Frequently Asked Questions about the GBT conference

Why does the conference cost so much?

There is no operating budget for GBT; funds are raised by the WGS department each time we host the conference. All the funds that we raise go directly to conference costs, which include: the hotel space; food (meals and snacks; see below); keynote travel, lodging, and honoraria; program, nametag, and signage printing; technology (wireless connections, speakers, and screens for breakout rooms), and an opening reception. No one is paid for working on the conference, but registration fees for graduate student volunteers are paid by WGS. 

We strive to keep registration costs as low as possible and, indeed, the per person cost to use the hotel facilities exceeds the rates that we ask most participants to pay. WGS raises conference funds so that we can better absorb the difference in cost between these two amounts. 


What is included with my registration fee?

Breakfast, lunch, and all day snacks are provided on both days of breakout sessions (Friday and Saturday, April 26-27); a reception with food will also take place on Thursday 4/25. Your conference fee also includes two free drinks of your choice from the hotel’s lounge (they don’t have to be alcoholic and don’t need to be consumed in the lounge) and a gift bag containing several thematic souvenirs. Finally, your registration fees help to cover all of the costs outlined above. 


I have dietary restrictions – will there be food that I can eat? 

All meals and snacks at the conference will include gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. Food will be labeled as clearly as the hotel allows us to. Please let us know if you have other dietary restrictions so that we can be sure to provide some tasty and healthy options for you!


What if I have trouble with my registration?

Please contact either Kortni Lindsay ( and/or Samantha Schaller ( who are part of the Continuing and Professional Education team that helps us to run the conference. They will get you straightened out as quickly as they can. 


What is the basic schedule/format of the conference? 

The conference will kick off with a creative performance on Thursday April 25 at 6:30 pm; a reception will immediately follow. Both these events will take place at the Taubman Museum of Art, which is located in downtown Roanoke and connected to the Hotel Roanoke via an accessible walking bridge. 

The remainder of the conference will take place at the Hotel Roanoke, with ongoing breakout sessions, workshops, and creative performances between 8:00 am – 6:00 pm on Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27. Ruha Benjamin will deliver their keynote address at the end of Friday’s sessions; Dean Spade will deliver their address after lunch on Saturday afternoon. 


I need to book travel; when will the final program be available? 

We will have a final program available by March 25. If you have travel/date restrictions, please let us know as soon as you can and we will work to schedule your presentation to fit your needs. 


Can I show slides during my presentation? Will there be a wireless connection? Speakers?

Yes, yes, and only upon request (we will give you an opportunity to request speakers in a future email). As the conference approaches, we will be sending a presenters guide so that all participants can make their presentations as accessible as possible (via caption-able Google slides) Please watch for this guide and let us know about any questions that you have once you’ve reviewed it. 


How accessible is the conference? 

#GBT2019 is working with an accessibility coordinator and we are striving to make TechnoLogicsas accessible as possible. Currently, this includes the use of auto-captioned software, an accessibility guide to the hotel (with photos), bans on scented products and flash photography, interaction badges, and labeled food. You can also contact GBTAccess@gmail.comwith any questions or comments about how the conference can be made more accessible for you. 


I need some privacy/quiet space/downtime when I’m at a conference. Will there be any available?

There will be a quiet room available at the hotel for the duration of the conference. 


Is there childcare available? 

Unfortunately not. We are working on a message board/conference wiki, however, via which we hope participants can coordinate around issues like childcare, ride and room shares, or any other situations that might best be solved collectively. 


What about parking?

Parking at the hotel is not free, though there is some nearby street and metered parking. There is nothing that we can do about this and we hope that collective ride/car sharing and early planning can minimize the hassle and burden of parking costs for our participants.