Leading Professional Society for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
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Frequently Asked Questions
(last update February 21, 2024)

Q: Who are the ISMB 2024 Conference Chairs?
A: The conference Co-chairs are:

Aïda Ouangraoua
Canada Research Chair, Computational and Biological Complexity;
Full Professor, Department of Computer Science,
Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

Karin Verspoor
Dean, School of Computing Technologies
RMIT University, Australia

Honorary Chair:
BF Francis Ouellette

Origin Bioinformatics, Canada

Additional details are available here.

You can learn more about ISMB at https://www.iscb.org/ismb2024/general-info/about-ismb

Q: Who do I contact for information on the conference?
A: You can get information on the conference from:

Bel Hanson, CMP, DES
ISCB Director, Operations and Programs
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Q: Where will the conference be held?
A: The conference will be held at the Le Palais des congrès de Montréal located at:
1001 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Montréal, QC, H2Z 1H2
Métro Place-d'Armes

The Le Palais des congrès de Montréal is located at Montreal's Quartier International at the north end of Old Montreal and has several points of entry. please visit https://congresmtl.com/en/visitors/directions/ to find the best entry based on your accomodation location or if you are arriving via the Place-d'Armes métro station, which is located on site. 

Q: What are the conference hotels?
A: The ISMB 2024 housing block consists of the below list of properties and must be booked by June 17, 2024:

  • Le Westin Montreal (this is the Headquarters hotel)
  • Delta Hotels by Marriott Montreal
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Montreal
  • Hotel Dauphin Montreal Downtown
  • Hotel Monville
  • Hampton Inn by Hilton Montreal Downtown

In order to book a room within the block, you must first be registered for the conference to receive the booking link.  You can find more information about this and the student block by visiting https://www.iscb.org/ismb2024/general-info/venue-accommodation  


Q: Can I ship materials or items to the hotel?
A: You should contact the hotel directly to confirm. In most cases hotels will accept packages but may charge a handling or service fee.

Q: Are Children allowed at the conference?
A: ISCB conferences are professional events. Children of registered ISCB conference attendees are welcome to attend the conference with their parent or guardian, as long as younger children are under the supervision of a parent or guardian at all times. Parents or guardians may bring children to educational events provided the child does not disrupt the event.

Q: Are Guests of Attendees allowed to attend ISMB?
A: ISCB allows guests (defined as a non-scientist family member or non-scientist friend) of registered attendees. If you are a registered delegate who would like a non-scientist family member or friend to see your invited talk or poster presentation, please visit the registration desk to obtain a guest badge.

Guests are charged a fee for any meal function they are attending and can be purchased at the registration desk where they will receive a ticket for entry.

Please note: All guest badges must be requested onsite at the registration desk and are required for visiting at the conference.

Q: Is there a policy about Alcohol and Smoking at ISMB?
Alcohol: Beer, wine, non-alcoholic beer, and soft drinks may be offered during the meeting. Alcoholic beverages will be distributed per the laws and regulations of the country where the event is being held and may only be allowed in specific areas.

Smoking and Use of Tobacco: ISCB conference are tobacco and vaping-free events. Smoking, and use of tobacco is permitted only in designated areas outside of the venue. Tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, are not permitted in the conference or at conference events.

Q: Where is Montréal?
A: Montréal is located in Quebec province in southeastern Canada. It is the second most populous city in Canada and was founded in 1642. Montréal was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006 and annually hosts the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in the world.

Q: Do I need a visa to visit Canada?
A: Depending on where you live, you will need to meet certain entry requirements to visit Canada. Detailed information on who can travel to Canada can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp.

If you require a visa letter to support your application, please complete our Visa Letter Request Form. We recommend this is completed after you register for the conference and no less than 12 weeks (April 19, 2024) in advance of the conference. Visa letters will still be processed after this date, but may not be approved in time.

Q: How to get to Montréal?
A: There are a number of options for travel to Montréal.

AIRPORT: You’ll certainly appreciate that YUL Montréal-Trudeau International Airport is located just 20 minutes from downtown. To ensure that you travel in a safe and healthy environment and in preparation for the resumption of flights, Aéroports de Montréal added new measures and launched the "Travel with Confidence" program. And check out their "Travel tips" page for tips and tricks to travel with peace of mind.Upon arrival, you’ll find everything you need, including tourist information and various options for making your way to the heart of the city: car rentals, limousine and taxi service, as well as airport shuttles. The 747 Express bus operates 24/7/365 and will get you to one of the nine downtown stops in 40 to 60 minutes (depending on traffic). This link provides extensive airport information in montreal.
LINK: https://www.mtl.org/en/experience/airport-yul-guide

When booking a flight to Montréal be sure to use the discount codes available here

TRAIN: Montréal is ideally situated, located within easy reach of major metropolitan centres across Ontario and Québec. VIA Rail offers frequent departures from downtown to downtown without the hassles of air travel (transportation to and from the airport, long security lines, etc.). Please visit this website for more information on train travel in Montreal
LINK: https://www.mtl.org/en/experience/via-rail

BUS: If you are planning a trip by bus, rest assured that many American and Canadian operators come to Montréal. You will arrive directly downtown at the Montréal Bus Central Station, which is also connected to the Underground Pedestrian Network via the Berri-UQAM metro station. Visit this link for more information on bus travel in Montreal.
LINK: https://www.mtl.org/en/plan/getting-here/montreal-by-bus

Q: Where can I park my vehicle?
A: Parking on Montréal streets is permitted, on the condition that the parking restrictions shown on the signage are observed. Check the zone as well as the days and times when parking is permitted. Be sure to check the parking prohibition periods, which also apply on public holidays.

Bear in mind that maximum allowable parking times vary, depending on the borough and the type of vehicle (commercial truck, camper, etc.). Please visit this website for more information on street parking
LINK: https://montreal.ca/en/topics/street-parking

This website provides information on where to park with a map and pay rates.
LINK: https://en.parkopedia.ca/parking/montreal

Q: What sightseeing opportunities are available in Montréal?
A: Montréal is a big, busy, exhilarating city, with so much to see and do. There’ll be plenty of long walks and bike rides, picnics at the park, street art hunts and time to discover the city’s many treasures. We invite you to explore the many “moments” you can experience in the city. Think of them as bite-sized snacks of information to whet your appetite for the big buffet of choices you have when you get here. The more you like and interact with moments, the more you’ll receive personalized recommendations along similar themes. And, of course, it’s Montréal, so prepare for a few surprises along the way!

Learn more about things to do in Montreal at: https://www.mtl.org/en/what-to-do

Q: What is the local climate?
A: Montréal is classified as having a humid continental climate. July is the hottest month in Montreal with an average temperature of 21°C (70°F) and the coldest is January at -9°C (16°F). The wettest month is August with an average of 100mm of rain.

Q: What is the local time zone?
A: The current time Zone in Montréal, Quebec, Canada is Eastern Standard Time. For more information on time and current weather visit:

Q: What is the local electrical current?
A: In Canada, the standard voltage is 120 V (with a standard frequency of 60 Hz) rather than the 220 volts used in Europe. However, don't be surprised if you hear or read 110 V. It is an old designation and it is still used by the general public.

European plugs are not compatible with Canadian electrical sockets. In order to plug in your electric appliances, you will need a plug adapter or a converter. Otherwise, you will not be able to use your electric appliances during your Canadian vacation (phone charger, camera charger, laptop, etc.) For more information please visit https://www.authentikcanada.com/us-en/faq/electric-current

Q. What language will the conference sessions and materials be presented in?
A. All conference presentations and materials will be presented in English.

Q: Who to contact in an emergency?
A: Most emergency telephone lines in Montreal are bilingual. There are a number of emergency lines to call depending on your needs. Some include:

Fire, Police and Ambulance
Tel: 911

Montreal Police
Tel: 514 280 2222

Québec Security (Sûreté du Québec)
Tel: 514 310 4141
From a cell phone: *4141

24-hour service for urgent health questions. A nurse can provide information on the best course of action and/or where to go.
Tel: 811


Q: What is the custom on tipping?
A: When visiting Quebec, it is important to remember know the local tipping etiquette.Expected tips range from 15% to 20% of the total pre-tax bill. This website provides a guide on who to tip, where, and when.
LINK: http://www.whototip.net/tipping-in-montreal

Q: What is the currency?
A: The local currency is the Canadian Dollar ($). There are 100 cents to one dollar. This website provides more information about how to use money in Montreal: https://www.crownrelo.com/usa/en-us/destination-guide-section/montreal-money

Q: How can I pay to register for ISMB?
A: Delegates can pay on-line using the following credit cards or by wire* or by mail with payment by Check. Accepted credit cards are Mastercard and Visa.

Last day to pay by wire or check Ends on June 19, 2024 - after this time only Credit Card payment is accepted. Please note a $25.00 fee is charged for wire payments.

Q: Where do I register when I arrive?
A: Conference Registration is available from Friday, July 12 - Tuesday, July 16.

The Conference Registration Desk is located on the 5th level of the Palais des congress de Montreal.

The registration desk will be staffed during the following hours:

Friday, July 12 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
(Morning and Full-day Tutorials Only, Student Council Symposium)
11:30 AM - 7:30 PM
Saturday, July 13 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Sunday, July 14 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Monday, July 15 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Tuesday, July 16 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM


Q: What should I do if I lose something at the conference venue?
A: Please check with the conference registration desk.

Q: What are the poster sizes?
A: Poster details can be found at: link will be added soon