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WE20 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Being Curious— It’s a Lifelong Trait That Drives an Engineer.

What problem does it solve? How does it work? How can it work better? Fundamental questions we set out to answer. To answer questions about your career as an engineer and how to make it work better for you, plan to join us for 2020’s largest event for women in engineering and technology—WE20.

General Questions:

Q: Why New Orleans?

A: New Orleans is a city in Louisiana on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” it’s known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Embodying its festive spirit is Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival famed for raucous costumed parades and street parties.

Q: When and Where will the onsite portion of WE20 be Held?

A: WE20 will be hosted at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Address:  900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (504) 582-3000
Website: mccno.com
Onsite Meeting:  November 5-7, 2020

Q: When will the Onsite Activities Take Place?

A: Onsite Conference: November 5-7, 2020
Onsite Career Fair and Interviews: November 5-6, 2020
In addition, the virtual Career Fair will take place the week of November 9,2020.

Registration FAQS

Q: Where do I register?

Register at we20.swe.org.  For complete details on registration and registration categories, visit this page.

Q.  Is WE20 Face to Face or Virtual?

WE20 is a Hybrid Meeting, with both face to face and virtual components. One registration fee will cover all virtual and onsite offerings, with three tour exceptions.

Q: Where Will Onsite Registration Be Located?

A: Registration will be located in Lobby B of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70130.

NOTE: Registration will offer “contactless” registration options for our onsite visitors.

Q: What are WE20 Registration Hours for onsite pickup?


  • Tuesday, November 3, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Exhibitors only
  • Wednesday, November 4, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 5, 6:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 6, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 7, 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Q: Where can I view registration costs?

A: Costs and benefits are posted at WE20.swe.org

Q: I Have a Guest Coming. What is Your Policy?

A: Guests of registrants are permitted at a reduced rate and limited to 2 guests per registrant. For WE20 only – Guests must be 18 years or older who are coming for the sole purpose of accompanying a registered member. All guests require a badge. Additionally, guests are allowed into the exhibit hall during Career Fair Hours only. Guests are not permitted at sessions, since attendance is limited – except in rare instances – and approved by SWE. Guests can attend all social activities.

Q: I Have a Promotion Discount Code. Where Do I Use This?

A: This will be used at the first page of either the Professional or Collegiate registration. The Society of Women Engineers offers promotional discount codes for conference speakers, volunteers, faculty advisors, and award recipients. The discount is awarded to the prevailing rate, i.e., member or nonmember, early or late, etc. There is a strict limit of only one promotional code for each registration submitted. NOTE: The exhibitor portal requires a company id code, which is an identifier and not a discount.

Q: What is The WE20 Cancellation Policy?

A: Cancellations must be submitted in writing to Society of Women Engineers and received by August 31, 2020.

NOTE: Cancelling a registration does NOT cancel the participants hotel reservation. You must visit the housing site to cancel your hotel room. Be sure to receive a valid cancellation notification when cancelling a room, or you may end up with hotel no-show charges.

Q: Can an Attendee be Substituted?

A: An attendee may be substituted at any time before October 20, 2020. After that date, substitution is not guaranteed. If your registration is a different registrant type or category, the difference will need to be changed and charged. SWE does not permit the use of badge switching without official attendee substitution.

Q: How Are International Registrations Recorded and Charged?

A: All international registrations will be recorded and charged in U.S. Dollars.

Q: How are invitations obtained for International Registrants who need to apply for a visa?

A: After the attendee completes registration, they will be directed to an automatic letter of invitation that can be saved, downloaded or printed.

Q: Does WE20 Accept Purchase Orders?

A: The Society of Women Engineers does NOT accept purchase orders as a form of payment. All registration fees must be paid by credit card.

WE20 Speaker and Volunteer Codes:

Q: I am an Accepted Speaker. How do I Get the Speaker Discount?

A: If you are an accepted as a WE20 presenter, you should have received (or will be sent) the correct speaker code on your acceptance letter. If you did not receive it, contact conferencemanager@swe.org.

Q: I am an Accepted Volunteer. How do I Get a Discount?

A: If you are an accepted as a WE20 volunteer, your refund will be applied once you have completed your work assignment at conference. For any questions, please contact WE20volunteer@swe.org.

Membership FAQs:

Q: What Qualifies Me as a Member?

A: In order to qualify for member rates, you must have a current individual membership, valid through the date of the event you are attending. You should have your own individual ID number. Otherwise, the non-member rate will be assessed and membership will be included.  To apply for or renew membership before registering for conference, visit the SWE membership site before continuing to registration. No rate adjustments will be offered once the attendee has registered.

Q: I am a Member, but I am receiving a Non-Member Rate When Trying to Register

A: All SWE Memberships coincide with our Fiscal Year which runs from July 1st to June 30th. If you are receiving the Non-Member rate, it is because you have not yet renewed your SWE Membership for FY21. If you renew your SWE Membership online, you will then be provided the Member rate for the WE20 Conference.

Q: Does SWE Recognize members of Other Organizations, i.e. SHPE, NSBE or AISES?

A: SWE does not honor memberships from any other organization for WE20. You must be a member of SWE.

General Services FAQs:

Q.  What Type of Services Can I Find in the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and Surrounding Areas?

There are many services, including:

  • ATM machines,
  • Shipping and business services in the Convention Center and surrounding hotels
  • Food Court and Coffee stands, including a full-service Starbucks Coffee, Drug stores and convenience stores are located on Convention Center Blvd and Canal Streets.
  • Additionally, visit www.riverwalkneworleans.com/ to view the Riverwalk mall, containing outlet stores, restaurants, and a food court. This mall connects to the Convention Center and the Hilton Riverside Hotel.

How do I Park?

Visit this page for facility parking information.

Q: Will WE20 Have Phone Re-charging Areas?

A: Yes. There are sponsored permanent charging options and sponsored charger stations available on all three floors of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

Q: Will There be a Coat and Luggage Check at WE20?

A: Yes, we will have a spacious coat and luggage check during most hours at WE20.

Q: Will There be a Mother’s Room?

A: There will be rooms for nursing mothers available in New Orleans, all located throughout the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans. WE20 will have a map of the rooms available on the WE20 app once it is live.

Q: Will There be Childcare?

A: Child Care will not be provided at WE20.  We will resume childcare service at WE21.

Q: What Meal Options Are Available at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center?

A: WE20 will have approved concession stands, coffee options, and many other general snack options within the Convention Center lobbies.  All meals will follow social distancing guidelines set forth by the CDC.   This includes coffee shops as well as the Lagniappe Food Court in the lobby of the center. In addition to options available in the lobby, please visit the Riverside New Orleans Food Court  located right behind the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center near the riverside entrance. The Riverside mall has many food options for a quick lunch or snack.

Special Accommodations FAQS

Q. Will Special Services be Available?

Please contact Jeanne.Elipani@swe.org to report any special accommodations needed within 45 days of conference, as some services may require a longer vendor notification time.  You should receive an answer within 48 hours of inquiry.

Housing FAQs:

Q.  How Do I Book my Hotel Room?

We ask that you support our conference this year by booking with our partner, onPeak housing, a full-service housing company and will support WE20 bookings. Housing is currently open with attractive rates,

Hotel rooms are available to Attendees, Exhibitors, and Government Employees. Individual reservations are considered nine (9) or less rooms.  For more than nine (9) reservations, refer to the “group bookings” tab on the right of the page.  You will be asked to indicate the type of room and number of guests in the room.  Note:  Do not book hotels directly, as you will receive higher rates.

Q.  How are the Conference Hotels Ensuring My Safety during WE20?

The following brands have put safety procedures in place:

Q: How Far Are Hotel Rooms and Will You Have Shuttle?

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is located on average about 1 block to 10 blocks away from our secured hotels.  Many hotels are available within a two block range.  Please visit https://we20.swe.org/about/housing-details/ for map information.

Q: Will I Have to Put Down a Room Deposit?

A: You will need to GUARANTEE your room with a credit card. This card will not be charged until less than 30 days before conference.

Q: How do I Cancel my Room?

You must visit the housing site to cancel your reservation.  Be sure to receive a valid cancellation notification by email when cancelling a room, or you may end up with hotel no-show charges.

Programming FAQS

Q: How do I View Detailed Events?

A: The Virtual Platform (registered attendees only), plus the WE20 mobile app and online planner (available in September) will help you find general information, sessions and special events, filter sessions and keywords, and catch all the highlights of the conference. This scheduling app will permit you to build your daily schedule, evaluate sessions, network with friends and colleagues, locate sessions, take notes, bookmark sessions, and much more!

Q: What Makes Up WE20 Program?

WE20 will include a total of 3 weeks of sessions, both onsite and virtual within the following tracks:

  • Advocacy and Outreach
  • Career Management & Development
  • Inclusion & Cultural Awareness
  • Technical Innovations
  • Self-Management & Development
  • Strategic Leadership

Q.  Who Should Attend WE20?

  • Collegians & Graduate Students
  • Early-Career Professional
  • Mid-Career Professional
  • Experienced-Career Professional
  • Senior Leaders & Executives
  • Pathfinders

There are approximately 200 sessions offered at WE20 through the onsite and virtual platforms, including lecture sessions, panels, and lightning talks. In addition, WE20 will offer three (3) Keynotes provided by a high-ranking industry, government, or academic leader, and Mega/Special Sessions (large audience group sessions or panels presented by a professional subject-matter expert and appropriate for all career levels).

Q: What are some onsite highlights available on hybrid or virtual platforms?

Welcome to New Orleans (all attendees invited)
Wednesday, November 4, 6:00 – 8: 00 p.m.

  • La Nouvelle Ballroom, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans
  • This welcome event will have snacks, goodies, supplies, and an abundance of information in order to make your week safe and successful!

Opening Keynote
Thursday, November 5 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

  • Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans, Great Hall.
  • Speaker: Laura Maxwell, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain for Frito-Lay.
  • There is no charge for this event
  • Pickup breakfast will be available.
  • Attendance is limited to room capacity and SWE will adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Welcome Collegiate Luncheon
Sponsored by Chevon, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and United Airlines
Thursday, November 5, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. La Nouvelle Ballroom

This sponsored event is complimentary to collegiate attendees, but attendance is limited to one ticket for this event per collegiate.  Attendance is limited to room capacity and SWE will adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Career Fair and Interview Booths
Sponsored by Discover
Thursday, November 5, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, November 6, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This is the best place to be whether you are an employer or employee!  Bring your authentic self and a resume, and plan to meet face to face with employers!

Note: all booths and interview booths will adhere to social distancing guidelines

Sponsored Hospitality Suites
Thursday, November 5, 8:00 – 10:00 p.m., various rooms.

  • For details and sponsors, refer to the online information and mobile app.
  • Both collegiate and professional attendees can enjoy beverages and snacks while networking and visiting our sponsoring companies. Although there should be plenty of space and time, SWE will monitor room capacities for each hospitality suite, according to social distancing guidelines.

Friday Keynote
Friday, November 6, 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.

  • New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans, Great Hall.
  • Speaker:  Sundari Mitra, Vice President, General Manager of SEG, Intel Corporation.
  • There is no charge for this event, and attendance is limited to room capacity. 
  • Pickup breakfast will be available. Attendance is limited to room capacity and SWE will adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Mega Sessions
Thursday, November 5- Saturday, November 7

  • New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center New Orleans, Great Hall.
  • Mega Session titles to be announced

Q.  What are Some Virtual only highlight events?

Virtual Career Fair and Interview Booths
November 9-12, 2020

This is the best place to be whether you are an employer or employee!  Bring your authentic self and a resume, and plan to meet virtually with employers!

Virtual Hospitality Suites
Week of November 9, 2020

Both collegiate and professional attendees can enjoy one on one networking time with our company representatives and visit our sponsoring companies.

2020 SWE Awards Presentation and Celebrate SWE!

  • Available on your virtual platform
  • No charge for this event with registration
  • Dates and Times to be announced

Q.  Will WE20 Have Tours?

WE20 will have technical tours available on our virtual platform.  There will be no charge for these tours.  We will also offer several walking tours onsite.  Please visit WE20.swe.org under the section TOURS to see the details.

WE20 Career Fair FAQS

Q: I am an Attendee. Can You Tell Me More About THE WE20 Career Fair?

A: This is your best opportunity to meet over 400 prospective employers from a wide range of industries. You’ll have two options this year to secure your dream job!  SWE will offer a full    onsite career fair on Thursday, November 5 and Friday, November 6, 2020.  In addition, a special virtual career fair during the week of November 9-13 will be available to all attendees. View our WE20 exhibiting companies real time by visiting the career fair section of we20.swe.org.

Exhibitor FAQs:

Q: I am Interested in Becoming an Exhibitor. How do I Sign up?

A: If you are interested in exhibiting, please visit: partnerguide.swe.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/WE20ProspectusUpdatedSP.pdf

  • Contact: Judy.Burke@swe.org
  • Phone: 312-325-7466
  • 130 E. Randolph St.
    Suite 3500
    Chicago, Il 60601

For exhibitor registration questions, contact:  Rachel.Jessen@swe.org
For any general exhibits questions or exhibit service kit questions, contact:  Sergio.Camargo@swe.org

SWE Policy and Procedures FAQs:

Q: Does WE20 Have Rules, Regulations and Code of Conduct?

A: Yes, all attendees will have to follow our standard Event Code of Conduct. The Society of Women Engineers is committed to hosting a relaxed, educational, informative and fun annual conference. The Society of Women Engineers WE20 conference will foster a safe and harassment-free event experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, or non-religion.   All conference participants are required to support our code of conduct for the duration of our programming, social events, and tours and events. By registering, the attendee agrees and acknowledges that they are complying with our code of conduct while participating in the WE20 Conference.

In addition, participants will obey all rules and regulations of the event venue and instructions of the event staff. This includes the expectation that

  • Participants will secure their belongings and take responsibility for them.
  • Participants will agree to a waiver for hybrid participation
  • Participants will follow all guidelines and social distancing guidelines provided by SWE, The New Orleans Convention Center, Hotels, and other city venues.
  • Participants will not spam or follow other event participants, nor will participants post content that is obscene or otherwise objectionable or without permission from the owner.
  • Participants will not use WE20 for commercial or advertising purposes. Event organizers reserve the right to escort any individual from the event who is reported to be soliciting and who is not an official attendee, exhibitor, and/or sponsor of the event.
  • If you have been involved or noticed that someone else has been impacted by a breach of this Code of Conduct or have additional concerns, please contact a member of the WE20 staff onsite or email conferencemanager@swe.org.

Q.  What Are SWE’s Rules on Photography and Video?

Participants agree that WE20 official photographers and videographers will take general photography and/or video during the conference and their image may be used for marketing purposes for print, electronic, and other media, including the website.

Q.  What Are SWE’s Minimum Age Requirements?

No one under the age of 18 will be allowed in the Career Fair or Interview Booths during event hours without a parent/guardian, or as part of a SWE-arranged tour. The accompanying parent/guardian must always remain with the person under the age of 18 during their visit. For safety reasons, no one under the age of 18 will be allowed in the Career Fair/Interview Booths during setup or dismantle.

COVID-19 Concerns

SWE has provided the current guidelines set forth by the convention center below.  Your health and safety are of the utmost importance and concern to SWE, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and its vendors.

The Convention Center will be following the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) guidance and all CDC protocols upon the re-opening of the facility.  Disinfectants for cleaning will be from the EPA N list for use on Novel Coronavirus and cleaning efficacy testing will also be performed to confirm appropriate disinfection for biological activity.

The Convention Center will seek the GBAC STAR™ Facilities Accreditation through the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, a division of the worldwide cleaning industry association ISSA. The program certifies that the facility is implementing the industry’s highest standards of cleaning for COVID-19, and is safe to welcome guests and hold events. The program is backed by 10 industry organizations, including the International Association of Venue Managers, International Facility Management Association, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association and the Go LIVE Together Coalition.

Additional preventative measures have been implemented to ensure the health and safety of all guests and staff:

Before Entering the Building

  • You will need to have your conduct temperature checks on ENMCC staff upon entering the facility.
  • Face coverings will be required for staff.

Lobbies and Public Areas

  • All public surfaces in high-traffic areas such as door handles, elevator buttons, and escalator handrails will be sanitized with anti-viral disinfectant every two hours by cleaning
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed throughout lobbies, meeting room corridors and other high-traffic public areas.
  • They are in the process of establishing opportunities for show management to manage traffic and allow social distancing through one-way aisles, signage and floor markings.


  • All surfaces will be sanitized with an anti-viral disinfectant on an hourly basis by cleaning staff.

Food Service

  • All Food and Beverage managerial staff are Servsafe certified, ensuring that the regulations provided by the Louisiana Department of Health are strictly adhered to, inclusive of sanitation requirements.
  • Plexiglass partitions will be installed in food and beverage areas to ensure the standard of care for both staff and guests.
  • Individually sealed and packaged disposable utensils and condiments will be provided.
  • Tables and chairs will be spaced to allow for social distancing during meals and disinfected on a regular basis.
  • Coffee stations will be attended.

Meeting Rooms

  • Rooms will be set to exceed distancing standards of care.
  • MCCNO is in the process of establishing opportunities for show management to manage traffic and allow social distancing in meeting room areas.
  • High-traffic surfaces will be sanitized with an anti-viral disinfectant between sessions.
  • Individual water service will be provided for speakers.
  • In addition, SWE will provide first aid rooms and will have an emergency preparedness plan in case of any emergency or illness.

Miscellaneous Questions

Q. Do sessions at WE20 offer Continuing Education credits?

  1. Yes, 6 sessions will be eligible for Continuing Education credits and it does not matter if you view them onsite or through virtual participation. You can find the instructions for obtaining CE credits at SWE’s Advance Learning Center

Q. What should I wear?

For your comfort, business casual is appropriate. We suggest you dress in layers as the temperature in the meeting rooms can vary considerably.

Q. What happens if there is a schedule change?

At times it might be necessary to cancel or reschedule a session or event.  WE20 will provide as much notice as possible through the mobile app and website.

Society of Women Engineers - Logo

The Society of Women Engineers has been and will continue to monitor the ever-changing, daily developments regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and any potential impact it may have on the WE20 Annual Conference. Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our members, partners, and staff. Currently SWE is planning for an in-person conference in November, but is working diligently to determine all possible options and best practices surrounding WE20. This could include hosting a virtual conference or a hybrid in-person/virtual conference. We will be finalizing our strategy and the path forward for WE20 in June. We will share additional information as soon as it becomes available.

Do you plan to participate in WE20 Virtual networking and educational content?


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