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COVID-19: Update April 16, 2020

Thursday, April 16, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Stephanie Flores
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COVID-19 Update: Turning  Challenges into Opportunities

The global corona virus pandemic has caused all of us to pivot and re-think nearly everything about how we do business now and for the foreseeable future.  For CASSS and other professional associations, in the short term this has meant changing the way conferences are held. For the longer term, however, it presents a bigger challenge and, I believe, opportunity. 

As we first contemplated the prospect of whether to cancel our spring conferences* - or pivot to a virtual format, I was asked by one of the volunteers, "What do you expect from a virtual conference?  What would success look like?"  In that moment, my response was three-fold:

 - Provide access to the relevant content and information that is needed now more than ever; 
 - Mitigate the financial impact so CASSS remains here for you; and
 - Learn lessons that we can apply to the future, once we are able to meet together face-to-face again.

As the crisis has deepened and extended, the 3rd point continues to grow in importance.  It is clear that for at least the next 12 - 18 months, if not longer, conferences will be different.  Internally, the board of directors and staff have talked for years about the need to provide engagement beyond the confines of the physical conference.  How do we continue the conversations from the hallways and receptions year-round?  How do we engage those that can't participate in a place-based meeting?  This is what keeps me up at night.

What is missing from this conversation, however, is you. How can CASSS help our members keep sharing their research and insights at a time when scientific exchange is both more difficult and more important to global health?  What can CASSS do to help you right now? Whether it be virtual roundtables or a members only message board - or something entirely new.  What can we do to foster new ways of engaging with peers and sharing challenges and successes? 

Please provide any suggestions or thoughts that you have here. (You'll need to be logged in to access the form.) 
We promise your ideas will be taken and used to shape the direction of CASSS as we navigate this new era.

Thank you,

Stephanie Flores, CAE
Executive Director

* Updated Spring Conference Schedule:
- AT Europe 2020, Lison, Portugal has been rescheduled to 3-6 November 2020
- HOS 2020 is cancelled. HOS 2021 will be held April 12 - 14, 2021
- Bioassays will now take place virtually April 27-30, 2020 
- CMC Strategy Forum Europe will be held virtually 11-13 May 2020
- Cell & Gene Therapy Products will also be virtual June 8-10, 2020

Each of the virtual meetings will still feature live speaker presentations and panel discussions, and will allow participants to engage with the speakers, panelists and each other.

We are incredibly grateful for your support and flexibility during this difficult time.

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