OAPA/APA WA Joint Conference Update

May 28, 2020

In April, I wrote to you with an update on work to identify a path forward for our Joint Conference with APA Washington this October. Since then, our conference committee has been working hard to determine safe options for the upcoming joint conference, specifically deciding whether to hold an event in person or virtually. I’m pleased to announce that we’re doing both (sort of). 

Here are the key details:

  • We’re going online for 2020! The 2020 OAPA/APA WA Joint Chapter Conference will be held virtually, on October 14-16, 2020. Stay tuned for more details on schedules, speakers, and registration.
  • In October 2021, we are looking forward to following up with a joint in-person conference in Vancouver. 
  • The theme for the conference, Growing Together, will span two years: virtually this year, and (hopefully) in-person next year. 
  • The deadline to submit a session has been extended to July 3, 2020. The conference Call for Sessions has been updated to reflect our new format. We encourage chapter members to get creative and submit ideas for engaging and informative sessions!

Our goal is to deliver a highly engaging, informative, and worthwhile experience online this fall. We have a number of details to work through, including fees, session offerings, sponsorships, and other logistics. We thank you for your patience as we work through and finalize these elements. Stay tuned to oregon.planning.org for more details as they become available.

The conference committee weighed a number of factors when considering options for this year’s event, including the need for access to CM credits, the opportunity to reschedule our in-person event instead of cancelling, and the advantage of partnering as we explore a new format for our chapters. Moving to an online event certainly presents challenges, but also opportunities to leverage technology to engage members and lower barriers to participation. We’re working hard to learn from our partners about what works well, and what makes for a most effective virtual conference. I want to thank our conference committee for their diligence and collaboration as we pivot to this new format.

As a reminder, OAPA has suspended in-person events until further notice. We are monitoring the situation as the state begins to reopen, but it is very unlikely that in-person programming can safely resume until most counties are in later phases of the Governor’s reopening framework. This appears likely to impact other OAPA events planned for this fall, and we’re working on contingency plans now.  We hope to have information to share soon on those events.

Our focus continues to be on serving members in a way that’s most responsive to the situation, ensuring everyone’s health and safety. If you have feedback, questions, or ideas for our virtual programming, please reach out to me directly at president@oregonapa.org.

I hope that you are staying safe and healthy. As always, thank you for the work that you do for communities around the state.

Aaron Ray, AICP
OAPA President