Guide to NCA’s 2020 Annual Convention

2020 Convention

The COVID-19 pandemic presented numerous challenges to hosting the traditional NCA Annual Convention. In light of these challenges, the NCA 106th Annual Convention in Indianapolis has been reimagined and will include both synchronous and asynchronous virtual components.

  • Panel discussions/roundtables, submitted paper sessions, top paper sessions, Research in Progress Roundtables, Short Courses, and Preconferences will be synchronous and take place as previously scheduled in the online program. Please note that all times are Eastern time.
  • Individual paper, film, and performance sessions; Great Ideas for Teaching Students (G.I.F.T.S) sessions; and Scholar to Scholar sessions will be asynchronous and available beginning November 1.
  • Special events and such annual traditions as the Presidential Address will be synchronous and take place as scheduled (November 19-22) in the online program. 
  • Business, committee, and task force meetings will be held synchronously throughout the weeks of November leading up to the convention.
  • The NCA Career Center and Graduate School will take place in modified yet still valuable forms. 

You likely have many questions and wonder what your personal options for the convention might be. This page provides information about logistics as well as virtual options for engagement.

The reimagined NCA Annual Convention will allow for virtual participation, consisting of both asynchronous options, which will be presented throughout November, and synchronous options that will be held during the original convention dates, November 19-22. The convention is free for NCA members. Please click here to register for the convention.

Directions for various types of submitters are provided below. If you are unsure of your submission type, please visit NCA Convention Central and review your “My Submissions” tab for more information.

  • Submitters of panel discussions, paper sessions, performance sessions, and film sessions are invited to work with presenters to host their sessions virtually.
  • Individual performance, individual film, and individual paper submitters (to include Great Ideas for Teaching Students [G.I.F.T.S] and Scholar to Scholar submitters) are invited to upload a pre-recorded, asynchronous presentation to NCA Convention Central.
    • If your submission was selected for a Top Paper session, an NCA staff member will contact you about presenting that paper synchronously via an online session.
    • Research in Progress Roundtables sessions will be held synchronously and an NCA staff member will contact submitters. 

We understand this is a challenging period, and it may not be feasible for all sessions to move forward as planned. We also understand that presenting may not be feasible for all participants. We encourage session submitters and participants to engage in conversation regarding the various options available to them and make decisions together about the best path forward for a session. Any session participant is welcome to coordinate this effort; information for coordinating a session can be found below. 

Information on joining a synchronous session or viewing asynchronous content will be added to the online program as it becomes available in November. This information will be visible only to people who are registered for the NCA 106th Annual Convention. If you have questions about NCA’s reimagined 106th Annual Convention, please email for assistance. Finally, if you wish to withdraw your submission, please contact However, we hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to join your colleagues for meaningful discussions about the latest in Communication scholarship and teaching.

The online program is available to everyone who is registered for the NCA 106th Annual Convention. The online program enables participates to view information about how to join/view sessions. Session times listed are in the Eastern time zone. To access the online session information after you have registered, you first need to log in to NCA Convention Central. From there, you can view your schedule, submissions, and the program. Information on how to access sessions will be posted to the online program. We anticipate updating online resources and the online program regularly, so please check the program often.

NCA is committed to making the convention accessible to everyone who wishes to participate, no matter how they choose to participate. NCA encourages those presenting online to make make arrangements for live transcription when possible. If you are in need of transcription service, please contact us at with the title, date, and time of the session(s) or meeting(s) you would like transcribed. We ask that you submit your request for live transcription, or request for any other assistance that you may need, by October 14 so we can coordinate service. We will try to fulfill requests made after October 14 but cannot guarantee service.

Click here for tips for making the most of a virtual presentation, as well as a list of programs that provide automatic captioning. Click here for additional information on making the automatic captioning process easier, as well an additional list of programs that provide automatic captioning. You can find information on free text-to-speech programs here

This section is for submitters of panel discussions, paper sessions, performance sessions, and film sessions.

What is the timeline for organizing a session?
Session submitters should contact session participants by no later than September 16 to begin determining whether the session will continue virtually. Should the submitter be unable to serve in this coordinating role, it is asked that you assign someone else to the role. Session submitters should complete this form by no later than October 14 to indicate whether the session will take place.

How do I find contact information for my session participants?
It is assumed that session submitters have participant contact information, as it was required during submission. If that is not the case, submitters can use the “Contact Me” function available in NCA Convention Central. To locate this function, navigate to your schedule in Convention Central and choose a session from your schedule. Each participant in the session will have a “Contact Me” link next to their name. 

Do I have to convene the session at the time scheduled in the program? 
Yes. However, if your session is unable to continue at the scheduled time, you may choose to meet and record your session asynchronously and upload it to NCA Convention Central. If your session will be asynchronous, please indicate this on the form.

How do I create my session? 
Once your form is submitted, if the session will take place synchronously, NCA will create a virtual meeting and add the link to the meeting in the online program. All presenters and interested, registered participants will have access to this virtual meeting. If the session will take place asychronously (pre-recorded) then participants are responsible for gathering and recording the session prior to the convention using their own software.

Will virtual synchronous sessions be recorded?
Yes. All presenters acknowledge and agree to let NCA publicly exhibit the recorded presentation containing their intellectual property and likeness rights (i.e., image, likeness, name, biographical information, actions, performance, voice, conversations, quotes and material spoken), and to keep the video active for viewing until December 31, 2020.

If we decide the session will no longer take place, can we re-submit the session for consideration in the future?
Yes, if you submit the form indicating the session will be canceled the submission can be re-submitted in the future. However, acceptance in future years is not guaranteed. The submission would be subject to the review process.

This section is for submitters of individual papers, individual performances, and individual film submitters (to include Great Ideas for Teaching Students [G.I.F.T.S] and Scholar to Scholar submitters).

These individuals will upload a pre-recorded presentation to NCA Convention Central. 

If my work was accepted for presentation, do I have to present virtually?
No, online presentation is not mandatory. If you choose not to participate virtually, your accepted submission will still be reflected in the NCA 106th Annual Convention program. If you choose not to present, this resource by the American Psychological Association may be helpful when citing this accepted submission on your CV.

What is the timeline for organizing a virtual presentation?
If you choose to submit a pre-recorded presentation, please upload the presentation by October 31. Pre-recorded presentations will be available online to registered attendees beginning November 1. 

How do I create my video? 
Videos may be created using any program/platform of your preference. If you do not have access to a video recording program, NCA recommends using Zoom (the basic Zoom plan is free) or a narrated PowerPoint to record your presentation. Uploaded videos must be MP4 files. Individual paper presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes. Individuals presenting a poster may upload their poster as a narrated PowerPoint that displays the poster and provides a 10- to 12-minute explanation of the poster. For additional recommendations on creating your virtual presentation, see NCA’s Best Practices for Virtual Engagement by Presentation Type and Role.

Will we still have a business meeting?
Yes. All business meetings will take place virtually. Leaders of business meetings will be contacted by NCA about organizing a virtual meeting. Business meetings will take place throughout the month of November. Please expect information specific to your unit in the coming weeks.

I am on a committee/task force. Will I still have a meeting?
Yes. NCA staff will work with committee and task force leaders to schedule virtual meetings. These meetings will take place throughout the month of November. Please expect information specific to your committee/task force in the coming weeks.

Will there be an NCA Career Center this year? 
Yes. The NCA Career Center will be a virtual event this year. The Job Fair will allow departments with job openings to provide a PDF of their position advertisement along with information on how to apply for the position. Job seekers who are registered for the convention will be able to access this information via the online program. Attendees who would like to have their CV reviewed by a CV consultant can sign up for an available time beginning in October. The PrepTalks series will take place throughout the month of November. For more information, visit NCA Convention Central

Will the Graduate School Open House take place this year? 
Yes. The Graduate School Open House will take place virtually. Institutions interested in participating virtually will be required to provide a video detailing information of interest to potential graduate students. Instructions for creating this video can be found here. Registered participants will be able to access these videos via the online program. Ph.D. programs providing a video will also have the opportunity to link the video to their institution’s page in the NCA Doctoral Program Guide after the convention. 

How do I reflect my participation on my CV?
The American Psychological Association’s guidelines may prove helpful in determining how to add your work to your CV, whether you have an accepted paper that you have decided not to present or choose to present a virtual presentation.