ESIP meetings will be virtual until January 2022 

ESIP Leadership has made the difficult decision to extend our move to virtual conferences from in-person conferences until January 2022. We do not take this decision lightly, but we are continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our community members, staff, and local partners who are struggling with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ESIP is a strong, vibrant community and has risen to the occasion already with 2 productive and innovative virtual conferences held since the pandemic started. Our community is thriving together virtually and, when we do come back together, we will all appreciate our face-to-face collaborations even more.

We acknowledge the uncertainty and disruption continuing across the country and across the world as a result of the pandemic. In moments of crisis, our people and communities are our greatest assets. As a virtual organization, ESIP is skilled at supporting our distributed community remotely and we are happy to be a resource and offer up the ESIP platform as you continue to navigate remote participation and try to turn in-person activities into virtual ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does this decision adhere to US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance?
This is the CDC guidance for large gatherings: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/index.html. It is impossible for us to know about at-risk populations within our community, but we should assume we have them and we should protect those folks. 

In person meetings provide more engagement. What will you do to try to replicate that serendipitous engagement?
We all highly value the ESIP community and the serendipitous ways that the in-person meetings provide chance encounters with others who we may learn from and collaborate with. We have already invested in a more robust collaborative infrastructure and seized opportunities to experiment and push the envelope on building these connections online during our virtual conferences, as well as during the normal ESIP year-round operations. If you attended either the 2020 ESIP Summer Meeting or the 2021 ESIP Winter Meeting, we hope you saw much evidence of this effort and you have our commitment that we will not stop researching and trying new ways to make our virtual conferences even better.

Are ESIP Conferences just a week full of webinars?
No! We strive to design innovative and interactive sessions throughout our meetings. We support our breakout session organizers by providing customized training led by master facilitators in new methods of engaging participants and in designing sessions to achieve real outcomes. We also practice what we preach by designing plenary sessions that are anything but passive. In addition, we provide numerous networking spaces for participants and semi-structured activities for them to catch up with colleagues they know and expand their network further. The virtual environment has also provided new opportunities for participants to showcase their work, including the Research Showcase Poster & Demo Showcase, which offers both live and asynchronous times to learn about others’ work. We, the ESIP Staff & Leaders, along with the Meetings Committee, will continue to learn from past virtual meetings and look for new and exciting ways to keep innovating in the future. Have you seen something you particularly liked at a virtual conference? Let us know!

When is the next in-person ESIP planned?
As of now, the 2022 Winter Meeting will be in person in the Washington D.C. area. Our plan is that we will go to Burlington, VT in July 2022. We are very excited to engage with the local University of Vermont community when we are able to meet in person. We also hope to use the next several months to build additional partnerships in the northeast that we will leverage.