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2020 Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Convention
(Online Learning Event)

Our theme this year is resilience. Resilience implies that something is able to maintain essential functions despite disturbances. This pandemic certainly qualifies as a disturbance, and we hope that all of you can help us illustrate how the community of people who care about lakes and rivers are resilient. Thank you for all you do!

How do I access this live event?

Agenda subject to change.

Do I need to worry about security issues with the Zoom platform?

On March 31st, 2020, Zoom made the news due to a security problem related to something called UNC (Universal Naming Convention). This would potentially allow a Zoom meeting attendee to share a malicious link via chat to the meeting. On April 1st, Zoom shared that they had identified and fixed this exploit. Since Division of Extension’s adoption of Zoom, we have seen this rapid response to be the norm when it comes to Zoom’s handling of technical and security issues. A few County Extension IT departments expressed their concerns with Zoom as a result of this security problem. 

Zoom Security - Updates, transparency, and fast responses
Zoom’s response to recent security and privacy concerns, as well as their list of resources as shared in this blog post:

Zoom Encryption Update
Zoom has shared a transparent overview of how they currently implement encryption on their system. They have acknowledged that there has been some confusion as to how their encryption system is currently configured, and has committed to being transparent with their users when it comes to both encryption and security. 
For an in-depth breakdown of the facts around Zoom Encryption for Meetings and Webinars, please review the following blog post: 

Other Options for Video Meetings
Extension has organized the following short list of different options that are available at this time. Please note that different groups may have specific requirements around security such as FERPA, HIPPA or other Federally mandated requirements that they will need to consider when choosing a web conferencing platform. The following list is just meant to compile some of those which are currently available.
Zoom Basic - Free - Meetings for a limited number of participants for up to 40 minutes.
Zoom Pro - $14.99 per month - Up to 100 participants per meeting. No time limit. (Zoom is available Free for educational use -
Google Meet - Free - Restrictions vary based on whether they are using Google Suite or regular Gmail as a host account.
Microsoft Teams - Microsoft has tools within their MS Teams platform, both for paid and free users available as part of their response to the pandemic  -

Is the 2020 Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers Convention still happening?

YES - just not in person. The looming challenges associated with the unfolding coronavirus pandemic make it impossible to carry out the 2020 Lakes and Rivers Convention as planned. It is increasingly clear that organized efforts to maximize social distancing in the coming weeks will help reduce the strain put on our medical and emergency services by this virus. We are truly sorry that we need to take this step.

This year's Lakes and Rivers Convention will be held as an online event - same days, same times. Check out our agenda for up-to-date workshops and sessions.

Why are we going online instead of rescheduling or cancelling?

Over 220 folks who had already registered for the Convention responded to a survey in which we asked their interest in pursuing an online version of the Convention, and the majority said “Yes” (53%) or “Maybe” (26%). We are going to do our best to make that happen.

The vast majority of presenters are on-board with an online format. So, we are moving ahead. Online. 

There is a potential upside to the online format as there are no real “caps” on the number of people who can participate due to the size of the room (and we don’t have to fret about how many lunches to order!). In other words, we are hoping to spread this online event to a much wider audience, including those for whom the travel and expense of the “normal” meeting made it unattractive.

The challenge in rescheduling is that all similar meeting spaces book out years in advance, so we would not be likely to find a good date. 

If I registered before March 12, can I get a refund?

Yes. We are processing refunds based on your responses to the survey that was emailed to all registered participants on Thursday, March 12. If you do not remember seeing an email, check your SPAM folder for an email from "Wisconsin Lakes Partnership Program" arriving at 9:27 am on 3/12/2020.

If you registered before March 12, but did not receive an email, please fill out this survey: (please do NOT fill out the survey more than once.) Thank you!
Keep in mind that we are operating under somewhat trying conditions, so please be patient.

If I registered before March 12, do I have to re-register?

No. If you registered for the Convention before March 12, you are already considered registered for the online event. We will send you log-in instructions the week of the event. 

What if I signed up for a workshop that is now cancelled?

*As of Sunday, March 28 at 4:00 pm, workshop registration has closed for this year.

We have had some Wednesday workshop presentations cancel (understandable, as some were really “hands on”). If you signed up for a workshop that is now cancelled and you want to join another workshop, you can, but there will be a small fee ($5 per workshop). We are working through cancelling those workshops in the registration system, but it is somewhat time consuming. You will get an email when your refund has been processed explaining what your options are. The online agenda is the most up-to-date source for what is happening and what is not. 

What if I haven't signed up yet, but I want to - is there a fee for this online event?

Yes, a nominal one. New folks registering for the online event will be asked to pay a small fee:
$5 for workshops (Wednesday morning and afternoon options) - Workshop registration is closed as of 3/28/2020 at 4:00 pm
$10 for each conference day (Thursday, April 2 and Friday, April 3)

This is to help us better plan for the actual number of people attending and to help recoup some of the transaction costs associated with the cancelled event. 

Check out the agenda HERE. If you are ready to be part of this exciting online event, REGISTER NOW!

If I made hotel reservations, do I need to cancel them?

The hotel has agreed to cancel the entire block at Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Fairfield/Marriott. You do not need to contact them to cancel your hotels; it is taken care of. We appreciate the hotel being responsive and flexible in these trying circumstances.

*If you have a reservation elsewhere, you need to cancel that reservation on your own.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare for this online event?

Some things to keep in mind: we will be presenting this conference on the Zoom meeting platform. UW Madison Division of Extension selected Zoom a few years ago as their framework for delivering online programs statewide. Part of why they chose Zoom is that it works fairly well in low-bandwidth situations common to rural Wisconsin. Zoom will run best on a computer (laptop or desktop) but will also run on a tablet or a smartphone. You can participate with a browser, or get a better experience with an app for your device. You can learn more about participating via Zoom here:

How will I access this online event?


Registered before Sunday, March 29 at 4:00pm? 

All registered participants received access information for their sessions by email on Monday, March 30 around 2:30 pm from Maud LaMarche. All workshop participants received separate emails from Maud later in the day on Monday, March 30 or Tuesday, March 31.

Registered after Sunday, March 29 at 4:00pm? 

You should have received access information as part of your receipt.

Not registered?

If you have not yet registered, but would like to join us, you can! REGISTER NOW! You will receive access information as part of your receipt.

Is there anything I can do to help?

We could use your help with getting the word out! We are hoping specifically that you can share this event with your lake organization and your neighbors on the lake. As best as we can tell, people will be largely staying at home April 1-3. This meeting may be a helpful and educational distraction from whatever else is happening in the world. 
We have some tools that you can use to spread the word HERE.

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