Given the restrictions on gatherings and travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am sure it will surprise no one to hear that the 2020 SERDP and ESTCP Symposium will be held as a virtual event the week of November 30 to December 4, 2020.  I’ll still be in Washington, DC for the Symposium (likely in my home office where I have spent the last five months) but you can now be wherever you want.  The Symposium web site is up and mostly complete so I urge you to take a look at it soon.  The upside to this move is that we get to have the Symposium this year; the downside is you have to provide your own finger food and beverages during the poster sessions.

As I am sure applies to many of you, we have had some experience this summer hosting meetings and conferences and attending others.  We have tried to take the best of our experiences and observations and apply them to Symposium planning but we have not been able to sample every conference this summer.  If you have had a particularly positive experience at a conference or seen a particularly clever way to create as much of the feel of an in-person event as possible, please feel free to call or e-mail me with a suggestion.

Since there is no travel involved in attending the Symposium this year, we plan to stretch the schedule out a little from the usual two and a half days plus short courses.  This will allow us to start each day a little later so the West Coast attendees don’t have to be up before the sun and schedule three (and possibly more) poster sessions.  We plan to open the Symposium on Monday afternoon with the normal plenary session and then hold a poster session late Monday afternoon.

We are still working out how to handle presentations in technical sessions and the posters.  The 2020 ASETSDefense Workshop used pre-recorded presentations followed by live Q&A.  That avoided the last-minute audio and video issues I have seen at other virtual conferences.  As we finalize procedures for presentations and posters, the details will appear on the Symposium web site so please check there periodically for details.  We hope to see you all (metaphorically at least) on November 30th.