MAPS 2020 Conference – UPDATE

Greetings, fellow MAPS members!

On behalf of the MAPS Executive Board and the MAPS Program Committee, I wanted to reach out to you all with an update regarding our 2020 Conference next month. I’m sure that by now, all of us are monitoring the development of the COVID-19 situation across our region, our country, and the world. It is affecting our everyday lives, and our places of work as well. Some college campuses are migrating towards online courses, and many museums are seeing reduced visitation as travel becomes more complicated. Several of you have reached out asking about the status of our 2020 Conference on Long Island, NY.

I can tell you all that Kerri Kiker and her team are doing everything they possibly can to make the Cradle of Aviation Museum a safe space for all of their upcoming visitors – us included! At this time, we intend to hold the 2020 MAPS Conference as planned. We are excited about the prospect of gathering together in a safe environment for our annual time of networking, sharing, and learning together. However, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation, and ultimately make a final call about the conference towards the end of March.

We know that some of you are finding your ability to travel is restricted by your employer, while others may be able to travel but need more time to prepare to do so. This year, we will waive the $40 late registration fee that would have taken effect on April 1, to allow everyone the maximum amount of time possible to make arrangements for the 2020 conference. We have also decided to offer refunds of conference registration fees in either of two scenarios: if we cannot hold the conference as planned; and/or if you have registered but become unable to travel.

I will close this update by sharing with you all that, in the event that our 2020 conference cannot be held as planned, the Program Committee is exploring the possibility of leading an E-Conference during the dates in April for which our in-person conference is currently scheduled. Under this scenario, we would make arrangements for MAPS delegates to connect electronically to take turns sharing and leading conference sessions over video-chat software. There are some complicated logistics to this, and we do not have any more information to share at this time. However, we want to reassure you that we are doing everything that we can to offer a fun, safe, and informative Annual Meeting – either in-person or online – to the membership!

More updates will be coming soon, but for now, if you are authorized to travel, comfortable doing so, and excited to meet up with your fellow MAPS members, we encourage you to register today for our 2020 MAPS Conference!

Brian Koehler
Chair, MAPS Program Committee