2021 NARST Conference Registration Rates

2021 NARST Conference Registration Rates

The 2021 NARST Annual Conference will feature some exciting research because of the incredible work you do and your willingness to share it. If you have not received notification about the status of your submission, then please contact Paul Kemp (paulkemp@narst.org).

As previously announced, the 2021 conference will be fully virtual. Because of the size of the NARST conference and the significant differences in implementing a virtual conference in contrast to an in-person event, a third-party vendor, OpenWater, will host the first-ever virtual NARST conference with assistance from Virtual, the management company for NARST.

Contrary to popular belief, virtual conferences are not necessarily cost-effective, especially when services are provided by a third-party vendor, but the expenses are generally less than an in-person or hybrid event. Based on the information provided by Helen LeMay, NARST Executive Director, and Virtual, the low-end projected cost for the 2021 virtual conference is $88,500 with a high-end projected at $100,000 in contrast to costs above $300,000 for most recent NARST in-person conferences. These projected costs are used to estimate the conference registration fees. NARST conferences are self-sustaining; that is, the historical financial goal is to break even where registration fees offset conference expenses. In light of the current conditions, this historical financial goal is retained for the 2021 conference.

We are aware many in our community are living the devastation caused by COVID. Many have lost loved ones to the virus and others have suffered immeasurable damage to their livelihoods—only two examples of the varied ways COVID has negatively impacted lives. We are cognizant of the pressing conditions and desire to offer a conference free to attendees; though financially solid at this time, the financial stability of NARST, confounded by troubling financial predictions for higher education institutions, could not withstand such a provision. NARST has been fortunate. Some past conferences generated revenue, but these revenues provided a buffer to offset financial losses associated with the cancellation of the 2020 conference and losses accrued from more recent conferences.

In lieu of no registration fees and to address the COVID-related financial stresses, the rates have been reduced as much as possible. This year’s conference registration rates are close to a 50% reduction of the in-person event rate. In addition, a tiered rate for the 2021 conference is provided for NARST regular and Emeritus members to offer latitude for a self-determined ability to pay. If NARST regular and Emeritus members can pay more, then we ask you pay the higher rate. All other registration categories will have a flat rate (see below).

Conference Rates table

At present, we are assessing the feasibility of an assistance fund for the 2021 conference to sponsor conference presenters experiencing extraordinary hardship and who do not have other sources of support, including the several existing funds offered through NARST initiatives. These initiatives are administered by the Equity and Ethics, Graduate Student, International, and Publication Advisory Committees. The Research Interest Groups (RIGs) also have funds they can use at their discretion. The Executive Director and management company have not yet determined how to implement such a fund considering the numerous logistics involved. I will update you at the start of 2021 about this effort. If you are willing to make a contribution to the fund, then please email Executive Director Helen Lemay atexecutivedirector@narst.org and copy NARST Secretary-Treasurer Jerome Shaw at jmlshaw@ucsc.edu to indicate an amount you would be willing to donate. This information will be helpful in planning fund distribution.

In the meantime, please be alert for an email. A schedule-at-a glance and a preliminary presentation schedule are forthcoming next week. At that time, the conference registration will open.

Eileen R. Carlton Parsons, PhD

NARST President