The Nebraska Dental Association (NDA) Board of Trustees has made the difficult decision to move to an all virtual meeting for 2021. This decision was made for several reasons. First, our primary speaker, Dr. Odiatu, is from Canada, and their strict travel restrictions would make it very difficult for him to travel and appear in-person. Dr. Odiatu has not yet been vaccinated, and even if he has the vaccination by April, the travel restrictions would require him to take a Covid test before leaving Canada and before coming back, as well as quarantining for 14 days upon his return. Since he also has a dental practice this requirement would place an undue hardship on him. Second, based on the survey of our membership, only 39% of our membership said they would attend if both speakers were in-person and only 32% would attend if one speaker was in-person. Finally, although cancelling the meeting strains our budget, the Board felt that cancelling now with the least amount of damages was the fiscally responsible thing to do.
We want you to know that we did not make this decision lightly and considered all of our options, including postponing the meeting until later in the year. Unfortunately there were no viable dates available at the hotel that could be coordinated with the speakers.
We sincerely want to thank you for your interest in participating in our meeting. We know that many of you are ready to get back to some sense of “normal” but we also know that many companies are still not allowing their representatives to participate in live events.
For those of you that signed up for exhibit space, we did look at having a virtual exhibit hall but for a meeting of our size, it just didn’t make sense, and for that reason, we will be returning those fees to you. For those of you who signed up as a corporate sponsor, we are excited to share that we do have an option for you to still showcase your company and help support our meeting. We are looking at a virtual platform that would allow sponsoring companies to participate virtually. Depending on the sponsorship level, your company would either be listed within a corporate sponsorship link where you could provide your company contact information, or for those who sponsor at the gold level, you would be provided with a company logo link on the homepage of the platform lobby. The company would work with you to set up the design of the link to provide specifics on your company and you would even be provided with the opportunity to have a short “commercial” during the speaker presentations. More specific information will be provided as we work out the details.
Below is a sample of what the virtual lobby would look like:
Cancelling our meeting again this year is the last thing that we wanted to do. We truly appreciate your support of our meeting and are looking forward to making up for lost time next year in Lincoln on April 8, 2022. Mark your calendars! You won’t want to miss it!