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2020 APA Pacific Division meeting canceled

Thursday, March 12, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Erin Shepherd
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As indicated in a notice circulated on March 9, the APA leadership has been closely monitoring developments related to the global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and engaged in ongoing, detailed discussions with our conference venue, attorneys, and others about whether and how to move forward with the upcoming APA Pacific Division meeting, planned to take place April 8–11 at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, CA.

Our participants’ health and safety are paramount, and directives from public health authorities in the City of San Francisco and State of California are increasingly recommending that, to curtail the spread of the virus, large public events be cancelled or postponed. We are heeding that advice. The 2020 APA Pacific Division meeting has been cancelled.

The cancelation of a meeting is a last resort. The APA deeply values the time and effort that the program committee and meeting participants put in to make the meetings professionally, intellectually, and socially stimulating, and it is a great loss to have to cancel a meeting that so many have worked so hard on. We are especially grateful to the members of the Pacific Division program committee and its chair, Elizabeth Brake, for their tireless work putting together a truly excellent and exciting program.

Postponement/Rescheduling of Sessions

The APA leadership and staff will work over the coming days and weeks to determine to what extent sessions planned for the 2020 Pacific Division meeting can be postponed, rescheduled, or held via other means. The program chair, program committee, and executive committee of the Pacific Division will make every effort to create opportunities for participants in the 2020 divisional program to present at future APA meetings. There is a possibility of postponing the 2020 Pacific Division meeting to later this year, and the organizers of all three 2021 APA divisional meetings have indicated an openness to including some sessions planned for the 2020 Pacific Division meeting on their programs. We will provide more details when they are available.

We invite affiliated groups to work directly with their participants to consider whether their sessions should be postponed, cancelled, or converted to another medium. The Pacific Division will continue to provide affiliated groups with available meeting space but will not be able to provide more space than originally planned for the 2021 meeting.

The APA does not have the software or hardware infrastructure for virtual conference hosting nor, especially in the context of canceling a meeting, the ability to invest in virtual conference infrastructure. However, we encourage participants and affiliated groups to make use of their own online resources to engage with colleagues on the work and topics they planned to present at the 2020 Pacific Division meeting. To facilitate this, we have created a community on APA Connect, the APA’s online member community, where participants can share and discuss their papers and presentations that were to be presented in San Francisco.


We will be offering meeting registration refunds, less a 15% processing fee. To request a registration refund, complete this form. Please be aware that each refund is processed individually by APA staff, who are also handling other issues related to the cancelation of the meeting, so it may take some time to receive your refund. We appreciate your patience. Sponsors and exhibitors will have a few options; APA staff will be in touch with further details.

The financial fallout from this meeting will be significant—in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the APA itself, as well as losses to individual participants for non-refundable travel. The APA deeply regrets these financial impacts and encourages those who were planning to attend to reach out to their travel vendors about any policies or procedures they have put in place to assist those with reservations impacted by COVID-19. We also strongly recommend that colleges and universities reimburse non-refundable travel expenses their employees and students have incurred related to their planned attendance at the APA Pacific Division meeting.

To help offset the APA’s financial losses related to the meeting’s cancelation, we ask those who are in a position to do so to consider donating their prepaid registration fees to the APA. We are happy to provide a donation receipt for tax purposes to those who wish to do so. You may indicate that you wish to receive a donation receipt rather than a refund when completing this form.

Hotel Reservations

All participants are responsible for canceling their own hotel reservations. Your reservation confirmation email contains information about how to cancel, and you can call the Westin St. Francis at (415) 397-7000 for assistance.

Thank you for your understanding and patience in recent days as the APA leadership has contemplated this decision. Please take appropriate precautions to protect yourselves and those around you from COVID-19 and other communicable diseases over the coming weeks. We look forward to sharing more details about our plans as they become available and to seeing you at future APA meetings.

All the best,

Amy Ferrer, Executive Director
Rebecca Copenhaver, Pacific Division Secretary-Treasurer

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