When will registration open for Plant Health 2021 Online?
Registration will open in May 2021. Rates and other important registration information will be posted to the
registration page as things are finalized.
What is the cancellation/refund policy for Plant Health 2021 Online?
Cancellations MUST be made in writing and received by APS no later than
July 9, 2021. Cancellations received by this date are subject to $50 processing fee. Registration cancellations received after
July 9, 2021 are NOT subject to a refund. You may transfer your registration to another member of your organization.
Read the full terms and conditions here.
What are the costs of a virtual meeting?
With advanced registration for Plant Health 2021 Online open this month, you may have wondered where your registration fee goes. While going online makes scientific meetings far more accessible to a worldwide audience, counterintuitively, it does not make meetings less expensive to produce. In our dedication to delivering quality content at the best price possible, APS is providing a peek at our books to show the various costs associated with the production of a virtual meeting.
Software Licensing Fees
Event platforms require licensing fees based on attendee capacity and meeting length. Licensed Plant Health 2021 platforms include the professional version of Zoom used for meeting sessions; the technical abstract, programming, and event experience mobile and web app; the Kubify Research-on-Demand platform; and a new social interaction platform, Wonder, which will be used to enhance the interactivity and quality of this year’s networking events.
Online Event Management Hours
The additional technological needs of a virtual meeting often require more staff time than an in-person meeting; this ensures attendees, presenters, and sponsors all get the most out of their virtual experience. Tasks applicable to virtual meetings include:
· Creation and testing of the online platform
· Construction of toolkits and resource materials for speakers, moderators, sponsors, and attendees
· Coordination of schedules with presenters and AV technicians
· Rehearsals and training for conducting sessions online
· Conversion of live content to on-demand recordings
Live Support During the Meeting
Novel technology requires novel support. To ensure attendee experiences are as smooth as possible, each of our 26 live Keynotes, Plenaries, POD Talks, and Special Sessions is preceded by a rehearsal session to familiarize presenters with the virtual tools, some of which they may never have worked with. All rehearsal and live sessions are attended by a member of APS staff and a hired AV technician. The staff member assists and guides the moderator experience and addresses issues or questions related to the meeting content. The AV technician assists with recording each session and addresses technical questions or challenges. Most people would be surprised to learn that every hour of live content requires four hours of live support.
Ensuring Accessibility for Attendees
Just as with in-person meetings, APS strives to ensure that our virtual Plant Health meetings are accessible to users with a variety of needs. One example of the work we undertake in this arena is ensuring our online meeting is ADA compliant. APS hires professional live captioners to attend our sessions and provide real-time closed captioning. We also pay captioning professionals to review and provide quality assurance for the closed captioning to ensure the accuracy of on-demand recordings.
Universal Meeting Costs
In addition to virtual-specific costs, there are also costs that are incurred while developing a meeting, regardless of whether the format is virtual or in person. These standard meeting costs include:
· Mobile app development and licensing
· Registration processing
· Credit card fees
· Abstract software and processing
· Speaker fees
How Does a Virtual Meeting
A virtual meeting does save costs for APS related to the physical venue—and it saves travel and lodging costs for our attendees. Cost savings related to holding an event online instead of in person include those related to space rental, poster board set-up, event signage, AV set-up, food and beverage, and staff travel and lodging. Some of these costs are offset, however, by their “virtual venue” equivalent, such as Zoom and the online event platform.
Sustainability of the Free Registration Model
The previous virtual meeting, Plant Health 2020, had a complimentary “Basic” tier, which provided limited access to content, such as Plenary Sessions and Exhibits. Last year, APS created this tier while pivoting rapidly from an in-person to online event and ensuring that all of our members and supporters could attend during an incredibly challenging time personally and professionally. This year, APS has had a great deal more time to plan our virtual event. We also received feedback in our postmeeting survey that the Basic tier did not provide members with the level of content that they desired as an attendee. Plant Health 2021 promises to provide a more interactive experience with platforms that optimize the online event experience. Given all of the previously mentioned costs associated with an online event experience, a free, limited registration option was not viable this year.
As a scientific organization, the value of APS is defined by the hard work of its members—much of which is presented at meetings like Plant Health 2021. Registration fees ensure that this work is showcased in a professional manner and engenders greater enrollment by attendees by communicating the value of the content.
APS continues to be diligent in providing our attendees with the best value at the lowest price possible. We hope you’ll be able to log in with us at Plant Health 2021, and we hope to meet many of you in person in 2022!