FAQs - Attendees - Meeting & Conference


Meeting & Conference Attendees FAQs

Is there a one-day registration fee for meetings and conferences?

This varies by meeting so please submit a Help Ticket or contact Customer Service by telephone at +1.202.416.1907 or +1.800.766.4672 with the name of the meeting you are intersted in attending to inquire about availability and rates for one-day registration.

Note: Customer Service Department hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (UTC-5) Monday through Friday.

I’m an invited speaker; do I have to pay for the conference registration?

OSA requires all speakers and presenters, including invited speakers, to register for meetings and conferences and pay the appropriate registration fee.

How do I obtain a visa to attend the conference?

The visa application process can take 8 months or more, so we encourage attendees from countries other than the United States to apply for visas as early as possible, but no later than 3 months before they wish to enter the United States. Please note that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States!

Individuals may request a letter of invitation by submitting a Help Ticket or by fax +1 202.416.6100. Please include the meeting name, your full name as it appears on your passport, as well as your gender, date of birth, complete mailing address, passport number and country of issue, and phone and fax numbers. OSA is not able to contact US embassies in support of an individual attempting to gain entry into the host country to attend a meeting or conference.

For detailed information about applying for a visa, refer to the US Department of State web site.

Attention Nationals and Citizens of Visa Waiver Program countries:

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
As of 12 January 2009, all nationals and citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries will be required by law to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States under the VWP. This authorization may be obtained through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a free internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security through a US government web site.

Register online for entry to the United States under the VWP Visa Waiver Program Frequently Asked Questions

If I have a question about registration, transportation, hotel accommodations, or a general question that is not covered here, who should I contact?

Please submit a Help Ticket or contact Customer Service by telephone at +1.202.416.1907 or +1.800.766.4672. Note: Customer Service Department hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (US East Coast Time) Monday through Friday.

What does my full conference registration include?

Not all meetings offer the same products and services, but generally the Full Technical Conference Registration fee includes:
  • One copy of the Conference Program Book
  • One copy of the Technical Digest on CD-ROM
  • One copy of the Postdeadline Papers Book (if the meeting includes postdeadline presentations)
  • One copy of the Buyers’ Guide (if the meeting includes an exhibition)

Admission to:

  • Technical Sessions
  • Plenary Sessions
  • Poster Sessions
  • Postdeadline Papers Sessions
  • Exhibition Conference Reception

What is the refund and cancellation policy for conference registration?

Each meeting or conference has a deadline for refunds and cancellations. This can be found on the meeting-specific web page under Registration. All requests for refunds must be received in writing by the meeting specific deadline. A US $75 service charge will be assessed for processing refunds. All registration requests received after the deadline are NON-REFUNDABLE.

Why should I stay in one of the meeting’s official hotels?

Booking with one of the official hotels helps to avoid future registration and exhibit pricing increases; read below to better understand why booking within the Housing Service is so important!

The following was published with permission from the Convention Industry Council:

It has been the customary practice of the events industry in the United States to secure a block of hotels rooms for the use of attendees to their events. Typically the organizer of the event contracts with one or several hotels directly or through a third party. The event organizer enters into a contractual agreement with the hotel(s) or third party provider and essentially guarantees a predetermined percentage of performance (occupancy) of the attendees.

To protect the value of the rooms that have been set aside for the event, hotels typically include a performance clause in the hotel contract that provides monetary damages if the event organizer’s attendees occupy fewer rooms than agreed upon. Hotels typically allow for some slippage from contracted room blocks so failure to meet performance thresholds can and often does result in significant loss for the Association and hotel. The increased use of Internet-based travel portals such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity by many travelers has further eroded the integrity of many housing blocks.

Booking outside the block raises daunting and very serious financial and relationship issues for hoteliers and their customers. Event planners can face substantial financial damages, in some cases, even if attendees have secured their housing at the designated hotel but have done so through alternative methods such as an Internet based portal. (Many hotels do not possess the advanced technology that is needed to recognize all guests who are attending an event, the event organizer may be penalized even though the requisite number of rooms occupied meets or even exceeds the agreed upon number). When attendees book outside the block both the planner and supplier can suffer significant financial losses.

I faxed my registration and have not received a receipt; did you receive it?

If after 7 days you have not received a confirmation email, please submit a Help Ticket or contact Customer Service by telephone at +1.202.416.1907 or +1.800.766.4672.

Note: Customer Service Department hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (US East Coast Time) Monday through Friday.

What are the meeting registration deadlines?

Each meeting or conference has an early registration deadline at a discounted price. The deadline and rates can be found on the meeting-specific web page under Registration.

My member type is student graduated; do I pay student prices or regular prices for meeting registrations?

As a student graduated member you pay regular member prices to attend meetings.

Is the meeting or conference accessible to the physically challenged?

Yes, all meeting sites are equipped for the physically challenged. Persons with special needs should contact Customer Service by telephone at +1 202.416.1907 or +1 800.766.4672 or submit a Help Ticket specifying your requirements.

What is the status of my meeting registration refund?

Please allow 7 to 10 business days for processing.

Are Short Courses included in the technical registration?

No, Short Courses require a separate fee and are not included in the Full Technical Conference registration fee.

Need more help? Contact the Help Desk.