BAL: NOT Currently on the Road
Many of you may be accustomed to seeing our monthly “On the Road Again” updates describing the various conferences that our staff were presenting at and attending. Of course, in the COVID-19 era, that’s all changed. All scheduled conferences have either been cancelled, postponed, or converted to “on-line conferences”. Virtual events have been around for over a decade, but their current relevance and necessity is unparalleled. Everyone is responding to the global pandemic right now and our life/work styles have had to evolve to keep meeting new challenges as they emerge. We’ve all felt the effects of shelter-in-place orders. Long lines at essential stores to maintain appropriate social distance, virtual happy hours with friends and family, and live-streamed concerts are our new normal. In this climate, where we stay away from each other because we care, creative solutions to fill the social, educational, and business development voids are critical.
Annual conferences such as the National Environmental Monitoring Conference (NEMC), Parental Drug Association (PDA) Annual Meeting, and the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s (SETAC) European Meeting, now known as SciCon, have gone virtual. The question on the forefront of our minds as we approach this new experience is whether virtual events can replace in-person events. Regardless of the answer, with reduced emissions from travel, savings on fees for conference centers and catering, as well as broader accessibility, virtual conferences will likely become more of a core practice as the technology increasingly facilitates today’s dynamically changing needs.
We miss seeing all of you out there and look forward to connecting any way we can! Feel free to reach out any time.