unusually large number of presentations to take place during the conference. This requires facilities that can meet our plenary session needs, while also offering a second large room for the poster hall and a significant number of individual rooms for concurrent breakout sessions like forums, workshops, and oral presentations. Only certain venues can offer these accommodations within our budget.
How are meeting dates chosen?
Approximate dates of annual meetings have become traditional and well-established for many organizations, NAPCRG among them. Such conferences have distributed themselves throughout the year in hopes of avoiding scheduling conflicts, so that you may attend more than one according to your professional needs. We try our best to avoid overlapping other conferences, and must consider US and Canada holiday dates and hotel availability. Some years, this set of constraints leaves us with only one possible weekend; other years, we have more choices. It's especially important that we reserve our hotels well in advance because of these restrictions.
How are conference hotels chosen?
We submit our profile to hotels to prepare bids; staff reviews the bids and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee. Sometimes staff will complete a site visit to see if the hotel will meet our needs. We must do that several years in advance to guarantee the dates and to ensure the best rates possible. That means we must make our best estimate several years in advance about how many members could attend our annual meeting, so that we meet our obligations to the hotel and have facilities that are the right size.
Why is the hotel expensive?
Hotel rates are set when the contract is signed with the hotel. This is often five years in advance. Hotel planners are more inclined to bargain in bad times than good ones, even though the event itself will take place far in the future, when the economy could be in a different state. Rates also vary by season.
Can you book a budget hotel too, so that we have a choice?
Unfortunately, we are not able to reserve room blocks in multiple hotels.
We get our meeting rooms for the conference by promising the conference hotel that we will fill a minimum number of sleeping rooms for a given number of nights and sign a contract to that affect. If our members don’t fill that block of rooms because they are staying somewhere else, NAPCRG must pay the difference directly to the hotel.
Further, our audio visual charges are negotiated on the assumption that we are bringing that much income for the hotel (the charges are also based on the number of rooms needing the equipment), so other rates would go up as well if we failed to meet our minimum. If we promised fewer room nights when we sign the contract, the hotel would not give us enough meeting rooms for our conference sessions. This would result in less programming and presentation slots for attendees to enjoy.
A budget hotel is less expensive because almost all of its square footage is for sleeping rooms, so it can charge a lower rate for those rooms. Therefore, less expensive hotels don't have the meeting rooms or audio visual services to serve us. They are often in less desirable locations where the real estate is less expensive. After we've filled our contracted quota with the main hotel and a need for an overflow hotel becomes necessary, there may be an option to book a second bargain hotel to offer conference participants. Staying in the conference hotel is the most convenient choice for NAPCRG members and supports NAPCRG and our meeting needs.
What goes into a hotel contract?
Basic Agreement: When we make an agreement with a hotel, we promise that our members will fill a given number of sleeping rooms each night for a given number of nights; we also promise to spend a minimum amount for food and beverage. In return, they offer us a discounted rate on those sleeping rooms and the use of meeting rooms for our sessions. This contract is signed about five years prior to the meeting.
Audio-visual: Major hotels are able to offer us excellent audio-visual service and support. It is usually provided by a separate company that works with many hotels in the city. We pay for the support in the meeting rooms for each day of use.
Why do we seem to get coffee breaks some times and not others? Why is there coffee but no snacks at most coffee breaks?
Some years the hotel is generous and offer us some perks, and on occasion we have been able to bargain a little. We usually go for connectivity first, then see if we can get a little something extra as the meeting date draws near. Coffee, like Wi-Fi, is a profit center for hotels. Coffee costs us $75.00 to $150.00 per gallon plus a 24% service charge.
Snacks are not typically available because of the high cost of hotel food. The average hotel typically charges $2.50 to $5.00 per piece of fresh fruit and as much as $40.00 to $50.00 for a dozen cookies, and $5.00 to $7.00 per can of pop or bottled water. Providing these extras would necessitate an increase in conference registration fees.
How do audio-visual requests work?
Most conference hotels hire the services of a separate company to provide audio-visual (AV) facilities. At conference time, their representatives at the hotel set up the equipment, check for problems and remain on call to troubleshoot. Their fees are based on the setup in a given number of rooms for a given number of days, and the equipment in each room. If we ask for equipment in a room and use it for just one session, we are still charged for the whole day.
NAPCRG always looks for ways to defray AV expenses, including bringing our own computers and projectors to the Annual Meeting. If we rented these computers and projectors it raises the equipment fees enormously, and thus it would raise conference registration fees.
Why didn’t I get free Wi-Fi in my hotel room?
Connectivity technology changes so quickly that it seldom goes into a hotel contract. Some hotels still see Wi-Fi as a profit center, much as they used to see long distance phone charges. Others see connectivity as an important part of creating goodwill and loyalty.
Why was my session scheduled at the same time as other sessions on similar topics?
The program takes place over several days with many scheduled sessions, and some conflicts are unavoidable. The Program Committee works hard to avoid conflicts of topics and potential audiences while still offering presentation opportunities to a large number of members on a range of topics.
The first priority, however, must be avoiding individual scheduling conflicts: a participant cannot moderate one session and present a paper at the same time. Special scheduling requests can contribute to conflicts as well. If a series of five sessions is organized and the organizers want to maintain a particular order, that limits the scheduling of other sessions around it. Any special scheduling request may have a ripple effect in order to avoid individual conflicts. Ideally, similar topics follow one another in the same room for the sake of continuity.