Hello, APAP Members and Colleagues,

First, I want to take a moment to celebrate how far we have come this year. We have all been through so much and we are stretched so thin, and yet we are still here. And that is a victory against the odds in itself.

In particular, I want to thank the APAP staff who are doing tremendous work under the most strenuous of circumstances and have gotten the APAP|NYC+ 2022 conference to this point. And to you, our members, many of whom were planning for our great return to New York City!

That is why this moment is so difficult, and so necessary.

Today, APAP is announcing the cancellation of our in-person conference, January 14 through 17, 2022. APAP will still hold its online conference, and we are reimagining its daily schedule to accommodate the most critical and timely elements of the in-person conference.
Watch full video here.
After all we have been through, we had all hoped January 2022 would look different than it does.

There are realities we cannot deny and that we cannot control that make meeting in person logistically impossible and make it extremely difficult to keep our members safe. On December 13th, New York City had been averaging fewer than 3,600 new cases of COVID-19 each day. But after more than 63,000 people tested positive in just five days, the average daily number of infections had climbed to nearly 11,000 daily in just one week.
New York City has been deeply impacted by the Omicron variant, and the situation is projected to only get worse following the holidays. With a 14-day COVID gestation period, experts expect cases to peak mid-January, exactly when the APAP in-person conference was scheduled to start. And, as we have all read, triple-vaccinated people represent more than a majority of those currently being infected by Omicron.

APAP planned to test attendees daily during the in-person conference. Although New York City will have a vaccination mandate in place for the employees of the conference hotel, proof of vaccination is not a requirement for non-APAP hotel guests. Non-APAP hotel guests cannot be tested by APAP and, based on the hotel’s policy as explained to us, would not be tested by the hotel. All persons staying at the hotel who test positive would have to voluntarily remain quarantined in their hotel rooms for a mandated period of time at their own expense. Because the quarantine would be voluntary and because the quarantine would not apply to others who may have been exposed, our determination is that for a group of our size, this would be an unsafe environment.

Given the trajectory of Omicron infection rates and its projected peak during the conference, what if New York State or New York City imposes restrictions making it impossible to hold an in-person conference of our size? With this uncertainty in mind, APAP could not in good conscience go forward with an in-person event. 
Some may ask, “Other performances happen with people masked and vaccinated, and they still continue, why not APAP?” “Other industry meetings are happening, why not APAP?”

As anyone who has attended APAP knows, APAP is different. The comparison to other events is not even apples to oranges, it’s more like apples to broccoli.
The design and dynamics of the APAP conference are physically widespread, inclusive, diverse, multifaceted, and around-the-clock. It is inevitable that, under the current and expected circumstances, APAP|NYC 2022 would be a super-spreader event.

In our role as your service organization, we must consider the safety of the whole community, all 1100+ in-person registrants and their families. It is your ability to do business and to create, not just today, but tomorrow and the day after that, which weighs on us heavily.
Let me be clear: Just because the in-person conference will not happen in January 2022, the business does not stop. I know this does not change the financial loss that many of us have experienced but I beg you to please hold on.

We will have an online conference, and we are committed to providing additional resources to help you navigate the platform successfully. Some of our key in-person events are being redesigned into online events. Showcasers can still host online showcases, and exhibitors can maintain a presence and take meetings through our Swapcard platform. We will host speed dating, and our Swapcard platform will be open through the end of January for you to engage and connect with one another. We will share the exact details of all of this next week.

Additionally, following our pre-conference fieldwide conversation, the booking cycle and how we do business in 2022 will be a core focus for discussion, starting with Real Talk in Real Time on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at 4 p.m. (EST). RSVP here.

If you are registered for the in-person conference, you have three options:

  1. You may cancel your registration and request a full refund,
  2. You will have the option to convert your registration to an online registration and receive a refund for the difference,
  3. OR You will have the option to convert your registration to an online registration and, if you’d like, donate the difference to APAP.

Additionally, you can cancel your hotel reservation at least 72 hours in advance of your first night to receive a full refund at the APAP conference group rate. 
If applicable, please login to our registration system to modify your registration now and make your selection.

Once you login through the "already registered" link with your email and confirmation number, select "modify registration" at the bottom of the page. Selections will appear under "Registration Items" on page 3 of the registration path. (See image at bottom of this email.)
In closing, our decision, while the most difficult we’ve ever made as an organization, is the right one. We are leaning heavily into our values that your health, your wellness and safety are our top priority. Living out these values is what the pandemic has reinforced in us. We are leading with creativity, faith and belief in the collective good. We will not sacrifice our people for commerce, nor will we let what appears to be an insurmountable change in circumstances dampen our tenacity and our spirit.

We are stronger together.

Thank you.

Lisa Richards Toney
President and CEO, APAP