Add the American Optometric Association’s June conference, Optometry’s Meeting, to the list of events sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic. Educational events large and small have been postponed, curtailed or canceled since social distancing policies began in mid-March. Yesterday, the AOA announced its intention to do the same. The meeting had been slated for June 24-28 in Washington, DC. All registration fees already collected for the meeting and the 5K run will be refunded.

“This is the first time the event has been canceled and, while this is the right decision to make for everyone’s health, it is heartbreaking,” said AOA president Barbara Horn, OD, in a statement. The AOA is exploring ways to have an online educational program replace the live events, it said. No additional details are available yet about those plans.

Hotel reservations booked within the meeting block will be canceled. Because a credit card was only used to hold the reservation and not charged, a refund will not be necessary. Those who booked a room within the block will receive an email confirmation once the cancellation has been processed. If one booked a hotel room on their own, outside of the Optometry’s Meeting block, they will need to cancel that reservation on their own.

Exhibitors who paid in-full for their 2020 booth space can apply that payment as a credit to the 2021 Optometry’s Meeting, scheduled for June 23-27 in Anaheim, CA. Any partial payments for 2020 booth space will be refunded. The AOA will begin its pre-sale of 2021 booth space in the July/August time frame.