Discord for Attendees

Most of the information on this page is based on the exemplary “Discord for Attendees” page of the Bioinformatics Community Conference 2020


If you are familiar with how to use Discord, please scroll down to the section titled, “Once You’re in the FSNNA20 Server”


As a virtual conference, FSNNA20 is using Discord as our conference ‘hub’. While live salons, workshops, and special events will take place through Zoom, Discord is where you will be able to continue the conversation spurred by a given event, as well as find asynchronous recordings of events you may have missed. It’s also where you can find us if you have questions or concerns, where you can meet up with others to chat, and it’s where we’ll be hosting chats with our Poster presenters as well as participating book publishers. Conversations in Discord are persistent across timezones and are separated by topic, and they will still be available after the conference. You must be a registered attendee (both presenting/non-presenting) in order to access the conference Discord.

Getting Discord

There are three ways to access Discord:

Per BCC2020: “If you are on a lower bandwidth computer, we recommend using the Discord application on your desktop instead of the browser version. Our tests show much reduced memory in the desktop application.”

Logging in for the First Time

You will receive an invite to the conference Discord just prior to the beginning of the conference. When you click on it, you will be taken to a page that prompts you for a username. Choose a username to join or, if you have an existing account on Discord, you may use your usual login to join (it will not say “Hollywood Goes to Asia,” fyi).

Once inside, you will be prompted to verify that you are over the age of 13 and provide an email address and password in order to create an account.

Once you’ve done that, you’re in!


Overview of Discord

If you’ve used Slack, you’re most of the way there to using Discord. The main difference between them, in terms of text chat, is that where Slack allows threading in conversations, Discord does not. For this reason, if you’re responding to someone in particular, it can be helpful to ‘at’ them by their name in the right-hand member list, in order to bring your response to their attention.

Once inside the “server” (the equivalent of a Slack workspace) you will see the list of categories and channels on the left side of the screen, the chat window in the center, and the member list on the right.

Category: Grouping of channels. Shows on the left side in the channel list as an all caps heading.

Channel: a chat window. Can be either text or voice, but usually text. Shown on the left side in the channel list preceded with #.

Channel list: the complete list of channels and categories, shown on the left side of the desktop app. If you cannot see channels, click on the right-pointing carat to the left of a category name, and its channels will become visible.

Member list: the listing of members/attendees in the current channel, shown on the right side of the desktop app, from which you’ll be able to see who’s online and who’s not, if they have not set their status to “invisible.” If you would like to set a status, click on your icon (not username) in the lower left-hand corner of the Discord window and select or create one.


Once You’re In the FSNNA20 Server

If you are not already in the “#0-start-here” channel when you arrive, click on it in the left-hand sidebar and read through the information there. Once you have finished that, please change your username to the one you used to register. You can do that by right-clicking on your avatar in the upper right-hand corner of the app (in the member’s list), which will show you this:

Click on “Change Nickname” and you can input your registration name. This is basically the Discord equivalent of your conference badge, and it will not affect your account name.. In order to add an avatar (advised, but not required), just click on the cogwheel “settings” icon in the lower left-hand corner and you’ll be able to add one there.

Once you’ve done that, click on “#1-check-in-desk” and post a message to “@orgz” to let us know you’re checking in. There, we’ll confirm your registration and assign you your conference role(s). You’re then free to explore the server!


Using the Text Channels

You can join a channel by clicking on the channel name (starts with #) from the channel list. Once there, you will find the conversation-in-progress (or you can begin it). To post to the channel, type into the window at the bottom of the screen and press ‘Enter’ or ‘Return’ on your keyboard. You can post Discord-supplied gifs or emoji by clicking on either icon on the right-hand side of the message input window.

To reply to a specific message, hover over the message you want to reply to and click on the three dots that appear on the right side of the post. From the menu that appears, select “Quote” and it will include that message in your response message.


If you have any questions about using Discord, please email us at fsnna.conference [at] gmail [dot] com, or ping us on Twitter at @fsnnorthamerica and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!