Dear CDS members and future conference attendees,
We are writing to update you about our 2022 conference plan. First, thanks to the more than 600 of you who replied to the survey about your preferences! As with most things these days, our membership was split about their preferences, but more people were interested in an in-person event than not. Respondents were especially eager for an in-person event with some safety precautions in place (e.g., requiring vaccination and masks).
We also looked into the possibility of an all-online and a hybrid conference. We discovered that attendance at all-online events is down at other scientific societies and even when people attend, they attend for less than an hour/day on average. The hybrid option is extremely costly as it includes the costs of both in person and online events. In our simulations, the latter would likely result in total or near bankruptcy for our society.
For all of these reasons, we’ve decided to plan for an in-person only conference.
You should have received the call for symposia, individual talks, and posters last week. In the coming weeks you will see an announcement of registration and reminders about membership. Please know that at present, even with an in-person conference, we expect that the coming year will present a fiscal challenge to our society. This is because we do not expect the full, typical attendance at the meeting and the meeting is the way that our society stays afloat financially.
For this reason we urge you to help our society pull through this financially challenging time if you are able. (Please ignore this part, students, but faculty members who are able: you can help CDS through this rough spot by paying for a multi-year membership and/or making a donation.) We encourage everyone attending the conference to please stay at the conference hotel which helps our bottom line too. We arranged for some highly discounted hotel rates, including a hotel that will allow 5 people per room (!) for the deal-hunters amongst you.
Of course, as with everything in the last two years, circumstances could always change, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. We too are doing the best we can with the knowledge we have at the moment.
We are hopeful we will see you in Madison in April. In the meantime, stay well and please reach out if you have additional questions.
Melissa Koenig (president), Maureen Callanan (incoming president), and Kristina Olson (CDS 2022 program chair)