Frequently Asked Questions
Guest (Attendee) – FAQ
We’re sorry to say it can end up being a big problem. Symposium services are based on predetermined schedules, and scheduled times are agreed upon at the time of your purchase. Showing up, and doing so on time, is required. We have instituted a 24 hour late cancellation policy to give users plenty of time to make adjustments to their schedules. Once that period is over, there is a late cancellation fee of 50% of the listing price, and a no-show fee of 100% of the listing price.
As soon as a SymTalk or SymGram begins and the Host has joined, you are responsible for paying for the entire Hosted Duration up to the full listing price.
You may show up late, but if you arrive past the halfway point, the Host is no longer required to be there, and you are responsible for the full listing price.
We apologize to our more schedule-challenged users, but this is the only way to make sure that Symposium remains a trustworthy platform to Hosts and Guests alike.
Verified Stripe accounts are not the same as Verified Symposium profiles. Stripe requires verification to transfer funds to a bank account / debit card. The necessary information is region-based, but things like your address, date of birth, and a Government issued ID number are required for Stripe to verify that funds are being paid to the right person and are safe to release to your account. Stripe can accept payment on your behalf even if your account is not verified, but Stripe will not pay you until you have entered the necessary information into the system. You can learn more about this process here. Symposium Verification is intended for celebrities and publicly notable figures. Those seeking Symposium Verification must be eligible, and must go through our Verification process.
Symposium is accessible to all the world. Anyone can use it to book with our users, and that’s a beautiful thing. It also means there’s a lot of opportunity for people to book up time and never show up, effectively walling off Hosts, and blocking access to them by those who are serious about scheduling and attending, or are in need of important services. We want to protect you, our Hosts, and all of our other users from this, so we require a payment authorization for every booking 24 hours ahead of start time. In order to ensure the authorization goes through, we require a card on file at the time of each booking.
Stripe is the easiest and best way to accept payments online and in mobile apps, and by using Stripe we’ve made it easy for Hosts to accept your payments directly to their debit cards or bank accounts. Stripe handles billions of dollars every year for businesses large and small around the world, many of which are household names.
All of your payments are securely processed through Stripe, and they handle all of your personal and financial information. For your security, Symposium never stores your personal payment information. Your relationship with Stripe is governed by a separate agreement, available here: https://stripe.com/us/connect-account/legal
SymTalks and SymCasts are the core products offered by our Hosts, and both may be available as Video Chats, or Audio Only. The difference between the two is simple.
A SymTalk is a personal One-to-One Video or Audio call, while a SymCast is broadcast to multiple viewers. Don’t go thinking that “broadcast” means you’ll never get to talk to your Host, though. Many Hosts allow Live Q&A from their Attendees, and chosen Attendees who request it can be seen and heard by everyone viewing the SymCast!
All times shown in Symposium are in your local time. If your schedule shows a booking starting at 5 o’clock, it will start at 5 o’clock wherever you are.
If you are located in a different timezone than your Host, Symposium converts the Host’s schedule before displaying it to you. Your Host’s calendar may show different start times than yours, but you will both know when to join each other.
At Symposium, we protect our Hosts and Attendees from unfair practices like late cancellations and overcharging. Attendees are never charged for time that Hosts miss, whether the missed time is due to a Host having network issues, starting late, ending early, or failing to show up altogether.
For each minute your Host is late or otherwise disconnected from your scheduled booking, your final balance will be reduced by a per-minute amount relative to the original listing price of your purchase.
Hosts – FAQ
As long as your Stripe account has been verified by them, Stripe will transfer your payments directly to your bank account as soon as the funds are cleared. You don’t have to do anything. Stripe will handle it for you.
If your Stripe account still says “Unverified” under “Personal Information” on the Payment Settings screen, please read this.
There are different ways of finding out when you’re available or unavailable on Symposium. If you’re unsure of your schedule or your availability on specific dates, you can always go to “My Profile” from the sidebar menu, and tap the “Calendar” tab on your profile screen. You’ll see markers on dates, as well as a list of your offerings underneath them representing your availability. Tap a listing to go to its Details page where you’ll find the “Edit” button.
You can also find your offers under the “Listings” tab on your Profile. If you open a listing, choose “Edit” and then “Next”. You’ll reach the “Create a Schedule” screen where all of the time you added for that listing is visible.
Let us answer this question with a question. Why would you want to sell your time and experience, your product, without any way to accept payment?
Symposium requires you to enter a debit card before creating an offer because that is how you get paid. All SymTalks and SymCasts are products you make available for purchase, and every one you Host results in a payment to you. The payments are transferred to your debit card unless you add a different account in Payment Settings.
Stripe is an innovative way to accept payments online and in mobile apps, and we’ve made it even easier for you by handling all the integration necessary for you to accept your payments directly to your debit card or bank account. Stripe handles billions of dollars every year for forward-thinking businesses like yours around the world.
All of your payments are securely processed through Stripe, using Stripe Connect, and they handle all of your personal and financial information. For your security, Symposium never stores your personal information. Your relationship with Stripe is governed by a separate agreement, available here: https://stripe.com/us/connect-account/legal
Editing listings is accomplished from your User Profile. First, open up the sidebar menu and tap the link labeled “My Profile”. Next, find the listing you’d like to edit under your “Listings” tab, tap it, and tap the “Edit” button on the Details screen. Now go ahead and make any changes you need to, and save them.
If you’re adding Available or Unavailable time on the Create a Schedule screen, be sure to press the “Add” button before pressing “Finish”. If you’re unsure of your schedule or your availability on specific dates, you can always tap the “Calendar” tab on your profile screen to check them.
All times shown in Symposium are in your local time. If your schedule shows a booking starting at 5 o’clock, it will start at 5 o’clock wherever you are. Symposium converts available times for your scheduled offerings before displaying them to users located in different time zones so that your time is shown to them in their time, and vice versa.
Don’t worry, your clients will know when to join you, no matter where they are.
Starting anything new is hard, and we want to make sure Hosts have a chance to be as successful with Symposium as they can be. We have done our best to give you great flexibility in your pricing decisions by keeping our fees as low as possible, and setting minimums accordingly. However, every time you Host a SymTalk or SymGram, there are costs incurred for the underlying technology. This means that if you price your offers very low we can’t cover our costs through the standard fee, and will have to pass the costs on to you—something we strive to avoid. If you’re new, we suggest looking at listings being offered in your categories, then consider pricing yours competitively with them. It probably isn’t necessary to charge prices so low that everyone loses money, and it probably doesn’t fit into your business plan.
You can list extremely inexpensive offers, but if you charge too little, we will have to charge extra costs to you. Think about it— your time is probably worth more than you think.
At Symposium, we know your clients value your services and we hate for them to lose an opportunity to meet with you, but we know that cancellations can’t be avoided sometimes. Here’s how you do it.
Open the side menu, tap “Calendar”, and tap the date in question. Tap or slide the calendar entry you wish to cancel, then tap the “Cancel” button. We suggest you use cancelling as an opportunity to reschedule the booking, and we make it easy for you to get to your client from your calendar to message them.
Symposium offers you the ability to confirm your bookings so that you have the final say over who books your time, but you may find that it is more convenient to turn this feature off if your schedule is in high demand or you are giving a SymCast where a large number of users are expected to attend.
Make sure the “Auto-confirm” box is checked when you are creating your listing so you won’t have to worry about confirming each booking separately.
Symposium created a “Share Only” listing type, so that you can restrict access or viewing on your calendar for particular listings.
Check the box marked “Share Only” when creating your SymTalk or SymCast offer, and your listing will be visible only to you, and to the people you share it with.
To make a time slot for just one client, first make sure you haven’t already offered that time or edit any existing listings to add unavailable time, next create a “Share Only” listing with the time slot you’d like to offer, then share it with whomever you’d like!
At Symposium, nothing is more important to us than your time. We discourage late cancellations among our Hosts or our Attendees, even though we know sometimes they may be unavoidable. In order to discourage Attendee late cancellations, and to make sure that you are protected from any losses due to them, we have a late cancellation policy.
If an Attendee cancels any bookings with you within 24 hours of the scheduled time, you will receive half of the listed price, minus our fee.
At Symposium, we promote respect between our users, and we pride ourselves on protecting everyone’s time as much as we can. We don’t encourage no-shows among our Hosts or our Attendees, even though we know sometimes they may be unavoidable. In order to discourage Attendee no-shows, and to make sure that you are protected from any losses due to them, we have a no-show policy.
If an Attendee is a no-show, you will be paid the full amount of the listing price, minus our fee, as long as you have been present for at least half of the duration of your offer. (We want to make sure the Attendee has a chance to arrive late.)
- You are not paid for no-shows if you join for less than half of the duration of your offer.
Our users’ time is the heart of Symposium’s business. We understand that missing a booking is unavoidable sometimes, but most of the time it is very easy to contact your clients ahead of time to reschedule and let them know that you value their time too. Remember that too much instability in your schedule can mean losing clientele, and that’s not good for you or for helping us to maintain the trust of our users. Other Hosts are depending on our name, and our name depends on the quality and dependability of our Hosts.
Please try your best to show up when you have something scheduled. We reserve the right to review and revoke your account if you’re cancelling bookings often.
Listing your offerings on Symposium is free. There are no upfront costs, but Symposium takes a fee for each transaction between you and your clients.
- The Symposium standard fee for all purchases of SymTalks and SymCasts has been waived. Now we take 0% of the total collected and you keep 100%!
- The Symposium standard fee for all tips and purchases of cloud recordings is 50% of the total recording amount collected.
- The Symposium standard fee for all purchases of SymGram offers is 20% of the total collected.
- Penalties may occur for offers that are priced too low to recover our costs, but above the minimum restrictions.
Symposium makes it easy for you to take time for vacations, appointments, or any reason you’d like. All you have to do is add Unavailable Time to your listings.
Open the side menu and tap on “My Profile”, then “Listings”. Next tap on a listing that needs to be changed to view its Details. Tap “Edit”, then “Next”, to get to the “Create a Schedule” screen. Switch your availability to “Unavailable”, pick your dates, times, and optional repeat settings, and press the “Add” button. Press “Finish”, and you’re unavailable for that listing at the selected time.
Adding Unavailable Time does not cancel bookings during the selected time. You must cancel any previous bookings manually in your calendar. We suggest you use canceling as an opportunity to contact your client and reschedule.