14 May 2020
By: Guy Brasseur, Fall Meeting Program Committee Chair; Sabine Stanley, Meetings Committee Chair; and Lauren Parr, Vice President, Meetings
In-person, virtual or both?
As one would expect, COVID-19 was top-of-mind. As indicated previously, we started planning for both a fully virtual meeting and one with some in-person attendance with an expanded virtual presence. To reiterate what we’ve said from day one, the health and safety of all of you and our staff remain our top priority.
We are determining what the likely environment will be in San Francisco by working closely with Moscone Center, San Francisco Traveler and Visitors Board, the San Francisco Department of Environmental Health and representatives from the hotel community as well as from city and regional offices. We are following science and guidance from the WHO, CDC and state, local and international health authorities, agencies and governments around issues such as safe travel and whether regional hubs can be supported.
Our goal is to have more details about our plan by the time abstracts open for submission. As of right now, abstracts will be accepted from June 10 thru July 29. However, if we learn that we may receive important additional information if we delayed the abstract submission start date, we will notify the community. If we do push back the start date, we would delay the closing date too.
When we open abstracts, we’ll share how remote attendees will present and engage with a focus on individual and small group engagement. If there is an in-person meeting, we’ll outline what this will look like and how it will be connected to the virtual experience.
This will support you in anticipating what sessions will be like, how other events will happen and provide an understanding of how to prepare for December.
Rest assured that we are planning an exciting and dynamic meeting that will showcase the science and provide connections and reconnections.
In the meantime, we are evaluating and testing different technologies and brainstorming on how we can make virtual components as engaging as possible. We are also learning from other meetings occurring now and later this summer. Either way, we know that virtual is something our community wants to see even more of from Fall Meeting and we’re focused on expanding this for the long term.
If you have suggestions or ideas, including around your virtual experiences in other meetings this spring, large and small, please send them to [email protected]. We also welcome what we should avoid based on your past experiences too!
Incorporating strategic plan and revising SWIRLs
The FMPC also had in-depth discussions about how to better support AGU’s new strategic plan including incorporating convergent science and community connections while further supporting and promoting all of AGU’s science. In considering SWIRLs, we intend to improve our search and theme organization to help you find the sessions and events of most interest to you.
We were pleased that we had so many session submissions, including for our new innovative sessions. Your proposals reminded us of the energy across the community and the willingness to continue to innovate and expand the impact of our science.
We appreciate your continued support of AGU and Fall Meeting.