A relatively big conference will take place in my neighborhood, but I haven't noticed of it until now. I'd like to attend some lectures done by young researchers who recently made a breakthrough.

Unfortunately, the deadline of registration is over. Thus, I have this question: do conferences accept entry of those who didn't register before the deadline?

  • 3
    There is nothing for it than asking the organizers, really. No one except the conference organizers / committee will be able to give you a definite answer. A polite request and explanation of your situation/motivation may be helpful.
    – yankeekilo
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 8:15
  • Usually they will not check for badges on the door, so if there's just one or two talks you want to attend in particular...
    – Nick Ayres
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 12:05
  • 1
    @NickAyres, many conferences in my field have badge checkers at seminar room doors or on the hallways that have all the parallel sessions on them. It can be a bad idea to try to sneak in.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 16:06
  • I have been at certain conferences that even checked IDs before people could enter. These are unusual, but they do exist, and you certainly couldn't sneak in there.
    – jakebeal
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 17:01

2 Answers 2


Most large scientific conferences will allow you to register at any time, even while the conference is running. In this case the "deadline" is instead one or more deadlines for getting reduced rate registrations: they charge you more, the later that you register in order to get most to register early and have a good estimate of attendee numbers.

Some conferences, however, have size limits or require advance planning of other sorts, and so actually do have a strict deadline. This is more often the case with small meetings than large ones, but the only way to know for certain for a particular conference is to check their website and, if it doesn't have information, contact the organizers.


I am not sure if it is completely ethical or not, but for meeting people you can just go there and see the couple of lectures or friends. As long as you are not using their food and etc. I know you might make couple of presenters very happy with your presence or feedback. Most conferences are very sensitive about making sure people do not by-pass registration on their first day. Dress professional and have business cards just in case, and you will be fine to go see friends.

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