• Technical Conference & Virtual Exhibits:  31 October – 04 November 2021

Virtual Exhibits

Conference Wide Sponsors & Enhanced Exhibitor Chat Features

1:1 Private Chat
Group Chat (Discord Platform)

1:1 Private Chat 

As an Enhanced Exhibitor or Conference-Wide Sponsor you should have received an email on 9 September with a link to enroll your staff to the private messaging system found within the event website.

Entering Chat

  1. To make yourself available to receive private messages from attendees, you will first need to visit your exhibitor profile, within the virtual exhibit. 

  2. If you are not already logged in, please log in now using the link on the top right hand corner of the website. You need to use the email address you registered with and the password for your OSA account. 

  3. After successfully logging in, you will see a button on your exhibitor profile page under “Connect” labeled: “Talk to Exhibitor 1:1”. Click this button to make yourself available to receive messages from attendees.
    "Talk to exhibitor 1:1" Button

  4. Your name will appear in a list of online exhibit staff for your company / organization to visiting attendees who also join the 1:1 Chat feature allowing them to request a private conversation with you:
    Logged in Exhibitor chat Interface example


Accepting Requests to Chat & Chatting

When an attendee requests a private chat with you, an audible tone can be heard and a popup notification window will appear on the website. Click Show to see and accept the chat requests.

New Chat notification window, click show to accept.

A list of notifications will tell you the name of the attendee making the request and allow you to accept or decline.

Chat notification window with user request to accept and start chatting.

Clicking accept opens a new Private conversation window allowing you to now talk privately with the attendee. The chat allows for basic text formatting and the ability to insert and paste links to share.

Example private chat window between two users.

Tips for Success

  • If an attendee shows interest we recommend moving the conversation to your existing tools for engaging with customers, you are welcome to share a link to your company zoom room, or appointment scheduling platform. 

  • Attendees can leave the chat at any time and re-engage with exhibitors as needed. If you message an attendee that has gone offline, they will receive a notification if they join the exhibitor 1:1 chat again.

  • During your window of availability please ensure at least one person is available and online.

  • Don’t close the window until you’re finished! To protect attendee privacy you cannot initiate chat directly, but if the attendee messages you again you will receive a notification to open the window again.

Leaving Chat

When you are ready turn off your availability click the “Leave Exhibitor Chat” button on your exhibitor profile page. 

Leave Exhibitor 1:1 Chat button

You will no longer appear to attendees, any chats you previously initiated will receive a notification that you have left. 

Any messages sent to you after leaving will be available once you enter chat again.


Group Chat (Discord Platform)

Join the Server & Get Started

Invitation links were sent to exhibitor key contacts via email. Please contact exhibits@osa.org if you have not received this information.

New to Discord? If you have never used Discord you will need to create an account, click the registration link below the login form

Login window for Discord

Discord create account form

Once you’ve created your account, or logged in with an existing account you will join the event discord server. 

Note: We highly recommend that exhibitors download and use the discord client during the event, to learn more visit https://support.discord.com/hc/en-us/articles/360034561191-Installation-Guide

Discord 101

To get familiar with the discord platform and learn your way around please see our introduction to discord video created for the Advanced Photonics Congress, it provides a overview of the discord platform and its interface: https://www.osa.org/en-us/media_library/searchresultsvideo/?Id=6170822437001 

Enabling Exhibitor Flag

As an exhibitor you will be granted limited rights to moderate and manage the messages that appear in your channel. In order to access these rights, your staff will need to use the command that will be provided to the exhibitor key contact on 10 September in the #role-request channel:

Animation showing how to use the auto-role commands.

You will be granted the ability to do the following within your own channel:

  1. Manage messages - Ability to delete messages from any user, and to pin messages (https://support.discord.com/hc/en-us/articles/221421867-How-do-I-pin-messages-). 

  2. Attach Files - exhibitor channels, by default, will not allow other users to attach files in the channel.

Enable Notifications for your Channel

Notifications will send you an email and if you are using the desktop client, a desktop notification, whenever someone posts in your channel. 

  1. To enable notifications look for your company channel in the left hand channel list under “Exhibitor Discussions”.
    Channel list in the discord server to enable notifications

  2. Right click on the channel name, then select “Notification Settings” > “All Messages”. You can disable this at any time by changing this from “All Messages” to “Server Default” or “Nothing”.
    right click context menu to enable notifications in discord for a channel

Tips & Best Practices

Set an identifiable nickname
Have your staff set a nickname that identifies and associates them with your organization. We recommend a format like “Jane Smith (ABC Company)”. To learn how see “PART ONE: SETTING UP YOUR OWN NICKNAME”: https://support.discord.com/hc/en-us/articles/219070107-Server-Nicknames 

Update your user avatar
Change out the default discord user avatar for a fun picture. To learn how visit, “How do I change my avatar?”: https://support.discord.com/hc/en-us/articles/204156688-How-do-I-change-my-avatar- 

Join in within the other event channels
Feel free to chat and engage with attendees in #general (technical discussions about event content) or #coffee-chat (Fun, off-topic conversations and posts). Be aware these spaces aren’t meant for advertising, so overly promotional content will be removed, but exhibitors are welcome and encouraged to engage with attendees in real conversations.

Share pictures, files and even videos in your channel

Feel free to be creative with what you share in your channel, it’s your space! Consider your channel an extension of your exhibitor profile. We recommend creating and pinning a welcome message with your company logo as your first post:

Example welcome message in exhibitor channel.