Letter to COV registrants and volcanological community

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Dear registrants of COV11 and volcanological community,

We are living difficult times as the covid-19 pandemic has changed the political and social structure of the world, including the timing of the COV11 conference in Heraklion (Crete), Greece. In response, the COV11 local organizing committee (LOC), the IAVCEI Executive Committee, and Cities and Volcanoes (CAV) Commissioners, have exerted much effort to adjusting to this situation, and determining the will of COV11 registrants.

More than 700 people participated in our June survey of their intentions regarding COV11, which included the majority of those who have already registered for the conference. From those who had already registered, half planned to participate virtually, with the remaining half fairly evenly split between attending in person, preferring cancellation, or undecided. From these results, and with the encouraging easing of the pandemic and opening of European borders, we created a hybrid conference (physical and virtual) to be held during September 25-30, 2020. 

Unfortunately, the spread of the pandemic has increased and accelerated worldwide, forcing further lockdowns, and restrictions to international travel. Taking into account, and the low number of confirmed physical participants, IAVCEI, the CAV commission, and the LOC have decided to postpone the COV11 meeting in Heraklion to 14-18 June 2021. This change is made for the safety of delegates and to make it more likely to have participation from our many professional communities.

Cities on Volcanoes conferences promote networking and face-to-face exchanges between volcanologists and non-volcanologists from all over the world. Postponing the conference to June 2021 – hopefully in a safer world - is the preferred alternative to what would have been a poorly attended meeting in September 2020.

We sincerely hope that all of you will support the 22-year old and highly popular Cities and Volcanoes conference series by maintaining plans for attendance at the June 2021 COV11 conference. Your support and commitment to attendance at COV11 in June 2021 will ensure the continuance of this engaging inter-disciplinary conference series into the future.

In the coming weeks, we will circulate a revised schedule with deadlines for abstract submission and registration. Within that schedule we will provide a date in early 2021 when the LOC and IAVCEI will reassess the global situation and either confirm the conference dates or indicate that the timing and/or format of the meeting will need to be revised further.

Registration transfer, abstracts and reimbursements

In regards to the already paid registration fees:

●      For those participants who agree, these will be fully preserved, at no additional cost, for the conference in June 2021. The same will apply to the fee for participating in the field trips in June 2021, in which people will be able to change field trips without any additional cost.

●      Participants who had registered for a virtual meeting can upgrade to physical participation by paying the difference in fee.

●      Grants will be entirely moved to June upon confirmation of the assignees.

●      As the LOC has non-refundable costs with venue deposits and services already rendered, if you are able, we would greatly appreciate it if you maintain your registration.

●      Participants who need to cancel their participation will be reimbursed in full. We advise that:

i) Bank transfer costs will be charged to the beneficiary;

ii) A cancellation fee of 50 Euros will be charged for administrative costs; and

iii) Registration fees for COV11 in June 2021 will be somewhat increased due to adjustment of living expenses in 2021.

The administrative fee may be waived in select special circumstances (e.g., going into retirement, completion of PhD). Please get in touch to discuss this option further. The requests have to be sent to IAVCEI SG (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and the decision will be made case by case

The already-accepted abstracts will be kept for the June 2021 meeting. Participants who wish to replace or update their abstract(s) will be allowed to do it for free once the registrations and abstract submissions are re-opened later this year or at the beginning of 2021.

The scientific program, as well as the conference workshops and field trips, will be rescheduled in due time in 2021.

We sincerely hope to see you all in Heraklion next June!

Stay safe and stay tuned.

 

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Eugenio Nicotra
Eugenio Nicotra