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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: When does the conference begin?

A: The conference will officially begin with the Opening Reception on the evening of Saturday, September 20. However, there will be pre-conference IG workshops on this day, as well as conference extensions on September 18th and 19th. .

Q: What is a Paper Session?

A: A Paper Session is composed of 3 - 4 proposals that are presented sequentially by their author(s), with a short amount of time allotted for audience members to ask questions. Please click here for more information regarding a paper session.

Q: What is the role of a Session Chair?

A: Each Paper Session has a Session Chair. This position is often filled by one of the authors of a proposal that is presenting in the session. The main responsibility is to introduce the presenters and to make sure that the session starts and stays on its time schedule. Please contact the SMS Executive Office at if you are interested in volunteering for this role.

Q: What is a Common Ground Session?

A: A Common Ground Session is an interactive discussion between the author(s), audience members and a facilitator, centered around one common theme. Please click here for more information regarding a Common Ground Session.

Q: What is the role of a Facilitator?

A: Each Common Ground Session has a Facilitator, who is typically a known scholar on the session topic and not one of the authors. Their responsibility is to encourage discussion among the presenters and the audience, as well as keep control of the flow to ensure that it remains closely related to the topic of the proposals. The facilitator should prepare for the session in advance by familiarizing themselves with the material that is to be presented.

Q: Can I switch my proposal to a different session format?

A: No. Apart from the initial selection of preferred session type, authors will not be able to influence the session type they are assigned to. Final decision for accepted proposals will be made by the Program Directors and is determined by topic and/or developmental status of the proposal.

Q: Can I influence the scheduling of my presentation?

A: Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate special requests.

Q: What Audio Visual equipment will be available for presenters?

A: Presenters in Paper Sessions will have LCD projectors available, but will have to bring their own laptop computer. Authors participating in Common Ground Sessions will have access to flipcharts only. Overhead projectors will not be used in any sessions.

Q: Can I get a copy of the papers that will be presented?

A: All presenters will be invited to upload copies of their presentations to our website. They will be available to conference attendees to download. For copies of the paper, please contact the author directly.


Q: What does the registration fee include?

A: The registration fee includes access to all conference sessions, the welcome reception on Saturday night, an off-site evening event on Monday, the closing reception on Tuesday night, and networking luncheons on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Q: Does SMS 2015 membership come with my registration fee?

A: Yes, your conference registration fee includes your 2015 membership.

Q: How can I register for the conference?

A: You must register through our online registration system. If you have not done so already, you will need to create a short profile to be a recognized user on our website before accessing the online registration.

Q: How can I pay the registration fee?

A: We offer a variety of payment methods:

  • Online credit card: Payment on secure site (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover)
  • Credit card via mail or fax: Complete the payment portion of the registration invoice and mail or fax the form to the SMS Executive Office.
  • Check: Mail copy of registration invoice with a check to the SMS Executive Office. Check must be drawn from a U.S. bank.
  • Wire transfer: Wiring instructions can be found on the downloadable registration invoice. Please make all wiring fees payable by sender, and make sure to include your name in the transaction details.

Q: Can I register on-site at the conference?

A: Yes, on-site registration will be available each morning before the start of the program. The registration fees will be higher if you wait to register during the conference.

Q: When is my registration confirmed?

A: Your registration will be confirmed when SMS receives your conference fees. Until payment is received, your registration is pending.

Q: Do I receive a reduced conference rate as a current SMS Member?

A: Yes, current SMS members receive a $100 reduction on their registration fee.

Q: Is there a special registration fee for students?

A: Yes, there is a Student Bundle that includes a reduced registration fee as well as two years of SMS membership.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: No refunds will be issued for cancellation of your registration, but you may transfer your registration to another person within your organization or to one of your co-authors. Please click here to view our cancelation policy.

Q: I am an international guest and will need an official Letter of Invitation to apply for my visa. How can I get this?

A: You can request an invitation letter by contacting the SMS Executive Office at
Please be aware that visa issuance is outside of our control and often requires considerable time and effort from you.

  • Do you require a visa: Visa requirements are set by the country you plan to visit. It is your responsibility to check entry requirements with the consular officials of the countries to be visited well in advance of your trip.
    • SMS cannot guarantee the issuance of a visa to enter Spain


Q: Where is the 2014 SMS Annual International Conference being held?

  • A: NH Eurobuilding
  • Padre Damián, 23.
  • 28036 Madrid, Spain
  • Phone: +34.91.3537300

Q: Will I have to make a hotel guestroom reservation?

A: Yes, all conference attendees are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. SMS has contracted a room block at the NH Eurobuilding. Rooms are available for a special rate on a first-come, first-serve basis. We advise all attendees to make reservations early to secure a room with the special conference rate.

Q: How can I make hotel reservations for the SMS Madrid Conference?

A: Reservations should be made directly with the NH Eurobuilding. You can make a reservation online by clicking here.

Q: What is the deadline to reserve a guestroom?

A: Your reservation must be made by September 1, 2014 to receive the reduced room rate. Please note there are a limited number of guest rooms available through the SMS block, and could be exhausted before this date.

Q: What if the SMS room block is exhausted?

A: The conference hotel may make additional rooms available, but likely not at the special SMS conference rate. There are other hotels in the area where rooms may be available. We recommend making your arrangements early.


Q: How do I get to the NH Eurobuilding?


From the Airport via Public Transportation:

  • The hotel is located 12 km from the Barajas Madrid Airport. To get to the hotel via public transportation, take Metro line 8 towards Nuevos Ministerios and disembark at the Colombia station. From there, head north on Calle del Príncipe de Vergara toward Calle Colombia. Turn left onto Plaza de la Republica Dominicana, then turn left onto Av. de Alberto Alcocer and another left onto Calle Padre Damian. The NH Eurobuilding will be on your right.

From the Airport via Taxi:

  • All terminals have clearly signed taxi ranks outside the arrivals area. Official taxis are white with a red stripe and the coat-of-arms of Madrid City Council on the doors. On trips with origin or destination between the Airport and the inside of Calle 30, where the conference hotel is located, a flat fare of 30 euros will apply. No supplements can be added to this flat fare.

From the Train Station via Public Transportation:

  • From Chamartin station take Metro Line 10 towards Puerta Del and exit the train at the Cuzco station. Walk north on Paseo de la Castellana toward Av. de Alberto Alcocer and turn right onto Av. de Alberto Alcocer. Make another right onto Calle Padre Damián; the hotel will be on your right.

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