FAQ

SPR Annual Meeting Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

How can I download the 2019 Conference App?

  • If you are using an iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad), go to the App store and search for SPR Events or click on this auto-detect link: (https://www.core-apps.com/dl/spr_meetings). If you are using an Andriod device, go to Google Play and search for SPR Events or click on this auto-detect link: (https://www.core-apps.com/dl/spr_meetings)
  • In order to use the social networking capabilities of the app, please set up your user profile. Once you’ve created your profile, you may start using interactive features such as newsfeed, sharing schedules, setting meetings, in-app messaging, Facebook, Twitter, My Itinerary, DC Destination, and many more!
  • To get the latest app updates during the conference, please tap the sync icon located top right corner of the app.
  • If you are having issues with the app, please click the Help Desk icon within the app.

 How to use Newsfeed:

  • Users can share/post comments, thoughts, and photos using this built-in interactive feature through the newsfeed as well as SPR’s Facebook and Twitter without leaving the app. Other users can view your post(s), like your post(s), and leave comment(s).
  • In order to interact through the Newsfeed, if you haven’t already, please create your user profile. To post a comment or post a photo on the Newsfeed, click on “Post” located on top right corner.

 Create Your Personal Conference Itinerary

  • You can create your conference itinerary within the app. To create your itinerary, go to “Program Schedule” icon and select the session(s) you plan to attend and click on the star icon next to the session which will automatically add the session(s) to your itinerary. To view your itinerary, click on “My Itinerary” icon.

What do I need to know about registration?

  • The registration desk is in the Grand Ballroom Foyer on the ballroom level.
  • Pick up your badge early: You cannot attend sessions without your badge.
  • The full conference program is also available on the Conference APP and online at https://spr.confex.com/spr/spr2019/webprogram/meeting.html
  • Avoid the registration table during the 30 minutes before the first morning session; it’s the most crowded time. The registration desk is open May 28, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm,  May 29, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm,  May 30, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, and May 31, 7:30 am -12:30 pm
  • If you got an ECPN or minority travel award your check is available at the registration desk. Ask for it when you pick up your badge.
  • If you registered for the ECPN lunch pick up the tickets when you pick up your badge (the ticket(s) will be in your name badge.
  • Please note that the conference registration rates only partially cover the costs of operating the conference. For the past 18 years we have been very fortunate to receive a NIH R13 conference grant which has provided significant financial support for the conference.  Comments in the new R13 proposal Summary Statement suggested that SPR “develop a plan for self-sustaining their operations” so that the “conferences might be able to stand on their own.”  In order to offer a self-sustaining conference in the future, our options are to quadruple the conference registration rates, or reduce conference costs. To that end, the SPR Board accepted a recommendation from the Finance Committee to eliminate food for the continental breakfasts and for the afternoon conference breaks. Food will continue to be served at all conference receptions.  In addition, beverages will continue to be served at all morning and afternoon breaks. We bring this to your attention so that you can make meal plans accordingly.

III. Conference Registration rates include

  • Entry to all scientific sessions: plenaries, invited symposia, organized paper symposia, organized poster forums, roundtable discussions, “20 x 20” presentation, grouped paper sessions, TED-Like Talks, “Brown Bag” Special Interest Group meetings, the Tuesday International Networking Forum, the SPR Cup presentations and exhibits.
  • Morning and afternoon coffee breaks, Tuesday evening Opening Reception, Wednesday and Thursday evening Poster Sessions and Receptions, Diversity Network Reception, and the Awards Presentation Reception
  • Conference Mobile APP. The program will no longer be available in print format. The program schedule will be available https://spr.confex.com/spr/spr2019/webprogram/meeting.html and on the Conference Mobile APP. We bring this to your attention so that you can plan accordingly prior to arriving at the conference.

Where are the meetings held?

  • All events during the SPR 2019 Annual Meeting will be held at the host hotel, Hyatt Regency San Francisco. See the online program schedule or the Conference APP to view the schedule and the location for each event.

What should I pack?

  • Sweater: The session rooms can be cold.
  • Comfy shoes: You will be walking a lot.
  • Business or Business Casual clothes: To wear during all sessions you attend.
  • Workout clothes: Go for a run or use the hotel gym to relax and clear your head. There is also an ECPN-sponsored fun run/walk Thursday morning!
  • Casual clothes: You’ll need them to explore San Francisco.
  • Business cards: You can order them online for free. Suggestion: Keep some cards in the back of your name badge.
  • Note-taking tools (e.g., notebook, tablet, laptop, paper tablet and pen).
  • Water bottle and/or easy snacks: During the day it can be helpful to have your own water / snacks.
  • A laptop (if you are presenting a paper): SPR provides LCD projectors in each of the session rooms, but not laptops, so identify who in your session will bring a laptop. Find that person ahead of time and make sure your presentation comes out okay on their screen. Or, email them your presentation at least one day ahead of time and ask them to make sure it works fine.
  • A displayport to VGA adapter (for Mac users who are presenting)
  • Your poster: If you prepare your poster 1-2 weeks in advance, you can mail it to the hotel so you don’t have to carry it. (It should arrive no more than 5 days before you will be checking in.) Bring the file in case it gets lost / needs to be reprinted. Alternatively you can have it printed at a local FedEx shop and pick up in SF.
  • A backup file of your poster or presentation on a USB drive or laptop.
  • Your personal schedule: Use the conference app and/or the online schedule to identify sessions you want to attend, but don’t overschedule panels / events at the expense of networking.
  • Lots of enthusiasm! It will be a great experience!

What food is provided?

  • Beverage breaks will provide coffee, decaf coffee, hot teas.
  • Appetizers and drinks (cash bar): Served during the evening poster sessions (Tue, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm; Wed, 5:45 pm -7:00 pm; and Thu, 6:40 pm – 7:55 pm and the awards reception (Thu, 4:30 pm – 4:45 pm).
  • “Brown bag” Special Interest Group Meetings (SIGs) (Wed, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm and Thu, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm): Great place to network with others interested in a specific topic. But as the name implies, bring your own lunch or eat later. There isn’t a lot of time to grab food and the nearby venues have long lines at lunch, so you may want to grab something earlier in the day and bring it with you.
  • ECPN lunch: (Wed, 11:55 pm – 1:00 pm) Arrive early (11:30 am to pick up your boxed lunch. (Vegan salad, chicken Caesar salad, and roasted turkey and cheddar sandwich ) This year’s topic is: “Starting and Managing a Research Portfolio.” The cost is $20. Space is limited, so register ahead of time. A few tickets will be available on-site.
  • For recommendations and a list of nearby take out shops and restaurants check with the hotel concierge.

What sessions should I attend?

  • The first poster session will be held Tuesday evening, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm, which will be concurrent with the NIDA International Poster Session. Both poster sessions will be held in the same space.
  • Plenary sessions reflect the overarching conference theme: These often reflect areas of interest, growth, and funding availability. The speakers are generally not SPR members and they bring new perspectives.
  • Talks in your area of interest: Introduce yourself to the speakers at the end of the talk.
  • Poster sessions: These are a great place to network because everyone attends. They serve appetizers and drinks (cash bar) and only posters are shown.
  • The Diversity Network Committee (DNC) reception (Wed,7:15 pm – 8:15 pm) and Early Career Preventionist Network (ECPN) Networking Social (Thu, 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm) located off-site at 1011 Kearny St., San Francisco, CA, just 2 blocks from the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. They are open to anyone and a great way to network.
  • ECPN table (near the registration desk): For early career prevention scientists (students and anyone within 10 years of degree). Meet other people at your career level; they will be the people who are your colleagues moving forward. Ask them any question you may have about the meeting. While there, get a sticker for your badge and put your name in the fishbowl for a raffle!  Pick up a free give-a-way
  • Diversity Network Committee table (near the registration desk): While there, get a sticker for your badge and pick up a free give-a-way.
  • ECPN sessions: Great places to meet other early career attendees. The sessions are particularly well suited to the goals and needs of early career prevention scientists. This year, the sessions are:
  • Wednesday, 5/29, 11:55 am – 1:00 pm: ECPN Luncheon “Starting and Managing a Research Portfolio.” Tickets are $20.  You can purchase on site.
  • Thursday, 5/30,   ECPN Session I: “Getting Started with Big Data”
  • Friday, 5/31, ECPN Session II: “Research-to-Policy Translation: A Primer for Prevention Scientists”
  • SPR Cup (Thu, 10:15 am – 11:45 am): Annual friendly competition among teams of ECPN researchers.
  • Fun run/walk (Thu, 6:30 am – 7:30 am): Easy way to interact with more senior SPR members.
  • Advice: Go to a few sessions each day. Don’t try to go to every session. Make time for networking and take breaks during the day (e.g., go for a walk, shop, explore SF) so that your brain doesn’t explode.
  • Advice: SPR meetings occur throughout the hotel. Check the program for session rooms. The APP will “MAP” each session location for you.

What should I do before I leave for SPR?

  • Identify sessions to attend:
  • Search the online program using keywords linked with your research interests or the names of authors whose work is particularly important / inspiring in your field. Plan your schedule using the online program or the conference mobile APP
  • Identify key people you want to meet, identify which sessions they will be at, and plan to introduce yourself at those sessions.
  • Ask your research advisor if (s)he can suggest some presentations or presenters that are particularly relevant to your work.
  • Email researchers in your field ahead of time to ask if they would have time to meet with you during a break, or for lunch or coffee. You can see who might be attending by looking up presenters in the online program. It never hurts to have more people recognize your name and it can result in some great advice. Plus, “networking” is a little easier if there is a meeting set in advance.
  • You could also use this meeting to get feedback on something you’re working toward (e.g., grant proposal, publication).
  • If you set up a meeting with someone, make sure to look at his/her work before going to the conference.
  • Have an “elevator talk” ready (i.e., a summary of your research in 60 seconds).
  • If you’re presenting:
  • Practice your presentation (~3 minutes for a poster; ~15 minutes for a paper).
  • Review SPR website for presenter information and suggestions about formatting presentations and posters
  • Ask peers who have presented before if they can share their poster or PowerPoint presentation. If you are part of a paper session, confirm details about the session with your chair / other presenters: who will bring the laptop (and an adapter if the laptop is a Mac); how to share your presentation with that person; whether the discussant wants your presentation in advance and if so, when they want it.
  • Confirm your session location (in the online program/conference mobile APP).
  • Socialize during poster sessions.
  • Note: There are tech people in the hotel to help if anything goes wrong with your presentation: your laptop, cables, microphone, PowerPoint, etc. They can be either found in the hallways or they can be called.

What should I do during SPR?

  • If you are presenting: Find the room where you will be presenting at least 1 hour ahead of time. Some rooms are hard to find. You don’t want to be late to your own presentation!
  • Introductions: People are really open to meet others, so don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Pick out 1-3 people you’d like to speak to during the conference and introduce yourself (the poster sessions and SIGs are nice times to do this). Discussants who are program officers can provide helpful hints related to funding priorities
  • When to introduce yourself: Some people like to introduce themselves to presenters after a session. Others caution that approaching speakers after the session can be difficult because the sessions are back-to-back, so the next group of speakers is often trying to set up. At best you’ll get to shake hands and exchange business cards
  • Use the 2019 Conference App: See instructions and suggestions in at the top of the FAQ

What should I do after I get home from SPR?

  • Follow up with people you met to thank them or answer any questions.
  • Look for the evaluation survey from SPR. We would really like to hear your feedback as we plan for next year’s conference.

Other Resources to Consider?

  • The Professor is In blog: How to do a conference
  • http://theprofessorisin.com/category/how-to-do-conferences/
  • Mack, D.A., Watson, E., & Camacho, M.M. (2015). Beginning a career in academia: A guide for graduate students of color. New York: Routledge Publications: Great reference for all students. Make sure to check out the chapter on “Navigating Professional Conferences” co-authored by ECPN’s own Nadine Finigan-Carr!