#NEPCA2020 Conference Update

A chalk board with Scrabble letters spelling out "NEPCA is coming" in the center.Greetings NEPCA Community,

We hope this message finds you as well as can be, given all the things that are going on in the world right now on so many levels.

We have recently been informed that our campus destination for our Annual Conference will not be able to host us in the fall as it is taking proper safety precautions in relation to COIVD-19.  We support their decision and anticipated that this would happen.

While we are also sad that we will not be able to gather together physically in the fall, we believe that it is in all of our best interests and health to have the 2020 Annual NEPCA Conference be an entirely virtual conference.

In truth, I think this is actually good news for 3 reasons:

1. It is for the best in terms the safety of our membership.  Practicing social distancing at conferences can add other layers, costs, and challenges to doing so.  From having meals to being in rooms together or at tables together, the possibility for transmission is rather significant.  We also have a significant portion of our membership who are in vulnerable demographics.

2.  We were entertaining the idea of a hybrid conference but in going entirely virtually, it will save us the significant challenge of trying to offer both a face-to-face AND an online conference, which I think would have been more costly and challenging for all of us.  This also means that we can look to make this conference more affordable than previous conferences.

3.  I think being one of the first of the PCAs to do a virtual conference might gain us a bit more attention and interest while also providing a platform that for many of our members will make the conference much more accessible. (e.g. even I have had to skip NEPCA some years because of the challenges of money and distance).

In moving forward, we are going to extend the CFP until June 30 with messaging about it being an entirely virtual conference. We hope that you will consider submitting a proposal if you have not yet done so or forward the proposal to friends, colleagues, listservs and other social media outlets to let other folks know about it.

In the meanwhile, we are happy to answer any thoughts, questions, and concerns about how we move forward and appreciate your support and insight through all of this. Questions should go to northeastpopculture@gmail.com.

Thank you everyone,
Lance Eaton
NEPCA Executive Secretary

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