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Amber Stark

2021 SIOP Annual Conference Update

The 2021 SIOP Annual Conference Committee, chaired by Whitney Botsford Morgan, is continuing its efforts to develop plans for both in-person and virtual registrants that are responsive to feedback from the 2020 SIOP Annual Conference, as well as the current and anticipated environment in April 2021 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to adapt conference plans to provide the best program in a safe manner as the pandemic continues. Program Chair Emily Solberg is pleased to share that with more than 1,000 submissions, attendees can expect high-quality, peer-reviewed content, diversity of perspectives and topic areas, and a blend of science and practice offered in the educational program.

The program is being designed to maximize flexibility and efficiency given the ever-changing environment. The submission review process is wrapping up – thank you to everyone who submitted and reviewed this outstanding collection of proposals. Submitters will be notified of their acceptance by mid-January.

In our planning, the Conference Committee is prioritizing interactivity in order to maintain a sense of community without sacrificing the convenience that was valued in the virtual conference. First, there will be live (in-person and virtual) sessions where presenters and attendees may attend in real-time, asking questions and allowing opportunity for engagement.  Second, there will be scheduled blocks of time for virtual social/networking, akin to coffee breaks that would occur at an in-person event. Finally, there will be all-SIOP plenaries and receptions taking place in the live virtual format to open and close the conference. We thank you for your patience as we reimagine the conference that meets the needs of our membership in new and exciting ways. While these details are being finalized, registration will also be opening in January.

As a reminder, the Conference Committee’s current vision is to host one “hybrid” conference that will consist of:

  • In-Person Live sessions from April 15-17 enjoyed by in-person conference registrants at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, some of which will be live streamed to virtual conference registrants.
  • Virtual Live sessions from April 15-17 enjoyed by in-person and virtual conference registrants, regardless of location (e.g., Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel room, home, office).
  • Virtual Asynchronous sessions available during and after the conference dates enjoyed by in-person and virtual conference registrants on demand (similar to the 2020 SIOP Virtual Conference offering).

At the center of the Conference Committee’s efforts are the Guiding Principles, which include honoring, displaying, and preserving the various aspects that underpin a successful planning process and a successful conference.

In all stages of this process, the committee is committed to honoring our members’ intellectual contributions, inclusiveness with respect to diversity of member needs and preferences, and the vital role that the annual conference’s community building fulfills for SIOP. This article is just one of the ways the committee is displaying transparency in decision making and regular two-way communication; our FAQs and our open invitation to offer feedback or ask a question not answered in the FAQs are two more. Finally, the committee aims to preserve the capacity of our volunteers and staff, and the conference revenue on which SIOP relies.

The most current 2021 SIOP Annual Conference information can be found on the annual conference webpage. While you are waiting for updates, be sure to check out #SIOPConferenceMemories on social media and share your own had-to-be-there moments. We look forward to making new memories with new and returning attendees this April.

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