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FAQs and troubleshooting

Here you will find the most frequently asked questions in once place. You can also find troubleshooting information and download our guide to conference roles.

Joining conference sessions

You will be sent the Zoom links each day via the email address you used during your conference registration, i.e. Monday’s links will come through on Monday morning by 8.30am, Tuesday’s will come through on Tuesday etc. Please do not forward these on to other delegates or elsewhere as this may cause you a problem when joining. Instead, tell anyone who has a problem to visit the helpdesk. Alternatively, they can email conferences@bisa.ac.uk.

Conference helpdesk

Throughout the conference we are running a dedicated helpdesk (opens a Zoom meeting) where you can come to speak to someone straight away. This will be the fastest way to get help and will have closed captions. Alternatively, you can email conferences@bisa.ac.uk. We will monitor this account, but you will receive help faster by going to the helpdesk.

The helpdesk hours are Monday 21 to Wednesday 23 June, 8.45am to 7.15pm (UK time). The desk will also be open on Friday 18 June from 2.30 to 4.30pm (UK time). This is a good time to test your Zoom is working properly in advance of the conference.

Conference roles

Please download our handy guide to conference roles, particularly if you are chairing a session.



We've split most the FAQs by role to make them easier to navigate, however here are two of the most key questions to get your conference experience started.

How do I join a conference session?

You will be emailed the links for each day’s session on that morning, i.e. Monday’s links will come through on Monday morning by 8.30am, Tuesday’s will come through on Tuesday etc. You can join and leave sessions as you like.

Where can I find the conference programme?

Here it is! You can also generate your own personalised schedule from there.

Conference chairs

If you’ve chaired panels and roundtables before, you’ll know one of the key elements is time management. It’s essential that all sessions finish on time at BISA 2021 to avoid disruption to the next block of panels/roundtables. Please ensure you download and read the guide to conference roles above before chairing your first session.

If you’ve not chaired a panel or roundtable previously you might also want to do some more reading on how it’s done. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, here are some links to posts we recommend.

Should I get in touch with the speakers for the event I’m chairing in advance?

Please do! On a practical level, this allows for speaking time limits and order of appearance to be decided ahead of time, while also facilitating e-introductions before the conference.

Do I need to say anything specific to kick off the event?

Yes, there are a few things you will need to cover such as introducing the speakers and letting attendees know when you would like Q&A (usually at the end after all speakers have presented). More information is available in our guide to conference roles, downloadable above.

Please also remind delegates that the virtual exhibition hall is open throughout the conference. It's accessible from every page of this conference website and many are offering great discounts on books, as well as networking and advice. Your session host will let you know if there is anything else to mention on a specific day.

Conference presenters and speakers

I'm presenting or speaking at a panel, roundtable or other conference session, do I need to arrive early?

If you’re an active participant in a conference session, please try to arrive a minimum of 10 minutes before the advertised start time. This will allow you to meet the other participants, the host and chair, as well as to reassure yourself that your equipment is working e.g. sound, video, any slides you wish to use.

I'm a panellist or other conference speaker do I need a separate joining link?

In most cases no, you can join with the links that will be sent to all conference delegates. The host will have a list of speakers for your session and will admit you to the Zoom room early (assuming you arrive a minimum of 10 minutes before your session as mentioned above). The exception to this is if your event is scheduled in the ‘Webinar room’. In this case you should have been sent a separate link, however if you miss it or forget it's not a problem as the host will be able to change your status from an attendee to a panellist.

Can I use slides, video, music etc?

Yes, please let your session host know your plans when you join the session. The default setting at BISA 2021 will be that you can’t share your screen (to prevent non-speakers from interrupting your presentation), but your host will allow you to do this at the appropriate moment.

Can I use Zoom functions such as polls?

Yes, please do make use of these features as you wish.

Will there be anyone at my session who can help me if I have technical issues, can’t share my screen etc?

Yes, every session will have a session host who can help with reminding you how to share your screen or use other Zoom functions. They can also help troubleshoot technical problems, although if the problem is at your end there will be limits to how much we can help. We therefore strongly recommend testing your Zoom functionality during our practice session on Friday 18 June at 2.30-4pm (UK time). There you can check things like your sound, view, bandwidth and more.

Conference attendees

What are the minimum requirements to operate Zoom?

You’ll need:

  • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers and a microphone – built-in, USB plug-in, or wireless Bluetooth
  • A webcam or HD webcam - built-in, USB plug-in etc

You can find more information, for example supported operating systems and browsers, on Zoom’s ‘System requirements’ page

Some organisations block employees from downloading the Zoom desktop client or app, but this should not cause you a problem as you can use Zoom in browser without downloading it.

My camera isn’t working

Firstly, check your camera is switched on and that you have enabled video in the bottom left of your Zoom window. Next, make sure that all other programs that utilize the camera are not using the camera or are closed.  If this doesn’t work then restart your computer.

More information about Zoom and the video/camera function can be found on Zoom’s troubleshooting page.

I can't hear anything, or you can’t hear me

When you join a Zoom meeting you should see a ‘test speaker and microphone’ button and we would recommend using this the first time you join for the day. Here you’l be able to check and/or choose the speaker and microphone that’s being used. If you are using the correct speaker and microphone but still having problems, check the privacy settings for them.

You can find more information on audio settings on Zoom’s FAQ page.

I didn't receive the joining links, help!

The Zoom links should be sent to the email address you used to register for the conference at around 8.30am each morning of the conference. If you can’t find them in your inbox please check your spam. If they are not there please visit the helpdesk as soon as you can and they will be able to check your registration and send you a copy.

My bandwidth is poor

We recommend you try a test Zoom meeting before the conference takes place. You can join our test on Friday 18 June anytime between 2.30 and 4pm (UK time). Zoom requires internet bandwidth of up to 3 Mbps to let you use all its functions and features, including video calls.

The bandwidth used by Zoom will be optimized for the best experience based on your network. It will automatically adjust for 3G, WiFi, or wired environments. If your connection speed drops below a certain threshold, your video quality will be automatically adjusted to keep you in the meeting as far as possible.

If you are experiencing a poor-quality video/audio, the following can help to reduce data usage and improve your experience:

  • Leave video off when you don't need it
  • Turn off HD video
  • When you screen share, only share as long as absolutely necessary.
  • Use online collaborative documents rather than screen sharing
  • Mute your audio when not speaking.

Where can I network or meet people?

There are four networking sessions where you can meet delegates who have similar research interests. These are run by our working groups.

  • Coffee and conversation networking session - European Security WG - Monday 21 June, 4-5.30pm, Room 10
  • Coffee and conversation networking session - Foreign Policy and Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding WGs, Tuesday 22 June, 11am-12.30pm, Room 10
  • Coffee and conversation networking session - War Studies WG, Tuesday 22 June, 4-5.30pm, Room 10
  • Coffee and conversation networking session - International Law, South-East Europe, Colonial Postcolonial Decolonial, Gender in IR, Global Health, Post-structural Politics, Ethics and World Politics, Global Nuclear Order and Interpretivism in IR WGs, Wednesday 23 June, 12.30-2pm, Room 10

I want to see Professor X, Y, Z, when are they speaking?

The easiest way to find a particular speaker is to find them on our delegate list (coming soon!) which is alphabetical. Alternatively, you can go to the conference programme and use ‘Ctrl’ plus ‘f’ to open a search box where you can type a name.


Photo by Konstantin Evdokimov on Unsplash