Spring Meeting & GCPS and COVID-19 FAQs | AIChE

Spring Meeting & GCPS and COVID-19 FAQs

As a safety measure amidst the pandemic, AIChE will deliver its 2020 Spring Meeting and 16th Global Congress on Process Safety virtually. The FAQs below will answer your questions about how this affects you. ...

For Attendees

Will the AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety take place as an in-person event?

No, the 2020 AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety will be conducted as a virtual event over the dates of August 17 – 21, 2020.

Will the virtual AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety still be held on August 16 – 20, 2020?

Almost, however the technical program will be adjusted from four to five days with talks taking place over all five weekdays of August 17 – 21, 2020.

Sitting at a computer for over 9 hours a day would be challenging for everyone, knowing that, this revised schedule will allow us to spread out the sessions, add in more breaks, and promote high quality contact hours among attendees, speakers, and exhibitors.

How will the virtual AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety work?

AIChE’s 2020 Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety will now be held using the online platform vFairs. vFairs has been supporting organizations with online conferences and events for nearly a decade and their platform provides us with a number of tools to put on an engaging and valuable conference for all attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors.

Within vFairs we will have a “Convention Center” inclusive of an entrance hall, auditoriums for our technical sessions and keynote talks, networking rooms, a help desk, and an exhibit hall. The overall design of the experience will be driven around the great content our programmers have put together along with networking opportunities to keep our attendees engaged with the talks, our exhibitors, and the event as a whole.

The virtual platform allows the organizers to host live or pre-recorded talks, with live Q&A and text chat. It will also enable us to make all talks available on-demand for a month following the meeting.

Exhibitors will each have a dedicated booth to host their information and discuss with participants.

All attendees will have the opportunity to network via participation in chats and video rooms, sending direct messages, and scheduling one-on-one video meetings, allowing us to keep what makes the Spring Meeting & GCPS great - interaction with other attendees.

I’m not sure I’m interested in attending this meeting now that it’s virtual. Convince me!

We understand that meeting in person is a big part of what makes our meetings special and that we’re all ready to get out of our homes and meet with our colleagues. Looking on the bright side, there are many advantages of attending conferences virtually.

  • A more flexible schedule throughout the conference week, allowing you to drop in and out as you need to with the ability to come back and watch presentations for up to 30 days
  • Virtual networking can be fun and easier for some than networking in person. Do you sometimes feel you aren’t sure who to talk to at large in-person networking events? At a virtual conference, you can get to know people by chat
  • Get interactive with live Q&A sessions allowing you to ask questions during the presentations
  • Schedule time to meet with our many exhibitors and chat via text, voice, or video
  • Consume content, network, and stay safe & healthy at the same time
  • Save on travel expenses and time out of the office, while still getting many of the same benefits

Need help justifying your participation to your manager? Check out our Justification Toolkit.

I planned to attend an event that is co-located with the AIChE Spring Meeting & GCPS, is that being held virtually?

At this time all events associated with the AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety, including co-located conferences such as the Frontiers in Particle Science & Technology Conference, and ancillary events, will be held virtually in August. Specific details on timing will be forthcoming. We thank you for your patience.

I am currently slated to participate in a session at the 2020 AIChE Spring Meeting & GCPS. What do I do next?

AIChE Programming will reach out to you directly with next steps on how to transition your talk to the virtual platform. A list of best practices for presenting or hosting a session virtually will be made available. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your virtual participation, please contact programming@aiche.org.

I am currently registered for the meeting, what will happen with my registration?

All current registrants will remain registered for the new virtual format. We will be processing partial refunds based on your registration category and the new rates for the virtual event. Please allow for a few weeks for these refunds to be processed. Please see the question below for more information on rates.

If you registered for a one-day registration and need to change your registration, please contact customerservice@aiche.org to upgrade to a full meeting registration or change your chosen day.

Have the registration rates changed with the meeting going virtual?

The registration rates have been confirmed. If you have already registered for the meeting, you will be refunded the difference between the original rates and the new rates. The new rates for the virtual event reflect the fact that we will not be able to serve lunches, so those who purchased bundles will receive the corresponding sessions only rate. In addition, all full meeting registrations will receive access to all recordings. As an example, someone who registered for the Spring Meeting & GCPS bundle early, at the member rate will have paid $920. For the virtual event, the rate will be $495 and will include the recordings.

Visit the registration page to view new rates and what’s included.

If I register and can no longer attend, what will happen with my registration?

Due to the current situation and the uncertainties related to planning physical conferences, AIChE is relaxing its cancellation policy. Until further notice, you can cancel for any reason up to five days before the event. Registration fees may be transferred to another individual at no charge.

This means that you can continue register for our events without having to worry about registration fees should you not be able to attend.

The full cancellation policy can be found here.

I canceled my registration due to coronavirus concerns and was charged a cancellation fee. What are my options?

AIChE tracked all cancellations due to coronavirus concerns. For those in that category, AIChE offers two options:

  1. Re-instate your registration for the meeting at the discounted registration rate corresponding to the time when you originally registered. To confirm your registration, please contact customerservice@aiche.org.
  2. Receive a refund of the $100 cancellation fee by contacting customerservice@aiche.org.
I re-booked my hotel through the AIChE room block at the Hilton. What will happen to my August reservation?

Your room at the Hilton has already been canceled and you will receive a notice directly from Hilton confirming this.

In the event you booked your stay through a travel agency, we recommend reaching out to the travel agency to confirm cancellation of your reservation has been processed.

What do I do if I booked a room at a hotel outside of the AIChE room block?

If you elected to book a room outside of the official room block, you will be responsible for working with the hotel on any changes and potential cancellation fees.

Will AIChE be reimbursing travel or shipping costs related to travel to the AIChE Spring Meeting & GCPS?

AIChE is not liable for any travel costs or shipping costs related to travel to the meeting. Please contact your airline to get more information on cancellation or change fees. Many airlines are waiving fees at this time.

For Sponsors & Exhibitors

We realize this is a change and this may be your first time sponsoring or exhibiting at a virtual event. While they are different, virtual meetings offer many ways to highlight your company and connect with attendees. We look forward to speaking with you about virtual sponsor and exhibit options. We have done our best to answer some common questions below, but please do not hesitate to reach out to Evan Flach (evanf@aiche.org) and Michelle Marsnick (micma@aiche.org) with any other questions you have.

Some of our sponsor and exhibitor benefits are directly tied to in-person events. How will that be impacted by a virtual event?

We understand the value that sponsorships at face-to face-events offer your company. Virtual meetings have a variety of opportunities to engage with attendees, generate leads, showcase your technical expertise and receive broad brand recognition. Evan Flach and Michelle Marsnick will reach out and will be available to discuss virtual sponsorship options.

We are currently registered to exhibit at the AIChE Spring Meeting & GCPS. What will happen to our exhibit space?

All current exhibits will be transferred to the virtual meeting format. Evan Flach and Michelle Marsnick will be contacting you shortly with more information on the virtual exhibit and available options and functionality.

What are our cancellation options for the virtual meeting?

If you would like to cancel your sponsorship or exhibit at the virtual meeting you can do so through June 19th and receive a full refund. After June 19th, the standard cancellation policy for sponsorship and exhibits will be in place. Please refer to your signed contract for more information on that policy.

We canceled our exhibit booth due to COVID-19 concerns, but would like to exhibit at the virtual event. What are my options?

If you would like to exhibit at the virtual event, please contact Evan Flach (evanf@aiche.org) for more information. If you would like to join the Ethylene Producers Conference as a sponsor, please contact Michelle Marsnick (micma@aiche.org) to discuss options and functionality.

Will exhibitors be reimbursed for third-party arrangements?

You will be responsible for working with any third-parties. AIChE is not party to any arrangements between exhibitors and third parties, but will work to facilitate discussion, as possible. Please contact Michelle Marsnick (micma@aiche.org) if you have any questions.

We already shipped our booth – how will it be returned?

AIChE will work with Freeman to determine the details on return shipments and will reach out with more information in the coming days. We thank you for your patience. Please contact Michelle Marsnick (micma@aiche.org) if you have any questions.

For Ancillary Event (Committee Meeting) Contacts

I scheduled an Ancillary Event at the AIChE Spring Meeting & GCPS in Houston, will it be canceled?

No, all events associated with the AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety, including ancillary events and committee meetings, are expected to take placevirtually in August.

Specific details will be forthcoming.

Please contact Todd Caporizzo at (toddc@aiche.org) if you have any questions.

I planned to attend an ancillary event (committee meeting) in Houston, will that now be held virtually, as well?

Yes, all events associated with the AIChE Spring Meeting & Global Congress on Process Safety, including ancillary events and committee meetings, are expected to take place virtually in August.

Specific details will be forthcoming.

Please contact Todd Caporizzo at (toddc@aiche.org) if you have any questions

I scheduled a Ticketed Event in Houston that was at an off-site location, will it be canceled?

Michelle Marsnick (micma@aiche.org) will contact you directly and will also work with the venues to handle the cancellations.

If you are still interested in hosting a virtual event such as a “coffee + chat” or “happy hour” with attendees, please contact Michelle Marsnick to discuss options.