WSDM’22 is a virtual conference and it is based on three virtual platforms: Whova, GatherTown, and Zoom. In this document, we give the instructions for each platform.

Whova Instructions

General Instructions for All Attendees

Accessing Whova

Whova profile creation

For the better user experience and networking opportunities registered users can create a Whova profile with the following information if they so desire:

  • Profile picture
  • Interests
  • Affiliation
  • Location

Whova mobile application

Whova also has a mobile app that the users can download from Apple’s App store or Google Play.

Whova Navigation and user interaction

  • The tabs in the sidebar of the main events page can be used for navigating the different areas or events in the conference.
  • Detailed Whova guides are available for attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, speakers in a drop-down menu at the top left corner of the Whova web app.
  • The Agenda tab in the sidebar will show all the session information for the conference under Sessions. The sessions are organized by the date which can be accessed by scrolling the calendar widget. Attendees can search sessions by date or use the drop-down menu to filter sessions by track or types such as panels, keynotes etc. Attendees can also do a keyword search for sessions using the search bar at the top of the page.
  • The agenda is organized under two sub-tabs: ‘Full Agenda’ which shows the full agenda of the conference for a particular date. Attendees can search the sessions that they are interested in and add them to their personal agenda. The sessions so chosen would appear under the ‘My Agenda’ tab.
  • To view the list of all attendees, click the ‘Attendees’ tab in the sidebar under the main navigation. Attendees can also search for specific attendees by name, affiliation or location by using the search bar in the attendees tab.
  • To streamline communication, we encourage attendees to use the same full name when participating directly through zoom as they use in Whova.
  • The ‘Community Tab’ can be used to interact with other WSDM’22 conference and workshop attendees. Attendees can use the Meet-ups and Virtual Meets feature under the community tab in Whova to create and suggest group meetings with other attendees to discuss any project, work or topic of interest.
  • Discussion threads of individual papers can also be created and seen in the community tab. The search bar can be used to search a particular paper and access its discussion thread.
  • Attendees can look for organizer announcements under the community tab and use the ask anything feature to ask the organizer a question.
  • Attendees can send direct messages to other attendees using the ‘Messages’ tab in the top right corner of the web application.
  • Attendees can upload photos using the ‘Photos’ tab in the sidebar.
  • A list of Sponsors can be found using the ‘Sponsors’ tab in the sidebar under Resources.
  • The main Sponsor content is accessible through the Exhibitor tab in the sidebar. Attendees can view Sponsor content, Like and post public comments as well as reach out to the primary Sponsor contact. Attendees can view sponsor content in the Exhibitor center and interact with individual sponsors using any chat and live stream links provided.
  • To view the list of all attendees, click the ‘Attendees’ tab in the sidebar under the main navigation. Attendees can also search for specific attendees by name, affiliation or location by using the search bar in the attendees tab.
  • To streamline communication, we encourage attendees to use the same full name when participating directly through zoom as they use in Whova.

How to Start a Session from Whova

  • From the Agenda tab, attendees can click the ‘View session’ tab to join the desired live session. Attendees will have the option to view the live session within the Whova Web/Mobile App or directly on Zoom. We strongly encourage attendees to join sessions directly on Zoom especially if they wish to be active participants during the session.
  • We also encourage all attendees not to share the zoom links with people not registered for the conference as each zoom link has limited capacity.
  • Attendees can ask paper-related questions via the embedded live stream in the Whova App or through the zoom client. Attendees can also ask a question by clicking the ask a question button.
  • To see Q&A for all sessions attendees can click the ‘Session Q&A’ in the sidebar under the Resources tab.

Attendee Whova Guide:

GatherTown Instructions

General Instructions for All Attendees

Accessing GatherTown

  • The invitation link is available on Whova/Agenda/Sessions/Poster Sessions. You can enter the space with the provided password in each session.
  • GatherTown is also used for Demo Sessions. You can find the invitation link (The same link that I used in the poster session) on Whova/Agenda/Sessions/Demo.
  • This space will be available for 02/22-02/24 regardless of the program schedules.
  • Please don’t share the invitation link with people who are not registered for WSDM’22.

How to use GatherTown?

  • First,  the tutorial will be available when you first enter the space. If you want to know more details for GatherTown, you can refer to this starter’s guideline
  • Second, check out the map for WSDM’22. Feel free to see around the locations such as Sponsor Booths, Poster Sessions, and Demo Sessions.
  • Third, go to the Sponsor’s booth and sit on the chair. Allow your camera and mic to start a private chat with the sponsors and people sitting in the same booth.
  • Fourth, go to the Hub room for posters and find an object placed at the door. It shows the location/number of posters to navigate yourself to the specific poster.
  • Last of all, to interact with objects (e.g., poster, video, etc), approach the object closer and press the ‘X’ button when the interaction is activated. 

Instructions for Sponsors

  • When you enter GatherTown, name your avatar with the following format

 “{your name}_sponsor_{company name}”. e.g., Tyler_sponsor_amazon 

  • The sponsors will have their virtual booths in GatherTown, and they will provide live interactions between sponsors and attendees during poster/demo sessions.
  • Sponsors will sit on the chairs in the designated booth and manage the private chat. Private chat starts automatically when people sit on the chairs in the booth.
  • In the private chat, you can use your camera, mic, and sharing screen. Detailed usage for private chat can be found here.

Uploading Materials on Sponsor’s Booth

  • Please contact Ujun Jeong( if you want to upload videos, images, notes, and URLs for websites on the sponsor’s booth.

Zoom Instructions

For presenters:

Before your presentation

  1. Log into your meeting 20 min before the start time. You may be put in a waiting room upon arrival, your presider will let you in shortly.
  2. Test your audio and video.

After your presentation

Once the video is over, the session chair will give you a few minutes to do live Q&A (the default for research sessions is 5 minutes per paper). The session chair would call out the question in the chat and also the name of the questioner, and then you can answer them live. At that same time, the session chair will allow attendees to raise their hands and unmute them to ask questions. After a few minutes, the session chair will move to the next paper. You should mute yourself, but can continue to answer questions in the Q&A panel by typing into it, until the end of the next video. 

For attendees

How to ask Questions:

A live Q&A Session will follow each talk, moderated by the Session Chair:

  1. Participants will be muted and they will need to submit questions in the chat during the video presentation and the Q&A session.
  2. You can join the discussion with other attendees by sending messages to “Everyone” or you can chat privately with the Session Chair by selecting their name from the drop-down list. 
  1. Once the presentation is over, you can raise your hand if you want to unmute yourself to ask questions. The Session Chair would call out your name. Please simply make your point followed by short reasoning and/or an example to be precise in your question.
  2. There may not be enough time to answer all the questions. The Chair will make sure to ask related questions in the approximate order that they were first submitted.
  3. The Chair of a session will have the ability to unmute participants if this is needed to elaborate on their questions (please note that due to the limited Q&A duration, participants may want to discuss with the author(s) off-line)