​​​Plant Health 2024 is right around the corner—registration opens on March 18! As you start planning your attendance this year, we realize that you are likely balancing the benefits of learning, sharing research, and networking at this annual event with the cost of registration. The APS Council and Annual Meetings Board work diligently to balance registration fees with the overall fiduciary health of our organization. We want you to experience a valuable, well-rounded annual meeting full of insightful keynote speakers, after-hours social activities to build connections, and the latest in plant health research and innovation—all while staying within the APS allocated event budget.

The effects of recent inflation and the rising costs of materials over the last five years have put a strain on so many of us as basic necessities, like groceries and utilities, become more and more expensive. While we all feel this impact on a personal level, APS is trying to manage the impact of rising costs like these on the programs and events we offer. 

With cost in the forefront of everyone's mind, we want to be transparent about how registration fees are determined and how they are used to support a positive meeting experience for you and all attendees.

Learning from Experts

Each year, our post-meeting survey captures information on the topics and speakers you want to hear about and from the most. Leaning into your feedback, we seek out those experienced and established keynote and plenary speakers in our field to strengthen the Plant Health program. Securing highly sought-after experts incurs fees, along with travel and lodging costs, to host them, all of which are influenced by rising market standards.

Growing Your Network

Nearly 70% of past attendees view networking as one of their top two reasons for attending the annual meeting, appreciating the opportunities to collaborate, exchange ideas, and build new professional relationships. The Welcome Reception and Closing Party, designed to help you meet and mingle with others, are both funded by your registration fee. Despite steep price increases in food and beverage costs, which you've likely experienced at restaurants lately, we aim to continue to facilitate these invaluable and highly rated activities as part of your meeting experience.

Enjoyable Learning Environment

APS strives to create a seamless meeting experience for you, where all attendees can gain insights from presentations, stay connected online with the broader community, and navigate the venue​ without disruption or discomfort. What many

people outside of meeting planning don't know is that all you get when you secure a meeting venue is the event space itself. Your registration fees contribute to the "extras" that make meetings enjoyable and accessible to all attendees, including, but not limited to,
  • Signage to help you find where to go.
  • Audio-visual equipment so you can hear speakers.
  • Buffets with a range of dietary options.
  • Internet access in meeting rooms and the exhibit hall.

Since 2020, your registration fees also have helped to uphold COVID health and safety protocols by paying for increased cleaning measures.​​

Despite rising meeting costs, APS remains committed to hosting the annual Plant Health meeting as a key way for you to access leading scientific programming and research in an atmosphere that facilitates connections and collaboration within our global community. We are also committed to finding ways to make attendance as affordable and accessible as possible for all members and supporters of our society by offering flexible registration rates for members and students, providing scholarships and travel grants, and negotiating hotel discounts. While we understand that cost may still be a barrier to joining us at Plant Health 2024, July 27–30, in Memphis, Tennessee, we hope this article has helped you understand the components that the APS Council, Annual Meeting Board, and staff take into consideration when determining event costs. We also hope that this article has helped you understand how your registration fees contribute to a positive meeting experience for you and your fellow attendees. We hope to see you in July!

This article was featured in Phytopathology News, Vol. 58, No. 3. Phytopathology News is the APS member newsletter that provides in-depth coverage of APS-related activities, the work of your fellow colleagues, and issues and events of concern to the plant pathology community.
Become a member to gain access today and save on your Plant Health 2024 registration!​