Presenter Information

Congratulations if you have been accepted to give a presentation this year at SWPA! The following information should help you prepare for the conference.  There is information below regarding each type of session, handouts, and audio-visual equipment.

General Program Organization

The SWPA Program Chair organizes the SWPA sessions so that they cover related topics, and decides on the number of SWPA sessions and their topics. Members submitting to give talks that cannot be accommodated into a session because of number or topic may be asked to change their submission to a poster format.

The SWPA Program Chair also works with the affiliate organization chairs to place their meeting sessions into the SWPA program at large.  The affiliate chairs decide on the number and type of their sessions and their topics for their meeting.

SWPA talks are given in sessions hosting 4-6 talks (1-1.5 hour time slots). Each talk is scheduled for 15 minutes, including time for questions. Talks for other affiliate organizations may be scheduled for different amounts of time (e.g. SWToP talks have 20 minutes each); check with the affiliate program chair. Presenters should plan to arrive at their scheduled session at least 10 minutes before the session starts so presentations can be loaded on a computer.

Each talk session will be assigned a session chair.  This person will help coordinate equipment set-up in the room (but is not responsible for providing the equipment), and will help ensure that the speakers do not continue past the allotted time period.  See the Audio-Visual policy for information about projectors and other equipment.

Posters Sessions
Poster sessions are held in a large room with up to 60 posters. Often, poster sessions covering more than one topic will be held simultaneously in the large room for time efficiency. Poster sessions last 1 hour and 30 minutes. We ask that you are available in front of your poster for at least one and a half hours of the time period to discuss your work with people who come by.  The specific times you should be in front of your poster are indicated in the program.  The extra time for posters this year will allow more people to view your work.

The Program Chair assigns a poster board number to each presenter and strives to keep posters covering the same topic near each other.  Presenters should check the program for their poster number and be sure to place their poster on the board with that number.

The size of the bulletin boards for posters is 4′ (high) X 8′ (wide). Presenters must bring their own push pins with which to mount their poster materials.

Symposia are multi-member talks organized and assembled by submitters themselves. Symposia typically last between one and two hours. Organizers should specify how long they prefer their symposium to run. However, the time allotted to the symposium will be solely at the discretion of the Program Chair. SWPA encourages members to create symposia.

Workshops (no CE  credit this year)
Workshops are sessions where SWPA members may receive instruction on a topic, technique, or innovation from other members or from invited workshop hosts. Workshops will be allotted either 1 or 1.5 hours.  Presenters should indicate their time length preference during the online submission process.

SWPA Student Research Competitions
All competition finalists will give an oral presentation of their project.  There will be separate paper sessions for the Graduate Student and Undergraduate Student Competitions.  Each presenter will have 15 minutes to talk, plus an additional 5 minutes for questions.  SWPA will have a computer and projector available for these sessions.  Please arrive to the session at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the first scheduled talk so that the moderator can organize the presenters and make sure everyone’s presentation is loaded on the computer (if desired). The talks given by finalists at SWPA will be rated by a panel of SWPA professional members using a common rubric. These ratings will be combined to select a “best paper” award for both the undergraduate and graduate student research competitions.

Presenters will be judged on the quality of their presentation.  Winners will be announced (and checks distributed) at the SWPA business meeting.

Other Types of Session
Information exchanges are informal sessions such as conversation hours, meals, social hours, business meetings, and other similar gatherings. The Program Chair schedules information exchanges and attempts to meet the time and space requirements desired. In no case will SWPA be responsible for providing food, drinks, cash bars, or other amenities typically provided by the hotel. Members seeking such amenities should ask the Program Chair for the contact information for the hotel’s meeting staff.

For further information on submitting information exchanges e-mail SWPA’s Program Chair, Angela Sikorski.  SWPA is always receptive to innovative ways to add to its Convention’s offerings. Members who would like to submit a presentation that does not fall neatly into any of the above categories should e-mail SWPA’s Program Chair, Angela Sikorski (

As a courtesy to people who attend paper sessions, poster sessions, and symposia, presenters should have at least 25 copies of handouts or formal papers available for distribution.  Extra handouts can be placed on a table near the registration desk so that other conference attendees can pick them up.

Audio-Visual Policy
For those giving talks in paper sessions, SWPA will supply projectors (but not computers) for each breakout session room.  If you have special needs beyond a projector, please make your own arrangements with other presenters in your session and / or your Session Chair. Please note that audio will not be provided in the talk sessions (so bring a set of speakers to plug into your computer if you need audio).

SWPA Session Chairs and presenters can be found in the Convention Program, which is posted on the SWPA website prior to the convention.

Whether or not you are planning on a PowerPoint presentation, it is always a good idea to make and have on hand at your session handouts of your major Tables and Figures for audience members. Handouts can serve as a backup in case of technical difficulties; they should suffice if you are unable to come with a projector.

The security and storage of any equipment brought to the meeting site are the sole responsibility of the individual bringing or renting the equipment for the meeting. SWPA is not responsible for the security and storage of equipment brought to the meeting site by private arrangement.

If you have any questions regarding this policy or need assistance procuring equipment, please contact