Dear Fellow PAA Members:
We write to update you on our emerging plans for PAA 2021. While we wish we were meeting in person, we’re working very hard to try and make our virtual meeting as fantastic as possible.
Today, we wanted to provide you with a few vital statistics (a little demographic joke there…) about our forthcoming meeting, which is less than three months away:
Dates: Wednesday May 5th to Saturday May 8th
Times: Wednesday and Thursday will be 9:00am-5:00pm Central Daylight Time.
Friday will be 9:00am-5:30pm Central Daylight Time.
Saturday will be 9:00am-12:00pm Central Daylight Time.
Full Schedule: We are aiming to post the preliminary PAA2021 schedule in mid-March on the PAA website. Since we are not meeting in person, there will be no printed version of the program this year. The program will be searchable on the website and also available as a printable PDF file a few days before the meeting begins.
Paper Sessions: Our fabulous Program Committee has developed over 250 paper sessions! Each has a chairperson, four paper presentations, and a discussant. Given Zoom fatigue and the fact that many members have caregiving responsibilities, we have reduced paper sessions to 75 minutes. Each presenter and discussant will have an allocation of 12 minutes, so please prepare for shorter presentations this year.
Flash Sessions: The Program Committee has also organized flash sessions. This format includes a chairperson and 6-8 presenters, with no formal discussant. Presenters will be allocated 5 minutes, with roughly one-half of each session devoted to discussion.
Poster Sessions: Poster sessions will be quite innovative! Presenters will be able to upload their work in either PowerPoint or PDF format (slides or full poster), with the option of also recording a short audio or video recording describing their work. These sessions will be 90 minutes in length, during which authors are expected to be available for engagement with visitors to their poster. New this year, we are organizing teams of ‘Poster Discussants’ for each session, so that presenters will receive at least two visits apiece during the session. As in past years, there will also be teams of Poster Judges who will make awards to several posters within each session. Posters will be made available to viewers throughout the course of the 4-day meeting for viewers who want to see the posters but have a time conflict with the session times.
PAA Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony: Our signature event will be held on Friday, May 7th, from 4:00pm-5:30pm Central Daylight Time. PAA Past-President Eileen Crimmins will present her Presidential Address. Awards will be also presented. You won’t want to miss this session!
PAA Memorial Service: This event will be held on Thursday, May 6th, from 7:00pm-9:00pm Central Daylight Time. Details are forthcoming.
Other Events, Meetings and Networking Opportunities: Other events like the Career Mentoring Lunch, Networking Receptions, and the Annual Membership Meeting will be held in the two months prior to the annual meeting. We feel that trying to hold these events during the same timeframe as the research presentations will be overwhelming. We’ll be sending out more details about those events in the near future.
Meeting Platform: Our goal in selecting a meeting platform was to find a service that is easy to use and reliable. We have selected OpenWater for the meeting platform. OpenWater has successfully hosted events similar to the PAA Annual Meeting in size and structure, including the annual meetings for the American Association of Geographers and the American Astronomical Society. OpenWater serves as a ‘wrapper’ for Zoom; thus, many PAA members should be comfortable navigating the meeting, given our growing familiarity with Zoom during the pandemic.
Meeting Platform Training: OpenWater will conduct a training session prior to PAA2021 to help participants become comfortable with the platform prior to the actual meeting. The date and time of the training will be announced at a later date (and will be recorded for those who cannot attend at the time). Please stay tuned.
Meeting Registration: The Early Bird rate expires on February 28th. Register here.
We hope you are looking forward to the PAA2021 Annual Meeting as much as we are. While we will miss seeing everyone in person, we hope the conference will be enriching and will bring together our community in a way that we always treasure. Detailed guidelines for paper, flash and poster sessions will be posted to the PAA website in mid-March, and we will continue to keep you informed as plans for the meeting crystalize.