Why was the ARVO Annual Meeting canceled?

After thoughtful deliberation, the difficult decision was made to cancel the Annual Meeting to have taken place May 1 – 7 in Baltimore, Md. The health, safety and well-being of the ARVO global community is our highest priority. Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recent announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic, countless university and institutional travel restrictions and ever-increasing numbers of confirmed cases all provide a clear need to take this action. Since our decision to cancel, Maryland Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order on March 12, 2020, banning all large gatherings in the state.

Will the Annual Meeting be rescheduled?

No. Due to the size of the Annual Meeting it is not possible to reschedule to another date in 2020. However, we are working on online presentation options and will communicate those by the end of March.

Will I receive a refund for the Annual Meeting registration fees?

Yes, ARVO will refund your registration fees in full. We will issue refunds automatically back to the original payment method used. This also applies to any additional purchases, such as social event tickets, the Program Summary Book, Education Courses and all events related to the Annual Meeting.

I only joined ARVO for 2020 in order to participate in the Meeting. Will my membership fee be refunded?

Membership dues are nonrefundable in line with the ARVO Bylaws. However, in addition to submitting an abstract to the Annual Meeting, advantages of membership include:

  • Discounted registration fees to the Annual Meeting and other ARVO conferences
  • A $350 discount on article charges in ARVO journals
  • Access to the Member Directory and ARVOConnect, the exclusive member networking platform
  • Professional development resources and education modules

More information on ARVO benefits and access is available by visiting:

Will I be reimbursed for air travel expenses?

ARVO will not reimburse travel expenses. Please contact your airline directly to inquire about your options.

What happens to my hotel reservation?

If you reserved your housing accommodations through ARVO’s room block, no action is needed at this time; your reservation has been canceled. If your lodging was reserved outside of ARVO’s room block, you need to contact the housing provider directly.

Will any sessions be made available online?

ARVO is planning to offer as much content as possible online. We will be communicating with session organizers and all presenters about options shortly.

Will exhibitors be refunded for booth space?

Yes. Exhibitors have the option to get a full refund or may defer their booth investment to either ARVO International to be held Oct. 15 – 18, 2020 in Honolulu or the next ARVO Annual Meeting May 2 – 6, 2021 in San Francisco, Calif. More details on these options will be communicated within the next two weeks.

Do the same rules apply if I was registered for the Bench to Bedside meeting, Imaging in the Eye Conference and Education Courses?

Yes, your registration fees will be refunded in full for any purchases related to these events.

Are the ARVO Foundation Gala and WEAVR Luncheon canceled?

Yes, both fundraising events have been canceled. Individual tickets are eligible for a full refund. A representative from the ARVO Foundation will reach out to each of the sponsors with next steps.

The 2020 ARVO Foundation Honorees (Cheryl Craft, Calvin Pang, Al Sommer and the National Eye Institute) will now be recognized at the 2021 ARVO Foundation Gala.

What happens if I am the recipient of an ARVO or ARVO Foundation Travel Grant?

We are developing processes and policies related to individuals who received an ARVO or ARVO Foundation Travel Grant to attend ARVO 2020. A member of the ARVO staff will be in touch with you by the end of March with information and updates.

Are all ancillary events (meetings of other groups at ARVO) associated with ARVO 2020 canceled as well?

Most likely. You will want to verify this and any alternate plans with the event organizers.

When will ARVO 2021 booth selection for exhibitors take place?

Booth selection for exhibitors will take place online or via phone. Timing has not been established for this process, but we will contact exhibitors as soon as this information is available.

What if I had already canceled my registration and was charged a fee? Will I be refunded the cancellation fee?

Yes, cancellation fees will be refunded in the same way as registration fees.