Dear HFES members and other friends and colleagues:
We realize that many of you have been eager to learn whether we will meet in Chicago this October for our 64th Annual Meeting. and apologize for only now communicating on this matter; however, there were so many important variables that had to be investigated, discussed, and evaluated. Among these are the safety of our meeting attendees, the reasonableness of assembling more than 1,600 of our members, exhibitors, guest speakers, and others in enclosed spaces during this time of ongoing health concerns due to COVID-19, the associated financial implications including the potential of substantive financial penalties, and more.
After methodically examining the facts available to us, the HFES Executive Council agrees that it would not be in the best interest of our constituents or the Society to convene in-person this fall. We have communicated our intent to cancel to the Hyatt Regency Chicago. They understand our position and have confirmed. But with this decision comes the very exciting news that our 64th Annual Meeting will take place over multiple days in an online setting. There will be many more details provided soon and we genuinely thank all those who submitted papers for consideration of presentation. We look forward to presenting an array of outstanding content in our online annual meeting format and can confirm that all who submitted a paper may have it appear in the meeting proceedings journal supplement.
If you have already reserved accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, our notice to them directs them to cancel any reservations made within our contracted room block and to return any deposits paid. Those who reserved accommodations outside of our block or at other properties should cancel and request any applicable refund.
Thank you for your understanding regarding our process to reach this important, albeit highly disappointing decision. It would have been incredible to come together in Chicago this fall. We are already in discussion to rebook this hotel for our next open year and we look forward to seeing you in person again.
Watch for more details and thank you for being part of HFES!
Susan Hallbeck, PhD, PE, CPE
Ronald Laurids Boring, PhD
Annual Meeting Technical Program Committee Chair
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