Conference Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register for the meeting?
You can register for the meeting by visiting the Annual Meeting website. There, 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?
You will receive a name badge and program, when you arrive on site. With your name badge, you have access to attend all of the plenary sessions, the concurrent sessions, and the Welcome Reception on Saturday night.
Are there any meals included with my registration?
NAPCRG will provide daily breakfasts and several coffee breaks through the meeting. The Welcome Reception on Saturday night includes cash bar. The evening event on Monday night includes light fare a drink ticket, as well as cash bar.
Can I cancel my registration?
Yes. To cancel your registration, contact the NAPCRG office (913) 906-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After October 8th, no refunds will be given for meeting registrations or special event tickets.
How can I buy tickets for special events?
When you complete the Annual Meeting registration form, you have the option to purchase tickets for special events during the meeting. If you would like to purchase tickets after you have already registered, contact Jill Haught at email@example.com.
Can I purchase tickets when I get to the meeting?
A limited number of tickets for special events may be available at the registration desk. We strongly suggest that you purchase your tickets in advance. We cannot guarantee the availability of any tickets on-site.
How do I submit a proposal for the Annual Meeting?
Calls for submissions for the Annual Meeting are released in the early February preceding the meeting. Depending on the type of proposal, submissions are typically due during 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 program for the Annual Meeting has information about each of the sessions being presented at the Annual Meeting. Yes, the easiest source to find which sessions a particular person is part of is our conference mobile application.
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 Poster Resource section on the Annual Meeting website for information on poster guidelines and setup/teardown times.
How can I attend a Pre-conference Workshop?
You can register for the 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 all meeting attendees.
Who can attend the Welcome Reception?
All meeting attendees are invited to attend the Welcome Reception on Saturday night. Attendance is included in 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 Housing page of the Annual Meeting website. Because we reserve rooms in bulk, room rates are typically lower than any other hotels in the area.
Why do we meet in some 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 cities.
- We try to vary locations in various regions of North America in which we meet, with every other alternating between US and Canada when at all possible. We try, of course, to choose cities that members will enjoy visiting.
- NAPCRG is a relatively large annual meeting. There were 1,150 of us in New York City in 2014, 850 in Ottawa in 2013, 663 in New Orleans 2012, and 794 in Banff. Only large conference hotels have the facilities we need. We have outgrown the facilities in many cities where we used to meet in past years.
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 these conferences and there are also many other factors that contribute to the date selections such as both US and Canadian holidays and hotel availability. Some years, this set of constraints leaves us with only one possible weekend; other years, we have more choices. Because of these restrictions on our meeting dates, it’s especially important that we reserve our hotels well in advance.
How are conference hotels chosen?
We submit our profile to hotels and invite them to prepare bids, staff reviews bids and makes recommendations to the executive committee for comments as well. Sometimes staff will complete a site visit to see the hotel will work for our meeting needs. We must do that several years in advance (usually 3-4 years) to guarantee the dates we need and to ensure the best rates possible. That means we must make our best guess several years in advance about how many members will attend our annual meeting, so that we will meet our obligations to the hotel and have facilities that are the right size for us.
Why is the hotel expensive?
Hotel rates are set when the contract is signed with the hotel. This is often five years in advance. Like anyone else, 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 will be in a different state. Rates also vary by season.
Can't you book a budget hotel too, so that we have a choice?
In a word, no. We get our meeting rooms for the conference by promising the conference hotel that we will fill up a minimum number of sleeping rooms for a given number of nights. We sign a contract with the hotel to that effect. 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 a/v charges and so on are all 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 signed the contract, the hotel would not give us enough meeting rooms for our conference sessions. We can’t just book the additional meeting rooms at a cheaper hotel, because they don’t have such rooms. What makes a budget hotel cheap is not just the quality of the bedspreads; it's that such a place devotes almost all of its square footage to sleeping rooms, so it can charge a lower rate for those rooms. That means that the less expensive hotels don't have the meeting rooms or a/v companies to serve us. They are often in less desirable locations where the real estate is less expensive. So we can't book a second, bargain hotel to offer to conference participants unless it's an overflow hotel set up at the last minute, after we've filled our quota at the main hotel. Staying in the conference hotel is thus not only the most convenient choice for NAPCRG members; it also supports NAPCRG and the meeting itself.
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 not only a discounted rate on those sleeping rooms, but also the use of meeting rooms for our sessions. This contract is signed about five years prior to the meeting itself.
Audio-visual: Major hotels are also 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 room (in hotelspeak they are referred to as "breakout rooms”) for each day of use. Even though we restrict our services to projectors (and audio when needed), this support is expensive; our bills in recent years have topped forty-five thousand dollars.
Why do we seem to get free coffee breaks some times and not others? Why is there free coffee but no snacks at most coffee breaks?
Some years the hotel is generous and they offer us some perks; and on occasion we have been able to bargain a little. We usually go for connectivity first, if we can get a little something extra as the meeting date draws near. Coffee, like wifi, is a profit center for hotels. Coffee cost us $75.00-150.00 per gallon plus a 24 percent service charge. Snacks are not typically available because of the high cost of hotel food. The average hotel typically charges $2.50-5.00 per piece of fresh fruit and as much as $40-50 a dozen for cookies or $5-7 per can of soda or bottled water.
How do audio-visual requests work?
Most conference hotels hire the services of a separate company to provide audio-visual facilities. They work up a contract for us about a year in advance. 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.
The standard setup in rooms is a laptop and projector, which NAPCRG brings and a support package provided by the AV company that includes AV Cart with Power, Screen, and 6 ft. VGA Cable, and screen and microphones and flipcharts if needed. NAPCRG brings our own computers and projectors to lessen AV costs. Our AV charges for a conference are in the range of forty-five thousand dollars for just their basic support package. If we rented their computers and projectors it raise the equipment fees enormously, and thus it would raise conference registration fees.
Why didn’t I get free wifi in my hotel room?
Connectivity technology changes so quickly that it seldom goes into a hotel contract. It’s usually the hotels, not the a/v companies, that are in charge here. They can be generous, or not. Some hotels still see wifi 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. We have the staff at best deal for us that they can in this regard.
Why was my session scheduled at the same time as other sessions on similar topics? Can't this be avoided?
The program takes place over several days, with so many sessions to schedule some conflicts are unavoidable. The program committee works very hard to avoid conflicts of topics and potential audiences. The first priority, however, must be avoiding individual conflicts: a participant cannot moderator 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 after the next in the same room, for the sake of continuity. We can be happy at least that our annual meeting enjoys an embarrassment of riches.