Announcement Video


Conference Sessions can now have different sets of fields depending on the type of session. For example poster sessions may collect different fields than Presenter Talks. This is similar to the “Category Groups” feature you may be used to for Applications and Abstracts.

To configure your Session Type Groups, first navigate to your program.

Under the Sessions dropdown, select Sessions Configuration.

Tab over to Session Type Groups. Here you can create new groups by clicking Add Session Type Group or edit existing groups by clicking Select on the group to update.

Walking through an example

To illustrate how this works, we are going to use our fictional example of a program that takes in abstracts to Posters and Presenters session types. The following is our structure:

Our example Session Type Groups are:

  • (Default), controls how the form looks by default.

  • Poster Session Type Group

  • Presenter Session Type Group

When a submitter first loads their submission, they'll be shown the Default of the form.

If the submitter chooses a Poster session we will ask to upload a poster. However, if they choose a Presenter session, we ask they upload a presentation.

Under the Session Types tab we've added a Session Type Group by clicking Select on each type.

Let's see how this looks to the end user (creating sessions as an admin functions in the same manner):

Configuring the Session Type Groups


Set your questions up

First add all of the questions that you need to ask on the Sessions > Session Configuration > Edit Form Fields sessions form and configure the questions. Below you can see we have both the Poster and Presenter questions together on the submission form.

Select a field, then in the Field Settings tab, scroll down to click the Configure Session Type Group Settings.

With the Presentation Upload field selected, clicking Configure Session Type Group Settings opens the following popup.

In the above example, our Presentation Upload field is set to Hidden for the (Default) group for the Poster Session Type group.

However for the Presenter Session Type Group this field is set to show by Default.

If a field is marked as not required on the Session Form, selecting Default will leave it not required for the corresponding Session Type Group.

Besides Default and Hidden there is a third option, Required. If a field is marked as not required on the Session Form, selecting Required will make it required for the corresponding Session Type Group.

Add and assign your session type groups

To add your Session Type Groups, first navigate to your program.

Under the Sessions dropdown menu, click Session Configuration.

Tab over to Session Type Groups and click Add Session Type Group. Each session type that has its own set of questions will need its own Session Type Group.

Give each session group a Name and click Save.

To add or update the session group for each of your session types, tab over to Session Types and assign or update each session type to a session group by clicking Select. Choose the session group from the drop down menu and click Save.

The Default Session Type Group

Return to Sessions > Session Configuration > Session Type Groups (tab) to the list of session groups.. You will find at the top a group called (Default). This group is how the form will appear prior to any session type being selected. If you noticed from our example above, no questions appeared when no category was chosen. Here it is again:

The questions do not appear because we have chosen to hide them until a category is selected. Click Select on your (Default) group and click Settings tab.

For the fields that are session type dependent, we have changed their value in the drop down menu to Hidden. Also note that if your form has multiple pages, the drop down in the upper center of the screen allows you to switch between the pages on your form. If you hide every single question on a page, the entire page will not appear until a session type is chosen.

Don't forget to click Save.

The Main Session Type Groups

There are two ways to configure the main session type groups. The primary method is while you are setting up the actual question on the session form. The other way is through the session group itself. We'll show both approaches now and you can decide which is more convenient for you.

Via the Session Form Question

First, load up your session form build from Sessions > Sessions Configuration > General (tab). Choose the field you want to configure. Then click Configure Session Type Group Settings.

If a submitter chooses a Presentation session, we want to hide any non-Presentation fields. Therefore, we selected Hidden for each group besides the Presenter Session Type Group, where instead we selected Default (meaning the field will default to how it is configured on the form).

Click Save and Return to Form. Repeat the process of hiding fields from session type groups for each field. If a field always appears for each session type, then you do not need to configure its session group settings.

Via the Session Type Group

Load up the session type group you want to configure which fields will show or hide for and click Select.

Tab over to Settings. If a user chooses a Poster session type, we want to hide any non-Poster session type fields. Therefore, we set the field asking for a presentation upload to Hidden since we have the Poster Session Type Group selected:

We click Save and open up the Presentation session type group. For this group, we want to hide the non-Presentation fields when a user chooses a Presentation session type. We then set the Poster Upload field to Hidden.

And that's it! For each session type group you have to hide the questions that are not to be shown when that session type is chosen. Once you get the hang of it, it is quite simple, but it can be time consuming.

Default vs. Hidden vs. Required vs. Not Required

You may have noticed that there are more than just the Hidden option in the drop down menu. A field in OpenWater can be Required or Not Required. Here's a reminder:

If you choose Default in the dropdown menu for a field setting in Session Type Groups, you are effectively saying, show this field and leave its required status as what is currently set on that field on the session form. However, you may run into cases where you need to override this. For example, maybe a field is required for some set of session types, but not required for another set of session types. You can override the default setting of the field by choosing Required or Not Required as needed.


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