Annual Meeting Information

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Registration & Abstract Submission Instructions

Registration & Abstract Submission Instructions


To register, complete the ADVANCED REGISTRATION FORM and submit payment for the appropriate amount.  Registration payment must be received before abstracts will be considered. If you wish to send a hard copy instead of an online submission, please download the printed version of the forms HERE, fill out the information, and and mail to: SfAA, P.O. Box 2436, Oklahoma City, OK 73101-2436.

Priority registration deadline is October 15. After this date, registration costs increase. See registration page for details.

Abstracts and registrations will be accepted through online submissions or email. Students, if requested, must submit proof of student status to receive the student rate. (e.g. photocopy of photo i.d. card, official course registration, tuition bill/payment).

Attendees from co-sponsoring organizations must indicate their organization.

Incomplete registrations will not be processed and will be returned to the sender. No exceptions.

The registration fee (minus $15 processing fee) will be returned upon request up to December 31.

Abstract Submission

Registration is required to submit an abstract. The priority abstract submission deadline is October 15. However, those interested in participating may submit abstracts as late as October 31, but registration fees will increase after October 16. Type and save your abstract on your computer. The abstract must be no more than 100 words. Then, copy and paste your abstract in the online form.

You must register before submitting an abstract. After registration, click on the Abstract Submission link above in the annual meeting links. Make sure you are logged into the website to be able to view the abstract page.

Papers, Posters, and Videos

Each presenter must register and submit their own abstract and are responsible for listing all co-authors. Co-authors who will co-present (i.e. attend the meeting) must each register individually.

If a paper or video is proposed as part of an organized session, the title of the session and name of session organizer must be included.

Discussants and Panelists are required to register for the meeting but do not need submit an abstract.

It is the policy of the Society for Applied Anthropology to limit contributions to the annual meeting to "each role just once, up to two roles altogether." These two roles are presenter (paper, roundtable, film) and secondary (session chair, discussant, poster). No more than two presentations will be permitted. A "Double Session" (see below explanation of Multiple-Part Sessions) is considered two presentations.


The traditional, and still most common, form of conference presentation at the SfAA Annual Meeting consists of formal presentations or papers, usually 15-20 minutes in length, that are organized around a common theme or topic.  The organizer submits a session abstract along with the list of participants and titles for each presentation in the session. A typical session is composed of five papers, each allotted 18 minutes. The remaining 20 minutes are available for introductions, commentary by a discussant, and questions/answers. But this can differ based on how many participants are in the session and how the chair would like the session organized.

The  chair must register and submit the session abstract along with a list of the names of all session participants and paper titles on the form.

The SfAA office requests that each participant submit their own abstract. This will cut down on errors when submitting the form.

Multiple-Part Sessions

Session organizers occasionally request approval for a "double session" on the same topic. Such sessions are difficult to slot into the program if they are scheduled in sequence.  However, they can be arranged when a large group of closely organized papers are coordinated (7-10 papers for a double session). 

For a multiple-part session, the organizer registers and submits the session abstract and list of participants using more than one submission form.  The session abstracts submitted can be the same or different, but should be titled part one, part two.  The list of participants and individual paper titles included on each form should correspond to the correct session “part.”  The participants register and submit individual paper abstracts.

Sessions of timed formal papers are only one way to present research results or discuss timely topics. Increasingly, our members choose alternative formats for communication and discussion. Below are the more popular alternative formats, and how organizers should register them. 

Panel Sessions (No Papers)

Panels of several speakers, who make brief statements and then respond to questions and comments from the organizer and the audience are increasingly popular. The organizer registers and submits the panel abstract and list of participants.  The panelists register, but do not submit abstracts.

Roundtable Sessions (No Papers)

Roundtables are similar to panels, except that the exchanges tend to be between the participants. The organizer registers and submits the roundtable abstract and list of participants.  The roundtable participants register, but do not submit abstracts.

Open Discussions (No Papers)

Open discussions may have panelists, or they may only have a facilitator who leads a freewheeling discussion of a specific topic. The organizer registers and submits the discussion abstract and list of participants, if any.  If there are discussion participants to be listed, use the Panel form. The participants register, but do not submit abstracts.


Workshops differ from sessions in two important ways:

  1. A fee is charged to attend workshops.  SfAA will base the fee on the organizer’s reimbursement request, room rental, publicity, and any other costs incurred by the SfAA Office.

  2. A workshop is usually more structured and didactic in format.  The workshop organizer is a specialist; participants attend to learn the specialty.


Organizers must contact the SfAA Office to discuss any type of exhibit (photos, art, etc.) so that proper arrangements can be made for space, room setup, easels, length of time, and any other necessities.


Organizers must contact the SfAA Office to discuss any type of performance so that proper arrangements can be made for space, room setup, length of time, and any other necessities.

Additional Information

The SfAA office will notify all individuals by December 20 about acceptance on the Program.

Multiple Participation

Multiple Participation

The size of the SfAA Annual Meeting has increased in recent years and this is an important factor in recruiting new members to our association. While we welcome this increase, it does place constraints on the program and requires that we enforce more consistently a policy on multiple participation that the Board of Directors established several years ago.

It is the policy of the Society for Applied Anthropology to limit contributions to the annual meeting to "each role just once, up to two roles altogether." These two roles are presenter (paper, roundtable, film) and secondary (session chair, discussant, poster).

Poster Presentations

Poster Presentations

When thinking about your presentation at the SfAA conference, don’t forget the poster option. The poster presentation makes use of graphics, such as maps, photographs, and charts to describe your research project, leaving you available for more personal interaction and in-depth discussions with colleagues.

Benefits include:

  • Use of creative and innovative visual elements enhances your research.
  • More intimate, less formal interaction with audience.
  • More opportunity to supplement main points and address particular points of interest.
  • Money!  Student and tourism-related posters are judged, and the top three receive cash awards.

Student Poster Competition

Student Poster Award -  $300 for 1st place, $200 for 2nd place, and $100 for 3rd place.
Tourism Research Student Poster Competition - $500 for 1st place; $250 each for two honorable mentions. 

Winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony.


  • Must be graduate or undergraduate student(s).
  • Work may be done under faculty supervision, but the student must be the primary investigator.
  • Faculty sponsors cannot be listed on the poster as co-authors (students should perform the greatest amount of the research).

Judging Criteria

  • Is your poster reader-friendly, clear, and concise? Ask the following questions:
  • Am I drawn to this poster?
  • Can colleagues quickly examine the poster and understand major points?
  • Would an interested reader learn enough to ask informed questions?
  • Poster content and appeal:  Does it stimulate interest and conversation? Graphics, including photos, graphs or charts, and maps, are important to conveying your research and findings effectively. Color is an asset. Your poster must have some text, of course, but dense text and small fonts do not work well in posters. 
  • Student presentation:  Explanation of the research presented in the poster and related theory
  • Applied nature of the work:  Implications for society, creativity of thought, and possible applications


The Student Poster Session will be Thursday 3:30-5:30. Set up time will be 1:30-2:15. Because of the Student Poster Prizes the judges will need to be alone with the posters from 2:15-3:30. If your poster is not set up by 2:15 it will not be eligible for these prizes. 

SfAA will give each participant a number designating your poster display area and will provide binder clips/push pins and a display board 40 inches by 30 inches (you can orient your poster to either portrait or landscape.). Posters must not exceed 40 inches by 30 inches! If it exceeds these parameters, it will be disqualified. You may bring your own display board, but it must be no larger than 40 inches by 30 inches 

Ideas for Poster Components

  • The title sign should be mounted at the top of the poster, and include presenter(s) name(s)
  • Abstract (For poster only! Not for abstract submission for the conference)
  • Content should be clear and concise, consist of no more than 4 pages, double spaced, with 16-20 point text, and include brief statements with selective information in the following: 1) Introduction, 2) Methodology, 3) Results, and 4) Conclusions
  • Arrows, Numbers, or Letters as needed to indicate reading order
  • Clear Labels for each section of the presentation
  • Lettering should be readable from several feet away, i.e., bold font

Guide for Session Chairs

Guide for Session Chairs

The Session Chair fills an important role in the professional conference.  The chair is at once a “housekeeper” who enforces the clock and monitors routine tasks, as well as the person most responsible for developing and managing a creative dialogue around the session theme.  We have grouped below the general, conventional “housekeeping” tasks as well as what might be called the more substantive “dialogue assurance activities.”

The following outline of tasks/responsibilities applies equally to chairs of “organized” sessions as well as “volunteered” sessions.  They apply as well to individuals who chair “panels” and “round tables.”


The session chair should establish contact with the members of the session (both papers and discussants) as soon as possible after the Preliminary Program has become available on the web page (usually in late December).  The Chair should assure that all session participants are aware of: 

  1. The date and time of the session

  2. The other session participants and their topics

  3. The time allotted for the session as well as for each paper

  4. The general conduct of the session

  5. Any information specific to that session or session topic

The session chair also has particular responsibilities to the SfAA Office.  The chair should know and inform the SfAA Office when session participants withdraw or are unable to attend and present.  The chair should also coordinate any unique requests for facilities or equipment that originate with session participants (see below).


The Society will provide one LCD projector and one screen for each meeting room at no charge.  If anyone in your session is using PowerPoint, at least one participant will need to bring a laptop.  It is important that you assume the responsibility to condense all the PowerPoint presentations on one CD or memory stick.  This will save time changing disks between papers.

If you have a PowerPoint presentation that requires sound you will need to bring your own speakers, or make arrangements.

Session Length & Time

Each session is allotted 105 minutes. Session chairs are responsible for convening the session at the appointed time and following the published order of presentations. A delay of up to five minutes is possible without disrupting the schedule. These five minutes are built in to allow the session chair to decide the appropriate beginning for each session. If people are still being seated, the session chair may choose to wait before beginning the proceedings. But waiting more than five minutes after the appointed start time will reduce the time available for each speaker

It is imperative that papers be presented in the order in which they appear in the Annual Meeting Program Schedule. Meeting participants often move between sessions to hear different speakers, and if the published order is not honored participants may miss presentations that are important to them. Out-of-order presentations constitute one of the most serious complaints received by SfAA staff.

Once the session is underway, chairs must monitor speakers’ time and remind them as their allotted time approaches its end. The session chair should allocate equal time for each participant to ensure there is time for questions from the audience and discussion. If the number of papers is limited, presenters may be permitted extra time. Sessions MUST end at the time stated in the meeting program. If needed, Q&A with the audience can be moved outside of the meeting room and contact information can be exchanged to further discussion.

Session Format

The Session Chair may want to exceed the role of timekeeper and monitor, although they are not required to do so. In the past, Chairs have fostered discussion by offering an analysis of the implications of work that has been presented. They have used interactions between the audience and panelists as jumping off points for further clarification or for assessing future directions. Chairs are welcome to be creative in ways they feel will enrich the session. 

The traditional format of a session at a professional meeting is clear and uncomplicated. Papers are read and at the conclusion questions are asked.

There are other ways to organize a session, some of which enhance the interest and participation of the audience.  The session chair is encouraged to explore and implement changes that will have a positive impact on the audience.  However, format revisions should be discussed carefully among the session participants and there must be general agreement.

Contact Point

The session chair will serve as the link between the session participants and the SfAA Office. The session chairs are also responsible for transmitted information from the session participants to the Program Committee/SfAA Office.  If the Office or the session chair learns of a withdrawal, that information should be exchanged.

Dialogue Assurance


The Session Chair’s responsibilities include but are not limited to introducing each participant in the session and keeping track of the time requirements and limitations for each participant.  You are welcome to obtain additional information you feel would be appropriate to include in an introduction. If you would like, you may email the participants and collaborate with them regarding their introduction. You may wish to integrate the interests of each speaker or address how each presentation addresses the theme of the session. You may prefer to offer some other information about each speaker you feel is relevant to the audience. Introductions should be as informative and interesting as possible.

The real challenge for the session chair is (a) to explore and guide the internal integration of the presentations and (b) to articulate for the session participants a linkage between the session and the Program Theme.

The session chair may also guide effectively the discussion period by coordinating the responses to questions from the audience.  The session chair could also serve as the point of organization should the participants wish to explore a continuation of the dialogue, either for a future meeting, or in the conversion of the session to print format. Finally, the session chair may be presented with a unique opportunity to guide the development of younger professionals should they be included in the session.

Papers that are accepted for presentation at a meeting are customarily developed independently and with little connection to the other papers in the session.  The challenge for a serious session chair is to explore ways to guide the separate papers into a linked whole - whether through general agreement or rational and structured contrasts.  Obviously, this is a task that must be approached with care.  Past experience suggests that it can be done most effectively if the session chair has a clear grasp of the Program Theme and the way that the substance and direction of the session fits into the Theme.

The session chair manages the discussion or question/answer portion of the session.  Viewed from the most rudimentary perspective, this simply means the recognition of audience members who pose questions to the presenters.  Yet, this responsibility may be viewed from a much more creative and constructive viewpoint.  Questions that are imprecisely phrased or which lack logical coherence may be re-stated in a form more understandable to the presenter.  The creative session chair may also parse questions and comments among the presenters in a fashion that highlights significant themes or sets up contrasting points of view.

In sum, the careful session chair equipped with an understanding of the theme of the session should be able to use the discussion period to skillfully bring to the audience a grasp of the theme and the way that the discussion expanded that dialogue.

A/V Equipment

A/V Epuipment

The Society will provide one LCD projector and screen for each meeting room at no charge.  SfAA does NOT provide laptops, external speakers can be check out from the SfAA registration desk.

If anyone in your session is using PowerPoint, at least one participant will need to bring a laptop.  It is important to condense all the PowerPoint presentations onto one CD or memory stick.  This will save time changing disks between papers.

SfAA will provide microphones and speakers only if a meeting room is large enough to necessitate.  Most meeting rooms do not require this equipment.  Presenters may bring their own external speakers if desired.

Video presenters must bring their own DVD capable laptop.  SfAA will provide a projector, screen, and speakers.

Wi-fi access varies from Hotel to Hotel and is not always available at no cost in the meeting rooms. 

Guidelines for an Accessible Presentation

Guidelines for an Accessible Presentation

Embodied capacities for vision, hearing, and sustained interaction in large crowds vary between people, and wax and wane for each of us from hour to hour and over the course of our lives. Maximizing the accessibility of our presentations furthers our professional work. It helps your work reach a wide academic and practice audience, which furthers the core goals of scholarly exchange.

Your talk:

Come prepared with a list of Proper Nouns, including names of people and places, and specialized terms in your talk. If there is an ASL interpreter present, s/he will need to review this document before your talk begins in order to familiarize himself/herself with words and names that do not have a standard ASL sign.

Come prepared with 2-3 printed text copies of your talk. Announce that printed “access copies” are available at the start of the talk. It is best practice to then offer them to those who respond to that request, without asking anyone why they are requesting the copy.

Making printed versions available helps people who may have difficulty hearing or processing auditory information to follow your talk. Choose size 17 font or larger and feel free to add a disclaimer: “Please do not distribute without the expressed permission of the author” with your name and contact information. Alternatively, you put the text on a website that people can easily access from their devices. This can use a unique and private link, and has the added benefit that readers can chose their own text size. You can take down the link after the conference, and you can ask people to return your print copies at the end of your talk.

Note that providing an alternative presentation model is appreciated by people for many reasons, including language fluency, learning style, and personal preference.

Is your powerpoint accessible?

Use a high contrast powerpoint (white text on black background, and bold text or a substantially wide font work well). Try to use a sans-serif font, such as Arial, and maintain a large font size (17 size font or higher).

Avoid using too much text on a single slide. Also avoid background images or designs. Read aloud everything on the slide. Is there visual information on your slide? Describe all images - do not assume that your audience can see ANY of the images. Include information about:

  • Content

  • Aesthetics and style

  • Connection to talk

Session Microphones: 

SfAA will provide microphones and speakers only if a meeting room is large enough to necessitate. Most meeting rooms do not require this equipment. Presenters may bring their own external speakers if desired.

If there is an ASL interpreter present:

ASL interpreters sign in American Sign Language, which has its own grammatical structure and nuances. It may take more or less time to express an idea in ASL than in spoken English. When interpreting academic English, interpreters often spell out proper nouns or jargon terms letter-by-letter, which takes longer than speaking. As such, when you are presenting a text that is being interpreted into ASL, it is best practice to pause slightly to allow the interpreter to catch up after names, place names, or jargon terms.

Interpreters work in pairs. If one holds a copy of your notes and documents, they can feed it in ASL to the other.  Pause when they pause to change places.

If there is a Captioner present:

The protocol is similar to that for ASL. Supply key words and text ahead of time and be aware of their pace.

Disability Access Services & Accommodation

Disability Access Services & Accommodation Policy for the Annual Meeting 

It is the policy of the Society for Applied Anthropology to hold events (meetings, conferences, and professional gatherings) where physical and communications barriers do not exclude people with disabilities from attending and participating. In support of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the SfAA and its contracted facilities will accommodate reasonable requests for accessibility to the extent possible.  Individuals requiring special accommodations are asked to make their specific needs known to the SfAA at least four months prior to the annual meeting. SfAA staff will work with individuals who require reasonable accommodation in order to ensure accessibility for the greatest number of people, to the greatest extent possible.

Access Service request must be received by SfAA by October 15 to guarantee availability.

Individuals are fully responsible for making their own hotel arrangements. It is recommended that the participant make their own reservations in a timely manner to ensure special needs are met.

Fill out the form below if you need assistance with disability access services or accommodations.


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P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 •