Frequently Asked Questions
ASTC 2022 Annual Conference
September 12–15, 2022
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
- General Questions
- Health and Safety Questions
- Travel Questions
- Registration Questions
- Exhibitor and Sponsor Questions
What are the official dates of the 2022 ASTC Annual Conference?
The official conference dates are Monday, September 12 through Thursday, September 15, 2022. Preconference experiences will generally take place on Sunday, September 11, 2022. See more information on the schedule overview.
Where will ASTC 2022 be held?
The conference will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. All plenary, concurrent, lightning, and poster sessions—as well as registration and the exhibit hall—will take place at the main venue, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Fort Duquesne Boulevard, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, unless otherwise noted. Selected events will be held at our local hosts—the Carnegie Science Center and Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh—conference hotels, and at other locations around the city.
Will this be a hybrid conference?
The ASTC 2022 Annual Conference will be an in-person event that will prioritize sessions and experiences that benefit from our ability to be together safely in the same physical space. While selected sessions may be available via live stream, the focus will be on an in-person experience. (Trying to stream sessions tailored for in-person interactivity provides a less than ideal experience for both in-person and virtual participants.)
But what about virtual participation?
We’re planning a whole separate event on November 1 and 3, 2022 (#ASTCvirtual) designed specifically for a virtual format. It will draw on some of the content from the in-person conference, adapted for an online audience, and add a range of additional content and experiences. Stay tuned for more information.
When does the conference begin?
The main conference will begin on the morning of Monday, September 12, 2022, with optional preconference experiences to be held on Sunday, September 11, 2022. See more information on the schedule overview.
When does the meeting end?
The conference officially concludes at 1:00 pm on the afternoon of Thursday, September 15 following Museum Experience Day. See more information on the schedule overview.
What is the conference theme?
The theme for the ASTC 2022 Annual Conference is Traversing Tomorrow Together. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic with a refined vision of the future, we will come together to chart a path forward for our own organizations, our communities, and our world. We encourage you to look toward where we are going, not just where we have been.
Will there be a preliminary program available online?
The schedule overview provides a high-level view of the schedule, with links to more detailed information about selected sessions. The page also links to a complete preliminary schedule with full details about each session and event.
What forms of payment will be accepted on site?
All on-site transactions with ASTC (including registration payments and ASTC 2023 exhibit booth purchases) will be cashless and must be paid via credit card, check, or ACH. This requirement applies to transactions with ASTC and doesn’t necessarily apply to all vendors at the conference (although the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is also cashless).
How do I become a volunteer?
The host museums select and assign volunteers through their own databases.
What is the dress code?
Attire is business casual. Feel free to be comfortable in slacks, polo shirts, sweaters, blazers, blouses, and, most importantly, comfortable shoes. We do recommend you dress in layers as temperatures in meeting rooms can vary. We also encourage you to pack gear from your institution so you can show your science center spirit.
Will I be able to obtain Continuing Education Credit?
No, ASTC does not offer CE credits.
Will my photo be taken during the conference?
ASTC may take photographs and videos during its meetings and events for use in livestream and session recording, advertising, newsletters, and other promotional materials, whether in print, electronic, or other media, including the ASTC and conference websites. By participating in this conference, you grant ASTC the right to use your likeness for such purposes.
Are there accommodations for people with disabilities and those requiring special assistance?
We ask about needed accommodations as part of the registration process. If you require special assistance, auxiliary aids, or other reasonable accommodations to fully participate in this event, please indicate during registration or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information regarding disabilities and special assistance will remain confidential.
Will childcare be provided during the conference?
ASTC does not provide childcare services during the conference. Attendees requiring assistance with childcare should contact their hotel concierge.
Does the convention center have a nursing room?
Yes, a nursing room will be available on Level 2 of the convention center.
I am bringing my family with me to Pittsburgh. Will there be activities for them to enjoy during the conference?
ASTC does not have specific activities designed for guests or family members, although we do have a curated list of things you may want to see and do. In addition, we invite you to contact your hotel concierge to help plan activities and day trips during your stay or consult the information from VisitPittsburgh to get some additional ideas.
Can my group host a meeting or event at the annual conference?
Potentially. ASTC traditionally allows selected groups to host meetings or other events during the Annual Conference, including at the convention center and at conference hotels. Please note that all costs for these events will be the responsibility of the organizer. If you’d like to request space for a meeting or event, please complete this form; contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
I am interested in sponsorship opportunities. Whom should I contact?
ASTC has published a prospectus with information about sponsorship opportunities. You can purchase Silver, Jade, Bronze, and Supporter Sponsorships through myASTC directly. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about Diamond, Platinum, Gold or Premier Sponsorships—as well as custom options that we can design.
I am interested in exhibiting at the conference. Whom should I contact?
Booth sales are still open! Don’t delay in securing your spot in the exhibit hall as booths continue to fill up. See a live list of confirmed exhibitors and purchase your booth now. Contact us at email@example.com with any questions.
I am interested in advertising opportunities. Whom should I contact?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss opportunities for advertising in the conference app, printed materials, emails, or on-site signage.
Will the attendee list be shared with others?
As part of registration, you can determine which information will be shared with other conference attendees. ASTC does not work with any third-party list broker. Please do not engage with and/or acquire/purchase any list from any company claiming to have access to the ASTC conference database, attendees, or contact information; even responding to these inquiries may put your and others’ information at risk.
Health and Safety Questions
ASTC cares deeply about the health and safety of all conference participants and is closely monitoring the latest guidance from local, state, federal, and international public health authorities.
Is there a vaccination requirement to participate in the conference?
Yes, all attendees, guests, volunteers, exhibitors, and vendors are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the time of the conference). Registrants will receive an email from a third-party vendor (CrowdPass) with information about uploading a copy of your official vaccination record. CrowdPass will handle all verification, and ASTC will not have access to any details. Requests for medical or religious exemptions can also be submitted through CrowdPass. This verification—and review by CrowdPass—will be required before attendees are able to pick up badges on site in Pittsburgh.
Which vaccines are acceptable?
ASTC will accept any COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved, authorized, or validated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization.
What if I have a bona fide medical or religious exemption?
No problem. You may submit a request for a medical or religious exemption through CrowdPass.
What if I haven’t yet received a COVID-19 vaccination?
We urge you to plan accordingly and begin the vaccination process as soon as possible, since being “fully vaccinated” may require more than one dose of the vaccine over the space of several weeks. Those in the United States may find a vaccine near them by visiting vaccines.gov.
Will there be a requirement to wear a mask at the conference? Will there be a testing requirement?
ASTC will make a decision on any on-site requirements—including masking and testing—closer to the conference based on the current public health information and local guidance in Pittsburgh. Please note that attendees are always welcome to wear a mask and to test themselves regularly even if not required.
Where should I stay while attending the conference?
ASTC has contracts with several hotels within close proximity to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where most activities will be held, offering special discounted rates to conference attendees. Please see the hotel information page for details about conference hotels and to book your stay.
We strongly encourage you to book as part of the conference room block. Not only will you be close to conference activities and other participants, you will help ensure that ASTC meets its contracted commitments, which holds down the overall conference costs.
Does ASTC have an official housing company or travel agent?
No, we contract directly with the official conference hotels, and no other housing company or travel agent is authorized to place hotel reservations for the ASTC Annual Conference. Please reserve your hotel using the links and phone numbers listed on the hotel information page.
How do I get to Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is located in Southwestern Pennsylvania and is within 500 miles of nearly half of the U.S. population.
I am an international attendee. How do I obtain a visa?
We encourage you to apply for a visa as soon as possible, as you can expect the process to take several months. Most visitors, except those who are citizens or nationals of countries designated under the Visa Waiver Program, will need to complete an interview and security checks in your home country. To apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you will generally need a passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay, a completed application, a photo, and applicable fee payment. To facilitate this process, ASTC can provide a letter of invitation once you register for the conference (see below). See U.S. Visa information on the Department of State website for the most current information.
How do I obtain a formal invitation letter to submit with my visa application?
You may require an invitation letter to obtain a visa to attend the 2022 ASTC Annual Conference. We require a completed registration for the conference before an invitation letter will be sent to individuals not speaking or sponsoring the event.
My visa application was denied. What should I do?
If the visa application is rejected and you can provide us documentation confirming the rejection, we will refund the amount entirely. Please contact the ASTC Conference Team by email at email@example.com.
What are the registration fees?
Complete information about registration is available on the registration page.
What is included in my registration fee?
Full conference registration for the 2022 ASTC Annual Conference includes:
- Access to all Keynote and Plenary sessions
- Access to all Concurrent, Lightning, and Poster sessions
- Access to the Exhibit Hall during all open hours
- Access to networking and community experiences
- Access to all other conference events (except for specific Preconference and special events with an additional fee)
- Included meals, snacks, and receptions throughout the conference
Is there a special rate for students?
Yes! Full-time students are welcome to register for the full conference at a discounted rate of $335. A valid student ID and/or proof of enrollment is required prior to registration. Details to come.
Does ASTC offer any scholarships/assistance for conference?
ASTC is pleased to be able to provide financial support to assist those who would be unable to participate in the conference otherwise. See our Financial Support page for more information, including the opportunity to apply for the Todd Happer Memorial Scholarship or Lee Kimche McGrath Worldwide Fellowship (deadline was July 15, 2022).
What if I can only attend one day of the conference?
There is a single-day registration option for those who are unable to participate in the full conference. Single-day registrations permit access to conference sessions, meals, and events for the selected day only. If you would like to attend more than one day, please purchase a full conference registration; multiple single-day registrations are not available.
Is there a discount for group registration?
ASTC is once again offering the opportunity for group registration, which provides a rebate for more than five people from the same member organization. The more individuals from your organization, the more you will save. See the registration page for more information.
Who is eligible for the member rate?
The ASTC-member registration rate is available to individuals currently affiliated with an ASTC-member organization in good standing, as indicated in your myASTC profile. This includes full-time and part-time staff at the organization, committed volunteers (including board members), and close partners.
If your organization is not currently a member, we invite you to join as a Science Center and Museum Member or an Allied Member. See complete information about ASTC membership.
Do presenters need to register?
ASTC greatly appreciates the time and commitment of all presenters. In order to ensure that all contributors are fully integrated into the conference and the larger ASTC community, we expect session leaders, presenters, poster leaders, facilitators, and others to register for the conference at the normal rate and to participate in as much of the conference as possible. In addition, presenters are responsible for any fees associated with the session/workshop in which they present.
Do exhibitors need to register?
All exhibit staff must submit an individual registration for the conference, whether as part of the complimentary registration that comes with the booth or as an additional registration. Each 10′ x 10′ exhibit booth includes two complimentary, full-conference registrations, and additional registrations can be purchased separately.
I am a member of the press. Do you offer a special press registration rate?
ASTC welcomes the professional editorial staff of print, online, and broadcast media—as well as freelance reporters with a track record of relevant publications. Complimentary registrations are extended to the “working media” with the same benefits as other full conference registrations. Other publication staff (non-editorial positions, such as advertising directors and advertising representatives) may attend by registering at the full conference rate. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exhibitor and Sponsor Questions
How can I become an exhibitor for the conference?
ASTC 2022 will feature a vibrant exhibit hall where exhibitors will be able to show off their latest offerings, raise their visibility, and interact with participants formally and informally. Learn more about exhibiting at ASTC 2022 and reserve your booth now.
Who will be exhibiting at the conference?
Please see the up-to-date list of confirmed exhibitors along with their booth numbers..
Are there opportunities to sponsor the conference?
Yes! ASTC provides a number of sponsorship opportunities to support the conference and raise the profile of your organization in our community of science and technology centers and museums and other organizations committed to engaging the public in science. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.
Do I have to register for the conference if I am an exhibitor or sponsor?
Yes, all exhibit staff and sponsors must submit an individual registration for the conference, whether as part of the complimentary registration that comes with the booth or sponsorship or as an additional registration. Each 10′ x 10′ exhibit booth includes two complimentary, full-conference registrations, and additional registrations can be purchased separately. Registration details will be sent after your booth or sponsorship sale.