Thank you for participating in the 2017 ABRCMS. The conference was a resounding success, due in part to your continued support.
From our conference surveys, it is evident that ABRCMS is seen as a worthwhile venue for all stakeholder groups and brings together motivated students from diverse backgrounds who are knowledgeable and professional in their presentations.
However, the survey results also indicated you did not approve of the uncoupling of the registration and meal fees, and the accompanying arrangement of the seating for the meals. This clearly was not conducive to promoting networking during meals. This change related to our new R13 grant guidelines from DHHS.
Based on your comments, we have developed a plan outlined below for managing the meals at future ABRCMS conferences. The ABRCMS leadership and staff understand that networking during meal events is one of the valued highlights and strengths of the conference, and the new plan provides that opportunity. Your comments on other ABRCMS features also helped us plan some new enhancements for the 2018 conference.
Enhancements and Changes for 2018 ABRCMS include:
Registration and Meal Functions. One registration fee will be set to cover both conference and meal plan fees. Payment for both will be handled by a single third-party vendor, easing the payment process for your institutions/organizations. We will continue to promote networking during meals. The 2018 ABRCMS registration site opens May 2018.
Networking Opportunities for Non-Students. The Friday evening reception for exhibitors, speakers, judges, and program directors will be reinstated in 2018.This is also a way to express our appreciation for your continued support of ABRCMS and contributions to the conference.
Postbaccalaureate Presentations. Beginning in 2018, postbaccalaureate student presenters will be assigned three judges and be eligible for presentation awards. This will help improve the traffic to each presentation and allow students to receive feedback similar to the undergraduate student presenters. Note that previous ABRCMS awardees will still be assigned only one judge and will not be eligible for the awards program.
Hotel Accommodations. Every effort has been made to secure an adequate number of hotel rooms for attendees. The 2018 hotel registration will open May 2018. Please make your reservation early as the room block almost always sells out before our discounted rate deadline. Once the room block is sold out, our discounted rate will no longer apply. Please beware of housing pirates who may offer lower rates, however they are not approved partners of ABRCMS, and can have unreasonable cancellation/change penalties or be completely non-refundable.
Other. Exhibitor and judge’s lounges, as well as refreshment breaks during exhibit hall hours, will be reinstated in 2018.
We greatly appreciate your feedback and commitment to helping us fulfill the goal of ABRCMS— to develop the next generation of scientists to become future leaders in STEM. On behalf of the ABRCMS Steering Committee and staff, we look forward to seeing you at ABRCMS 2018 in Indianapolis, IN, November 14-17!
Avery August, Ph.D. Chairperson, ABRCMS HHMI Professor Professor of Immunology, Cornell University