2022 Conference: What's going on?
A Message about the Annual Conference
As we prepare to make final decisions for the format of this year’s conference, we are reminded how much the world has changed in the last several years. One thing that remains constant is our commitment to diversity and inclusion, in all of our work. Principle 3 in ARNOVA’s Code of Ethics acknowledges the diversity of the ARNOVA community as an asset and a value. Given that recognition, the Board takes very seriously the issue of our North American conference format. For reasons relating to inclusivity and access, as well as environmental concerns, we understand how critical virtual access to our conferences can be.
It is, however, also important to note that contracts we have with conference hotels through 2025 were finalized several years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For 2022, if we don’t meet certain targets in terms of rooms rented at our two conference hotels, we will be responsible for up to $215,000 in lost revenue for the convention center (where our sessions will be held) as well as at the hotels. This potential loss of revenue, and consequently potential for financial harm to ARNOVA if we fail to meet those targets is significant.
We also acknowledge that sponsorship revenue has been lower than anticipated for the last two years, understandably given budget cuts for many academic institutions, and the reality that many philanthropic partners have shared that they continue to focus their support on front-line COVID support. We are hopeful sponsorship revenue and philanthropic support will rebound in future years.
Balancing the desire for inclusive, virtual access with the realities of contractual obligations won’t be easy. For this year, we believe that we’ll need to take a short-term approach that is more focused on contracts (e.g., STRONGLY encouraging in-person participation and limiting virtual options), even as we start developing a long-term approach that is more focused on inclusion and our precious planet (e.g., expanding virtual options and potentially reducing the frequency of in-person events.)
Therefore, we wanted you to be aware that we will have fewer slots available this year for hybrid presentations (where both presenters and audience members can join in person or virtually) and we will not have any all-virtual sessions. We believe having this information will help you as you’ll soon be making your decisions about conference attendance. By way of comparison, in Atlanta we had five fully hybrid rooms; in Raleigh we anticipate no more than three.
We’ll have more specifics about plans for Raleigh in late summer / early fall. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in November to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NVSQ at our 51st annual conference.
Pier Rogers, Board President
Lynnette Cook, Executive Director