Conference Policies

(Last updated 1/4/2022)

Attending a Conference:

We expect attendees to be present and engaged at the conferences they attend. Organizers will each have their own attendance or participation requirements, and may set other expectations on the event page. Judges who apply and are accepted to an event are expected to follow the expectations set by the organizer in order to receive support. If you have any feedback around conferences, organizers, these policies, or anything else, please use our Contact Us Form.

1. For areas where sanctioned organized play has been suspended: All Judge Academy supported conferences must be digitally run. This means judges organizing conferences or seminars will need to use a digital method to organize and execute their events, such as WebEx, Zoom, Discord, GoogleMeet, TeamViewer, or Skype. In areas where local laws, regulations, or guidelines have permitted, Judges attending an online conference may gather together in smaller hubs as long as they are following their local guidelines around social distancing. However, in addition to being safe and smart around social distancing, those who are able to safely gather are still expected to fully participate digitally, so consider technical limitations and requirements. If you are unsure if it’s safe to gather, don’t. It is important to us that, even in areas where local laws have allowed small gatherings, those attending online are going to be receiving the same level of experience and that no one feels obligated or pressured to attend anything in-person.

2. For areas where sanctioned in-store play is supported: Conference may be physical or digital. For physical conferences, organizers are responsible for complying with any and all local or venue-specific rules, regulations, and guidelines. Organizers may also impose their own restrictions on any conference they are hosting (for example – requiring masks or proof of vaccination to attend).

3. Description of Conference Roles:

  • Spectator – RAs and other non-judge roles may attend at the discretion of the organizer, but will not be included in conference support. This role includes anyone who might be attending the conference without promotional support.
  • Basic Attendee – A certified JA Judge or L3 Emeritus attending a conference who does not hold any additional role at the conference
  • Primary Organizer – The single point of contact for Judge Academy. This is the person responsible for distributing promos to participants after the event. There should only be 1 Primary Organizer for each conference.
  • Additional Event Staff – This includes any additional organizers, moderators for multi-track events, event assistants, etc. In general, there should only be at most 1 additional event staff per presentation track. However, if you believe your conference requires additional staff, please contact us as soon as possible in order to get approval.
  • Presenter – Presenters are expected to be prepared to deliver a quality presentation or workshop to attendees. Each organizer might have different deadlines for how early a presenter needs to have their materials prepared. In order to best manage a conference, it is recommended that organizers and staff members do not also take on the role of a presenter. If they choose to do so, they will only receive the promos support for one of these roles.
  • Back-up Presenter – In addition to staff and presenters, an event can have one Back-Up Presenter. This is an experienced person who is ready to jump in to help present if technical issues arise or a presenter loses connection. This person should be separate from the organizer or additional event staff. They should either have a relevant presentation of their own prepared or have access to the other presenters’ presentations prior to the conference. Regardless of whether or not this person ends up presenting, they will be counted as a Presenter when determining support.

4. 2022 Conference Support:

Great conferences wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of the presenters, organizers, and everyone else who helps make them happen. We have tweaked our conference support to recognize that work, and encourage more people to turn their own ideas into presentations and conferences for others to learn from. Below are the updated promo policies for 2022. 

  • All attendees will receive one support promo pack. Presenters will receive two, organizers will receive three. Those packs will be two card packs for digital events, or four card packs for in-person events.
  • Two card packs include the two most recently released promos. Four card packs include those two, along with two other promos from a previous wave. This reflects the increased time and input that goes into attending a physical conference
  • As further recognition, presenters and organizers will also receive a previewed Judge Academy Promo. Those previewed promos will ONLY be available to conference staff and presenters until the 2022 End of Year Celebration conferences.
  • The organizer is responsible for setting and enforcing attendance expectations with attendees. This might include feedback requests, attendance checks, sign-in sheets, or another method of tracking participation. Presenters are expected to meet the same standard of participation as attendees to receive both packs. Exceptions to this should be agreed upon with the conference organizer ahead of time.
  • Conferences give judges the chance to learn, not only from the presenters, but from their fellow attendees as well. To recognize the added benefit they bring to a conference through their active participation, L3s will receive an additional attendee pack.

Primary organizers of digital conferences are responsible for the distribution of promos. Those organizers will receive additional support as an acknowledgement of the increased logistics that goes into a digital conference, which scales based on the size of the event. 

If promo distribution logistics for your event pose particular challenges please feel free to let us know as part of the conference application or contact our community bard champion, Matthew, at to discuss further support.

In all of the options for support above, the
primary organizer is responsible for the distribution of conference promos after the event.5. Additional Organizer Policies:

  • In order to distribute promos remotely, you may need to collect address or other personal information from attendees. That information should not be shared with anyone else without the attendee’s permission.
  • Conferences that do not offer support for all attendees should make sure that information is clear on the Event page when applications open.
  • Conference Organizers may choose to require a feedback form or other deliverable, or a requirement to attend x number of seminars. These requirements should be clear on the Event page when applications open.
  • Organizers are expected to send final numbers to Judge Academy within 1 week of the conference’s end date, and mail promo support to all eligible participants within 2 weeks of receipt of the promos from Judge Academy. *Please note that while basic shipping for attendee/presenters to receive their promos should always be free, some organizers may choose to offer Tracking or other Methods of shipping to attendees, and some of these options may come at an additional charge*
  • So that all attendance numbers, roles, and levels can be verified, all judges will need to apply to the event or be added by the organizer via the Judge Academy Events Portal in order to receive promo support.