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After the 2023 Annual Meeting, AIA and SCS issued a survey to annual meeting participants about the hybrid conference in New Orleans. That survey revealed both the technical difficulties and frustrations that attendees and presenters encountered with the hybrid set up in New Orleans, and the overall desirability for many of virtual participation, which makes the conference accessible to those who are unable to travel.

In light of these results, both organizations worked hard to research the costs and logistics of a more successful hybrid conference in Chicago in 2024. Given the need for additional equipment and paid technical support, the high costs of that AV equipment and technical support in Chicago, and the large number of concurrent sessions at the conference, AIA and SCS determined that that a fully hybrid meeting, of the type attempted in New Orleans, will not be feasible in 2024. Instead, we are planning for a conference with in-person sessions and some fully virtual sessions so that there is a virtual component to the meeting.

This plan has been somewhat complicated at SCS by the fact that a very low number of individual abstract authors indicated at the time of submission that they would like to present remotely. At the program committee meeting last week, the committee determined that fully virtual paper sessions made up of individual abstracts would not be feasible. To ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to present, speakers will be able to zoom in, if necessary, to in-person sessions, but there will be limited interactivity and no virtual audience at those sessions. We are also now reaching out to panel, workshop, and roundtable organizers to determine which organized panels, workshops, and roundtables might be fully virtual so that we can put together a meaningful virtual program.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this difficult territory.

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