I just spoke with Jim Sliwa, media relations manager with ICAAC organizer the American Society for Microbiology, and the conference will be moving from New Orleans to a new place and new dates (it was scheduled originally for Sept.).
Jim said, "We really wanted to stay in New Orleansâ€”theyâ€™ll need the businessâ€”and itâ€™s so much easier to handle the logistics if you donâ€™t have to change locations. But we got the Washington, D.C., Convention Center very quicklyâ€”when you hear the dates, youâ€™ll understand why: December 16 to 19. Itâ€™s similar to what happened right after 9/11/01, when ICAAC was in Chicago the week after the attacks. Luckily, the Chicago Convention Center could find dates that worked for us, but again they were the week before Christmas."
"Now comes the funâ€”redoing the entire logistics for the convention center in three months," Sliwa added. Deposits for New Orleans hotels will be refunded, and registration will automatically transfer to the new dates and site. Those who couldnâ€™t attend the rescheduled ICAAC could get a full refund of registration fees and hotel deposits as long as they notified the organizers before September 23. ICAACâ€™s airline partner, United Airlines, also agreed to waive the $100 change fee for ICAAC attendees.
I have a feeling they're going to be far from alone in having to move a meeting from NOLA and other affected areas. This is so horrible in so many ways.