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AMTA 2020 | Introduction for Attendees

by | October 5, 2020

Welcome to AMTA 2020!

The organizing committee of AMTA 2020 is very happy to welcome you to the conference. We are pleased to present a pre-conference day of workshops and tutorials followed by the main conference, which features six keynote talks and many interesting sessions in the Commercial, Research, and Government tracks spread over three days

This document will guide you through navigating the conference. But before we begin with the how-to section of this document, we’d like to say a few words about etiquette during the conference and the recording of the conference sessions.

Conference Etiquette

To ensure a success conference and an efficient and respectful flow of ideas, please keep the following rules of the road in mind during the conference.

  • Be mindful of how your participation in a session affects the speaker and other attendees.
  • If you are not a presenter or organizer, please keep your microphone muted during the presentation.
  • Only presenters or organizers should share their screen during a session.
  • If you pose a question or comment in the meeting chat, be courteous and brief.
  • We encourage you to use the private chat feature on the main Microsoft Teams view to communicate directly with other attendees.
  • And although it’s hard to imagine having to do so, the conference organizers reserve the right to remove disruptive participants from sessions.

Recording of Sessions

AMTA 2020 is the biennial conference of the Association for Machine Translations in the Americas and will be run according to US policy. This paragraph serves as notification that all sessions at AMTA 2020 will be recorded and that the organizers of the conference consider attendance at any session as tacit permission for being recorded. It is therefore the responsibility of any attendee who does not want to be recorded to leave any live session before recording begins. Such attendees will, however, still have access to the recorded sessions for the duration of the conference and for a period of weeks after the conference.

Finding your way around AMTA 2020

We will be using two applications at for conference, Microsoft Teams and Swapcard.

The conference will take place within Microsoft Teams, a business-oriented communication and collaboration platform that combines workplace chat, video meetings, and file storage. Our instance of Microsoft Teams has been generously provided for the conference by Microsoft, a Visionary Sponsor of AMTA 2020.

Swapcard offers convenient functionality for viewing the conference schedule, creating your own conference calendar, finding out about presenters and other attendees, and one-click entry into the conference sessions in Microsoft Teams.

In this document, you’ll learn:

  • How to access and log in to the AMTA 2020 instances of the applications
  • How to find and join a particular event at the conference.
  • How to use the functionality necessary to take part in a session

Note: All of the following instructions assume that you are on a computer with a standard browser and a working Internet connection with adequate speed to support video conferencing.


After registering for AMTA 2020, you will receive an e-mail from hello@swapcard.com that contains the following graphic:

To begin using Swapcard:

  • Click on the Let’s get started button.
  • Your browser will open and navigate to the Swapcard site for AMTA 2020.
  • The Home screen for the conference looks like this:
  • Click on the down arrow beside your name on the menu bar to add as much information as you would like to your profile. (We encourage you to add a photograph and information about your position and interest in MT to facilitate more personal interaction during the conference.)
  • Note: on subsequent log-ins to Swapcard, you should access this URL: https://app.swapcard.com/event/amta-2020-orlando. If Swapcard asks you to provide an event code, enter the one that you received in the initial e-mail.

Important links on the Swapcard home screen:

Conference Schedule  The overall schedule for the conference, including information about all workshops, tutorials, keynote addresses, and track sessions.
The Conference Schedule offers a view of each day’s sessions, with times listed in your local time zone.
My Schedule A conference schedule featuring only those items that you have selected from the Conference Schedule
SpeakersInformation about all of the presenters
Attendees   Profile information for all of the attendees

Building your own schedule in Swapcard:

You can create a personalized schedule of those sessions that you find interesting. The links created will allow you to attend the sessions at their scheduled time and access the recordings of the sessions at your convenience.

  1. Click on Conference Schedule
  2. Navigate through each day of the conference by clicking on the date tabs along the top of the schedule
  3. Click on the calendar icon to the right of the title of sessions that interest you.
  4. These items will now be displayed in the My Schedule view.

Microsoft Teams

Downloading and installing the desktop version of Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is available as a desktop application, a browser-based application, and as a mobile app. To enjoy full functionality, we recommend that you download the desktop application, which is available at no cost.

  • To download the application, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/download-app and click on the Down load for desktop button.
  • To install the application, run the file that was downloaded to your computer.
    • On a Windows 10 computer, for instance, go to your Downloads folder and double-click on Teams_windows_x64.exe and follow the instructions presented to you.

For more documentation of the Teams platform, visit https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/teams

Please note: If you have a Microsoft Teams account for work, you will need to switch from your work account to the account created for you for the conference to have full access to AMTA 2020 content. For instructions on how to do this, see the inset below. If you registered for the conference using an address different from your work e-mail, you may have to contact business@amtaweb.org to request that your conference e-mail address be changed to your work e-mail address.

Joining the AMTA 2020 conference in Microsoft Teams

Registrants will be sent an e-mail from Microsoft Teams with the subject line “You have been added as a guest to Microsoft in Microsoft teams.” The e-mail contains this graphic:

To enter the Microsoft Teams instance for the conference:

  • Click on the Open Microsoft Teams button in the graphic.
  • Your browser will open and navigate to a page that looks like this:
  • This page gives you the option of opening Microsoft Teams in your browser or opening the application.
  • If you’ve installed the application, click on Open Microsoft Teams; otherwise, click on Continue on this browser.

Microsoft Teams main window

Microsoft Teams organizes events around the concepts of teams and subordinate channels. For the purposes of AMTA 2020, there will be one team (“AMTA 2020 Conference”), of which all attendees are a member, and separate channels for each of the following:

  • General
  • AMTA 2020 Help Desk
  • AMTA 2020 Networking Area
  • AMTA 2020 Business Meeting Session
  • Key Note Sessions
  • Research Track Sessions
  • Commercial Track Sessions
  • Government Track Sessions
  • Demonstrations Sessions
  • Tutorials Track Sessions
  • A channel for each Workshop
  • Student Mentoring Sessions
  • A channel for each Exhibitor and Sponsor

To see a list of the Channels:

  • Click on the Teams icon in the vertical toolbar on the left side of the main screen.
  • Note: some channels might be hidden to avoid clutter in the interface. To view hidden channels, click on the “X hidden channels” text at the bottom of the list of channels and click on Show next to the channel you want to display.

Within each channel, you will see tabs along the top of the channel window for:

  • Posts, under which you will find
    • Meetings that have been set up for each scheduled session within that channel, including public conversations specific to those meetings.
    • Any other public conversations that have taken place within that channel.
  • Files, under which you will find
    • The files that have been saved to that channel, such as presentations and papers.
  • Wiki, under which you will find:
    • A wiki for that channel that all attendees of AMTA 2020 can contribute to.

Finding and entering a specific session at AMTA 2020

There are two methods for finding and entering specific sessions at the conference. The first method, using Swapcard, is strongly recommended as it requires only a few clicks and will avoid having to search for the session in Teams, which may be in a hidden channel.

In Swapcard:

  1. In Conference Schedule or My Schedule find the event that you want to join.
    1. Click on the name of the session to open the details of that session.
    1. Click on the red link in the details that says XX Session Link.
    1. Your browser should open and you should be given the choice to join the event in the Microsoft Teams desktop application or the browser-based Teams view.
    1. If the desktop application is installed, it will automatically open after a second or two. Otherwise you can click on the option to open the browser-based version.

In Microsoft Teams:

  1. Go to the appropriate channel for the session. If the channel is hidden, you will have to click on the “X hidden channels” text at the bottom of the list of channels, click on Show next to the channel you are looking for, and then click on the displayed channel to open it.
  2. Locate the meeting of the desired session in the channel.
  3. Click on Join.

Entering the Meeting:

Regardless of which method you use to navigate to the meeting, you will be taken to a screen that allows you to:

  1. Preview your microphone and video settings before joining.
  2. Join the meeting by clicking on Join now.

Microsoft Teams Meeting window

Once you have entered the meeting, you should see the Microsoft Teams Meeting window. The display in the main part of the window depends on whether there are other participants already in the meeting, whether anything is being shared, and whether any attendees are on video.

Leaving a Meeting

To leave a meeting at any time, click on the red Leave button in the upper right corner.

Microsoft Teams Meeting Toolbar

Once you have joined a meeting, a toolbar will be presented along the top right of the screen.

The toolbar has six icons. From left to right they are:

Show/Hide participantsThis control allows you to open and close a view of the current participants in the meeting. When this option is activated, a pane on the right of the screen opens with a scrollable list of the participants. To close this pane, you can click on the icon in the toolbar or on the X in the upper right corner of the pane.
Show/Hide conversation  This control allows you to open and close a pane that displays a log of chat messages that have been created during the meeting. You can also create a chat message and send it to the attendees. This feature is particularly helpful for submitting questions for the speaker during the session. Please note: Any message that you type will be visible to all attendees.
Raise your hand Clicking here inserts a raised hand icon beside your name in the participant list, which can be used to indicate you have a question during the Q&A period.
More actionsThis toolbar item opens a drop-down menu of several additional features:
  • Turing on/off live captions. This feature provides an automatic transcription of anything spoken in the session.
  • Adjusting your device settings if you have more than one option for speakers, microphone, or camera
Turn camera on/offThis allows you to turn your video camera on and off. When your camera is turned off, a diagonal slash will appear through the icon.
Turn microphone on/off This allows you mute and unmute your microphone. When your microphone is muted, a diagonal slash will appear through the icon. All attendees will be muted initially by the session moderator, and we ask that you only unmute yourself if you are recognized by the moderator to ask a question during the Q&A
Share options   This control allows you to select a specific application window or your desktop with the participants.

Chat features in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams has three chat features, one for private conversations while the other two are for broadcasting messages to all participants in a meeting or in a channel.

Private chats from the main Microsoft Teams window

To open a private chat outside of a meeting:

  • From the main Microsoft Teams window, click on the Chat icon on the vertical toolbar.
  • The chat pane should open along the left side of the window.
  • Click on the New Chat icon ()at the top of the chat pane.
  • Start typing the name of the person you would like to chat with in the To: field. You must type at least the first few letters of their first name or e-mail address to find them.
  • A drop-down list of people should appear as you type.
  • Click on the name of the person you would like to chat with.
  • Type your message in the new message field at the bottom of the screen.
  • Click on the arrow to the right of the new message field to send your message.
  • Or, you can click on the Video Call or Audio Call buttons () in the upper right corner of the window to engage in a voice or video call.

Public chats (“Conversations”) within the main Microsoft Teams window

Below a text post or meeting in a channel, there is a Reply line. You can reply to the post or make a comment on the meeting by typing text in this field and clicking on the send icon to the lower right of the field.

Public chats (“Conversations”) within a session

To use the Conversation feature within a Microsoft Teams Meeting

  • On the meeting toolbar, click on the Show conversation icon.
  • The conversation pane should open along the right side of the Meeting view.
  • Type your message into the field at the bottom of the conversation pane
  • Click on the send icon in the lower right corner of the conversation pane.
  • Note that all participants who are currently viewing the conversation pane will see your message immediately; participants who do not have the conversation pane active will see a red dot next to the Show conversation icon on the toolbar.

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