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We are running SPUDM2021 on the platform Gather, which runs only on Chrome or Firefox.

To present at SPUDM2021 you must be registered to attend (registration page). We ask you to take time to explore the SPUDM space and find your way around it and be comfortable before you are due to join the conference itself. This will enhance your experience both as an attendee and a presenter. If you do not prepare, it is likely to build in delays and anxiety for all concerned.

The Conference space is now open 24/7 through the rest of August, so you have plenty of time to get ready for SPUDM.

Join the SPUDM space on this link:

You will have to request a 'magic link' to join to be sent to the email you registered with. You will then set up the usual camera and microphone permissions, as well as your avatar’s appearance. Our team of helpers will be wearing yellow, so we ask you to avoid this colour.

Gather Space

Once you have passed through the initial arrival foyer, you will arrive in the conference Atrium and an overview of the layout is below, showing how the conference is zoned into different areas. You will find more detail on this in the Gather User Guide.

Your presentation

Each session is 75 minutes long, with 5 presentations each allocated 15 minutes including time for questions. We suggest you arrive in good time for your session to start. When you have spoken please stay in the room to join further discussions.

SPUDM2021 Programme

The schedule is posted online here and we are updating this daily. This will also be posted in numerous information points within Gather – access these when they highlight yellow by pressing X on your keyboard.

Audio visual requirements

Please take time to ensure you have the best quality webcam and microphone you can access. We highly recommend that you use headphones to improve your listeners’ experience. Learn more here.

NB: Gather does not support use of backgrounds, so please check what viewers will see during your presentation.

If for any reason your presentation fails due to connectivity or other issues, we will try to reschedule it to one of our reserve slots on Tuesday early afternoon. Please liaise with the session’s technical supporter on this.

Drop-In Practice Sessions

We have arranged 4 drop in sessions for speakers who would like to practice presenting in Gather. You can use any slides for this, not necessarily your actual presentation. Assuming you have registered to attend SPUDM2021, follow this link to join the Gather space, and in the Atrium near the helpdesk, use the temporary portal (wormhole) to the Speaker Practice Room which is near the help desk.

We will be there at these times (all UK BST):

Tues 17 August 10:00 – 11:00

Wed 18 August 15:30-16:30

Thursday 19 August 10:00 – 11:00

Friday 20 August 15:30-16:30.

Members of our team will be in the practice room during these times, to help you get used to presenting and moving around the space, but please feel free to explore the conference space whenever you like. As in an actual conference venue, it is very extensive, so it will help to know how to find your way around and what facilities are available to you. If you do go at a different time, it might be useful to be there with someone else to know that your presentation is working well.

On the day of your presentation each session will have a tech supporter to help you, and the session chair will introduce you and moderate questions from attendees. To stop presenting just stop sharing your screen and step away from the podium.

Session Chairs

Each session will have an allocated chair who will manage the proceedings and monitor timing. They will introduce you and may well contact you in advance to find out a little about you and your presentation and perhaps elicit some seed questions as reserve material. They will give you a 2 minute time check to start wrapping up.

Maximum Capacity for Presentation

Each presentation space in Gather has a capacity of 90 for the speaker broadcast. If this capacity is exceeded we will ask some attendees to move into another presentation room, and livestream your presentation via Blackboard, our teaching platform (it is very similar to Zoom). In this case your session tech supporter will guide you through the shift to Blackboard.

Presenting on Blackboard

Slide animations and videos do not work on Blackboard so you may wish to have a pdf version of your presentation to hand, in the event of needing to use Blackboard. If you have a video to show, we will put the link in the Blackboard chat for attendees to view and then return to the session.


We are recording the keynote presentations and if you wish to record your presentation please arrange this yourself.


If you think your internet may be unreliable, you may wish to prerecord your presentation as a back up. Please contact us if you would like support on this.


Each presentation room is linked to a networking room by portals, so discussions can continue there. The session chair will mention this at the start of the session.

Leaving SPUDM space

When you leave Gather just close the tab you are on. When you return next time, your avatar will be in the same spot you left previously.

More Questions?

If you have any other questions, please contact us. On the day of your presentation, each session chair will have a phone number for more urgent contact with the SPUDM team.

Finally we very much look forward to welcoming you to a practice session, and to SPUDM2021!

Useful links:

Download these Presenter Guidelines


SPUDM 2021 Links







Organising Committee