AAS2020 Cancellation – FAQ’s

AAS2020 Cancellation – FAQ’s

Why did you wait until now to cancel?

The COVID-19 situation has developed rapidly over the past two weeks. The AAS considered the cancellation possibility as very real at that time. To plan a conference takes a great deal of effort by a whole team of people over an extended period of time. To take this apart, as well, takes careful consideration and consideration of the many pros and cons of cancellation. As the AAS leadership monitored the worldwide developments related to COVID-19 over the past week, we realized that the cons of holding the conference greatly outweighed the pros. With many countries and regions recommending self-quarantine and many institutions strongly advising staff, faculty and students to restrict travel, it became quickly evident that neither practical nor ethical to continue with our annual conference. Because AAS is a non-profit, the decision could not be made by one person or be taken lightly. AAS executive officers and staff first met in an emergency session. Once they formulated a synopsis of the concerns over cancellation as well as recommendations, they presented these to the Board of Directors for consideration.  The Board of Directors unanimously voted to cancel the conference in the face of this major public health crisis. This was decided despite the enormous economic toll cancellation would have on AAS operations.

Will AAS2020 be rescheduled to take place later this year?

No. There are very few venues in the U.S. able to host such a large event like the AAS Annual Conference. This fact, coupled with the unpredictable nature and spread of COVID-19, make it practically impossible for AAS2020 to be rescheduled to later this year. 

Will paid attendee and exhibitor badge registrations be refunded?

All conference registrations will be refunded in full to both attendees and exhibitors who paid for additional personnel badges. Click here to read the complete policy. If you would like to donate your registration fee to assist the AAS in offsetting cancellation expenses, please see this page for information about how to do so and complete the online form by Thursday, March 19. Please contact AASregistration@asianstudies.org if you have additional questions. Any further updates regarding AAS2020 will be published on www.asianstudies.org/conference.

Will attendees and exhibitors be refunded for airline tickets?

The AAS is unable to refund attendees and exhibitors for any airlines tickets purchased. Please contact your airlines as soon as possible to inquire about refunds/cancellation policies.

I am a travel grant recipient. How can I handle the airline ticket?

If you have made your reservations, please arrange for the cancellation of the airfare. A letter regarding cancellation of the airfare can be found here and can be sent to secure a refund of the airline ticket purchase. Please contact awilliams@asianstudies.org for questions regarding settling the travel grant.

How should we handle cancelling our hotel reservations?

UPDATE 3/10/20 4:00pm: The Sheraton Boston Hotel has indicated that the hotel has cancelled all reservations made within the AAS room block. All individuals who completed room reservations via the AAS Sheraton reservation link posted on our website should receive an email cancellation notice within 24 hours.

If your reservation was made outside of the AAS room block via a travel site or at another hotel, you must cancel your individual reservation directly with the hotel or the specific booking site.

In regards to the overflow hotels, the Marriott Copley Place Hotel and the Hilton Boston Back Bay hotel, individuals should cancel their individual reservations within 72 hours of the listed arrival date until we have more information regarding these blocks.

Will exhibitors be refunded for booth space?

Yes, AAS2020 exhibitors will receive a full refund for all exhibit booth reservations. Some exhibitors have expressed their desire to transfer the booth reservation to the AAS2021. Exhibitors and advertisers will receive a separate follow-up email outlining the exhibit booth and advertiser refund policy. Please contact rjones@asianstudies.org if you have additional questions.

How does this affect cancellations made prior to the initial AAS Coronavirus announcements?

Individuals incurring cancellation fees prior to the updated refund policy in connection with COVID-19 will receive a refund of the cancellation fees.

Can I also receive a refund of my Membership dues?

No. Membership dues are non-refundable. For new members who recently joined, please take a moment to review the additional benefits offered with your AAS Membership.

Will any sessions be made available virtually?

At this time, the AAS is discussing preliminary plans and the possibility of providing some sessions of AAS2020 on a digital platform.  However, these are preliminary discussions. Once the AAS has sorted through all of the contractual and financial implications of this cancellation, we will begin taking a closer look at our options. Any further updates regarding AAS2020 will be published on www.asianstudies.org/conference.

Does this affect AAS-in-Asia?

The AAS will continue to monitor the worldwide COVID-19 situation. As the date approaches, AAS will consult with its partners in Kobe to determine the best course of action. Any updates and/or provisions for COVID-19 in relation to the AAS-in-Asia conference will be posted by our host partners at https://aasinasia.org/

AAS Secretariat staff are working remotely due to CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19. Please contact staff by email rather than phone. Staff directory