The ATA Chronicle - July/August 2020 - 4

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FROM THE PRESIDENT-ELECT
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4

The ATA Chronicle | July/August 2020

ATA61 Goes
Virtual

T

his year we've all been met with a
lot of uncertainty. As president-elect
and Annual Conference organizer,
I'll tell you that a global pandemic and
economic crisis were not the challenges
I expected we would face this year in
planning ATA61. As the number of
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continues to
climb, your health and well-being remain
our top priority. With this in mind, and
in order to bring some certainty to our
Annual Conference event, ATA's Board
of Directors has decided to shift from a
"hybrid" (in-person and virtual) model to
a fully virtual conference model this year.
We could not make this decision earlier
in the year due to the huge financial
cancelation penalties ATA would have
incurred if we had canceled without
a contractually-stipulated cause. The
conference hotel has now agreed to waive
cancelation penalties if we agree to hold
our Annual Conference at their hotel
in 2025, the next available date. The
removal of this financial barrier allowed
us to focus solely on the health and
well-being of our conference attendees,
sponsors, exhibitors.
With this new-to-ATA delivery format,
and knowing conference attendees
appreciate the educational content
available, our main focus will be to deliver
a large variety of sessions that will appeal
to our diverse membership. While it may
not be possible to provide all 174 regular
sessions for the virtual conference, our
goal will be to provide as many sessions
as possible that attendees will find useful
and stimulating. The remote conference

features aim to make sessions incredibly
interactive and accessible. You'll be able
to participate in session Q&As and even
send your questions to speakers after their
session if they were unable to answer
them live. You'll also be able to see which
sessions are in progress and start viewing
them immediately, switch between session
rooms just as you would if you attended
in person, and more. And, of course,
if you can't make it to a session during
the livestream, you can watch the
recording later!

Your health and well-being
remain our top priority. With this
in mind, ATA's Board of Directors
has decided to shift ATA's Annual
Conference from an in-person
event to a fully virtual conference
model this year.

Our virtual Exhibit Hall will allow
you to chat with vendors and tools
representatives and ask questions about
their products or services. Our conference
sponsors will also be highlighted on the
virtual conference site so that remote
attendees can learn more about them and
what they provide.
Finally, it wouldn't be an Annual
Conference without the networking
and camaraderie we all enjoy so much.
The virtual conference will include
remote networking and social gatherings
for attendees, just as we always have
when meeting in person. Divisions are
encouraged to organize virtual social
gatherings in lieu of the popular annual
division dinners we all enjoy.
As conference organizer, I assure you
that we'll do everything possible to make
the virtual conference as enjoyable and
beneficial as possible for attendees.
Despite the uncertainty and unknowns
2020 has brought, we're excited to have
made this decision and to bring some
certainty and excitement to the format of
the Annual Conference. One thing is for
sure-ATA61 will be one for the books!
www.atanet.org


https://www.bit.ly/2YQN1Xi https://www.bit.ly/3eQ3EYH http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - July/August 2020

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The ATA Chronicle - July/August 2020 - Cover4
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