Special ESIP Update: 2020 ESIP Summer & 2021 ESIP Winter Meetings Going VirtualWe are moving the next two meetings to virtual conferences. Looking forward to July 2021 in Burlington, VT as our next in-person meeting.
First and foremost, I hope that you and your families are staying healthy and safe through this unprecedented period. As you know, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic over the last several weeks.
The ESIP Board met yesterday, Monday, 4/20, and made the difficult decision to move our in-person meetings to virtual conferences until July 2021, when we plan to reconvene in Burlington, VT. We do not take this decision lightly, but we are prioritizing the health and safety of our community members, staff and local partners who are struggling with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am grateful to the Board for their significant leadership at this moment.
Why the January 2021 Meeting too? As you have likely seen, many groups have already made the decision to suspend in-person meetings planned for the Summer and Fall and, while the January 2021 ESIP Winter Meeting seems like a long way off, we had not signed the contract with the hotel and feel it is infeasible and irresponsible to commit to the financial liability associated with the venue contract and efficiently organize the ESIP Winter Meeting with so much uncertainty.
Are these virtual conferences just going to be a set of webinars? No! As we take this opportunity to move both events to virtual conferences, we will be investing in a more robust collaborative infrastructure and using this as an opportunity to experiment and push the envelope on building these connections online during our virtual conferences as well as during the normal ESIP collaborations. ESIP is a learning organization and we will take lessons learned from the Summer Meeting to improve the Winter Meeting.
If you are interested in shaping this new format, we invite you to join the Meetings Committee call, next Monday, April 27 at 1pm ET and last Mondays monthly.
Finally, I have developed a set of FAQs on the ESIP Meeting page to answer more questions. We will communicate and provide more details in the coming weeks on what the ESIP Summer Meeting especially with our speakers, session conveners and you all as this evolves. Reach out if you have questions I have not covered.
ESIP is a strong, vibrant community and will rise to the occasion. We are already seeing our community will thrive together. We want the ESIP community to be able to focus on getting back to the new normal and hope that moving forward this way allows us to do that.
Looking forward to exploring new, virtual frontiers together!
ESIP Executive Director
On behalf of the ESIP Board and Staff