The two most important priorities throughout the planning for the 102nd AMS Annual Meeting have always been the health and safety of all participants, and the viability of executing a successful annual meeting. Given the recent sharp increases in positive Covid-19 cases throughout the country (including the Houston area); the decision of many participants to choose remote attendance; and your comments and responses to the recent survey, the AMS President, Overall Planning Committee, and AMS staff have made the difficult decision that the AMS 102nd Annual Meeting (sessions, town hall meetings, short courses, posters, exhibits, and side meetings) will be held virtually. The 21st Annual AMS Student Conference will remain a hybrid meeting, where attendees can participate in-person or remotely 22-23 January 2022. The decision to move the 102nd Annual Meeting to virtual was not made lightly, and we understand that many of you will experience a spectrum of emotions and impacts.
Why are we changing the annual meeting to 100% virtual?
The 2022 Overall Planning Committee and staff have worked tirelessly to ensure a safe environment at the conference in Houston for those who felt the risk level was acceptable. However, with the growing surge of the Omicron variant (which is projected to peak at the same time as our annual meeting), we have had a growing number of key individuals and organizations (volunteers, staff, presenters, attendees, vendors, universities, and government organizations) needed to support and contribute to the quality of the in-person meeting opt to participate in the Annual Meeting remotely. It is now clear that we will not have the critical mass of on-site expertise to run the in-person component nor the attendance to provide a quality in-person meeting up to the level that we have all come to expect. Therefore we have come to the difficult conclusion to focus our attention and resources on an all-virtual Annual Meeting and hybrid Student Conference.
Why are you keeping the in-person component for the Student Conference?
While a large number of attendees for the Annual Meeting chose the remote option, an overwhelming number of Student Conference attendees are still planning to join us in-person. Also, the size and scope of the Student Conference is more manageable for the volunteers, vendors, and staff needed to make that conference viable. Finally, we recognize that Student Conference attendees, especially, have an urgent need and desire to meet and network with each other in-person. More information on the Student Conference will be available shortly.
If you have a role (presenter, session chair, student assistant, student travel grant recipient, exhibitor, sponsor, town hall meeting organizer, short course organizer/instructor etc.), during the 102nd Annual Meeting and/or 21st Annual Student Conference, please check your email for more detailed information on how this change affects you.
We are so grateful to you all for your support as we work to provide a safe, engaging, and fulfilling Annual Meeting experience!
Mike Farrar, AMS President
Gina Eosco and John Lanicci, Overall Planning Committee Co-chairpersons
Stella Kafka, AMS Executive Director
Jen Ives, AMS Director of Meetings