Dear Society for Neuroscience 2021 Meeting Management Team,
We, the undersigned exhibitors, are writing this open letter to express our dissatisfaction with the Society's decision to convert our on-site booth agreement to a virtual booth, without the option to opt-out and receive a full refund.
The terms of the exhibitor agreement specify that the agreement is a "Lease of Space" agreement and the cancelation clause (copied below) offers the option for a refund without any mention of an option for conversion to virtual conference.
The virtual booth option was initially offered as a complementary addition to on-site exhibitors. Accordingly, it is not acceptable to us that our agreement is converted to a lease of a virtual booth, and that we are charged for that. Furthermore, the virtual booth cost unfairly impacts smaller businesses more than larger businesses, as the fixed booth cost is a larger fraction of a smaller booth's fees.
We respectfully ask you and the society to reconsider your position and refund all exhibitors the full amount of their registration, as per the agreement. (regardless of whether the exhibitors participated in the virtual booth or not)
Thank you for your reconsideration!
Neuroscience 2021 Exhibitors
From the Exhibitor Prospectus 2021:
"Cancellation of Meeting and Exhibition
It is mutually agreed that in the event Neuroscience 2021 is canceled due to the unavailability of the convention center for any reason, or due to acts of God, war, strikes, government regulation or advisory warnings (including travel advisory warnings by the government or World Health Organization), civil disturbance, terrorism, or threats of terrorism substantiated by governmental warnings or advisory notices, curtailment of transportation, epidemics, disaster, fire, earthquakes, hurricanes, unseasonable extreme inclement weather, shortages or disruption of the electrical power supply causing blackouts or rolling blackouts in Chicago, IL or any other comparable conditions or circumstances occurring either in the location of SfN’s meeting or in the countries/states of origin of at least 30% of the attendees or along their routes of travel, making it, at the sole discretion of SfN, commercially impracticable, illegal, or impossible to operate the event. If the event is cancelled pursuant to this paragraph, then the application and contract for exhibit space will be terminated. In the event of such termination neither party shall be liable to the other for delay or failure to perform its obligations, except there shall be a prorated reduction of any fees payable or otherwise due under this agreement and/or refund of any deposits paid."