Virtual Symposium Tips

This year’s online symposium is hosted from the WID website, on Zoom, and on Congregate. Scroll below for some additional helpful information and some tips and tricks. To get access to the online sessions, you’ll need a password — check your email for everything you need to log in.

  1. Do your best to “arrive” on time for your scheduled sessions. If you need help, reach out and we’ll get you pointed in the right direction. Also note that all listed times are in the Central time zone; plan accordingly!
  2. Bring your best virtual meeting etiquette. Stay muted when appropriate, use Zoom tools for only WID-centric activities, and respect your fellow attendees, presenters, and hosts.
  3. Engage. Attend as much of the symposium as you can, and make sure that if you’re scheduled to present a poster or talk, you’re prepared and on time.
  4. Try out the virtual tools ahead of time. Everything will run a little smoother if you’re familiar with our online environments. You can practice on Zoom and jump into the poster session and break room early to make sure you know your way around.

Tips & Tricks


Visit the main symposium page to access individual sessions hosted in Zoom or Congregate by clicking on linked session titles and buttons.


We’ll do everything we can to help you have a great experience. You can reach out to us in a few ways:

  1. Email us at
  2. From inside a Zoom session, privately chat a host labeled “TECH SUPPORT”
  3. Join the Tech & Event Support table in Congregate and ask a host for help

Zoom is a teleconferencing platform that we will use to host the symposium’s plenary sessions and lightning talks.

It’s a good idea to download and install Zoom on your device before the symposium begins. The links and buttons on the main symposium page will prompt your browser to request to launch the Zoom application on your device.

When you first enter the Zoom session, you’ll probably be placed in a waiting room. Don’t panic! The host will let you in before long.

Once inside a session, you’ll be muted most of the time. Look for reaction and “raise hand” buttons, the built-in chat, and the video on/off button to interact with presenters, hosts, and other attendees. Submit your questions via chat — after each lightning talk, the moderator will pose one question from the chat to the speaker. If you are called on to speak, a moderator will request to unmute you. Some sessions may also use breakout rooms, polls, and other tools — we’ll provide instructions as needed.

Having trouble with your connection? Turning off your video feed for a while may help.


Congregate is a platform for interactive small group video meetings that we will use to host the symposium poster sessions, break rooms, and other activities. If you don’t have Google Chrome, you will need to download it in order to use Congregate.

It’s a good idea to log in to before the day of the symposium. Click “Join with Google” and log in with your UW–Madison G Suite account ( After you’ve logged in, use the links and buttons on the main symposium page to enter the sessions hosted in Congregate. From the lobby, you’ll be able to click to join any table you like; hover over a table to see the name and description of the group (or during the poster session, the author and title of the poster). Clicking on a table will launch the video chat; you may need to grant permissions for your browser to access your camera and microphone.

Only ten participants can join a table at a given time, but you are free to move between tables as you like; in the break room, you can create your own table(s). You can also chat with others at your table or with the entire room.

Click here to access the Congregate user guide for more details.