With the return of the conference to the U.S., organizers are expecting a larger than usual American delegation at AIDS 2012. Even so, for many others who could benefit -- including many state and local government employees and Federal grantees -- travel and registration costs will make participation unaffordable. Fortunately, if you are not able to come to Washington, conference organizers have created a way to bring parts of the conference to you -- by organizing a conference hub.
Conference hubs are locally organized meetings or mini-conferences where stakeholders come to view videotaped sessions from AIDS 2012. Typically, these sessions are followed by moderated discussions to allow participants to discuss the local implications of the session content with experts. Participation in hubs is free and conference organizers have created a virtual “Hub in a Box” tool kit designed to make organizing and hosting a hub as easy as possible.
On Wednesday, March 7th from 11:30 to 12:30 EST, conference organizers will host a webinar for potential hosts entitled, “Exploring the Possibilities and Logistics: How to Host an AIDS 2012 Conference Hub.” We suggest you register in advance for the webinar.
The benefits to hub organizers include:
- Engagement with local stakeholders
- Free access to key conference sessions
- Strengthening of local networks through the sharing of new information and lessons learned from AIDS 2012
At previous conferences, hubs have been organized across the globe by entities such as governments, community- and faith-based organizations, clinics, medical schools and universities. Any organization with constituents who could benefit from the information to be presented at the conference can apply to host a hub. And, with a range of sessions to be available for screening, local organizers will be able to tailor their program to the specific interests and needs of their constituents.
Hubs can be organized during or after the conference (through the end of 2012). Sessions will be available for download with a 24-hour delay, though all sessions may not be recorded. A complete list of available sessions will be made available in June, but is expected to include all major sessions, including daily plenaries and Special Sessions. Video and audio files will be available in both English and Spanish, accompanied by PowerPoint slides when used by presenters.
If your hub application is approved, organizers will provide access to the “Hub in a Box” tool kit, which will include step-by-step instructions for organizing a hub, including templates for outreach and marketing materials. Conference organizers will also post the details about hubs on the conference website, and will encourage networking and publicity through the AIDS 2012 Facebook page and Twitter feed. An IT helpdesk will also be available to assist with audio-visual and technology issues.
Applications to host a hub will be available on the conference website as of March 14th and the deadline for submission is September 15th. The application will request basic information about your plans, including your intended target audience, proposed date and time and potential venue.
With over 20,000 participants expected in Washington in July, AIDS 2012 represents an unparalleled opportunity for those working at all levels of the response to AIDS to learn and share. Conference hubs extend the reach of the conference and help stakeholders in communities across the country apply the latest news and information to their local contexts.
For more information, including additional details on the March 7th webinar and a pre-planning application form, visit the hubs page of the AIDS 2012 website.