Happy New Year to all! The tenure of this executive committee is about halfway over and yet it feels like we have just begun. All of our energies have been focused on finding ways to keep the community engaged during a pandemic. And it has not been easy.
It was with great sadness that we decided to move the 2022 conference in San Diego to a virtual event. With the pandemic continuing, and travel budgets at institutions in a state of flux, we decided that while some might be able to attend in person, that it would be better for the overall health of the community to be inclusive and do another virtual event. Additionally, we wanted to be respectful of the conference planning committee and make sure that they had enough time to plan a well-run virtual conference. We are taking what we learned from the 2021 conference and doing that work now! Watch for announcements in the coming weeks on schedule, sessions, and other activities.
Regarding San Diego, while this was a location that we were excited about visiting, we were no longer able to extend our contract with the hotel. Instead we were able to negotiate a cancellation fee that was under the contractual amount in order to serve the SIG as best we could. This was not done easily and it was disappointing to spend money and get nothing in return, but we also couldn’t see hosting a conference for only a small number of attendees.
Thinking ahead now to 2023, the board is concerned about how to proceed. We began looking at sites, but without a clear sense of how the pandemic will shift and whether or not institutional budgets will bounce back, we struggle with signing another hotel contract. We want to hear from you! And we want to hear from you sooner rather than later.
Our next board meeting is February 14. Put on your favorite red shirt or hat for Valentine’s Day and join us to provide us with your thoughts about how we proceed. We WANT to have a conference, but not if it means YOU cannot attend. Do you feel that your institutions will shift away from sponsoring travel and in-person conferences in the future? Is your institution seeing virtual conferences as a permanent and positive shift? If a virtual conference is what you NEED in order to stay connected, we want to make it happen and make sure that it is the best conference we can plan.
Join us for our next board meeting. Monday, February 14 at 2pm EST (1pm Central, 12noon, Mountain, 11am Pacific) and bring your ideas for how we can engage with each other, realize the very positive benefits of this organization, and continue to build community while not being able to gather in person. Register today!
We’d ❤️ to hear from you.
~ Lisa Brown, SIGUCCS Chair