As you know, COVID has been an unpredictable pandemic that has made planning our annual conference a yearly challenge. As has been consistent with our approach to planning conferences, we have taken our lead from our members and made decisions based on the feedback we receive. In this case, a significant majority of our membership expressed concern about a face to face conference in the 2022 ST&D modality survey that we conducted a few weeks ago. Specific concerns from the survey responses involved the unpredictability of the virus as well as the lack of mitigation in the state of Georgia, and these issues were especially of concern for our members based outside of the US.
After careful reflection on the results of the survey, and in consultation with the Governing Board and the 2022 ST&D organizing committee, we are announcing the decision to move ST&D 2022 to a fully virtual format that will be similar in structure and organization to the 2021 online meeting, and will occur during the same scheduled week of July 18-22.
We recognize this may be an unexpected and disappointing change from an in-person meeting in Atlanta, but we wanted our membership to be able to adequately plan and adjust to the new conference format before submitting any research proposals. To facilitate this change, we will be extending the ST&D 2022 submission deadline to March 15, 2022; and will be reaching out to authors who have already submitted to determine how they would like to proceed with their submissions. Barring extraordinary circumstances, we anticipate this will be the final deadline extension for ST&D 2022.
Presentation options for the ST&D 2022 online conference will again mirror those of last year, and submitters will be able to indicate if they would like to be considered for an Enhanced presentation (using Zoom and Flipgrid) or a Standard presentation (using Flipgrid). We will also be exploring the option for live virtual poster sessions using Gather; further details about this option will be made available to submitters at a later date.
The online call for papers (https://easychair.org/cfp/std2022) and the submission webpage (https://easychair.org/my/conference?conf=std2022) have been adjusted to reflect these changes. We are still discussing registration rates for ST&D 2022 but do not anticipate they will significantly change compared to last year.
While the past two years have been challenging, our community has been a source of strength. The conferences have been wonderful experiences because the membership of the Society has helped guide our decisions. We will continue to build upon what we have learned about creating an excellent virtual conference experience for 2022. Regardless of the format of the conference, it is the quality of research that you conduct that makes our experience excellent.