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Annual Meeting Annual Meeting Home

Many thanks for your patience while the Business Office, SVP Executive Committee and Program Committee navigate shifting the 2020 in-person annual meeting to a virtual event. As you can imagine, this is a complex task and one that SVP has not encountered before! We are now however able to provide you with further information on the timing, format and structure of the virtual meeting and details on registration. Thank you to those of you who completed the 2020 annual meeting survey as this has helped us shape the duration and format of the meeting.
In the forthcoming weeks, we will be providing further information on presenter guidelines for virtual presentations, and our updated virtual meeting code of conduct including expectations and requirements of engagement with virtual content. Please check your emails, social media and the SVP website for further information. 
Following is an excerpt from our 2020 Virtual Meeting FAQ with timing, format and structure and registration details. Please follow the link to the FAQs for further information.
When will the meeting run?
The meeting will run from Monday October 12 through Friday October 16, 2020. During this time, pre-recorded talks and posters will be available for both asynchronous viewing, moderated chat and scheduled live Q&A sessions. The virtual meeting platform will remain open on Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 for asynchronous viewing of recordings only (no comment, no live sessions). Virtual content will be inaccessible after Sunday, October 18. 
What will the meeting look like?
Talks and posters, including those associated with symposia, the Romer and the Colbert Prize sessions, will be pre-recorded and uploaded to our virtual platform prior to the start of the meeting (exact details will be provided as soon as possible). These pre-recorded talks and posters will be available online for the duration of the conference week. As stated in our pre-meeting survey, there are considerable costs associated with providing a full week of live-streamed talks and poster sessions, and accessibility issues for members in different time zones; hence, we have opted for pre-recorded content. There will be opportunity for asynchronous comments and questions associated with each pre-recorded presentation (talks and posters).
We do however recognise the value of interaction and networking, and this was clear from comments returned on the pre-meeting survey. Therefore, we will provide live events each day Monday-Friday and ways to interact with online content. This will be achieved by grouping talks and posters into themes (much like the in-person meeting schedule) with each theme allocated a moderated live question and answer session, Tuesday-Friday. We will be holding daily live sessions on diversity and student and early career researcher themes. We will also be running some of the proposed workshops as virtual events on Monday 13th October. All sessions will be subject to the virtual meeting code of conduct.  
Although the Romer Prize talks will be pre-recorded, the committee will be holding live question sessions with each presenter, to accommodate the spirit of live presentation inherent to the competition. The Colbert Prize committee will also be holding online question sessions with competitors, although these will not be live broadcast, as per the in-person competition. Furthermore, there will be the opportunity to arrange breakout sessions for smaller themed group chats and networking. All sessions will be subject to the virtual meeting code of conduct with consequences for those who violate the code (see below).  
What format will the talks and posters take?
Posters will be uploaded prior to the start of the meeting and available for viewing Monday-Sunday and open for asynchronous questions Monday-Friday. Standard poster formats can be accompanied by a short audio introduction to the poster topic. 
Talks will be uploaded prior to the start of the meeting and available for viewing Monday-Sunday and open for asynchronous questions Monday-Friday. Information on files types, sizes, audio and video resolutions will be provided as soon as possible. 
We encourage all presenters to consider accessibility of content, and we will be providing information on how to add live captioning to presentations and other features to maximise participation and engagement. 
Please start preparing your content now and we will be in touch as soon as possible with more detailed instructions for submitting to the platform.
Schedule and Program
We are actively preparing the schedule of live content and plan to release it publicly in early September. We are working to accommodate as many time zones as possible. This means that some of the sessions may be at unconventional times for your time zone, but we are doing our best to accommodate an international society. We are planning to release the digital Abstract Volume the week of September 21st.
How much will registration cost?
Though SVP would love to offer the virtual meeting to attendees for free, we do have a fiscal responsibility to ensure that we do not lose money on this event and ensure our ability to continue to fund future events and initiatives at the scale that our membership is accustomed to. Though we are satisfied with the outcome of our negotiations with the three Cincinnati properties, there remains a not insignificant penalty that SVP must pay in addition to the unplanned expense of the virtual meeting platform that will accommodate 600+ talks and posters and 5 days of live programming. Another consideration in our 2020 registration fees is the desire to provide deeply discounted fees for members most impacted by COVID-19, and our Undergraduate/Graduate Student/Transitional Early-Career members. 

  • We have therefore been able to reduce undergraduate/graduates and transitional early career member registration rates substantially (77%), while also reducing regular member registration rates by 50%. 
  • Furthermore, we recognise that 2020 has been a challenging year for many. if you have extenuating circumstances affecting your ability to pay the virtual meeting registration fee (for example but not limited to, redundancy, furlough), please send an email to to explain your situation and request concessions. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Conversely, if you are in a position to pay what would have been the full rate of an in-person registration fee due to grant funding or otherwise, we have created a registration option to allow you to select that option, and we thank you for your generous support. 
  • And lastly, SVP is thrilled to be able to reach more prospective registrants than ever before due to the virtual aspect of this year’s conference. Therefore, we are extending free registrations to all scientists (members and non-members) from economically developing nations, defined here as those nations with a UN HDI index on <=0.75 (the same criteria for the SVP Jon C. Graff Award for International Paleontology, formerly the SEDN award) . 
  Member Rate Nonmember Rate % Discount off Member In-Person Early Meeting Rate
Regular  $200 $300 51%
Optional Full Price Regular (for members w/ grant funds to spend) $410 $410 n/a
Undergraduate/Graduate Student/Transitional Early-Career Member $50 $100 77%
Developing Country/Institutional Member $0 $0 100%


When will registration open?
We will be opening registration on Monday 31st August. Due to the late opening there will be no early bird or late penalty registration rates. 
What about the membership grace period?
In order to present and/or attend the virtual meeting, registration is required. There will be member and non-member registration costs. Non-member attendees may choose to become a member at the point of registration or register as a non-member. All attendees, members or not, will be required to agree to the virtual meeting code of conduct. 
Please click on the full FAQ document for further information on the Romer and Colbert prize sessions, awards (including travel awards), auction, Cincinnati, field trips and the virtual code of conduct. 
We know that it has taken quite a bit of time to get to this point and we thank you for your patience. However, our work has only has just begun! Between now and the conclusion of the annual conference, SVP will continue to rise and meet challenges related to this new format as we work to build this platform to provide the best content possible in the most inclusive way possible. We ask that you continue to bear with us as we navigate through this new territory that hosting a virtual meeting presents.