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Annual Meeting Guidelines and Expectations for Meeting Attendees We’re delighted that you’ve chosen to attend the virtual 2020 SVP Annual Meeting. In order to ensure that you’re aware of how the virtual platform will operate, we’ve written some guidelines and expectations for meeting attendees below. Please take some time to read this before the meeting begins on Sunday 11th October.  
 
Timing: The virtual platform will go live on Sunday 11 October at 7:00am US EDT. Don’t feel you need to log in at this time! During Sunday 11, all content will be available for viewing only. We made this decision to allow all participants to start navigating the site and finding the content that interests them.  
 
Asynchronous content: From Monday 12 through to Friday 16 October, participants will be able to view content and leave questions for presenters in the Question & Answer (Q&A) function associated with each presentation within a theme or symposium. The site will close to comments on Friday 16th October at 6:30pm EDT. Make sure that you ask your questions well in advance of this deadline. One of the benefits of asynchronous content is that audiences can view at a time that is convenient to them, fitting in around professional and personal commitments. We have asked that presenters reply to questions regularly but at a time that is convenient to them. Therefore, please accept that there may be a lag between asking a question and receiving an answer. Treat the Q&A function as you would asking a question after a talk or during the poster session and be professional and courteous at all times. Comments and questions left in the asynchronous Q&A chat will be visible to all meeting attendees. Please check therefore that your question has not already been answered.  
 
Live networking event: Each theme or symposium has been assigned to a Live Networking Event. These events are open to all attendees. The main purpose of these events is for attendees to ask questions to presenters and to discuss the general topics presented in the theme. Presenters are not required to deliver a live version of their presentation during this session. Scheduling the live sessions represented a significant challenge for SVP committee members and staff. We’ve tried to accommodate as many time zones as possible, but it is inevitable with an international meeting that some attendees will find some scheduled events difficult or impossible to attend. We have asked that presenters attend the Live Networking event if they can, but fully understand that this may not be possible for all presenters. If you wish to ask a question during the live event and the presenter is not online, please use the asynchronous Q&A function associated with their presentation. Each live networking event will be run by two session moderators.  
 
Live Diversity and Student and Postdoc Liaison events: The Diversity and SPLC committees will be hosting live events each day Tuesday-Friday of the annual meeting. See the meeting program for further details of topics and issues covered in each session. 
 
Workshops: Workshops should have been signed up for in advance during the registration process. We regret that we cannot accommodate any further sign ups for workshops because all have reached capacity. Workshops will take place off the platform but will still be subject to the meeting Code of Conduct (see below).  

Conduct: 
During registration all attendees agreed to abide by the Annual Meeting Code of Conduct. This applies to all participants and all SVP meeting-related events. It is your responsibility to ensure that your interactions on the virtual platform adhere to the meeting Code of Conduct at all times. With respect to interacting with presenters and other attendees, we remind you that there is an expectation of behavior outlined in the meeting Code of Conduct. Particularly, but not exclusively:  
  • Participants should treat one another with respect, consideration, and dignity regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, age, immigration status, disability, neurodiverse status, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religious affiliation, socioeconomic background, educational background, career stage, or military service.  
  • Questions and discussions should be respectful and constructive and focus on ideas rather than individuals.  
  • Do not contribute comments or behaviors that may reasonably be assumed to have the effect of creating, contributing to, or maintaining an environment that is hostile toward or damaging to a person or group are prohibited, no matter whether they are made directly (e.g., in person or directly online) or indirectly (e.g., via social media). 
Online content reproduction: Furthermore, our conduct policy prohibits participants from taking or disseminating photographs, recordings, or reproductions of materials, including author profiles and author images, presented as part of the Annual Meeting without express permission of the author(s). Please review our social media guidelines. The default assumption is to allow open discussion (not images) of SVP presentations on social media, yet please respect any request by an author not to disseminate the contents of their presentation. If in any doubt, please contact the presenter via the Q&A function. Unauthorized content capture is extremely difficult to monitor on an online platform, so we are relying on you as delegates to adhere to this instruction.  
 
If you experience or witness a Code of Conduct violation, please follow the reporting procedures outlined here: http://vertpaleo.org/Annual-Meeting/Code-of-Conduct.aspx. Be aware that sanctions may be applied, including, but not limited to, expulsion from the virtual platform and meeting, and removal of SVP membership.  
 
And finally,  
Please also bear in mind that 2020 has been an exceptional year. Labs have been closed, museum collections inaccessible, fieldwork postponed or cancelled. This is against a backdrop of global pandemic, racial tension, and manmade global climate disasters. All of us are impacted by these on-going events, and this will be represented in the talks and poster you view, and your interactions with other meeting attendees. Exercise some compassion and understanding during your interactions on the site and appreciate that despite on-going events, we are able to participate and enjoy new developments and ideas in the science of vertebrate paleontology and the issues that affect our field and those who work in it. We hope you enjoy the virtual 2020 annual meeting of the SVP and look forward to welcoming you.