ASTRO 2021 FAQs

Have questions about the 2021 ASTRO Annual Meeting? Below you can find answers to general questions about the meeting, safety in the convention center and Exhibit Hall and programming. If you have additional questions, please contact ASTRO's meetings team.

General FAQs

Will the Annual Meeting be held in Chicago as planned?

Yes, the Annual Meeting will take place in person at McCormick Place West in Chicago, October 24-27, with premeeting content beginning Saturday, October 23.

Is there a virtual component to the Annual Meeting?

You can attend the Annual Meeting “Your Way”. Through:

  • In Person – Live in Chicago
  • Digital XP – Online including
    • Live Streaming - Select general sessions, including Plenary, Clinical Trails and Presidential Symposium from the in-person meeting in Chicago.
    • Digital XP Live - Live virtual interactive sessions
    • Digital XP SimuLive - Prerecorded sessions with Live Q&A
    • Digital XP onDemand - Prerecorded content available only on DXP, as well as select recorded sessions from in-person meeting.
  • onDemand – Recordings of in person and Digital XP sessions
    • Recordings will be available 24 hours after scheduled sessions.
      • For meeting registrants who pre-purchase the onDemand product, sessions will be available within 24 hours of the live session ending.
      • Non-Meeting attendees can purchase the onDemand product.
Is Digital XP included in my full conference registration?

Yes, all full conference registrants have access to Digital XP. You will receive an email with information about how to access Digital XP on October 8. Access to Digital XP will be available through November 30.

Is the onDemand product included in my registration?

The onDemand product is a separate purchase and can be added to your Live Meeting or Digital XP registration. Non-meeting registrants can purchase the onDemand product after October 13. Access to onDemand is available for three years.

Due to my institution’s travel ban, I am no longer able to attend the Annual Meeting in-person in Chicago. What are my options?

If you are already registered for the Annual Meeting, your in-person registration can be converted to Digital XP or, if you registered prior to September 30, you can request a full refund.

You can purchase the Annual Meeting onDemand product after DATE. Recordings of all sessions as released by presenters will be available for three years.

I am travelling from an international destination and need assistance with National Interest Exemption (NIE). Can ASTRO help?

ASTRO wrote a letter to the Consul of the US State Department explaining why it is important for health care and industry professionals to be able to attend the Annual Meeting. Access this letter at ASTRO.org/amNIE.

Applicants should verify the exact information required by each U.S. Embassy or consulate to support the NIE application. Each country may have unique requirements to apply. At a minimum, travelers should expect to provide the following information:

  • A scanned copy of each traveler’s visa or ESTA authorization
  • A scanned copy of each traveler’s passport photo page
  • Purpose of travel and any supporting documents that clearly show how you qualify for an NIE
  • A copy of your flight itinerary or proposed travel dates

Many embassies and consulates in the affected countries are experiencing backlogs in processing NIEs and you are encouraged to submit your applications as soon as possible. For the most up-to-date information, visit the U.S. State Department website.

Can I pick up badges for other people?

Attendees must pick up their own badge and registration materials. In addition, attendees must consent to ASTRO’s COVID-19 Assumption of Risk Waiver and Compliance Commitment and attest to being fully COVID-19 vaccinated. Attendees with a valid medical or religious exemption must attest to having received a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to arriving at McCormick Place.

For Exhibitors, the Badge Contact is the only staff person authorized to pick up another person's badge for the exhibiting company. The Badge Contact will only be able to pick up badges for those exhibitor booth personnel who have agreed to ASTRO’s COVID-19 Assumption of Risk, Waiver and Compliance Commitment.

How do I access the conference planner or app?

The Annual Meeting Conference Planner can be found at www.astro.org/conferenceplanner. You can download the MyASTROApp, ASTRO’s official meeting app, from the Apple iTunes or the Google Play store. More information on how to download and what is available on the app can be found at www.astro.org/AMattendeeTools.

Will shuttle buses be available?

Yes, buses will run between official ASTRO hotels and the convention center throughout the day. Please note, masks are required on the buses. View the shuttle bus schedule.

Where can I find help at the Convention Center?

If you have questions while you are in Chicago, visit the Ask ASTRO booth located on the Central Concourse, level 3 at McCormick Place West.

Convention Center Safety

What is ASTRO doing to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the Annual Meeting?

ASTRO is following all recommended CDC safety protocols.​

All attendees will be required to attest to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If valid medical or religious exemptions exist, a negative PCR COVID test within 72 hours of arrival is required.

  • All participants will be required to wear a mask within the convention center unless eating or presenting.
  • All attendees will be prompted to fill out a daily health questionnaire on the MyASTROApp or at astro.org/safety
  • Hand sanitizer stations located throughout the convention center.
  • A listing of COVID testing sites will be available.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces will take place between sessions.
  • Seating will allow for social distancing
  • Wider aisles in the exhibit hall.
As an attendee, what are the safety protocols I must follow?

Attest that you have been vaccinated when you pick up your badge, wear a mask at all times (unless eating or presenting) and answer the daily health questionnaire. Each day you will receive a push notification through the MyASTROApp to complete the health questionnaire. A link to the questionnaire will also be available at www.astro.org/safety.

Where do I access the health questionnaire?

Each day you will receive a push notification through the MyASTROApp to complete the health questionnaire. A link to the questionnaire will also be available at www.astro.org/safety.

What is social distancing in the large meeting rooms?

To encourage social distancing, in session rooms there will be 4 feet between chairs and 5 people max at round tables.

Have the ventilation systems in the convention center and the hotels been universally upgraded? Or just some of the hotels?

The McCormick Place has received G-BAC STARTM Service accreditation from the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, a division of ISSA – the leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide. G-BAC STAR accredited facilities have demonstrated that appropriate work practices and procedures are in place for cleaning, disinfecting and infection prevention.

McCormick Place has made air quality improvements including increased building intake and air change rates during event hours and regularly replacing HVAC air filters with efficient hospital-grade filters.

ASTRO hotels have indicated they have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure a cleaner stay for guests. Learn more about your hotel's practices and cleaning initiatives on their website.

What happens if I feel ill during the meeting?

If you are feeling ill or have COVID-19 symptoms, please do not come to the Convention Center. We recommend that you go to a local testing site to be tested for COVID-19. A list of local testing sites are available on ASTRO’s website as well as in the First Aid Office, located on Level 1 in McCormick Place West near the Transportation Center.

Where can I get a COVID-19 PCR test in Chicago?

If you need a PCR COVID-19 test while in Chicago, there are mulitple facilities you can visit near the convention center and throughout the city. View the list.

Am I required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

When you go to registration to pick up your meeting badge, you will be asked to attest that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or if you have a valid medical or religious exemption, that you have obtained a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival to the convention center. Documentation will not be required.

Exhibit Hall Safety

Will the vendors be physically present with their products on display?

Yes. The list of exhibitors is available on the Conference Planner at www.astro.org/conferenceplanner.

Has the Exhibit Hall been reconfigured to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols?

Yes. The floor plan has been reconfigured for wider aisles to prevent bottlenecks and more room between booths.

What are the safety protocols for exhibitors?

Exhibitors are required to follow the same safety protocols as attendees including attesting to vaccination, wearing a mask at all times and answering the daily health questionnaire.

Exhibitors have also been given guidelines for their booth setup, design, cleaning, sanitation and etiquette as part of our Exhibitor Booth Health and Safety Guidelines.

Programming

Will all presenters be at the in-person meeting in Chicago?

Educational program speakers will be a mix of in-person, virtual and recorded. Oral scientific and quick pitch presenters will be a combination of in-person and recorded.

Now that PRO weekend is going to be live-streamed, is it still a ticketed event and will it also be held in-person?

Yes, PRO is a ticketed event and will be held live, in person in Chicago and can now be added to DXP as a ticketed event starting October first. PRO will be live streamed and includes live Q&A in which both in-person and virtual attendees can participate.

How do I claim my credits?

Attendees can evaluate the meeting and sessions attended through the Mobile App and/or Conference Planner and claim the number of credits commensurate to their participation.

In the Conference Planner, enter your ASTRO credentials (your email and password you use to log in to the astro.org site), then search for the session you want to evaluate and click on Session Evaluation. For the general meeting evaluation click on Meeting Evaluation on the left side menu.

From the Digital XP platform, click on "Claim CME" on the homepage.

How can I view Posters?

Posters can be viewed any time at the Poster Kiosks located outside of room W375E at McCormick Place West. Posters are also available on the conference planner and MyASTROApp.

How do I interact with poster presenters?

Both in-person and Digital XP poster presenters will have five minutes for individual presentation and Q&A, followed by an open Q&A for all presenters. Attendees are encouraged to view and listen to narrated posters prior to attending in-person or virtual Poster Q&A sessions and come to sessions with questions for presenters. Posters can be viewed on the Conference Planner and MyASTROApp.

What types of CME are offered?

ASTRO offers multiple types of credits during the Annual meeting including:

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Credits will be available for the in-person meeting, Digital XP and the onDemand product.
  • MDCB and CAMPEP credits will be available for the live, in-person meeting.

The most up-to-date information can be found at www.astro.org/AMCME.

Can I get credit for attending Digital XP and onDemand Sessions?

Yes. AMA PRA Category 1 Credits will be available for the Digital XP and the onDemand product. Credits for Digital XP must be claimed by November 30. Credits for the onDemand product can be claimed for up to one year post meeting.

What is the difference between Digital XP and the onDemand Product?

The Digital XP is an online companion to the in-person Annual Meeting. Content has been carefully curated to included extended programming and streaming of key sessions like the PRO Program, Presidential Symposium, Keynotes, Clinical Trials, Plenary and Cancer Breakthroughs. There will also be a live Poster Q&A each day.

The onDemand product includes full content from both the Annual Meeting and the Digital XP, over 200 hours.

When is the embargo lifted on abstracts/posters?

The embargo for the abstracts and posters will be lifted at 5:00 p.m. Central time on Friday, October 22. Once the embargo is lifted, the abstracts will be available open access on the Red Journal website. All Late-breaking abstracts, as well as a link to the abstracts in the Red Journal will be available on www.astro.org/AMabstracts at 5:00 p.m. as well.

Can I watch the oral abstract presentations/scientific sessions and quick pitch sessions live if I am unable to attend the in-person meeting in Chicago?

If you are not attending the in-person meeting in Chicago, you will not be able to watch the oral scientific sessions or the quick pitch sessions live. Select sessions from the in-person meeting will be live streamed on Digital XP. Additionally all sessions will be available on the onDemand product (as released for inclusion by presenters).

Can I watch the education program sessions (education sessions, panels, workshops, special sessions, etc.) live if I am unable to attend the in-person meeting in Chicago?

If you are not attending the in-person meeting in Chicago you will not be able to watch education program sessions live. To access these sessions purchase the onDemand product where these sessions will be made available within 24 hours of presentation (as released for inclusion by presenters).

Are Master Classes included in Digital XP or onDemand?

Master Classes are ticketed events and can be added to in-person registration. The Master Classes will NOT be held on the Digital XP.

How will I be notified of last-minute session changes and cancellations.

Last minute session change and cancellation notifications will be pushed out to attendees through the MyASTROApp. Be sure to download the app prior to arriving at the convention center. Learn more at www.astro.org/amAttendeeTools.

Digital XP

Is Digital XP similar to last year’s virtual program? Will attendees have the opportunity for real-time Q&A for selected sessions?

Yes and No. Yes, there will be sessions that are Live and SimuLive and faculty will be available for Q&A for those sessions. No in that the Digital XP will not include all of the content from the in-person meeting. The Digital XP content is specifically curated for the Digital XP with the “big” sessions like the Plenary, Presidential Symposium, etc., being streamed to it. If you want all the content from the in-person meeting you will need to purchase the onDemand product and you will be able to view those sessions within 24 hours of being presented in-person in Chicago but you will not have interaction with the faculty or presenters.

How will attendees access the Digital XP and the content?

Attendees will gain access to the Digital XP beginning October 8 by visiting www.astro.org/AMDigitalXP. Attendees will log in using their ASTRO credentials. An email will be sent out with more information closer to the launch date.

What are the session types for Digital XP?
  • Live - Live virtual interactive sessions
  • SimuLive - Prerecorded sessions with Live Q&A
  • onDemand - Prerecorded content available only on DXP, as well as select recorded sessions from in-person meeting.
  • Live Streamed - Select general sessions, including Plenary, Clinical Trails and Presidential Symposium from the in-person meeting in Chicago will be live streamed to Digital XP.
Where can I find the schedule for Digital XP sessions?

Sessions for Digital XP can be found on the Annual Meeting Conference Planner. Select schedule and filter by session type. Be sure to select all the Digital XP session types.

What languages are the sessions on Digital XP available in?

Digital XP is only available in English.

Presenters

I am a poster presenter and can’t attend the meeting, can I still present my poster?

Yes, we have 5 poster sessions in the Digital XP. These sessions were first-come, first-served for presenters who were unable to travel to the meeting. The sessions are already full, so if you did not get placed into a session your next best option is to ensure your poster is narrated and to be sure to allow people to contact you through the virtual poster library. You can indicate your preference to be contacted when you upload your poster.

If you are unsure if you have been placed into a session or need to confirm you have provided permissions to be contacted through the virtual poster library please email the Annual Meeting team and someone will assist you.

I am an oral abstract or quick pitch presenter and am unable to attend the meeting, can I still present?

Yes, if you are an abstract presenter and are unable to attend please submit a recording of your presentation. That recorded presentation will be played in your absence at the in-person meeting. You will NOT be able to participate in Q&A. We are unable to support abstract presenters virtually.

I am a discussant in an oral abstract session and am unable to attend the meeting, can I still present?

Yes, if you are a discussant and are unable to attend please submit a recording of your presentation. That recorded presentation will be played in your absence at the in-person meeting. You will NOT be able to participate in Q&A. We are unable to support discussants virtually.

I am a moderator in an oral abstract or quick pitch session and am unable to attend the meeting, can I still present?

No, unfortunately we are unable to support virtual moderators for scientific sessions. Please email the Annual Meeting team and staff will work with you and the track chairs to find a replacement who is able to attend in person.

I am faculty in an education sessions, panel session, workshop, special session, master class, etc., and I am unable to attend in person. Can I still participate in the session?

Yes, we will support faculty in the education program by allowing for either a recorded presentation or a live virtual presentation. Faculty who wish to present live virtually will be provided with details on how to present on the date and time of your session. If you have not already done so please email us at annualmeeting@astro.org to indicate that you are unable to attend and want to present live, virtually. For those who want to present but are unable to present live virtually you may submit a recorded presentation. Please visit the Speaker Center for more information on how to submit your recorded presentation.

I am a faculty member, and can no longer attend the in-person meeting, who should I contact?

Reach out to the Annual Meeting team as soon as possible. Depending on your role we will provide you with the information you need to proceed.


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