A hearty hello to the ALAO membership! In addition to the overall buzz I acquire at the start of a new semester, I am excited to begin my tenure as your Vice President/President Elect. This means, of course, that I must begin to devote a portion of my thought processes to 2022 and ALAO’s 48th annual conference, which at this early stage is being planned as an in-person event for early November. This decision was made before the COVID-19 pandemic took its current turn in the wrong direction, and in fact was based on the results of the poll that was sent to ALAO members back in June 2021 (see below).
Since my powers of prognostication are ineffectual when it comes to the behavior of viruses, I can only hope that the Era of COVID will exist only in the history books in fall of 2022. And so I look forward to the 2022 conference with optimism. If nothing else, planning committees are getting accustomed to hosting conferences online, and we should be in good shape for that eventuality.
If there is an interest, this is how 37% of ALAO members felt about future conference options. First choice (by a slim margin over a “Live conference with recorded presentations shared virtually for a cost”) was to “Alternate live and virtual conferences each year,” followed by “Live conference; offer selected sessions after the conference as live webinars for a cost,” and lastly offering “Hybrid/Flipped (Pre-recorded content with in-person activities).” The pandemic has had an indelible impact on conference planning—it is certain this question will be revisited in the future.
In my experience, the conference planning committee members typically come up with the ideas for a theme and keynote speakers. I would also like to tap into the collective wisdom of our knowledgeable and resourceful ALAO membership and welcome any and all ideas for a theme or dynamic speakers for consideration. Additionally, I’d be happy to hear from anyone who might be interested in being on the 2022 team.
Here’s wishing you a great fall semester!