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2022 AGM FAQs

April 10, 2022
For the most recent news and updates, please visit the AGM Update Center.

About This Year’s Conference

Will there definitely be an in-person AGM?

As things stand in early April 2022, we are confident that we can hold a wonderful AGM this year, with all the usual elements. (Attendees at JASNA’s 2021 AGM felt that it was both safe and satisfying.) Our COVID policies will be based on local conditions and governmental regulations—see details in the next section. Of course, conditions may change at any time, and we will keep you updated through the AGM Update Center. As always, we encourage you to consider purchasing travel insurance or making refundable arrangements.

Will the AGM be a hybrid conference or offer other remote access options?

A selection of AGM content will be made available, at a fee, to JASNA members who do not attend the AGM in person. Plans are still in development, but JASNA members should not expect a full online equivalent to the in-person AGM.

What is the Refund Policy?

This year, we are applying a more flexible Refund Policy. (a) If JASNA is forced to cancel the AGM completely or reduce capacity due to government regulations, registrants will receive full refunds of registration fees only, regardless of when the cancellation takes place. JASNA is not liable for any travel-related expenses that registrants may incur. (b) With regard to individual cancellations, registrants may cancel and receive a full refund up to 21 days after the registration opening date. (In most recent years, AGMs have sold out on the opening date.) Cancellations made by individuals after that date, but before September 1, will incur a $50 fee. Beginning September 1, no refunds will be made for individual cancellations. Again, if a cancellation is initiated by JASNA due to government regulations rather than by an individual registrant, the registration fee will be fully refunded, regardless of the date.

For tours, separate cancellation deadlines apply, as tours are administered by independent operators who set their own policies. These will be detailed on the Tours page and in an email to those who register for tours.

The planned AGM program and the scheduling of specific presentations and activities will be described on the AGM website. Adjustments may be necessitated by changes in speaker or facility availability beyond JASNA’s control. Where possible, JASNA will arrange for replacement speakers/activities if needed, to provide a rewarding and enriching AGM experience. In any case, no refunds will be given solely due to changes in program or schedule, except as covered by the Refund Policy above.

When is registration?

The target date for opening conference registration is June 15. There will be two opening times for registration (9am Pacific/12 noon Eastern and 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern), with the available spaces split between them. Detailed how-to guidance will be made available closer to the opening day of registration.

This is the eleventh year in which JASNA has used an online registration system, and paper-based marketing and registration processing have been discontinued. If you have questions about using the online registration system, please email vpconf@jasna.org.

When will hotel rooms be available for reservation?

The JASNA hotel room blocks will open on June 16, at 9am Pacific/12 noon Eastern. On or after that date, please visit the Hotel page on the 2022 AGM website and be sure to use the link provided there, or mention “JASNA” when you call the hotel to take advantage of our room block.

COVID Health and Safety Protocols

Are vaccinations and/or tests required to attend the AGM?

As of April 1, 2022, full vaccination is required for entry to the Victoria Conference Centre, where the AGM will be held. Fully vaccinated travelers from any country do not require tests to enter Canada, but may be selected for random tests (if selected, the traveler is not required to quarantine). These requirements may change; please view complete, up-to-date information in the AGM Update Center.

What safety and health protocols will be in place at the conference?

JASNA will follow governmental regulations in force at the time of the AGM with regard to vaccinations, face coverings, and other protective measures, and may impose additional measures. Please see the latest information in the AGM Update Center.

Preparing for an AGM in Canada (for non-Canadian members)

In which currency will registration fees be specified?

Because JASNA’s main bank is in the U.S., registration fees and optional program prices will be specified in U.S. dollars on the AGM webpages.

Will attendees need Canadian currency at the AGM?

Most transactions can be handled by credit card, but you will want to have a modest amount of Canadian cash for cabs, tips, and the like. There is an ATM in the Empress hotel, and the hotel front desk clerks will exchange small bills for you. It is important to consult your bank in advance of your trip to ensure your credit or debit card will work and to find out about exchange fees.

Are passports and visas required to enter Canada?

Entry requirements are provided on this Canadian government website: Entry requirements by country/territory - Canada.ca. From the website:  “All international travelers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. A passport is recommended because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel.”  While U.S. citizens may be able to use alternative forms of ID such as NEXUS or FAST cards, research carefully to ensure you have acceptable identification. If you do not have the proper documents, you may be delayed or refused entry into Canada. Citizens of the U.S. and U.K. do not require visas; citizens of Mexico are required to apply for a “Canada eTA” visa. This webpage is a step-by-step guide to entry requirements: Find out if you can enter Canada - Travel restrictions in Canada – Canada.ca

What is the Day for Truth and Reconciliation?

This year, the AGM falls on the weekend of a Canadian statutory day of commemoration, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (September 30 became a federal statutory holiday in 2021; the AGM contract was signed in 2018.)  The Day for Truth and Reconciliation is a day to honor Indigenous Peoples and reflect on the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools. The JASNA Victoria Host Region is planning activities that will enable AGM attendees to show their respect on this occasion.

Eligibility, Registration, Companions, and Accessibility

Who is eligible to attend the AGM?

The AGM is open to members in good standing (those whose membership dues are up to date). Students must be in ninth grade or above; the AGM is not appropriate for children. You will not be able to join or update your membership on the AGM Registration Form, as membership and AGM registration are handled by separate computer systems.

  • New Members: If you would like to join, please go to our Join and Support page for information about JASNA membership and a link to the New Membership form.
  • Existing Members and Lapsed Members: If you need to renew your membership, log in to JASNA’s Member Portal and select “View My Membership or Renew” from the dropdown menu near the top of the Welcome page. If you don’t remember your Member Portal log-in credentials or need other assistance, please email membership@jasna.org.

Who can participate in the AGM?

As our Diversity and Inclusion Statement states, JASNA strives to ensure that all people are welcome and feel valued in meetings, events, and community spaces. Whether you are new to JASNA or a Life Member, if you are interested in the study of Austen’s works, her life, and her era, we welcome you to attend the Victoria AGM.

I’d like to attend the AGM, though I’m not a JASNA member. Is this possible?

JASNA conferences are designed for JASNA members. However, you are welcome to become a member of JASNA by joining and then registering for the conference. Your membership must be current at the time of registration.

Do AGMs accommodate all members who want to attend?

JASNA’s AGMs are the world’s largest in-person conferences focusing on Jane Austen, but there are limits, as it is not financially feasible for JASNA to contract for a larger attendance than we can deliver. Capacities have steadily increased in recent years; even so, there will be years when more people want to attend an AGM than can be offered registration. Of the past six in-person AGMs, three sold out almost immediately, and three did not. We continue to monitor registration trends and make efforts to accommodate as many JASNA members as possible.

How do waitlists work?

The registration software that JASNA uses allocates registration spaces on a first-come, first-served basis. When all registration spaces have been taken, the system assigns additional people to a waitlist. As space becomes available, waitlisted individuals are offered an opportunity to register, in order. Every year, hundreds of waitlisted people are eventually offered the chance to register for the AGM when spaces that were held back in case of system error are released, and when registrants change their plans and cancel.

What does the AGM registration fee include?

In 2022, registrants in the “Attendee” category receive two meals (the banquet on Saturday night and brunch on Sunday) and admission to all plenary sessions, registrant’s choice of breakout sessions, all special interest sessions, and non-ticketed extra activities. Registrants in the “Companion” category will only receive the two meals. Registrants in both categories have the option of purchasing workshop, tour, and special event tickets.

Why are tours, workshops, etc., not included in the AGM registration fee?

The primary goal of each AGM team is to deliver a basic conference package—plenaries, breakouts, special interest sessions, the banquet and ball—that is broadly appealing and delivers an excellent experience at an affordable price. Programs that may appeal to some members and not others are priced separately, which keeps the basic registration fee low. Headcount limits for those programs are driven by such factors as bus capacities (in the case of tours) or the number of participants best suited for individual workshops.

What is a Companion?

A Companion is an attendee category that denotes any person who accompanies a JASNA member to the conference and pays the AGM Companion registration fee. That person—and only one Companion can accompany a JASNA member—may be a spouse, friend, or family member. A Companion can attend the Saturday evening banquet and ball and the Sunday brunch (with speaker), but is not entitled to attend plenary, breakout, or special interest sessions. AGM Attendees are free to share their hotel rooms (subject to hotel policies) with friends or family members without registering them as official Companions, but unregistered persons are not entitled to attend any meal functions or events.

Why do some AGMs have a higher Companion limit than others?

Some conference hotels are simply larger than others, allowing for a greater number of Companions. When space is limited, priority is given to JASNA members who wish to register as Attendees for the entire conference.

Can the AGM accommodate attendees who have various allergies and sensitivities?

Yes, special dietary requirements can be accommodated for the meals included in the AGM registration fee, provided that each attendee indicates allergies and sensitivities on the registration form or emails the AGM Team about them. When given enough preparation time, the AGM Team can work with the hotel staff to provide for an attendee’s needs. Waiting until arrival to notify the hotel of specific food restrictions will cause difficulty in meeting those needs. Optional events not included in the registration fee (such as tours with meals or tastings) may not be able to accommodate individual dietary requirements; information will be provided in the description for that activity.

Can the AGM accommodate attendees with other needs?

The registration form will have a space for registrants to note any assistance or accommodation they may need. Access to assistive listening devices for the main meeting room is free to attendees, and seating is reserved at the front of meeting rooms for those who need to be close to speakers. We will do our best to accommodate other needs.

JASNA’s Conference Planning Policies and Practices

Why is the AGM usually held in October, often on a holiday weekend?

In some years, including 2022, the AGM is held in late September; however, most conferences are held in October. JASNA is able to secure a lower hotel rate for attendees since autumn is not peak vacation time in most locations. In addition, the AGM is often held on the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving to ensure an easier journey for Canadian attendees.

This year, the AGM falls on the weekend of a Canadian statutory day of commemoration, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. (The AGM contract was signed in 2018, and this federal statutory holiday was established in 2021.) 

Why is JASNA using a Conference Center and multiple hotels this year?

Occasionally, a desirable conference location does not have the required meeting room space or sleeping rooms all in one hotel. In the case of Victoria, meeting space is in the beautiful and welcoming Victoria Conference Centre, with hotels at various price points immediately adjacent.

How is the AGM registration fee set?

The registration fee reflects the costs of staging the conference. The fee defrays common costs such as plenary speakers’ fees, meeting room costs, audiovisual technology for all speakers, registration and program materials (both printed and online). It also covers included meals as well as various other support needs, which vary by conference. Some past attendees have suggested eliminating meals as a cost-saving measure, but when that is done hotels typically impose higher meeting room rental fees to achieve the same target revenue.

The registration fee varies from year to year based on the cost of meals, meeting space, and essential services in each location. The fee is kept low by the volunteer contributions of the many breakout speakers and the volunteer work of the local JASNA members. Recent years have seen a trend toward simplification in decorations and amenities to keep costs as low as possible.

How is the hotel sleeping room rate set?

JASNA and the Professional Meeting Planner with whom the Society works negotiate the best rate possible, which is reflected in JASNA’s contract with the hotel. Hotel commitments need to be made four or five years in advance of the AGM. Hotel room rates can be highly variable; hotels in some cities are much more expensive and in greater demand than in other cities. Every effort is made to balance a central location, amenities, good quality, sufficient rooms, and meeting space with a fair price.

Why do some AGMs have a higher attendance limit than others?

Some hotels have an attendance limit established for the banquet hall, set by local fire code laws. JASNA adheres to those limits. Other hotels may present limitations in the number and size of rooms that can be used for breakout sessions. Generally, we plan for AGMs to accommodate as many JASNA members as the hotel will allow and as the host Region can manage.

Would JASNA consider holding a conference in my hometown?

JASNA AGMs are held in cities where a JASNA Region has volunteered to act as Host Region. If your JASNA Region is interested in hosting a conference, please contact the Vice President for Conferences at vpconf@jasna.org.

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If you have other questions about the AGM, please email JASNA’s Vice President for Conferences at vpconf@jasna.org. 

 

 

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