Before the conference

To make sure you’re set up and able to join the conference when it begins, we advise taking some time to prepare so that you have Zoom set up and understand how it works, and so you can find what you need in the attendee information on the conference site.

Finding the information you need

Conference information: On the 2020 conference page, you will find all the information you need to access keynotes, workshops, salon sessions, and more. (Note that the page may still be in transition when you first check it, but the version for attendees will be available by Wednesday evening.) Zoom links will be emailed in the evening for the following day; you can also find them online (highlighted on the 2020 conference page), but you must be logged in to view those links. We advise logging in early so you’re prepared and we can help you if you have questions. 

Registration information: If you’re not sure which workshop you registered for, you can find this information here (must be logged in to view). If you do not have a website account, please email to inquire; we advise emailing well in advance of your workshop to make sure there is time to find your information and respond.  

Logging in: If you run into any issues logging in, please see these steps to reset your password. Please remember to check spam folders in case you do not receive the email to your inbox. If you continue to encounter any issues,  please email us at or call 262-649-9212 x2.

Preparing to participate

Download Zoom: If you haven’t already created a Zoom account, download the Zoom software (link is external). You don’t need to create an account, but you will need the software installed on your computer in order to access conference sessions. We recommend not using Zoom for Linux or on a Chromebook.

Update Zoom: If you do have a Zoom account, check that you’ve updated it (link is external) to the latest version by logging in and clicking “Check for Updates” in the menu.

Log into Zoom early: Be ready to log in 10 minutes before a session starts. You will enter a waiting room, and the host will admit you once presenters are ready to start the session. To help with transitioning into the start of the session, your video will be set as “off” and your mic will be muted.

Prepare your space: Choose a place to connect to the conference that supports your full participation, and take time to clear and prepare your space. Consider sitting near a window or bringing elements of nature indoors with you. Turn off or silence ringers and notifications, close out your email and other programs and apps, and put away devices you are not using to access the conference so that you can be here now. At the same time, we recognize that many of us will be joining from our own or others’ homes, with all that entails. Children, pets, food, and drinks are welcome to join you and be within view.

At last year’s in-person Biodynamic Conference, we came together and built a communal altar, weaving together pieces of our landscapes.

Image from 2019 conference communal altar

This year, in a new way, we'd like to ask you to do the same. Create a small intentional space near your desk or table. Dust it off, lay down a piece of cloth if you are moved— warm it up a bit. Next, take the time to add a few seasonal things from your natural landscape that brings you joy. Take a moment each day, before you join a session, to add something new to this space, inspired by an element and thinking about this past year.

  • For Thursday, bring something to your space that enlivens in you an "earth" quality. 
  • Friday, Water.
  • Saturday, Air.
  • Sunday, Fire.

In this way, offline together, we can spend some time collectively thinking about the foundational, elemental things that have carried us, nourished us, through this year, and give thanks.

During the conference

For more guidance on using Zoom, please see these step-by-step instructions. (link is external)

Connection issues: If your WiFi is unstable, you can try turning your computer’s camera off by clicking the camera icon at the bottom left of the screen so that there is a line through it. If that doesn’t stabilize your connection, we encourage you to keep Zoom running on your computer so you can view the video, but join by phone for audio. Call-in information will be provided for each session on the schedule page on the site. If you get disconnected from Zoom, you can rejoin by clicking on the Zoom link again.

Testing and configuring your audio: Please see these instructions for testing and configuring your audio before or during a session.

Video: If you do not see video when you start Zoom, we suggest waiting until the presenter starts. If you still do not see video at this point, restart your device and rejoin the meeting with the same link.

Update your name and information: We encourage you to add information to your name when you join, such as your location or affiliation and your preferred pronouns. You can do this by clicking the participant list, hovering over your name and click on “More”, under which you will see an option to “Rename” yourself. 

Mute: To keep sessions audible for all, and to retain the best sound quality for recordings, attendees will be muted automatically when they join a session and at most times throughout the session. For interactive sections, hosts will unmute everyone or those with questions, as appropriate. 

Recording: The conference sessions will be recorded. If you prefer not to have your image in the recording, you may turn off your video by clicking on the camera icon at the bottom of the screen (the icon will show a line across it when your video is off).

Closed captioning: Closed captioning will be available. Once the host has enabled this feature in the session, you will see a “Captions available” notice. To view captions, click the “^” arrow next to “Closed Caption” and then click on “Show Subtitle”. You may also turn them off by clicking this arrow. 

View: Click the view icon in the upper right of the screen to set what you see on your screen. The gallery view shows everyone in the group (although they may be on multiple pages), while the speaker view shows only the current speaker. You can toggle between these views by clicking the icon in the top right corner of your screen. You can also choose to expand the video to full screen, or view one particular person’s video statically by clicking on their picture in the upper right corner and selecting "pin video". 

Chat: You can access the chat by clicking the chat icon in the bottom dashboard of the Zoom browser. If you do not see the chat icon click “more” all the way to the right in the bottom dashboard and click “chat”.

If you need technical help or have another private question, find the dropdown just above the chat comment area and please select the private chat option with the individual(s) who is identified as Live Chat Support at the beginning of the session. BDA employees will also be noted with "(BDA)" before their name in the participant list. 

If you have a question or comment for the full group, you can select “Everyone” in this dropdown list, and the full audience will see your comment. 

Breakout rooms: Many sessions will include opportunities for interactive discussion. The host will place you in a breakout room with a smaller group of participants for the duration of small-group time. Click to join the group; you will return to the main group automatically when the breakout is finished. If you need technical or facilitation assistance while in a breakout room, click the “Ask for Help” button located in the bottom dashboard. This will alert the session host to join your breakout room and provide assistance.