Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What can I expect from the 2019 Annual Conference?

  • In addition to the Resident Review Workshop on Thursday morning, there will also be an additional concurrent pre-conference workshop.  Both workshops are open to everyone and there is no additional fee to attend either of them.  You will be asked to select a workshop, if you desire, when you register.
  • Poster presentations will take place on Saturday morning from 10 am to 12:00 pm.  This session begins in the Houston Ballroom with Residents providing a very brief oral overview of their poster prior to viewing.
  • Friday night will be a FREE night to get out and do what you’d like in the Houston area.
  • We have an all-inclusive guest ticket for adults and children that will allow access to the Welcome Reception and Saturday evening Closing Event at the Houston Space Center.
  • On Friday, there will be three concurrent sessions in the morning and three in the afternoon.  Each session will include State of the Art and Expert-in-the-Field Presenters and some may include panel discussions and abstract presentations.  Each will be programmed differently.  Refer to the conference schedule over the coming months for more details.
  • The VCS Membership Meeting will take place over lunch on Saturday from 12:00 to 2:00 pm.  Lunch will be provided for those who wish to attend.
  • The closing event will be held at the Houston Space Center.  Resident Awards and the Technician Case Report winner will be presented there.

Question: What meals are provided at the conference?

  • There are a variety of meals typically provided throughout the conference although that changes from year to year based on sponsorship.  Refer to the conference schedule for details.  When you register you will be asked which of these meals you will attend.
  • Mid-morning and afternoon food & beverage breaks are provided each day.
  • Light hors-d’oeuvres are available at the Welcome Reception.
  • On Saturday afternoon from 12:00 to 2:00, the VCS will host its annual membership meeting and lunch.  All members are invited to attend at no additional cost.
  • One ticket to the Saturday evening Closing Event, which includes food and beverage, is included in your registration fee.  You must register for this, as well as the transportation, if you plan to attend.
  • OPWG will host their business meeting on Friday from 12:00 to 1:15 pm.  You will be asked if you wish to attend when you register.  Lunch will be available to purchase on site.

Question:  What time does the conference end?  Abstract presentations will end at approximately 5:00 pm on Saturday, October 19th.  The closing event will take place at the Houston Space Center on Saturday with buses departing at 6:30 pm from the Houston Marriott Marquis.  Return time is 10:00 pm. You will find a complete conference schedule here.


Question:  I have been selected to present a poster at the conference.  When and where do I hang it?  You will hang your poster in a designated location as early as possible on Thursday, October 17th.  Your name will be on the board in which you are to hang your poster.  Residents must be in the Ballroom by 9:45 am on Saturday, ready to line up for a brief oral introduction of their poster before going to stand with their poster.  Refer to the abstract page for details.  Posters must be 3 feet wide by 4 feet tall (vertical) so that two posters can fit on one board.  You can only  present ONE poster during the conference.  Posters will remain up throughout the conference.

Question:  I have been selected for an oral abstract presentation.  Do I have to submit this presentation prior to the confreence?  Yes.  All those who are selected for oral presentation (except SOTA and Keynote presenters) will receive an email that includes an individualized link in which to submit your oral presentation.  All presentations must be uploaded by October 15th at 11:59 pm CST.

Question: How many CE hours will I receive by attending this conference and when will I receive the certificate?  Those attending the Resident Review Workshop will receive 3.5 hours of CE; those attending the other pre-conference workshop will receive 3 CE hours.  General conference attendees receive approximately 17 CE hours.  Technicians have the opportunity to earn approximately 17 CE hours as well as long as they attend the Thursday sessions as well.



Question: I want to register as a VCS member but haven’t paid my 2019 dues yet. What should I do?  If you have not renewed your dues for 2019 we recommend that you do so prior to  registering for the conference so that you can take advantage of the VCS member rates and save a minimum of $100.  To do so, log in HERE using your email address and password, select the online store, select your membership category and proceed to payment. If you have difficulty call Sandi Strother at 573-823-8497.

Question: I am a Resident who was selected to present an oral or poster abstract.  What registration fee do I use? If you are a current VCS member Resident, use the VCS Member Resident Presenter fee of $175.  If you are NOT a VCS member Resident who has been selected to present an oral abstract, use the non-member Resident rate.  Residents should wait until they receive notification of their assignment in July before registering for the conference.

Question: I recently completed my residency (within the past year) and have been accepted to present my abstract.  What conference registration rate do I use?  Because you are no longer a Resident, you are required to pay the New Professional registration rate (as long as you are a member of VCS in that category) for the conference.  You are still eligible to present in the Resident category and accept one of the Resident Awards if your abstract is selected as a winner.

Question:   I am a student or intern whose abstract has been accepted in the oral or poster category.  Which registration rate do I use?  Students or interns selected to present a poster or oral abstract must register for the conference paying the STUDENT or INTERN rate.

Question:   I plan to register on site.  What will that cost?  The late fee of $100 will be charged in addition to the regular registration fee when registering onsite.  See the registration page for more information on rates.

Question:  I am paying for Saturday only.  Does the single day fee include the Closing Event?  No.  You must pay separately for the Closing Event if you wish to attend.



Question: Is there shuttle transportation to and from the airport to the Houston Marriott Marquis?  Uber, Lyft or a taxi will probably be your best option Click HERE to view the hotel’s website for information on transportation.

Question: How do I get to the hotel if I am driving?  You may get information for travelling to the Houston Marriott Marquis from either of the two major airports in Houston on the hotel website.


Question: When can I make my reservation at the Houston Marriott Marquis?  The group block will open June 1st.  A link will be located on the accommodations page.  We anticipate that the block will sell out quickly.  The group rate is $179.

Question:  Is there a discounted rate available for Students/Residents/Interns ?  Yes, there is a discounted rate of $129/night plus tax on a group of 30 double rooms for those students, interns, residents who are on a limited budget, however, you must follow the instructions on the accommodations page to secure a room in this block.

Question:  What is the website address to the conference headquarters hotel?  You will find the website here.

Question: When is the last day that I can make a hotel reservation?   The block closes thirty days prior to the conference but please know that it is highly likely to sell out prior to that dates.  After that time, there may be rooms available but you may not be able to get the conference rate.  Links to nearby hotels will be located on the accommodations page once the block sells out.

Question: I am travelling alone.  Can VCS help me find a roommate?  VCS does not pair roommates, however, you may email us at and let us know that you are looking for a roommate. If others contact us looking for the same, we will let you know.

Question: Is there babysitting service available?  No.

Question: Is there a spa at the hotel?  Yes.  Click HERE for more information.  

Questions:  Are there restaurants nearby?  Yes, there are MANY restaurants within very easy walking distance to the hotel.  Click HERE for more details on the surrounding area.