Dear ISPE colleagues:
It is with great regret we write to inform you that ICPE 2021, originally scheduled for Seattle in August, has been cancelled as a live meeting and instead will now be presented as a virtual event in the same fashion as last year's meeting.
While new vaccines are now being distributed, it is evident that it will take many months before a level of immunization in the general population is reached that is safe enough to support travel to and attend a live meeting. It is our view that August is too soon for such a threshold to be achieved, and therefore ISPE would be unnecessarily risking the safety of our members. Also, a smaller, perhaps hybrid meeting would not be in the inclusive spirit of ISPE, with only a few selected members able to attend.
Consideration was given to postponing the meeting until later in the year; however, doing so will introduce an unacceptable level of uncertainty into the planning process, and a few extra months will not be enough to confidently eliminate the threat of cancellation due to unforeseen developments with the pandemic. A postponement is further constrained by Seattle's unfavorable weather conditions after October. In consultation with ICPE's Scientific Program Committee, it has been determined that a fully virtual event is the best and most suitable format for ICPE 2021 given the circumstances and what we know at this time.
While the ISPE Board and Scientific Program Committee are disappointed we will not have the opportunity to join you in person in Seattle this year, we can at least look forward to a repeat of the incredibly successful ICPE All Access we enjoyed in September last year. We will be building on the success of that meeting to create a program that will again demand your full attention and participation, and perhaps achieve an even higher attendance. We are confident you will love it!