AFS Members, Partners, Exhibitors, and Annual Meeting attendees:

Statement as of March 16, 2020

At the present time, the COVID-19 pandemic is having serious impacts on special events such as conferences around the world. We want to reassure you of several points regarding the AFS Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, August 30 – September 3, 2020.

  • The Annual Meeting is still planned to go ahead as scheduled, as it is still almost six full months away.
  • AFS staff, the Columbus planning committee, and AFS officers are all monitoring the situation very closely and take seriously the health and safety of our members, attendees, and guests.
  • We will inform you immediately of any changes in the status of the conference or changes to deadlines.
  • Abstract submission has been extended until April 20. All abstracts submitted by that deadline will be fully considered and likely incorporated into the program. We will notify speakers the week of May 18 about the date and time of their presentation.
  • Early Bird Registration rates will run from mid-April until June 26 as planned. We will reevaluate this deadline if needed.
  • We will offer full registration refunds for attendees whose travel is canceled by their university, agency, or other employer, or due to health reasons, up until 7 days before the conference (Monday, August 24), due to our catering order deadline.
  • Attendees can cancel hotel reservations without penalty in our room block.
  • We are working with our exhibitor services companies to determine a fair cancellation policy under these unusual circumstances and will announce that as soon as it is resolved.

We urge presenters to go ahead and submit abstracts as usual for session planning purposes, and call upon our symposium organizers to be flexible and creative in dealing with the uncertainty some presenters may have about their travel arrangements.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation—we look forward to seeing you in Columbus this August!

Scott Bonar
AFS President

Doug Austen
AFS Executive Director

Curtis Wagner
Meeting General Co-Chair

Janice Kerns
Meeting General Co-Chair