Virtual Conference: Frequently Asked Questions

Presentation Tips l Withdrawals l Virtual Program l Posters l Publishing and Copyrights l Registration|Short Courses


Presentation Tips

How do I record my presentation? 
Refer to the virtual presenter resources  for step-by-step instructions using Zoom Technology. 


How can I present effectively if I don’t have a stable internet connection?
We recommend you prerecord your presentation. You can record your presentation using the Zoom platform locally. During your scheduled presentation, we will play your recorded presentation, and you can respond by phone to any questions.  Click here for more information about recording with Zoom.


OFC Conference Wallpaper

We encourage all speakers to use a OFC Conference background when presenting—either live or in a prerecorded video. The Zoom web conference platform allows you to customize your virtual background in Settings/Virtual Background.


  • Download the OFC wallpaper image from the OFC Speaker Service Center.
  • Select the "+" button to add the OFC wallpaper to your Zoom client.
  • Select "Mirror my Video".

Note that virtual backgrounds work best when you present in front of a bare wall with no bright light behind you.


How do I upload my presentation?
Refer to the virtual presenter resources for instructions. The presenting author will receive an email with specific instructions. Do not wait to record your presentation until you receive this email. If you have not received this email by 21 May, please contact and provide/confirm which email address should be used to send these instructions.


Will my paper still be published if I present live without a video recording, but my internet connection drops?

In order for your paper to be published, you are required to present. As such, it is preferable for you to also prerecord your presentation, which could be used as a real-time back-up.


I can’t present live. Will there be a way for participants to ask questions?

To promote the interactivity and immersive experience so desired by meeting attendees and speakers, we encourage you to participate live if possible. If factors prohibit your live participation, please be sure to place your email address prominently on your final slides, and encourage viewers to reach out directly with questions.



If I withdraw my presentation, can I just present at OFC 2022?

We encourage your participation in the OFC 2021 Virtual Conference. If you are not in a position to participate and would like to withdraw, you may submit to present at a future meeting. Please note, though, that your submission will be reviewed by the respective committee for decision.


If I withdraw my presentation, will I still have access to watch other presentations?

You may register for the OFC 2021 Virtual Conference regardless of your participation as a speaker. However, we encourage you to present and share your current research with the broader community.


The Virtual Program

Will there be Q&A for live, oral contributed presenters? If yes, how is it handled? 

Every oral contributed and invited presentation will include a Q&A segment, provided the speaker is participating live. The virtual audience will have the ability to enter questions into the “Q&A” box and also vote on submitted questions to assist the presider in selecting questions to ask. At the end of the presentation, the presider will read the questions to the speaker, who will then respond live.


How will I be able to watch other presentations?

Technical sessions will be presented live in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT, UTC -7.00) with a recorded archive available later for on-demand viewing. To access the presentations, you must first register for the meeting. All registrants will receive instructions on how to participate in the meeting on the Friday before its start date.


As sessions are presented concurrently, am I able to move from one session to another?

The virtual conference is no different than if you were attending in person. You have the ability to move from one virtual room to another during sessions. However, you will need to leave a meeting room first before entering another. The Zoom web conference platform does not allow users to participate in two virtual sessions simultaneously.


What if my company or institution does not allow me to use the Zoom web conference platform?

As a presenter or attendee, when you first connect to a Zoom room to participate in a session, you will be presented with the option to download and use the Zoom client. OFC Management recommends using this full client version for the best viewing experience. However, we recognize that some organizations may prevent staff members from downloading and using it.

As an alternative, participants can opt to join via a web browser only. If choosing this option, you should use the latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge or Safari. Internet Explorer is not supported.

Presenters, please note that the web browser option is only if you are presenting your talk live. If you are using Zoom to record your content in advance, you must use the Zoom client or choose another recording method.


How are posters being presented?

We have developed a new interactive Poster Session experience designed to increase presenter and attendee discussion at OFC 2021.   All posters will be displayed in gallery view with  search features by keyword, topic category, presentation times, and a flag displaying any poster presenters available for real-time communication. Each poster will have a dedicated page that will include a 3-minute poster preview and/or poster PDF, as well as an embedded chat window displaying the chat dialog supported by the discord platform.

Presenters will have the following opportunities to present your research and communicate with attendees:  

  • provide a one-page Poster PDF that can be published as supplemental material to the abstract and two-page summary.
  • submit a three-minute recorded presentation.
  • participate in real-time and asynchronous discussion with attendees via our embedded platform.

Presenters may choose one or multiple methods of presentation (example, provide a Poster PDF and be available for real-time discussion, or provide a 3-minute video and a poster PDF).  Presenters are highly encouraged to fulfill all three options to best facilitate a robust and dynamic virtual Poster Session.  Presenters MUST provide either a 3-minute video OR a Poster PDF or both in order to be published.

For more information regarding poster presentations, visit the Poster Presenter section.


Do you have a template for making a Poster PDF?

The A0 poster size formatted vertically is the most popular based on the usual, physical dimensions for the OFC conference.  While we don’t have a specific template, there are a number of companies that offer free templates to assist you in creating your Poster PDF.  The following online resources can be of service to you:

How do I provide the Poster PDF for my presentation?

You will be provided with instructions on how to upload your posters and receive a direct link.  Please remit your poster file(s) to the appropriate link at least one week prior to the conference. The file name should be your presentation number followed by “-1” (e.g. W2A.57-1). All registrants will be able to access both your paper and your Poster PDF from your presentation listing on the mobile app. In addition, OSA is happy to upload the Poster PDF to the OSA Publishing platform as supplemental material to the actual paper. Note: your Poster PDF should be one page only.


Will there be Real-time Discussion for the poster sessions?

Poster presenters are highly encouraged to be available for real-time discussion with attendees.  An essential benefit of an in-person meeting is the ability to network with other attendees and talk in-depth with speakers and poster presenters. OFC 2021 may be virtual, but there are still opportunities to meet up and talk in-depth and to make those professional connections. (The only thing you’ll miss is the handshake.) We are pleased to offer a digital forum, an extension of the 1:1 poster discussions and hallway conversations through our internal platform. 


Will posters be published if we just provide a Poster PDF?

Yes, providing the poster PDF will be equivalent to presenting in the Virtual Meeting. Your submitted paper will be published in both IEEE Xplore and OSA Publishing's Digital Library (where your Poster PDF will also be published as supplemental material).


How will people be able to see my poster if I provide a Poster PDF?

All posters will be displayed in gallery view with  search features by keyword, topic category, presentation times, and a flag displaying any poster presenters available for real-time communication. Each poster will have a dedicated page that will include a 3-minute video poster preview and/or poster PDF, as well as an embedded chat window displaying the chat dialog supported by our internal platform.  All registrants will be able to access both your paper and your Poster PDF from your presentation listing on the mobile app.


Publishing & Copyrights

When will the papers be published?

The technical papers are currently available to all registered OFC attendees from the conference schedule on the app and website.  OFC registrants will also have access to the Technical Digest .zip files starting on Monday, 31 May, from the link provided on the OFC website. Individual files will not be published in IEEE Xplore and OSA Publishing's Digital Library until roughly two months after the conference.


How do I cite the proceedings for a virtual conference?

It is cited the same as a normal proceedings.  To cite use the following guidance: [Author Names], "[Presentation Title]," in The Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition, OSA Technical Digest (Optical Society of America, 2021), paper [final ID].


I am presenting published material. How do you maintain copyright from publishers?

Per the agreement signed during submission, you warrant that you properly cited the source of all supporting material included in the Presentation. Furthermore, your use of supporting material from other sources is within the bounds of the generally accepted practice of the scientific and/or professional community of which you are a member.


I would like to retain the copyright of my material and not transfer it to OFC Management. What happens to the copyright of my presentation?

During the submission process, you were asked if you would grant OSA permission to record your presentation.  If provided, this granted OSA permission to record your presentation, and to use, distribute, archive, copy and edit the recording and all supporting material accompanying the Presentation, in whole or in part.

Furthermore, the Author(s) granted OSA and the other OFC sponsors a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable license to use, distribute, display, make derivative works from, archive, copy and edit, in whole or in part, the Work, including all datasets and media objects included in the Work. The term “media objects” includes, but is not limited to: video files, image files, sounds files, and their constituent computer code. 

Unless you indicated differently during the submission process, the Author(s) are the sole author(s) and sole holders of all rights in and to the Work.


Who will have access to view my presentation?

All participants must register for OFC to gain access to the virtual meeting rooms. Only individuals with confirmed registrations will be able to view presentations—either live or on demand as recorded, archived sessions.

After the conference has concluded, OFC Management will edit the complete technical sessions into individual talks. Only talks where the presenter gave permission within the submission system will be posted to OSA Publishing’s Digital Library behind a secure log in. Only 2021 OFC registrants, current OSA Members or subscribers will be able to view these presentations.


How long will my presentation be available online?

Archived sessions will remain on the OFC website or through the conference app only until the edited, individual talks are made available in OSA Publishing’s Digital Library—at which point they will be removed. Given the number of talks presented at OFC, these individual talks are not expected to be available until 60 days after the conference concludes.

Note that archived sessions are accessible to 2021 OFC registrants only. The individual must log in with the same account information used when registering. 


Will individuals be able to download my presentation?



How long will the presentation be archived?

The entire technical session will be recorded and made accessible through the OFC website and conference app. Edited versions of individual talks where permission was granted will be available within 60 days after the conference concludes. At this point, the complete technical session recordings will be removed from the website and app. Individual talks will be posted to OSA Publishing’s Digital Library in perpetuity as supplemental material for conference papers.


Can I refuse permission to have my presentation archived?

OFC Management recognizes the potential sensitivities when posting content online, and we can accommodate requests not to archive your presentation.

Our hope with the OFC Virtual Conference is to ensure that everyone, regardless of location or time zone, has the opportunity to view programs—which is why we will offer content both live and on demand through a recorded archive.

After the conference ends, we will be working with a video editor to extract individual talks from each session recording—posting talks as separate files. This process will allow us to remove your talk easily and not post it online.

During the conference, however, our only option would be to keep the entire session in which your talk is presented offline. We would ask that you agree to grant limited-use permission to archive your talk for no more than 60 days after the conference ends. If this is still an issue, please contact for an alternate resolution.



What is the registration fee for contributing authors?

Registration fees will be posted shortly.


Short Courses

How do I attend a short course and/or access the notes?

To access your course, you must first register and pay for that specific short course. 30 minutes before the start of the course, a button will appear on the short course’s page that will allow you to enter its Zoom waiting room and download the course’s notes. The OFC Management Room Monitor will be admitting those attendees who have registered at the start of the scheduled course time.


How do I receive the Certificate of Attendance for the short course I registered for?

Those who have attended a short course will recieve a survey the day after the course was taken. Please complete the OFC Short Course survey to recieve a certificate of attendance. If you are unable to locate the short course survey, please contact, with your registration information. 


Will the short course be available later for on-demand viewing?

No, short courses are only available for the duration of the course. Please ensure that you select courses that you are able to attend live. 


Will there be Q&A? If yes, how is it handled? 

Every short course will include a Q&A segment. The virtual audience will have the ability to “raise their hand” using the Reactions feature, however, the instructor can choose to take questions in any format they deem appropriate.