This is an update on the 95th annual meeting scheduled for January 13-15 , 2021 at the Hilton in Portland, Oregon
Dear OPDMC members, We are writing to report on the current status of our planned 2021 Orchard Pest and Disease Management Conference.
Covid-19 has affected every aspect of our daily life. Due to the social restrictions required to reduce the risk of spreading the virus many conferences and meetings are working earlier to find alternative meeting options. While we hold onto hope that there is an outside chance of OPDMC continuing as normal we must plan ahead if this is not the case. The OPDMC Board of Directors conducted a survey in August to determine the best alternative way to proceed with our meeting, such as a virtual live conference, if we are unable to hold our normal event in Portland, OR.
Thank you to all that participate in the survey. It was delivered to all OPDMC members that have attended at least one conference in the past 4 years. The response rate was good for survey standards with 32% of regular attendees participating. Approximately 50% were researchers, and 25% each for industry representatives, and crop consultants.
It was apparent from the results that some people would attend a virtual meeting, however, despite the willingness to pay increased registration to cover the additional costs of producing a virtual meeting the projected attendance would not be enough to cover such expenses. Quotes provided by IT production companies place the cost of a virtual meeting at 2-3x more than our annual meeting. We also know that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many other meetings and conferences will be going virtual this year, and if it isn’t already, your calendar is likely to be full of many such meetings.
We would still like to provide a platform for research updates for our membership, and to do so in a meaningful way. After all, OPDMC is 95 years strong! The Board of Directors will make a final decision on holding our regular in-person OPDMC on Nov 2, 2020and notify you by email and post this to www.OPDMC.org. The Board has concluded we will NOT host a live virtual OPDMC. Much of the allure and utility of the meeting in Portland, OR is the research updates, but also the evening social, coffee breaks, and group meals spent catching up with colleagues. Rather than attempt to recreate that virtually, we thought it best to provide a different platform for the research and save the social aspects for next year.
In the event we cannot meet in 2021 we are prepared to host a limited virtual meeting for anyone willing to participate. We will request presenters to submit longer complete reports of 1-2 pages in length with figures for the Program book and encourage but not require recorded PowerPoint presentations that will be linked to each report. The reports and presentations would be posted online January 11, 2021 and available to download and view by OPDMC members at anytime thereafter. With the primary presenters permission, we will include their contact information with the report so the “audience” may follow-up with questions.
Lastly, the Board of Directors passed a motion to retain executive committee leadership from 2021 forward to the 2022 meeting.
We hope this update helps you prepare for what OPDMC might look like this year, and we’ll have another update for you on November 2nd. Thank you for your patience as we navigate the changes to our 2021 program, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021? or 2022. Cancelling OPDMC is difficult for us to comprehend, but the Board of Directors is thinking positively how we can continue our tradition of sharing the most recent research results with our members. Please follow us at OPDMC.org for the most recent information on our upcoming meeting. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Peter McGhee – Executive Director
Rodney Cooper – Past Chair
Allison Walston – Chair
Chris Adams- Chair Elect
Nik Wiman – Treasurer
Louis Nottingham – Program Chair
Alix Whitener – Secretary
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