Transition to RaAM 2020Virtual

RaAM2020virtual

The conference is ON!

The RaAM community is a strong one! In the past, some might have regarded us as a rather eclectic group of researchers, but over the years we have demonstrated how important our work is. If we've been able to do that, then a virtual metaphor conference will be a piece of cake! The RaAM Executive Committee is lending us their full support, and we know that we can also count on all of you to make this conference a success!

Here are some questions that you may be wondering about, along with our best attempt at answering them.

We will update this as needed. 

[last updated: 17 April 2020, 19:37 pm]

Help! A virtual conference? I've never done this before!

  • That's ok. Neither have we! We'll learn together.

Will the dates of the conference be the same?

  • Yes, we think we'll need all four days. You've already planned to block off those days off for us. Please keep it that way for now! 18-21 June 2020

How much will RaAM 2020Virtual cost?

  • Regular: 290 NOK
  • Student (including PhD students): 175 NOK
  • To register for the conference, you must be a member of the Association for Researching and Applying Metaphor (RaAM).
  • RaAM is offering bursaries to cover the cost of RaAM membership and the RaAM 2020Virtual conference fee.
  • Altogether an offer too tempting to pass up! See our registration page here.

I have an accepted paper. What does this mean for me?

  • The format will be exactly the same: 20 minutes plus 5 minutes discussion. You will be able to present a powerpoint presentation from your computer.
  • You will find further instructions here.
  • If you haven't already done so, please update your abstract to its finalized version in EasyChair. Read here for the abstract requirements.

I have an accepted poster. What does this mean for me?

  • You guys are in for a treat!
  • You will be making a poster with a 3-minute video, and we will collect all of them in one place (a Poster Wall) for conference delegates to enjoy and comment on.
  • You will find instructions  here, complete with recommendations for user-friendly & free online tools to help you create your presentation.
  • If you haven't already done so, please update your abstract to its finalized version in EasyChair. Read  here for the abstract requirements.
  • And remember; RaAM 2020Virtual is offering a poster prize, sponsored by INN. When you register for the conference, you may indicate whether you wish to be considered for it.
  • The deadline for uploading your presentation to our Poster Wall is 11 June 2020.

I have an accepted work-in-progress. What does this mean for me?

  • The format will be the same; 20in20, i.e. 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each, for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • You will make a video presentation of you WiP, and we will collect all of them in one place (a WiP Wall) for conference delegates to enjoy and comment on.
  •  You will find instructions here, complete with recommendations for user-friendly & free online tools to help you create your presentation.
  • If you haven't already done so, please update your abstract to its finalized version in EasyChair. Read  here for the abstract requirements.
  • The deadline for uploading your presentation to our WiP Wall is 11 June 2020.

I am a keynote speaker. Anything I should know?

  • We have already been in touch with all of you and delighted that you are up for this! Yay!
  • You can read about yourself and your talk here.

I am hosting a pre-conference workshop. What now?

  • We've heard back from all  of you. We are proudn to announce that we have three confirmed workshops. We will be in touch with all of you before we schedule you time slot. See here for more about the workshops. 

I am a guest discussant on the plenary panel session. What's up with that?

RaAM 2020Virtual sounds amazing, but I am not presenting anything at all! Can I come too, please?

  • Yes, of course! Keep an eye out for when our registration opens.
  • We hope that the lower conference fee and online format will allow many more people to participate than would have been possible at a physical conference in Hamar. 

What about all those lovely social events? Is this conference going to be all work and no play?

  • Definitely not. We know metaphor people, and we know they need to play! We will have virtual coffee breaks and virtual meals. #bringyourownwine
  • Check this out to see what else we will be offering!

But I go to conferences to develop my network. Will I be able to do that at RaAM 2020Virtual?

  • Yes, we think so. That's partly what the social events are for (see the question just above). 
  • We will also set up a series of virtual meet-ups with senior metaphor researchers (like our keynote speakers). We'll ask them to hang out in a virtual room, and  you could pop in for a chat. We'll schedule these at diffferent times of the day, so that you're sure to find some suits your schedule.
  • Check out our social and networking info here.

Will there still be prizes?

  • Yes! We will offer three different prizes. You can read about them here.

Will I be able to get proof of presentation and/or registration?

  • Yes, of course. Just like at a physical conference. We will send it to your email address as a pdf file.

I am really lousy at anything technological. This is going to be too difficult for me. What do I do?

  • You can do this. Really.
  • We will provide clear and simple instructions.  If you know how to click on a link, then you will find us.
  • We will have volunteers to help you, including at a virtual reception room. Here you will be able to say hello, try out your video and audio, try out sharing your presentation and get tips about stuff.
  • In the months and weeks before the conference, we will set up virtual meet-ups where you can drop in to chat & see what it's like to interact online. When we get our act together, we will set up a schedule and publish it on this website (with clear instructions on how to find us). But we like spontaneity too, so watch out for announcements on Twitter and Facebook: @raamconf.
  • You'll be fine. Really.

Will I need all sorts of technical gadgets to participate?

  • Nah. Basically you will need a computer, a headset or conference microphone, and a web camera. The camera can be the built-in one on your computer or an external one.
  • You will also need internet access. Using a network cable is more reliable than using WiFi.
  • We'll give you plenty of opportunity to try everything out before you join a session or present a paper.

What platform will you be using?

  • We will use Zoom. Many of you already use it. It is free and user-friendly.
  • To join us at the conference, everyone has to download a program in advance. You only have to do this the very first time you want to use Zoom.
  • You will find the download here. Select the first option: Zoom Client for Meetings.

But is Zoom secure? We read all sorts of things about Zoombombing!

  • We are aware of the problem & will follow all recommended precautions (both from Zoom itself, as well as from other sources).
  • We will send out guidelines and rules for use of Zoom to all registered conference delegates.
  • Disregarding these rules will give us grounds to exclude delegates from access to the conference.

So you already have volunteers to help you run the conference?

  • We're glad you asked that question! To make this conference work, we are going to need the RaAM community to step up and help us! We are going to need YOU to help us chair sessions, monitor chats, and do stuff that we haven't thought of yet.
  • How many volunteers will we require? We're not yet certain -- we'll let you know when we know. What we do know is that you can be located anywhere!
  • And you Tweeters out there? Yes, we'll need you to tweet for us! You can start now! #2020INNmetaphor
  • If you know already now that you would like to volunteer, email us here or tweet it to us & let the world know that you're up for this. No experience required!

What about time zones? We are all over the place: Australia, China, Canada... and you're over in Norway. How will that work?

  • We're not quite sure yet (see Q&A number 1), but we have lot of ideas.
  • Among other measures, we will probably want to record all sessions and post them online. This would allow people who were not able to participate 'live' to nevertheless benefit from the presentation and add feedback. We would be sure to notify all participants that the sessions are being recorded for online posting.
  • We also plan spread papers throughout (our) day/evening/maybe even night.
  • All times in our schedule will adhere to the time in Hamar, Norway (UCT +2). To convert these times to your own, please consult this  time zone converter. IMPORTANT: Be sure to imput the correct date, which accounts for daylight savings time.
  • Our registration form asks you which time zone you are located in, especially important for our presenters. This will facilitate planning our conference program schedule. We will do our best to ensure that everyone presents a time when they would normally be awake anyway!
  • But odds are that someone's going to be up at 2 am. Good news: you can always nap during the daytime!

Are there any advantages to participating in a virtual rather than a physical conference?

  • Definitely!
  • A virtual conference...
    • is better for the climate because we're not flying around the globe;
    • can have significantly lower conference fees;
    • may allow more people to attend: people who weren't able to set aside the time to travel to Norway, people who couldn't afford to, people who aren't able to travel to conferences unless they are presenting papers, etc.;
    • may allow for a more diverse body of conference delegates - that is, people from countries that have not often been represented at RaAM conferences;
    • promotes open access to research, as we can choose to share some or all of our presentations with people who were not able to attend;
    • may allow for more thorough feedback on your work: Very often, follow-up questions at physical conferences may remain unasked due to lack of time or not enough time to really think about the best questions. Having more ways of interacting online may actually improve the quality of the interaction;
    • doesn't give you jet lag;
    • and allows you to wear (or not to wear) whatever you want;
    • allows you to have your own privat/group chats;
    • allows you to ask questions when they arise (in chat);
    • makes it less disruptive to change session while people are presenting;
    • allows to to choose your own snacks :-) [thanks to @CMSeg for these last four advantages!]

Ok. So you are saying that this will all go smoothly, without a hitch?

  • Hahahahahahaha!
  • Nope.
  • Like we said (see Q&A number 1), we have never done this before. We're going to do things wrong, and we will need you to be patient and forgive us our mistakes. There will be people who forget to turn their microphones on when they want to talk, and who forget to turn them off when they are just listening. Everyone at some point will ask "Can you hear me?" People might lose their internet connection and suddenly disappear. Who knows? We certainly don't. But most of this will work well!

I already registered and paid for the physical conference. How do I get my money back?

  • We have already cancelled your registration and you should already have been notified via email. 
  • You should have received an individual email with a form that you will need to fill out and return to use (even if you have already been in touch with us about this). We will then refund the entire amount you have paid. If you have not received an email about this, please chekc you spam folder before you contact us ( here).
  • The amount you are refunded in your own currency is subject to the whims of the current exchange rates. The Norwegian krone is now weak. This means that you will lose money.
  • To compensate for your loss:
    • If you paid for the regular fee for RaAM 2020, you will be allowed to register for RaAM 2020Virtual at the student rate.
    • If you paid for the student fee for RaAM 2020, you will be allowed to register for RaAMVirtual without any extra charge.
    • More detailed information will be sent directly to you via email. 

But I was all set to travel to Norway! I've booked my flights and accommodation. What do I do with this?

  • This is a bit outside our area of expertise, but here is our advice:
    • If your plane tickets are refundable or your travel insurance policy will cover the cancellation, cancel now.
    • If you will incur a penalty by cancelling now, we recommend holding off with any cancellation. We suspect that this situation will get worse before it gets better. Your travel insurance coverage might be extended to cover June trips, or you airline may cancel your flights, If you were to cancel too early, you might not be able to benefit from any such changes. So we advise you to play it cool. In Norwegian, we'd tell you to have is i magen 'ice in the stomach.'
    • Your room at our conference hotel may be cancelled without penalty. If you have booked elsewhere, check that hotel's policies. If you will incur a cancellation charge, then keep in mind that that may change if you wait until closer to June.

My abstract wasn't even accepted! Why did you send out notification of this to me?

  • We sent out notification to everyone who had submitted an abstract to RaAM, regardless of whether their contribution had been accepted. Clearly, people who submit abstracts to metaphor conferences are interested in metaphor!
  • We also know that many people just cannot attend a physical conference where they themselves are not presenting. But we hope that might actually change when it comes to virtual conferences – especially when no travel is involved and the conference fee is low.
  • We therefore hope that you will consider attending RaAM 2020Virtual as a conference delegate. It would give you a chance to strengthen your bonds with metaphor researchers around the globe and update yourself on the most recent research in the field.