It’s tricky planning a meeting during a pandemic, so we hope you’ll bear with us and support the Western Section during these tough times. It’s very important to the Western Section that we host our 2022 Annual Meeting in an inclusive way so that ANYONE in the Section who wants to participate is able to attend our meeting whether that be in-person, virtually or a mix of both.
We negotiated a contract for the Reno meeting pre-covid, so we are obligated to purchase any hotel rooms reserved on our room block that do not get booked. And, we are also obligated to spend a large amount of money on food/beverage per our contract. The Peppermill venue space is free for us to use, but in exchange we have promised to sell hotel rooms and purchase food and beverage for our meeting attendees. Even if our attendees are online, we are still contractually liable for covering these costs.
The extra costs for the hybrid/livestreamed meeting (such as purchases of a huge amount of new tech gear for each room we are using/and hiring tech staff to run the livestreaming in each meeting room all week) are quite equal to the costs for an in-person meeting (food.) We’ve decided to charge one flat registration fee so our attendees can register now, but wait until the last minute to see how they feel most comfortable participating.
We have spent a lot of time creating a meeting agenda that works equally well for all participation methods! Virtual attendees will have many opportunities for discussion and interaction. And we will mail registration materials to our virtual participants so they will not miss out.
We will be emailing all meeting registrants a form to fill out by January 7th to confirm their participation method. This form will also confirm who gets a mailed registration package, and who needs a name badge/in-person packet pickup.
These are weird times, and this is our 69th annual meeting. We are making decisions so that we can continue offering meetings for another 69 years (plus!) in the future. We do not want to go bankrupt due to costly conference fees as a result of the pandemic. We hope you will register for the 2022 annual meeting as a show of support for the Western Section of The Wildlife Society.