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Tips for After-Hours Proposal Submissions

Friday, March 31, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lorraine Cashman
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Year after year, hundreds of proposals for the annual meeting are submitted in the last two days before the deadline for submissions; in the last hours, proposals come in by the minute. 99% of them will come through successfully and without incident. Still, most years, we stand by the phones in these last days to solve problems that may arise—but we're only there during business hours.

This year, the office will close before the proposal window, and we won't return until Monday to address any last-minute concerns. Be assured that we will take time on Monday, as necessary, to resolve remaining problems with all good-faith efforts to meet the deadline.

The proposal submission system will remain accessible to users throughout the weekend, which means that you can use that time to make corrections to your proposal. As of Monday, though, we will close the system to users, so that we can begin to process the proposal data.

Here are some tips for resolving problems without staff intervention:

  • Trouble finding the proposal form
    The link to the proposal form was on your meeting registration confirmation page, and in an email that was sent to your primary email address to confirm your meeting registration

  • Trouble signing in to the proposal submission system
    Bear in mind that the proposal submission system is completely separate from the AFS website. That means that your first step is to "Register" with the submission system. You will be prompted to enter your email address as a username and a new password, then your contact information. For best security, your password should be different from your AFS log in.
    After you've registered, you can use "sign in" anytime you return to the submission system.

    If you used the "reset password" link but you haven't received the promised email within a few minutes, check your junk mail folder.

  • Trouble submitting the proposal after you've signed in
    Use the "Submit" button to open the proposal form, then answer the questions as prompted.

    Paste your proposal information into each field -- eg, replace "insert title here" with your own presentation title.

    If the "next" button on any given page is grey and inaccessible, you have missed a required field.

    Proceed through the form until you hit "Submit" again at the end. Your proposal won't be considered for review if you don't hit that button. (Until then, your proposal will show up as "not finished.")

    If you inadvertently submit more than one proposal, edit the duplicate to remove the proposal text; you can put a random character in required fields. Enter "remove duplicate" in the title field.

  • High traffic errors and other oddities
    The high volume of proposal submissions sometimes leads to error messages concerning processing errors on the website. Those frequently resolve themselves if you wait and try again later.

    If the page content doesn't resolve or behave, try another web browser, preferably one that is up to date.

    If you don't want to submit a phone number, that's ok -- put in a random character, like a period, so the form will let you move past that required field. However, we do require the following information for our program material: your full name, affiliation (though you can decide what that is -- no acronyms please), and your email; we'd also like to have your state and/or country of residence for demographic analysis.

  • Other troubleshooting tips for issues related to the proposal process, are available in FAQ.
If you run into a problem that isn't so easily resolved, don't worry, but do send us an email right away so that we can address the problem as soon as possible on Monday.

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