September 27, 2022
Dear AABB Annual Meeting Attendees and Members of the AABB Community:
On Monday night, AABB’s Board of Directors made the decision to cancel our upcoming in-person Annual Meeting, scheduled for Oct. 1-4 in Orlando.
We have all seen the weather reports. Hurricane Ian continues to strengthen and is expected to be an even more powerful storm by the time it reaches Florida later this week. The entire state of Florida is under a state of emergency, with school closures and evacuation orders already being issued. While the precise storm path is still somewhat uncertain, its size and scope have the potential to dramatically impact a wide swath of the state, including Orlando. The Board has made this decision now because the safety and health of our community is, as always, AABB’s top priority; we hope this provides sufficient time for attendees to cancel travel and make alternative plans over the next several days. It is also necessary to make a decision now, since preparation for the Meeting begins on-site on Tuesday.
First and foremost, our thoughts are with residents and members of the AABB community throughout Florida who may be most affected by this storm. We encourage you to do everything you can to keep yourselves, your loved ones, and your neighborhoods safe. We further encourage all members of the AABB community—especially those in close proximity to the affected areas—to make an appointment to donate blood if you are eligible and able. If this storm reaches its full potential, your donation could help save lives during this critical time.
As for us: we are completely devastated to make this announcement. After two years of virtual Annual Meetings, and nearly a full year planning for a return to an in-person gathering, we have been excited beyond words to bring the community together again. We deeply appreciate the many AABB member volunteers, vendor partners, and AABB staff who have worked tirelessly, especially throughout the past several weeks, to make this Meeting a success for thousands of participants; the tremendous speakers and panelists who were lined up to lead us expertly through each session; and our exhibitors and vendors who contribute so much to the overall experience and value of the Meeting.
This community is marked by its resilience and ability to overcome every challenge, and we know this time will be no different. To that end, action steps are already underway to expand our previously planned virtual meeting for November 6-7, 2022. Throughout the next several days, AABB will be sending out information to all attendees who had registered for the in-person Annual Meeting in Orlando to transfer their registration to the virtual meeting; this transfer will include a partial refund to reflect the difference in price. Speakers and session moderators will be contacted by AABB’s education team, and A. Fassano & Co. will be reaching out to sponsors and exhibitors in the coming days to discuss next steps.
But for now: our sincere thanks, again, to everyone who had already done their part or was imminently poised to make their mark on this year’s gathering. We share your disappointment, but look forward to connecting virtually in November.
And mark our words: we will work twice as hard to make next year’s AABB Annual Meeting in Nashville—October 14-17, 2023—an even sweeter success.
Dana Devine, PhD