Frequently Asked Questions

SAH 2020 Virtual Conference


If I registered for the SAH 73rd Annual International Conference in Seattle, do I need to register for the Virtual Conference?

Yes, if you previously registered for the SAH 73rd Annual International Conference in Seattle, please use our refund request form to transfer your registration to the virtual conference. Do not create a new registration. Thank you. All registration refunds/transfers must be submitted by April 22, 2020.

Those who have not submitted a refund request by April 22, 2020, will have their registration transferred to the Virtual Conference ($100) and receive a refund for the remaining balance, less an administrative fee of $50. SAH membership is non-refundable.

I didn’t get a confirmation email for my registration transfer/refund request. Did it go through?

Yes, your registration transfer/refund request went through if you used the form on the website. SAH staff will be sending out confirmations, but these have to be done manually, so please be patient with us. You can contact Beth Eifrig at if you need an immediate answer.

Do I need to be a member of SAH to register for the virtual conference?

No, membership is not required; virtual conference attendance is open to all.

What is the registration cost and deadline?

Registration is $100, which will help underwrite the cost of presenting the conference virtually. Registration closes April 22, 2020. The April 22nd registration deadline is firm. SAH staff needs time to prepare and ensure the security of the virtual conference. We will not be able to accept any conference registrations after April 22, 2020 11:59 pm US Central Time (Chicago time). Register now.

Virtual Conference Information

What days/times are the sessions?

Paper sessions will follow the original schedule as planned for the in-person conference. All session times listed in the program are in PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME. View the conference schedule. (Subject to change; speakers are still confirming their participation in the virtual conference.)

What format are sessions?

Themed and open sessions include up to five papers, with each paper presentation at 18 minutes. After the presentations, there will be approximately 25 minutes for the audience to ask the speakers questions and for discussion.

Graduate Student Lightning Talks are organized into groups of five-minute presentations, followed by approximately 15 minutes for Q&A and discussion.

Will sessions be pre-recorded or live?

Sessions will feature pre-recorded presentations, preceded by a live introduction and followed by a live Q&A, where possible. We understand that speakers are located all over the world and therefore may not be able to participate in a live discussion.

Our goal is to make the virtual discussions as dynamic as possible and to offer alternative opportunities for interaction between speakers and participants. Please stay tuned as we work out these details.

How do I access sessions?

All sessions will be accessible via Zoom. Individual Zoom links will be available for each session and only registrants will have access to the links. Details on how to join the webinars will be shared with attendees prior to the conference.

Will I be able to move from session to session during the conference?

Yes, you will be able to move from session to session similar to as you would during the in-person conference. If you register for the conference, you will have access to all 36 paper sessions.

Will the sessions be open to the public?

Only those who have registered for the virtual conference will have access to the paper sessions.

Will the conference include programs that are open to the public?

Yes, SAH is planning to make additional programs open to the public. These include the State of SAH Address, the Introductory Address, and the Eduard F. Sekler Talk by Mabel O. Wilson, which will be available beginning Wednesday, April 29. Roundtables will also be presented virtually and will be scheduled throughout May. More information will be available at a later date.

Will the sessions be recorded for post-conference viewing?

Conference registrants will have access to a number of recorded presentations for a limited time (30 days) after the conference. Providing conference registrants with post-conference access to recordings allows for much broader participation since not everyone will be able to join the live virtual conference, and it gives registrants the unique opportunity to hear a multitude of papers at their convenience.

SAH is in the process of securing permissions from each of the speakers before granting access to their recorded talks, so post-conference availability will be determined by individual speakers on a case-by-case basis. The list of recorded talks that will be available for post-conference viewing will be published to the website soon.

Do the virtual paper sessions qualify for AIA CES learning units?

The Society of Architectural Historians is an AIA CES Approved Provider. Each paper session attended in its entirety qualifies for 2.25 AIA CES learning units (LU). SAH will report your attendance and record your earned learning units. Use our AIA CES form to note your participation.

Conference Policies

What is SAH's social media policy?

Conference papers/presentations may not be shared on social media, photographed, recorded, or otherwise disseminated unless the speaker otherwise specifies. All presentations are assumed to be off the record. Attendees are expected to respect this policy and act accordingly.

What is SAH’s personal conduct policy?

SAH’s Personal Conduct Policy for in-person meetings still applies to the virtual conference.

In summary, all participants will conduct themselves in a professional manner that is welcoming to all and free from any form of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation. SAH is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and SAH staff. Participants will treat each other with respect and consideration to create a collegial, inclusive, and professional environment. Retaliation for complaints of inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated.

Zoom Information

Do I need Zoom to participate in the virtual conference? 
We recommend that you download Zoom Client for Meetings ahead of time:

The web browser client will download automatically when you start or join your first Zoom meeting, but we recommend that you manually download it prior to the conference using the link above.

Although you do not need to download the Zoom application to participate—you can run the meeting in your browser by clicking “join from your browser” at the bottom of the page—the viewing experience is better through the app.

What are the Zoom system requirements?
View Zoom System Requirements for PC, Mac, and Linux.
How will I access the sessions through Zoom?
All sessions will be accessible via Zoom. Individual Zoom links will be available for each session and only registrants will have access to the links. Details on how to join the webinars will be shared with attendees prior to the conference.

For Speakers & Session Chairs

What is my role as a session chair?

Session chairs must ensure that all of their speakers submit their papers and recorded video presentations by April 12. Chairs are expected to review all recorded presentations in their session and ensure that the audio and video are clear and that the speaker did not go over the allotted time (18 minutes for themed sessions; 5 minutes for GSLTs).

During the virtual conference, the session chair is expected to introduce the session and facilitate the Q&A and discussion that follows the presentations.

The session host (SAH staff or trained volunteer) will run the tech part of the Zoom webinar and will be available to troubleshoot issues. Session chairs will be provided with detailed instructions on how the session will be run so they are familiar with the process.

What should session chairs expect from speakers?
Speakers should have submitted papers to chairs by March 3. Presenters will be required to submit their recorded video presentations to SAH by April 12.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement to pre-record my presentation?

No, there are no exceptions. All speakers must submit their pre-recorded presentations (voice over slides) by April 12.

Pre-recording the talks helps protect against internet connectivity issues and other technical issues during the live virtual session and helps ensure participants do not go over their time limit. In addition, by pre-recording your talk, you will have the opportunity to fine tune your presentation and re-record (before the April 12 deadline) if necessary. (Not having to give a live presentation also takes some of the pressure off!)

Sessions will include a live introduction and a live Q&A, where possible. We understand that speakers are located all over the world and therefore not everyone may be able to participate in a live discussion due to time differences.

Our goal is to make conference discussions as dynamic and inclusive as possible, and we are also exploring additional opportunities for interaction and engagement between speakers and participants.

Will I be able to opt out of having my presentation made available to registrants after the live conference?

Yes, you may opt out of post-conference access to your presentation. SAH will only make available those presentations that we have been granted explicit permission to share.

Will registrants be able to download and save post-conference recordings?

No. We are looking into a solution that would prohibit conference recordings from being downloaded. 

What should I be doing now while I wait for SAH to finalize details for the virtual conference?

  1. Submit your registration transfer or refund request (if you haven’t already done so) using the online form. The deadline for speakers and session chairs is March 31. SAH needs to know who will be participating in the virtual conference, and the sooner you notify us the better. We appreciate your cooperation.
  2. Prepare your PowerPoint or Keynote presentation so it is ready to go when you get the recording instructions from SAH.
  3. Mark April 12 on your calendar. You will be required to submit your recorded presentation and a PDF of your paper to SAH no later than April 12.

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610