AAG Annual Meeting Fees
Why did AAG raise the registration rates?
To offer our members and guests a full range of attendance options, AAG will offer a hybrid annual meeting, combining in-person and virtual attendance. This choice is more expensive than either an all-virtual or an in-person meeting. To cover higher technology costs, AAG has increased fees, which come after many years of the same pricing.
We also did not make a “one-size-fits-all” increase. While the in-person registration fees for Members have all gone up, fees for Student, Developing Region, Under/Un-employed, and Retired members went up more slightly, and they do not increase throughout the registration period (i.e., no penalty for registering later).
The new registration rates reflect our efforts to offer the annual meeting in several modalities, as a benefit to our members and the rest of the geography community.
Why is the cost for virtual higher now? Aren’t the tech needs the same?
In 2020, we deliberately priced the virtual attendance fees well under their actual cost. Our priority was to return to our professional gatherings as quickly as possible, even at a loss. We knew we would need to adjust later, to meet actual expenses for additional technology and personnel. The virtual portion of the 2023 Annual Meeting, for example, accounted for 24% of the total expenses for the meeting, while income from virtual registration fees covered only about 12%. Calculating these costs and revenues shows how interconnected the two modes are in a hybrid meeting.
The cost for the virtual portion of AAG’s meeting doesn’t just represent the sessions that occur online. It also includes the costs of live-streaming in-person sessions and providing meeting presenters with the opportunity to hold hybrid sessions (virtual presenter in a streamed in-person session). Since major keynotes and panels are live-streamed, these are the events that make a hybrid conference feel like one conference, instead of two parallel and unequal experiences in-person and online.
While much of our focus has been on providing the best possible meeting experience at the greatest value to our members, AAG is also committed to reducing our carbon footprint directly and effectively. Executive Director Gary Langham wrote about this commitment most recently in his September column, disclosing that we have already substantially approached our goal of a 45% reduction by 2030: Our first hybrid meeting in Denver reduced AAG’s carbon emissions by 36% over the baseline. We are proud of this accomplishment and hope for continued progress. We remain committed to climate action and to offering the best possible meeting choices for our members.