June 20, 2020
ASHS Announces Moving Forward with a Virtual-Only Format
The health and safety of our members and their families is of the utmost importance to ASHS. As such, we have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our in person 2020 Annual Conference scheduled for August 9-13, 2020, in Orlando, Florida. Unfortunately, due to current state restrictions and CDC guidelines, the ASHS Board of Directors has been forced to transition the 2020 ASHS Annual Conference from an in-person format to a Virtual-Only Format.
ASHS continues to advocate that the Annual Conference is important for the science of horticulture. Louise Ferguson wrote eloquently as to the importance of our Annual Conference for the careers of our members. Sharing your work in teaching, extension, and research is important to all of us. A Conference, even virtually, is a different and a more interactive format than just reading manuscripts. There will be interactions with your peers, poster and oral presentations, keynote speakers, awards, and the ability to ask questions of presenters. It is important to share our scholarship and experiences with others.
What does this Mean for My Presentation? Do I have to present live via Zoom or is my Presentation Prerecorded? What Parts of the Conference will be Live?
There are details to be finalized, but the following has been determined as of today. Additional format information will be added in the coming days.
- Poster Presenters - All poster presenters MUST prerecord their presentation in the form of an E-Poster. For instructions and tips, watch this webinar: https://vimeo.com/422899663 Each Poster Session will have a live Q&A session where presenters will be available to take your questions.
- Oral Presenters – All oral presenters MUST prerecord their presentations (each presenter has 15 minutes). There is a scheduled LIVE discussion during each oral session where the 6 speakers from the session will be available for taking questions.
- Workshops – All workshop presentations will be presented LIVE.
- Plenary/Keynotes/Award Ceremony/Business Meeting - will be presented LIVE.
I Submitted a Presentation, but I haven’t Registered. When Do I Need to Register by in Order for My Presentation to be Included in the Final Scheduled ASHS Conference Program?
July 6th is the deadline for all Presenters to be Registered (and paid) in order for their presentation to be Included in the Final Scheduled ASHS Conference Program.
Will I Still Receive a Swag-Bag?
Yes, an ASHS staff person will be reaching out to confirm where your conference package should be sent (office address or an alternative address).
How will I be able to Network if we are having a Virtual Event?
There will be “events” scheduled throughout the Conference to interact on a personal level. Further details will be forthcoming on these events.
How will I Interact with the Exhibitors Since I Won’t be able to Meet with them Face-to-Face?
Exhibitors will have the opportunity to participate in LIVE workshops and do product demonstrations followed by discussion periods. They are also invited to participate in the newly launched program Industry Ignite! They are encouraged to organize their own online events and invite participants to them during the virtual Conference.
As Announced in April, the Conference fees, whether the Conference was to be in-person or virtual or a hybrid of the two, the registration rates would remain the same. However, the rates were not increased after the regular registration rate went into effect on February 16th.
At times, there seems to be a misconception about potentially having things presented online and a reduction in cost. Although there are some areas of saving, there are also new expenditures, such as expanded systems and staff to coordinate and operate the platforms to be able to coordinate more than 900 presentation.
However, there are a few changes that will be made for the virtual conference.
- All undergraduate members of ASHS will be provided with a free registration (they will still need to register and if they need to become a member, they can do that at no charge). Undergraduates can also still submit abstracts so that they can be included in the Undergraduate Poster and Oral Sessions.
- In addition, the 2020 Student Education & Career Day - 20/20: Seeing Your Professional Future Coming into Focus will be open to all attendees at no charge. (Those that have paid for this session will be refunded). The full agenda is available at: https://ashs.org/page/2020StudentSeminar
- Also, the session, Leadership: Another Part of your Career as a Horticulturist will be open to all attendees at no charge. (Those that have paid for this session will be refunded).
Session Overview - Among ASHS members, the undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, faculty and industry members are our future department chairs, deans, provosts, chancellors, industry and government leaders. Just as it takes years, and conscious efforts to become an effective scientist, professor or extension professional it also takes training to become a leader. This session will focus on how to approach developing your leadership skills; starting with a better understanding of yourself and seeking out leadership training opportunities. There will be required reading done prior to participating in this session.
Refunds for Tours and Ticketed Events
Tours, Lunches, Closing Event, etc. ticket fees will be refunded over the next several weeks. Please keep in mind that this is a manual process and will take time to process. If you would like to donate your tour or event fees to the ASHS Endowment fund, please contact Negar Mahdavian at email@example.com.
The featured Luncheon Speakers will be asked to still present their talks. We will make these available to all conference attendees.
June 1, 2020 - Frequently Asked Questions
- Will the ASHS Conference be held in Orlando?
As of the first week of June, the conference is still scheduled to be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, along with a fully virtual program for those unable, or uncomfortable, with travel to Orlando.
- I’ve seen some other organizations that have cancelled their physical meeting this year and gone exclusively virtual—why hasn’t ASHS?
Organizations sign contracts with hotel(s) and convention properties, which are binding to both parties. The facilities are required to offer the services stated in the contract, and the organizations are required to meet the minimums of purchased services (rooms, food and beverage, etc.) or face monetary penalties (which are substantial). As of now, the state of Florida, Orange County, and the city of Orlando are continuing their phased reopening. This reopening plan includes strict sanitary and social distancing guidelines for conference facilities. Under these plans, the Rosen Plaza anticipates it will meet the requirements to physically hold the ASHS Conference. Accordingly, ASHS is contractually obligated to be at the hotel and hold the meeting August 9-13, 2020. These meetings are state- and locale-specific. Several organizations have meetings scheduled this year in places that have already stated that physical meetings will not be allowed to occur as scheduled.
- What would cause the physical meeting to be cancelled?
If the state of Florida and the local governments determine that the phased reopening is not going according to established parameters, and these parameters are such that the hotel is unable to meet its obligations, the meeting would be physically cancelled and will be held virtually only. This is a fluid situation dependent on determinations by Florida and Orange County health services.
May 13, 2020
The 2020 ASHS Annual Conference is Happening!
- The conference will definitely be occurring August 9–13, 2020.
- There will be a virtual component to the conference, or the conference will be presented entirely virtually.
- There may or may not be an in-person component (in addition to the virtual aspect), which will be determined by the State of Florida and the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Technical Program, consisting of more than 900 presentations, is being finalized now and will be available online within the next 2 weeks. Additional details will be made available when they are available.
April 15, 2020
The ASHS Annual Conference in 2020 is Happening!
The ASHS Board of Directors has decided that there will be an Annual Conference August 9–13, 2020. However, it will not be until closer to the Conference dates until the format will be determined. Your health and safety are our primary consideration in this decision process, and our decision will be made following the recommendations from national and state health agencies. There are a number of possible Conference formats; however, because a number of organizations are restricting travel, we anticipate having virtual options available. The Conference fees, whether the Conference is in-person or virtual or a hybrid of the two, are the same as published.
It is important to plan now for this Conference. Louise Ferguson wrote eloquently as to the importance of our Annual Conference for our careers. The Annual Conference is also important for the science of horticulture. Sharing your work in teaching, extension, and research is important to all of us. A Conference, even virtually, is a different, more interactive format than just reading manuscripts. There will be interactions with your peers, poster and oral presentations, keynote speakers, awards, and the ability to ask questions of presenters. It is important to share our scholarship and experiences with others. The easiest and most meaningful way to participate is to submit an abstract (and there is no requirement to pay a fee at the time of submission). Your participation is what makes our Conferences exciting and interesting. To submit your abstract, go to https://ashs.confex.com/ashs/2020/cfp.cgi
April 1, 2020
ASHS continues to monitor the constantly evolving status of COVID-19 and possible impacts on the ASHS Annual Conference in August. The ASHS staff and Board of Directors still retain optimism for holding the conference as scheduled, while being guided primarily on the health, welfare, and safety of ASHS attendees. Your Society is developing multiple contingencies for this conference, including virtual access and peer-to-peer networking options, and will heed the recommendations of the national and state health agencies as the conference nears.
Planning and organization efforts continue and we will share detailed information on developments as available.
March 12, 2020
Planning and organization for a successful August 2020 ASHS Annual Conference in Orlando continues. ASHS is dedicated to your safety, health, and well-being and we continue to closely monitor the evolving status of COVID-19 per local health authorities, the CDC, and WHO. We are optimistic that the conference will occur as scheduled and will update all conference registrants and ASHS members on any updates. We look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando in August for an educational, productive, and safe annual conference!