ESIP Lab – RFP now openThis year’s theme is climate resilience.

Hybrid Meetings: Coffee, Snacks, Cameras, Mics and More…

Hybrid Meetings: Coffee, Snacks, Cameras, Mics and More…

Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) hosts twice-annual meetings – and the 2023 July ESIP Meeting will be a hybrid meeting: in-person in Burlington, Vermont, and online everywhere. In her guest blog, ESIP Executive Director Susan Shingledecker shares what it takes to pull off a successful hybrid meeting in 2023. She breaks down the cost of registration and explains why it’s important to stay at the meeting venue.

Are you ready for Burlington? I know I am! The ESIP Community has been looking forward to gathering in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, for more than three years!

Well, the countdown is on. And seeing that 2023 is ESIP’s 25th Anniversary we are working hard to make this our best ESIP Meeting yet. Our theme is “Opening Doors to Open Science” and we will be gathering in-person and virtually from July 18-21.

How can you help? 

ESIP Logo and words "25 years of collaboration"

Hybrid meetings require openness.

Core to ESIP is the value of reducing barriers for participation, making the community as open as possible and being transparent

We are an organization of partner organizations and membership in ESIP has always been free. We make the community open to full participation by all who are interested. Additionally, each year ESIP hosts more than 200 collaborative community calls that are open and free to all who want to participate. Anyone can join – partners or newcomers. 

Hybrid meetings are not free, but we want them to be fair.

Twice a year we hold our larger conferences: virtually in January and hybrid in July. To run these meetings well, ESIP has costs that are not covered by our grant funding sources.

 We do all we can to keep our meeting registration costs reasonable, and ESIP meeting participants continually tell us that they find value and collaboration at our meetings. Last year, 100% of meeting participants said they would recommend ESIP meetings to a friend or colleague. (Wow, I’m blushing! Thank you!)


Something else our community values: Transparency.

In a world of rapidly increasing costs, it is important to be transparent about how we set our registration rates. The  2023 in-person rates are set at below break-even pricing. For this reason, sponsorship of ESIP meeting is essential! Sponsorship can be at the business or individual level and may be tax deductible. Please help us spread the word!

Here’s the breakdown.

  • Four days – food and beverage (F&B):  $415/person. (So grab that extra cup of coffee and be sure to enjoy the snack breaks!) 
  • Audiovisual costs (AV) – in-person and online: $212 per person to ensure a smooth experience in the plenary and breakout spaces. 

So you can see with just F&B and AV, our expenses are $627 for in-person attendees and $212 for online attendees. And that doesn’t cover other costs like meeting room space and other materials. It’s also important to us to support our ESIP Partners. To encourage organizations to join ESIP, we have a stated policy that partners receive a $100 discount on meeting registration.

You should be able to hear a hybrid meeting.

Our AV focuses on a more robust set up in the plenary space and more basic functionality in the breakout rooms. Our goal is to minimize technical distractions and make sure everyone, in the room and online, can see and hear each other. This requires cameras, microphones, sound boards and professional staff along with the hard work of the ESIP Community Fellows and staff.

Hybrid meetings mean stay at the hotel. 

Most meeting attendees don’t know that the easiest way to help us run a hybrid meeting is to stay at the meeting venue. 

To make meetings affordable and get reduced rates on meeting room space, ESIP enters into an agreement with the hotel. We have to guarantee a certain number of overnight rooms each night in exchange for the discounted meeting space. 

When attendees choose to stay at other nearby hotels this hurts our ability to make our room block numbers and can cost ESIP additional fees out of pocket. While I appreciate that some of you are “Marriot people” and others “Hilton people,”  do us a huge favor and maximize your networking time by staying at the DoubleTree!  

Of course, the most important contributions you all make to our ESIP Meetings are your collaborations, innovative sessions, detailed discussions and enthusiasm. Thank you for all you do to make our hybrid meetings successful and insightful!

Susan Shingledecker wrote this blog post. Allison Mills edited the piece.

ESIP stands for Earth Science Information Partners and is a community of partner organizations and volunteers. We work together to meet environmental data challenges and look for opportunities to expand, improve, and innovate across Earth science disciplines.

Learn more and sign up for the weekly ESIP Update for #EarthScienceData events, funding, webinars and ESIP announcements.