In addition to consulting with Epistemix, we continue to work closely with facility management as well as civic and public health authorities in San Antonio to monitor guidance as the meeting gets closer. The above protocols are subject to change in light of updated guidance.
We recognize that even with the measures described above, many members will not be comfortable or able to travel to San Antonio and attend an in-person meeting. We also recognize that travel to the United States from some parts of the world remains restricted. For those members who will not be in San Antonio, we continue to provide options for virtual attendance and participation. As of Friday, September 10th, we have over 6,000 people register with 81% registered for the in-person meeting.
As we noted in our announcement about holding a dual format meeting, we are not able to provide truly hybrid sessions (i.e., a mix of in-person and remote, live-video presentations) due to the challenges – both logistical and financial (an additional $4,000,000) – for a meeting at our scale. However, we will be able to offer the opportunity for all presenters, whether of virtual or in-person sessions, to pre-record presentations and make those recordings available to all who register for the meeting. We hope that this will be particularly useful to presenters scheduled in in-person sessions who decide they cannot travel. Details on how to record and upload pre-recorded presentation videos will be sent to presenters soon. As was the case last year, all paper presenters will have the option to share presentation documents like handouts and full-text papers through the app/online planner.
We will continue to be as flexible as possible making adjustments to the programming as the meeting approaches. Program unit chairs should contact Robert Puckett about any changes and updates needed to sessions. Attendees may make changes to registrations through October 21st without any change fees. Presenters must be registered in order to remain on the program. Presenters planning in absentia presentations in an in-person session, including pre-recorded presentations, may register for the virtual-only meeting if they are not planning to travel to San Antonio.
Over the last month, the guidance for dealing effectively with the pandemic has shifted dramatically. In the two months between now and the start of the meeting, it is likely to shift again. We will continue to develop the best possible plans to meet the needs of members in safe, responsible ways and will keep you informed as quickly as possible regarding any changes.
The AAR’s leadership values the range of perspectives that have been shared with us concerning the Annual Meeting, and we continue to work hard to find the best path forward for all the organization’s members. These are certainly challenging times and we are grateful to be in this together. We all are the AAR.
Marla Frederick, AAR President
Mayra Rivera, AAR President-Elect
Amir Hussain, AAR Vice President