the 37th annual International Seating Symposium, previously scheduled for March 18-21, 2021 in Pittsburgh, will now be held on September 14-17, 2021.

The date change from spring to fall 2021 has been made to allow more time for the COVID-19 situation to improve and allow more attendees to plan for a safer in-person attendance experience in Pittsburgh, according to a media announcement.

[ RELATED: ISS Plans ‘Business as Usual,’ In-Person Conference in 2021 ]

A survey to past ISS attendees and exhibitors has been conducted on how and if we should proceed. With about 700 responses the results were confirming.  Most prefer an in-person conference and would want to attend in March however several factors are making this unlikely as follows;

  • Even if there is a vaccine by January, it is not likely to have been readily available by March to fully mitigate the pandemic.
  •  Some employers have already imposed a travel ban through June, 2021.
  • Some national and international travel bans will likely still be in place.
  • Many need to request conference attendance and travel to their employers before January.
  • Some will be required to self-isolate for 2 weeks after travel without pay.
  • Financial recovery that would allow for the cost of conference participation is not likely to occur until the 2nd half of 2021.
  • People are concerned with contracting COVID while traveling and attending an in-person conference and spreading it to others especially the people they serve.

These factors were all taken into consideration when making the decision to change the date, the announcement continues.

Remote Options Available

In addition, for those who remain uncomfortable with in-person attendance or cannot travel, the conference’s education and expo will also be available via remote options. Those options are currently being investigated, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Those who have submitted a proposal for ISS 2021, will be notified within the next few weeks of their acceptance.  

Exhibitor FYI

Exhibitors: If you have reserved a booth and made a deposit for the March dates, your reservation will be honored for the September dates. If you will not be able to attend in September 2021, please contact Meghan Wander to cancel your booth and obtain a full refund.  

The 37th ISS will still take place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh with the same room blocks at nearby hotels. Preconference workshops will take place on Tuesday before the main conference.  There will be 100+ instructional courses, paper sessions, and plenary sessions. The exhibit hall will open Tuesday and close Thursday afternoon, per the announcement.

[Source: University of Pittsburgh]