Workshop instructions – breakouts and poster session

Breakout discussions

Breakout discussion sessions will be a central part of this workshop. They will follow each set of talks and serve to identify emerging opportunities for new research. Each discussion group will have a dedicated facilitator and a note taker and time is reserved for reporting back to the whole audience. Based on your preference and availability collected through the registration form, we will assign attendees to breakout groups, which will remain in their cohort throughout the workshop. Active participation from all attendees in the discussions will make this workshop successful.

We highly recommend that you update your zoom client to the latest version before the workshop, to enable you to select the right breakout room.

Poster Session – information for attendees

Poster abstracts will be provided as a pdf booklet. The posters will be uploaded by the organizers into the virtual poster session.

A virtual poster session on the Gather platform ( will enable an interactive poster session and provide a space where you can run into old friends or meet new people with new ideas! You enter through your browser and virtually walk around the poster session as an avatar, just like in a video game. It connects people via videostream when they are near each other, just as you would go over to somebody to talk in real life (without any viral particles). We recommend that you have a look around before the poster sessions, and get familiar with the navigation (if you enter gather for the first time, follow the mini tutorial!)

A poster session is planned for June 11, 9:50AM – 10:50AM Pacific Time but the virtual poster session will be open June 7-11, if you want to view the posters in your own time. During the poster session, we ask poster presenters to be available for discussion next to their poster in the virtual meeting space.

Before entering the virtual poster session, set your screen name and customize the look of your avatar.

Basic features:

  • Change your avatar’s appearance before entering
  • Walk around using your arrow keys (up, down, left, right, or asdw)
  • Get connected automatically with colleagues near you
  • If you are near a poster, vendor booth or other interactive object, press X to view it

Left hand side menu options

  • Cogwheel-symbol for settings
    • turn off smooth video or HD video to improve performance
    • use yellow ‘respawn’ button to start at the entrance again (if you are lost)
  • Chat
    • send messages to any nearby people, everyone, or directly to other attendees
    • remember the Code of Conduct
  • Participants list
    • see who else is in the room
    • click on names to locate the person anywhere on the map


  • Quit out of zoom or any other videoconference program (which might still control your camera/mic/speakers) before loading the gather website
  • Check whether there is a menu in your browser (often to the left or right of your address bar) that you can expand to allow to use your microphone/camera
  • Sometimes there are security settings in the settings/options of your browser  (Chrome for example), blocking any website from accessing camera or microphone
  • Turn off your camera if your connection is slow
  • Reload the page if you experience lag
  • Nothing is moving anymore? Try clicking somewhere on the map in case another window is active
  • More troubleshooting advice here

Other tips

  • Stuck in a crowd? Press G to walk through others, like a ghost
  • Zoom in or out using shift and +/- or shift and the scroll wheel
  • When viewing a poster, there is a button to zoom in on the right side
  • Feel like dancing? press Z…
  • Try your number keys for reaction emojis
  • Want to leave? Just close the tab!

Poster Session – information for poster presenters

A poster session is planned for June 11, 9:50AM – 10:50AM Pacific Time. The session will be held in an interactive virtual environment using the gather platform, which allows connecting via video chat to discuss your research, provide a space where you can run into old friends or meet new people with new ideas.

The deadline for both abstract and poster submission will be May 25.

Abstract submission form

Please send your poster as png or jpeg file (<10MB) to

Advice for designing your poster:

  • We don’t have a required poster template.
  • When attendees walk through the virtual poster room, the top ~1000 pixels of the poster are shown in a small preview screen. As poster author, you may wish to optimize the top area to provide a useful preview and draw attendees to your poster.
  • Use short section headings or consider numbering your sections. When you explain your poster, you won’t be able to point to the part that you want to emphasize, so need to tell your colleague which section to look at.
  • Send us a jpeg or png file, maximum size is 15 MB. If you can, make the file smaller. Smaller files (<10 MB) load faster on most computers/for people with slower internet. This makes it easier for people to look at your work.
  • If this is your first poster ever, have a look at common advice for scientific posters. Most of the basic design principles still applies in this virtual conference. One thing that may be easier, is judging the appropriate size of figures and text. If it’s easily readable on your screen, then it will hopefully look the same on everyone else’s screen (although the virtual poster session allows viewers to zoom in, if needed).