posted by CAA — Jan 07, 2022
Meme Omogbai, CAA’s Executive Director and CEO, and Laura Anderson Barbata, Vice President for Annual Conference and Programs discuss the pivot to a virtual conference.
Dear CAA members,
First and foremost, we want to wish you a happy New Year and hope that you found a way to celebrate with loved ones during this challenging period of the pandemic. It’s essential that we continue to honor traditions, express gratitude, and maintain connections that are important to us.
As we continue to prepare for our Annual Conference beginning in February, the health and safety of our members is our primary concern. We prioritize member feedback and continue to be responsive to your needs and preferences in a way that is scalable. This past year, many of you expressed the desire for an in-person gathering in 2022, complemented by virtual components increasing accessibility. We have worked diligently to provide an experience that meets your expectations.
Focusing on meeting our commitment to members, based upon quantitative and qualitative analysis, surveys, and other feedback consistent with the fundamentals of our strategic repositioning, we have been closely monitoring the COVID pandemic and the rapidly developing Omicron strain as well as CDC guidelines. Given this information and the recent feedback we’ve received from you regarding concerns about convening in person, the travel advisory issued by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) this week, and the uncertainty of the weeks and months ahead, we have decided to make the CAA 2022 Annual Conference entirely virtual. All in-person sessions and activities scheduled for February 16–19 in Chicago will now become virtual on the same dates. Virtual sessions and activities scheduled for March 3–5 will remain the same. All recordings will also remain available through April 14 as previously planned and communicated.
Our history, as described in CAA’s centennial publication, The Eye, the Hand, the Mind, has shown that we can change and adapt. The pandemic has once again shown us how nimble we can be as we pivot for the future. CAA staff will work in the coming days to seamlessly shift programming to an all-virtual format.
If you have already registered for the conference at any paid level—all-access, presenter, or virtual-only—your registration will automatically be converted to all-access for all sessions at the current virtual rate. Current all-access registrants may also choose to be credited or refunded for the difference between the prior all-access and current virtual rates. Alternatively, we would greatly appreciate your considering donating this amount to CAA to help offset the costs related to this change. Those currently registered for all-access will receive an email in the coming days with a form to select their credit, donation, or refund preference.
We continue to be committed to fulfilling your expectations and to providing a conference that suits your means of engagement, provides a wealth of scholarly content, and allows multiple ways to connect with others. In contrast with last year’s conference, all presentations during the 2022 conference will be presented live via Zoom, rather than prerecorded. This will allow for more questions and spontaneous discussions.
During the all-virtual conference, we will have three opportunities to share with you our vision for CAA as we continue to reposition the organization for the twenty-first century. The Town Halls will give us an opportunity to hear from you so we can continue to meet your needs and accommodate your preferences.
- Convocation, on Wednesday, February 16, officially begins the 2022 conference. It will be a chance to hear from CAA leadership about where we are in the repositioning process and our vision for the future. We will also recognize the Distinguished Award recipients and hear from keynote speaker, Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago, on improving education and economic opportunities for individuals in underserved communities.
- The Town Hall, on Friday, February 18, will provide an opportunity to hear the financial report of the association, the results of board elections, and other important business matters, including plans for the publications redesign and our restructured membership.
- The Town Hall on Saturday, March 5, will be another time to share information and address any outstanding items.
Please watch the short video discussion between Meme and Laura Anderson Barbata, Vice President for Annual Conference and Programs, which provides more information on the pivot to an all-virtual format.
Our website, registration portal, and FAQs will reflect the shift to an all-virtual format, and we will continue to update you through our newsletter and social media accounts. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. You may contact us with any questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to when we can once again meet safely face-to-face. Until then, we will continue to make positive use of virtual platforms and integrate them in ways that will benefit CAA members in the years to come, allowing us to broaden our reach across geographic and technological borders, and to emerge as a stronger organization.
N. Elizabeth Schlatter