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ECAS 2019. Africa: Connections and Disruptions Edinburgh, June 11-14 2019

Dear Rohan Jackson

Summary travel PDF
Print or download this pdf to your portable device, for use on travel advice and other conference info en route.

What to bring to Scotland (or get on the spot)
If visiting from abroad, remember to bring a power adapter that fits the UK sockets (three pins – see here). If you plan to show a PowerPoint or other presentation file(s), bring your files on a USB or a portable device. Mac users wishing to present from their laptops should bring their video adapter. (All rooms have projectors, computers, internet, audio speakers and can connect to laptops using VGA or HDMI.)

How to prepare for weather: a few days ago, BBC news reported that the outdoor clothing retailer Mountain Warehouse is opening more stores Scotland in response to the country's unpredictable weather, referencing relentless rain as their main source of revenue. We advise you to take your cue from that and arrive in weatherproof gear, carrying a sturdy umbrella that can withstand a vicious gale  - but perhaps also dedicate a modest portion of your luggage to a few summery outfits to be able to celebrate those special occasions when 'changeable weather' means a change from rain to sunshine, rather than from rain to more rain.

And don't forget your water bottle
For environmental reasons, water bottles will not be provided to delegates/presenters, so please bring your own reusable bottle. There are various points around the campus where bottles can be refilled:

  • 50 George Square: a drinking water fountain on the Ground floor close to the Lecture Theatre
  • David Hume Tower: three drinking water fountains on the Lower Ground floor
  • Appleton Tower: a drinking water fountain on the Ground floor near the Absorb café
  • Chrystal MacMillan: three drinking water fountains, in the basement, the Ground Café, and the corridor to the Medical School

Internet access at UoE
There is wireless access in all the conference venues. If you need to use wifi in the university buildings and do not have access to Eduroam, you can obtain a username and password at the registration desk in the McEwan Hall, and use the Central network. (We will also email these to you in advance.)

Conference programme and timetable
We cannot give you a printed programme before reception opens, so refer instead to the PDF version. This conference has suffered last minute withdrawals (visa & funding issues), so both PDF and printed programme include papers, or even panel sessions which have subsequently been withdrawn.

Up-to-date info is on the ECAS2019 website. Use both the Timetable page and the Panel schedule. You can see date, times and locations of the many panels, events, meetings, breaks, etc (panel detail shows when you click through).

Please take time now to browse and plan - in some cases events require pre-registration.

Reception desk (McEwan Hall, Teviot Pl, Edinburgh EH8 9AG)
This is staffed by ECAS2019 volunteers wearing yellow T-shirts carrying the conference logo. On arrival at the Reception desk you will be given the printed programme, your conference bag and your name badge. You can then go on to enjoy the conference.
Reception desk will be open: Tue 14:00-18:00, Wed & Thu 08:00-16:15, Fri 08:00-14:30.

IF YOU ARE YET TO SETTLE YOUR FEES
If possible, please try to do that prior to the conference (at least by 7 June) via WorldPay. If you can only pay at the conference, please inform us (helps us plan and bring your payment in cash - pounds (GBP) to the NomadIT office. We advise also bringing a newspaper and a folding chair to nap in, as the lines will be long smiley!

ECAS2019 conference office - NomadIT
Any financial arrangements must be dealt with in the NomadIT office, located behind the registration desk in McEwan Hall. The office will be open Tue 14:00-18:00, Wed & Thu 08:00-18:30, Fri 08:00-16:00. The office will occasionally close for short breaks, with a note on the door to indicate when the team will be back in action.

Printing
If you need to print your conference paper, or a boarding pass or other short text-based document, this can be done for 30p/page at the NomadIT office (above).

Certificates of attendance & Receipts
Some funding bodies and institutions require proof of attendance at an event from the delegate they have funded. We do not print these automatically for all delegates, since many do not require them and the papers are easily crumpled or lost on the homeward journey. Every delegate who attends can download a signed, headed PDF stating their involvement in the conference (panels convened, papers presented) from the login environment on our website, after the event is over. Just go though to your conference details and click on the "C" icon.  If, however, such a PDF really is not acceptable to your administration, please come to the NomadIT office (above) during a quieter moment to request a printed and pen-signed certificate, and we will be happy to supply one. Same goes for Receipts of payment.

Those presenting
Don't be nervous, all will be well. Have your files ready on a USB stick or other portable device. Try to go to your panel rooms 15 minutes before the session starts, to upload/download and check your files. There will be a conference volunteer present to assist you with the technology. Mac users: remember to bring the special Mac adaptor along.

Those convening/chairing
Convenors: it is a good idea to go to your room about 20 minutes before your panel starts, meet the student volunteer helping with technology and all your authors, many of whom have come a long way and may have different amounts of presenting experience - it will be good for you to greet them in the panel room and make them feel at ease. To save session time, it is best to have all presentations uploaded to the room's desktop before the panel starts.

Please ensure each presenter gets their fair share of time, and do not overrun into the breaks. Your session may be over, but other sessions or meetings may be scheduled to use your room next.

Remember that although the logic of the sessions is four papers/session, withdrawals may have changed the initial plan of your panel so that the printed programme may not reflect reality. The updated presentation order will be placed on the panel doors; if further late changes occur during the day, please edit by hand! If you have access to the internet, please update your panel via Cocoa, so those referring to the website during the event will have accurate information.

You might like to refer to these helpful guidelines.

Events  – remember to pre-register!
ECAS2019 has a rich array of events planned apart from the main programme of keynotes and panels. Read the event descriptions on the Timetable page on the website or the conference programme to learn about the times and locations; note that some events require pre-registration via the conference website and some may already be full!

EMERGENCIES
During the conference, emergency messages should be sent to admin@ecasconference.org. Triinu Mets and Rohan Jackson, the main conference administrators, can be contacted at all times on their UK numbers (+447482613951 and +447866 425805 respectively), but please only call outside of conference hours in an emergency.

999 is the official emergency number for the United Kingdom, but calls are also accepted on the European Union emergency number, 112. All calls are answered by 999 operators. Emergency calls are always free.

We will have a conference photographer working on site for most of the event capturing the atmosphere and endeavour. If you do not wish to be photographed, please mention this to the photographer who has been asked to accommodate such requests.

Making use of your portable device
As the printed programme and PDF version now have a somewhat tenuous connection to reality, we suggest using your portable device to check the fully responsive conference website. Double-check the panel info of the panel you're thinking of heading to, in case someone's dropped out or a convenor has rearranged things. If you find the book a little heavy/inconvenient to carry around, we recommend downloading the PDF.

Conference news will be posted from the conference on the Twitter (@ECAS2019) account - so make sure you follow that. The conference hashtag is #ECAS2019. If you want to assist our comms team in covering the conference, please email african.studies@ed.ac.uk ahead of time, and they'll coordinate.

Travel safely!

Yours,
Triinu, with Elaine, Eli, Kristjan, Rohan, Sammy (NomadIT)