Dear Meeting Registrants, Exhibitors, and Participants,
It is with deep regret that we must announce that the Society for American Archaeology’s Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 85th Annual Meeting in Austin this April due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
This was not a decision we made lightly. We recognize the implications that it will have for those who were preparing to present research, for those looking to expand their professional network, and for our event partners in Austin. However, given the increasing rate of spread of the COVID-19 virus, the high-risk nature of a large public meeting, the extremely large number of presenters and attendees who are prevented from coming to Austin because of travel restrictions from their employers, universities, and from CDC guidance, the WHO pandemic classification, and the President’s statement restricting travel from Europe to the United States, we feel strongly that this is the most responsible option for our members’ health and for the broader community.
The Board chose to make this decision now in the hope that it will lessen the disruption on our attendees and meeting participants, recognizing that the closer we get to the meeting date, the more difficult it will be for individuals to cancel or recoup their financial commitments.
Hotels in the SAA rooming block will allow guests to cancel and get a refund before 72 hours of your first night’s stay, which you can do by calling the hotel in the case of an individual registration or having your university/employer sponsor call on your behalf. For airline cancellations, we recommend contacting your airline’s reservations hotline for current information.
We have begun and will continue exploring options for remote symposiums and other forums for presenting research, but for now our primary focus is on communicating with everyone who is affected and completing the logistics of cancellation.
We recognize there are still discussions to be had with our event partners and we do not currently have answers to all of the potential questions. We are working to provide answers as soon as possible.
We will continue to issue updates and answer questions as we complete discussions with the venue, hotels, exhibitors, and sponsors. Please feel free to submit questions via this Google form, and we will answer them as soon as possible and post an FAQ on the website.
We would like to recognize and offer our profound gratitude to everyone involved in the 85th Annual Meeting for their incredible work and support throughout the year-long planning process, particularly program chair Matthew Bandy, and local advisory chair, Bradford Jones. We also offer our thanks to our speakers, session chairs, committees, exhibitors, and those who were excited to support Public Archaeology Day. The SAA Annual Meeting is a group effort and everyone should be tremendously proud of their contributions.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate this difficult time. We know that many of you have spent weeks and months preparing for this meeting, and we look forward to making next year’s Annual Meeting a healthy and successful one.
SAA Board of Directors