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Keeping an Event Open When the Government Shuts Down

Here is how one event team is coping with the U.S. government shutdown.

As the U.S. government shutdown enters Day 18, its impact is spreading to events. Our sister publications group MeetingsNet shares how one event team is coping:

The American Astronomical Society is holding its 233rd meeting from January 6-10 in Seattle, WA, and expects to lose between 300 and 450 furloughed government workers from a total of around 3,200 attendees. Two of those missing registrants are with the Smithsonian Institute: AAS Past President Christine Jones and invited speaker David DeVorkin.

The first thing that AAS planners addressed was the accommodation-cancellation policy for attendees, asking hotel partners to allow cancellations up to 24 hours before the event instead of 72 hours. The AAS then took steps to mitigate the impact both on attendees and those scientists and educators who will no longer be able to attend. And in order to combat problems with access to government emails, AAS posted that information on the conference website, on Facebook, on Twitter using the #aas233 hashtag, and also asked members to spread the word to colleagues using personal emails or text messages.

As the federal shutdown enters its 14th day, here are the four steps the AAS is taking:

1. For missing attendees: The society will provide a link to a live stream of plenary sessions to those people who cannot attend.

2. For missing presenters: The society will allow presentations by co-authors if the lead author is unable to attend. This contravenes usual AAS conference policy but will be allowed in this instance if the presenter explains their  … MeetingsNet




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