IMC 2021: Frequently Asked Questions

This page was last updated on 15 February 2021.

Find out more about IMC 2021, which will be hosted entirely online between Monday 5 – Friday 9 July 2021.

Registration & Pricing

Will I have to register to attend IMC 2021?
How much will the registration and programming fee be?
What will my registration and programming fees pay for?
Will single day passes be available for IMC 2021 as at previous IMCs?
Why can’t you offer IMC 2021 free of charge?
I have applied for a bursary for IMC 2021. How will bursaries work for the virtual event?

About IMC 2021 Online

How long will IMC 2021 run for?
How will a fully online IMC work?
What opportunities will there be to network with other delegates?
Will sessions be recorded and available for viewing afterwards?
Will there be any events or excursions at IMC 2021?

Participating in IMC 2021

I have submitted a session, paper, or round table proposal for IMC 2021 and would like to amend it for a virtual format. Can I do that?
My session or activity will require specialist software or arrangements in order to go ahead virtually. What can you do to help?
Will all sessions be live, or will there be the opportunity to pre-record my paper/session?
I would have submitted a paper/session proposal if I had known IMC 2021 would be online – will there be a second call for papers?
I would like to withdraw my paper/session/round table. How do I do this?

Virtual Event Platform & Technical Queries

What platform will IMC 2021 be hosted upon and will I need any specialist software?
What will you do to ensure sessions are both secure and easy to access?
My location and time zone means that most sessions will take place during the night – what provision will be made for this?
Will online sessions be captioned?
How accessible will IMC 2021 be?
Will the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines change plans for July 2021?
Why is IMC 2021 taking place online?
I have another question not listed here or require more information. How can I get in touch with the IMC team?

 

Will I have to register to attend IMC 2021?

Yes, as for an in-person Congress, all delegates must register and pay the appropriate registration and programming fee. To keep sessions secure, only registered delegates will be able to access the online Congress. You can register online from 1 March here.

 

How much will the registration and programming fee be?

Registration and programming fees will be £120 (standard rate) or £75 (concessionary rate for students, retired, unwaged, and low-waged delegates). This will provide access to the full 5-day online congress (05 July – 09 July 2021) and for a short period before and after the event to access all resources and recordings. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, it will not be possible to offer day tickets for the online Congress.  You can register online from 1 March here.

 

 

What will my registration and programming fees pay for?

Registration fees will be used to pay for:

  • Staffing costs (core IMC Team – 4.25 full-time staff, year-round)
    • Academic planning
    • Processing of proposals
    • Programming and scheduling
    • Processing registrations
    • Facilitating and coordinating the virtual IMC
    • Year-round customer service
    • Compliance and financial reporting
    • Communications including website, social media, and email
  • Software and/or online platform licences to deliver IMC 2021*
    • Virtual session rooms
    • Online programme
    • Virtual event portal for accessing the Congress
    • Delegate networking functions
    • Fringe programme
    • Exhibitions
    • Other additional benefits/ features TBC
  • Additional staffing during IMC 2021 to ensure excellent delegate support is available for all speakers and attendees throughout the virtual event
    • Assisting speakers in virtual rooms
    • Customer service & technical support
  • Contribution to the Bursary Fund for the current Congress year
  • Registration system
  • IT support, both for University IT systems and from external providers such as conferencing platform licensees
  • IMC general office running costs (IT, telephony, mail etc)
  • Future continuation of the IMC

* Please note that platforms do not host large-scale events like IMC 2021 with multiple concurrent sessions free of charge.

These costs will be kept as low as possible, whilst still delivering a high-quality Congress, customer service, and support for all delegates.

During the week of vIMC 2020 alone, the IMC team (including additional staff) worked a total of over 700 hours to support and deliver the 138 sessions, alongside around 60 fringe sessions. Over the rest of the year, the core team worked over 11,000 hours to prepare the Congress.

Based on current numbers, we expect to deliver around 500 sessions at IMC 2021. That’s around 750 hours of presentations, more than three times that presented in 2020. This will require a commensurate increase in staff resource and investment in platforms/software to ensure a high-quality Congress for all involved.

We do not charge a fee for making a proposal – this is also included in the Programming and Registration Fee charged upon registration.

 

Will single day passes be available for IMC 2021 as at previous IMCs?

Day passes will not be available for IMC 2021 due to technical limitations within our registration and virtual event platforms.

It is also likely that the programme will contain non-scheduled activities – such as online exhibitions, performances, recordings, social, and networking opportunities – which can be enjoyed at any time both during the Congress week and after Congress closes until 31 August 2021.

Registered delegates will also have the opportunity to watch recordings of Congress sessions within the event platform after they have taken place, enabling delegates to watch back sessions they may have otherwise missed on days or times when they have other commitments. This facility will remain available for a short period after the Congress has ended.

Whilst we know the possible lack of a one-day registration option may be a disappointment to the small number of delegates who only attend the in-person event for one day, registration fees overall will be substantially lower than for a Congress taking place on campus in Leeds – a standard registration will cost less than a day-ticket for an on-campus Congress. Additionally, attendees at the virtual event will not incur travel, accommodation, or other related expenses.

 

Why can’t you offer IMC 2021 free of charge?

The IMC is run on a not-for-profit basis. However, we must cover as large a proportion of our costs as possible each year. Registration Fees are set based on our total costs and the number of delegates expected to attend in any given year. We need to cover our costs to ensure the future continuation of the Congress for years to come.

IMC 2021 will take place over five days. The Programming Committee has accepted over 500 sessions for the forthcoming Congress, including more than 1,600 actively involved participants. The in-person IMCs of 2018 and 2019 attracted 2,800-3,000 registered delegates and vIMC 2020 involved some 500 actively involved participants and 3,200 delegates.

Organising an international conference on this scale requires the year-round work of a dedicated team of staff. For the 2021 Congress this team is made up of part- and full-time staff totalling 4.25 full-time equivalent roles (compared to a team of 5.5-6 staff in the previous two years). These staff wages must be covered by the Congress no matter what format the Congress takes. Each year, the core team works over 11,000 hours to make the Congress possible.

In addition to this, we must cover all the other costs associated with running the conference. Although we will not have to pay for physical aspects of an in-person IMC such as session room and venue hire, AV equipment and furniture rentals, catering, cleaning, on-site IT support, printing, security etc, an online event will still incur substantial costs. These include additional staff to support delegates in virtual ‘session rooms’, and, crucially, acquiring, developing, and supporting technology and secure online platforms to enable the virtual conference to take place.

We were able to offer last year’s much smaller event for free thanks to the generosity of the University of Leeds.

 

I have applied for a bursary for IMC 2021. How will bursaries work for the virtual event?

The extended deadline for bursary applications passed on 31 October 2020.

The Bursary Committee has reviewed all 258 bursary applications and awarded bursaries to cover registration fees in full for 116 delegates. A total of £8,120 was awarded to 116 recipients from Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine, and the USA.

Eight of these bursaries have been kindly sponsored by the Templar Heritage Trust and the Miriam Czock Fund.

Bursary recipients will receive an email shortly before registrations open on 1 March with details of how to claim their bursary when registering online.

In addition, for IMC 2021, we are pleased to be able to offer everyone who has applied for a bursary but was not awarded one the opportunity to register at the concessionary (student/retired/unwaged/low-waged) rate. Details of how to claim this rate will be provided by email shortly before registrations open on 1 March.

 

How long will IMC 2021 run for?

The event will be fully online and will run from Monday 05 July to Friday 09 July. This is one day longer than the in-person event was scheduled for. The virtual event platform including resources and recordings will also remain available to registered delegates for a short period after the Congress closes.

Additionally, all sessions at IMC will be recorded and these recordings will be available via the secure IMC event platform until 31 August 2021 for all registered delegates to view.

The programme will include over 500 academic sessions, as well as a lively programme of networking and fringe events, IMC Bookfair, and a programme of virtual events and workshops.

We expect IMC 2021 to include more than 1,600 speakers and participants actively involved in the programme.

 

How will a fully online IMC work?

The decision to shift IMC 2021 to a fully online experience was not taken lightly one, and great care and consideration will be taken to ensure that as many aspects of the in-person Congress as possible could be preserved.

Key to delegates’ enjoyment of the in-person event is the vast range of sessions, incorporating new and exciting research from across the field of medieval studies. Building on what we delivered last year at vIMC, sessions will take place online via Pathable, an online event platform. Academic sessions will be hosted via Pathable’s suite of secure Zoom video conferencing rooms, and all speakers and participants will have the ability to share video and audio with other attendees. Audience sizes and engagement were greatly increased at last year’s smaller, virtual event – something which we hope to replicate this year!

The ability to browse thousands of new and old books at our on-campus Bookfairs is another central element of the IMC experience. This year, we hope to provide greater opportunities to meet and network with publishers, as well as exclusive publisher-led events.

We know that delegates appreciate the collegial atmosphere and excitement inspired by the medieval takeover of campus. This year, we will be offering expanded opportunities to meet new and old friends and colleagues through online video chat based betworking, text-based chat, and forum discussions within the app itself. Find out more about how networking at IMC 2021 will work in the IMC 2021 programme, published on 1 March, here.

 

 

What opportunities will there be to network with other delegates?

Chance meetings, making new connections, and meeting with colleagues and friends old and new is a key part of the in-person IMC experience – and one we all miss. We know that it’s hard to replicate this in an online event.

Delegates will have a variety of opportunities to meet with other delegates in a variety of settings, including in-session text-based chat, private messaging, and the ability for delegates to host one-to-one or small group video chat meetings with other delegates. You can find out more about networking at IMC 2021 via the IMC 2021 Programme, published on 1 March, here.

 

 

Will sessions be recorded and available for viewing afterwards?

We intend to increase access to sessions at Congress through recording all sessions. This has multiple benefits, not only for those with accessibility requirements, but also for those in different time zones who may find it impractical to join sessions as they happen.

This may include the routine recording of sessions. All recordings would be hosted securely and only be available to registered IMC 2021 delegates for a limited time period. We believe this will offer added value to all delegates, who will be able to view all session recordings as they become available during Congress week and after the Congress closes until 31 August 2021. It will also greatly widen the audience who are able to view each paper and engage with authors. If you would prefer NOT to have your paper recorded, please inform us by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk by 1 April 2021.

 

Will there be any events or excursions at IMC 2021?

No in-person events or excursions will take place. However, we are pleased to announce a variety of virtual events, performances, workshops, and even a virtual excursion! Find out more on here.

In addition, we are pleased to offer all delegates the opportunity to propose and host fringe events, which will be included in the IMC programme. This can be a social or networking activity, or an opportunity to bring together colleagues old and new around a topic, research project, or some area of shared interest.

Every delegate registering for IMC 2021 can propose a fringe event when registering online for IMC 2021 from 1 March 2021.

 

 

I have submitted a session, paper, or round table proposal for IMC 2021 and would like to amend it for a virtual format. Can I do that?

The IMC Programme will be available from 22 February here.

We are still able to make amendments to abstracts for sessions, papers, and round tables both via the online programme, and have scheduled updates planned for the body pages of the programme and remain keen to assist session organisers and others in ensuring their sessions are best suited to virtual delivery. Please let us know of any proposed changes by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk before 1 April 2021 at the very latest.

 

My session or activity will require specialist software or arrangements in order to go ahead virtually. What can you do to help?

It may be that you wish to use a particular piece of software (such as for playing recorded video or sound, or live performance), or that you wish to take advantage of specialist facilities available on a particular conference hosting platform which you or your institution have access to.

The IMC is keen to ensure the switch to fully virtual delivery is as smooth as possible for all participants, and we understand that virtual delivery may present challenges for some disciplines. Where possible, we will do our best to facilitate the use of specialist and external systems where such systems are essential for the delivery of particular papers, sessions, or round tables.

So that we can better understand your needs, please contact imc@leeds.ac.uk at your earliest convenience with as much detail as possible of the system, facilities, or other requirements you may have.

Please note that we cannot guarantee compatibility between any external software, service, or facility and IMC systems.

 

Will all sessions be live, or will there be the opportunity to pre-record my paper/session?

Hosting IMC 2021 online provides greater flexibility for speakers, organisers, and participants.

The programme has been created assuming that all papers will be delivered ‘as live’. However, we recognise that presenting live may not be practical or possible for a small number of sessions or papers. Therefore, if there are reasons why presenting online ‘as live’ will not be possible for you, emailimc@leeds.ac.uk as soon as possible to discuss options for alternative formats.

Hosting IMC 2021 online provides greater flexibility for speakers, organisers, and participants. If you would like to find out more about opportunities to contribute to IMC 2021 in a non-live manner, please email imc@leeds.ac.uk.

Presenters of pre-recorded/alternative format content will still need to register as a delegate so that they can participate in live or text-based Q&As about their paper and session and attend other sessions or access other content.

 

I would have submitted a paper/session proposal if I had known IMC 2021 would be online – will there be a second call for papers?

Yes. The Late Call for Papers is now available here and details all those sessions which require an additional paper presently.

Should you wish to submit a session to IMC 2021, we have a small number of spaces in our programme. In particular, we are keen to receive proposals related to the special thematic strand, Climates, and the areas of Music & Liturgy, Drama, and other areas under-represented in the programme. You can propose a new session via our session submission form here.

 

I would like to withdraw my paper/session/round table. How do I do this?

We understand that virtual delivery may not be suitable for all speakers, or topics. In order to withdraw your participation in IMC 2021, please email imc@leeds.ac.uk including your full paper title and session title (if known). If you are part of an organised session, you must also contact your session organiser directly.

If you choose to withdraw from IMC 2021, you are more than welcome to resubmit your paper/session/round table for IMC 2022 when we hope to return to meeting in person.

Additionally, if you did not deliver your paper/session/round table at IMC 2020 due to the cancellation of the in-person event, you may also resubmit for 2022, in the event that you did not present this paper at IMC 2021.

Papers, sessions, and round tables delivered at both vIMC 2020 and IMC 2021 will not be eligible for resubmission at IMC 2022.

 

What platform will IMC 2021 be hosted upon and will I need any specialist software?

IMC 2021 will be hosted on Pathable, a large virtual events platform. Academic sessions and IMC-facilitated events and activities will be hosted via Pathable’s secure Zoom sessions.

This means that delegates will be able to attend all sessions from their browser. You can find out more about the system requirements for attendees, speakers, moderators, and others here.

Speakers, moderators, and others actively involved in the IMC Programme must have access to the Zoom app in order to deliver their papers or contribute to academic sessions.

All delegates must have an internet-connected laptop or PC with an up-to-date web browser, webcam, and microphone in order to participate fully in IMC 2021.

Access to the virtual platform will be provided to all delegates in the week beginning 28 June 2021.

 

 

What will you do to ensure sessions are both secure and easy to access?

Digital security and ease of access for delegates are two of our main considerations as we begin planning for IMC2021. Pathable provides a secure portal from which registered delegates are able to easily access sessions and other activities hosted via Pathable’s secure Zoom rooms.

A number of sessions at vIMC 2020 experienced disruptions from internet ‘trolls’ which meant that we had to tighten access to sessions to limit disruptions. Following vIMC 2020, a full investigation was carried out by the University’s IT Security team, with help from the platform provider.  As we plan for IMC 2021, security will be one of our highest priorities as we evaluate different platform providers.

In order to ensure that IMC 2021 remains secure, it is essential that registered delegates do not share logon credentials with others since the dissemination of login details via non-secure methods (e.g. email, social media) is the most common method whereby platform security can be compromised.

 

My location and time zone means that most sessions will take place during the night – what provision will be made for this?

The programme will be scheduled according to BST (GMT + 1 hr) as this is the time zone in which the IMC team are based. We are a small team with limited staffing resource and so it would not be feasible to operate a fully-supported 24/7 schedule.

When programming sessions, we will aim to schedule sessions with participants in time zones which greatly differ from BST appropriately, for instance placing sessions with participants from the Americas in BST afternoon timeslots.

All IMC sessions will be recorded, unless a participant contacts us and requests otherwise. This means that delegates in other time zones will be able to view recordings of IMC sessions at times convenient to them. Recordings will be available until 31 August 2021 for registered delegates only within the secure IMC platform.

 

Will online sessions be captioned?

Unfortunately, Pathable-hosted Zoom rooms do not support automatic live captioning. However, we are encouraging all speakers to take advantage of PowerPoint’s built-in automatic, live captioning facility. Additional support for deaf/hard of hearing delegates and others requiring captioning can be found here.

You will have the opportunity to provide more details of your accessibility needs when registering for IMC 2021. Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact our team by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk.

 

 

How accessible will IMC 2021 be?

Accessibility is a key consideration as we plan IMC 2021 and you can find out more about our plans to ensure IMC 2021 is accessible for all here.

Additionally, all speakers, moderators, round table participants and others actively involved in the programme should consult our Guidance for Speakers and Guidance for Moderators which includes recommendations to ensure that your presentation is accessible for all.

If you are concerned about how you may access IMC 2021, please get in touch with the IMC team (imc@leeds.ac.uk) at your earliest convenience.

 

Will the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines change plans for July 2021?

Whilst the start of the roll-out of new COVID-19 vaccines is a positive and welcome development, the situation in July 2021 remains too unclear to plan with certainty for an on-campus Congress. Given the logistical complexity of global distribution of any vaccine, it seems unlikely that restrictions will be lifted everywhere by July 2021.

Each IMC takes more than a calendar year to plan, with initial conversations around Special Thematic Strand, keynote speakers, and other elements beginning around 18 months prior to the Congress. Thus, in order to allow certainty for delegates and our team, we are committed to delivering IMC 2021 virtually. This decision will not change even if life is more ‘back to normal’ before July 2021.

Going forward, it is our strong hope that IMC 2022 will take place on campus in Leeds.

 

Why is IMC 2021 taking place online?

Having reviewed what might be possible to deliver in-person on-campus, we were not able to plan an in-person IMC on an appropriate scale in a way which complied with social distancing guidelines and other legal regulations in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in both Leeds and the UK. Whilst much may change in the coming months, we could not, and cannot with any certainty plan an in-person event of the scale and internationality of the normal Congress in a safe, legal, and responsible way.

There are also many reasons surrounding the current pandemic which may have prevented delegates from travelling to Leeds in July 2021.

By announcing the move online in October 2020, we can plan with certainty and allow delegates to plan ahead too.

 

I have another question not listed here or require more information. How can I get in touch with the IMC team?

You can contact the IMC using our Contact Form or by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk.

Please note that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, our team remain working remotely. This means that we are unable to receive enquiries by telephone, post, or fax at present.