Attendee FAQ

Virtual Annual Meeting

Need an answer to a question not covered in our FAQs? The AAR helpdesk email will be answered from 9:00 AM EST to 5:30 PM EST on November 30, December 1 to 3, and December 7 to 10. Please note: If you are experiencing technical difficulties with the virtual platform—when submitting your email, include a screenshot and note whether you're using the mobile app or the desktop planner and, if it's the latter, the browser you're using.

What online platform is being used for the meeting?

We are using a virtual planner powered by EventPilot, the provider we have used for our mobile app and desktop planner for several years. This platform allows us to coordinate and manage the sessions, and it allows you to access sessions and their information via the mobile app or desktop planner. EventPilot integrates with Zoom, which will host the sessions themselves.

How do I access the virtual planner?

We have a step-by-step guide for accessing the virtual planner. You can use the desktop version of the planner or download the AAR & SBL 2020 Annual Meetings mobile app, which is available in the App Store and on Google Play. You can browse information about sessions at any time, but you must be logged in to customize your schedule, attend sessions, or view them after the live presentation. Please use Google Chrome when accessing the planner. Do not use Firefox.

What do I enter for my username and password?

Your login credentials are your registration reference number and your last name:

  • Username = registration reference number
  • Password = last name

To log in, click the "Login" link in the upper right corner of the planner, and enter the above information in the pop-up window.

I don’t know my registration number. How can I get it?

Follow these instructions to look up your reference number in your AAR member profile. You can also find this number in the confirmation email you received after registering. To find this in your inbox, search for the subject line or email address below:

From: American Academy of Religion (
Subject: Confirmation for AAR Virtual Annual Meeting 2020 

If you still can't find it, you can request your number be sent to you by visiting this page and choosing the appropriate option.

Will there be technical support available during the Annual Meeting?

Yes, there will be a technical support assistant in each session.

Do I need a Zoom account to participate or attend a session?

No, you do not have to have a Zoom account either as an attendee or a participant.

How do I join a session as an attendee (not a listed participant)?

You will need to be logged in to the mobile app or desktop version of the virtual planner using your registration number. Once logged in, you can join sessions directly from the virtual planner and access any recorded sessions by finding and selecting the session and then clicking the “Join Virtual Session” or “Join Webinar” button. The Join button will only show up five minutes before the scheduled start time of the session. If you do not see the button at that time, refresh the page or exit the session view and return to it.

How many people can attend a given live session?

It depends on the type. Meetings, labeled “Virtual Sessions,” can have up to 100 attendees. Webinars can have up to 500.

Is there a way to make a reservation in advance to attend a session?

No need to do this—just join the session when it begins.

My session is planning to have breakout rooms. How do I get into the room I want?

The presider and technical support assistant will be responsible for placing attendees in breakout rooms.

What is the Publisher Spotlight?

The Publisher Spotlight tab allows you to see all the publishers that have chosen to participate in the Virtual Annual Meeting. By clicking on a publisher, you can see links to their webpages, uploaded catalogs, coupon codes for attendees, and sessions that they are hosting featuring their authors, new releases, and meetings with acquisition editors.

An example of a Publisher Spotlight:

screenshot of the publisher spotlight in the virtual annual meeting platform

What browser is best to use?

The desktop planner works best in the latest version of Google Chrome. Please do not use Firefox.

How do I find sessions?

To browse or search for sessions, go to the "Agenda" tab.

screenshot of the agenda of the virtual annual meeting platform

How do I expand my screen?

In the top right corner of the video, near where it says "View Options," is an icon with four arrows. Press that, and the video window will expand to fill your whole screen.

Where do I find handouts if there are any for the session?

In the Agenda view, click on the session, scroll down to click on the participant’s name/paper title, and then scroll to the bottom. Any handouts attached to the presentation will be in the right third of the screen.

I am scheduled to participate. How will I join my session?

Participants will be sent an email with a special link within 72 hours of the start of the session. Please be sure to use that link to join the session. Please also be sure not to share that link with anyone, as it is specific to your role as a participant.

Will there be captioning within sessions?

Live captions will be available for SBL, AAR, and Affiliate/RSO sessions. Simply click the caption button to turn them on. Please note that because the captions are automatically generated, accuracy may vary based on the quality of the microphone, background noise, the individual accent of the speaker, and the amount of technical language being used.

How do I know if a specific session will be recorded?

Sessions where the listed participants have granted permission will have recordings available after the session has concluded. If the participants have not granted permission, a recording will not be available. The session listing in the app and desktop planner will note whether it is being recorded or not.

How do I access a recorded session?

Recorded sessions can be accessed via the app/desktop planner just like a live session. They should become available within a few hours of the session's completion.

How long will sessions remain available to view after the live presentation?

Recorded sessions will be available for registered attendees in the app and the desktop planner through January 31, 2021.