Updated March 28

Hello BEA Members and Friends,


We are happy to report that we made several important decisions regarding BEA’s virtual conference. 
1.            #BEAVirtualVegas sessions will kick-off on the original date of Saturday, April 18th.  We’ll post the content on our virtual platform and you will be free to look through the program videos, pre-recorded presentations, and other resources such as digital posters, from the comfort of your homes.  A series of live sessions will begin on Monday, April 20th and will take place throughout the week.  Most of the virtual content will be pre-recorded (more on that later) and some will be live, such as a Toast to 2020, special Topic Talks, business meetings, committee meetings, and awards sessions.  Anything that takes place live will be recorded and saved within the platform to view at a later time. As an added benefit, we also plan to publish digital proceedings of the scholarly and creative work of all BEA members who participate in the virtual conference.
2.            After a week of weighing a variety of platforms and options, reviewing financial projections, and watching as our members and friends deal with constantly changing situations and challenges, we decided that our virtual conference, #BEAVirtualVegas, will be complimentary to all BEA individual members.  All current and renewing individual and retired faculty, professionals and students will be able to gain access to the #BEAVirtualVegas platform.  If you registered for BEA2020 you will receive an email asking if you are interested in a full convention registration refund, or if you would like to donate the registration to BEA’s General Fund, to help offset the operational expenses for the virtual convention and minimize the financial losses incurred because of COVID-19.  In addition, we will provide more information on participating and accessing the content.
3.            If you are a session organizer/moderator or a paper presenter for an accepted panel or paper at BEA2020, later today you will receive an email from us with a few questions regarding your interest in serving as a participant and content provider for the virtual conference.   The most important question being “Would you like your panel/paper to be included in #BEAVirtualVegas?”  If you (and/or your panelists) are interested, we’ll send you some follow up guidelines to produce and share the content for your session (this could be in the form of video, audio, PowerPoint, PDFs or case studies). 
4.            If you are NOT a session organizer, panelist or paper presenter we will be sending information about participating to you as well.  We’ll be hosting some live “Topic Talks” and will be recruiting ideas and hosts. During our #BEAVirtualVegas development discussions, a primary concern has been that we deliver the content to you in a way that you will find as useful as possible without being disruptive to your lives.  We want you to get value from #BEAVirtualVegas and are formatting it in such ways as to be as helpful as possible and to encourage synergies with the new work you are now doing teaching online classes.
As always, we hope you and your families and staying safe, and forward to you joining us for #BEAVirtualVegas.


March 20
Thank you all for your patience with us as we navigate the unsettling times caused by the spread of COVID-19.  As we figure out BEA’s Plan-B, we are aware that you have been forced to develop your own contingency plans – whether that’s creating an online production class, trying to figure out how to get your belongings from your dorm, or taking care of a sick family member.  Our thoughts are with all of you.

As we move forward, we decided not to reschedule or postpone “BEA2020” and will continue to focus our attention on a two-pronged strategy to provide value for our members: a #BEAVirtualVegas conference and proceedings and an enhanced BEA On-Location in Atlanta this October 2020.  We feel this is the right decision considering continued uncertainty regarding group functions and travel restrictions in the foreseeable future, and the recent NAB announcement stating that a 2020 NAB Show will not take place this year.  NAB is moving forward with a digital experience called NAB Show Express and enhanced NAB Show New York.  They will roll out more information on both events shortly.

#BEAVirtualVegas will allow our members to present research and creative scholarship, share resources and industry updates – while connecting with each other.   In the next weeks, you will receive an email with steps to take so you can participate in the virtual conference.  Those interested in participating will receive instructions on producing sessions or individual presentation videos and uploading corresponding materials, websites or documents.  Details pertaining to the cost of participating in the virtual conference and proceedings will be announced soon, but will be significantly less than a normal convention registration.  As we previously indicated, we will provide a full registration refund to those who request it, but would appreciate if you can wait to make your request until we have finalized these plans.  Also, as noted, we will refund all undergraduate, graduate and spouse/guest registrations over the next few weeks.

This year’s On-Location in Atlanta will feature more opportunities to present research, panel presentations and expanded training labs.  The online submission process will open in early May with paper and panel deadlines on June 15 and creative submissions due July 15.

We will provide an additional update on how we are proceeding with paper competition presentations, business meetings and the Festival of Media Arts.

We will continue to support our members with our Resources for Teaching Media in a Virtual Setting page with tips, documents and videos for you and your students.  Please email JD@BEAweb.org if you have resources to contribute.

We look forward to sharing information about our opportunities and hope they help as you navigate obstacles in the months ahead.  Again, our thoughts are with you and your families and hope you all remain healthy and safe.

BEA Executive Committee and Staff

March 11
Due to the ongoing and rapidly developing events and concerns related to the coronavirus, we have made a decision to cancel BEA’s 65th annual convention in Las Vegas scheduled for April 18-21.  It has been heart wrenching to work through the multiple scenarios regarding the outcome, and we thank you all for your patience.  We are making our decision today based on the fact that the effects of the virus have escalated severely over the past few days.  As all of your schools and campuses have been monitoring the fallout from the virus, none of us are sure what the full impact will be.  Schools and businesses are moving to suspend or restrict all domestic travel and colleges and universities are shifting to teaching classes virtually for extended periods of time. 

We value our BEA members and their desire to network and share information.  A lot of people have expended great effort into planning and supporting the convention.  The BEA Board, division leadership, session organizers, researchers, creative scholars, moderators, panelists, students, sponsors, and staff have spent a considerable amount of time preparing for BEA2020, and we’re now working on ways to bring its value to you in alternative ways soon to be announced. As of today, we are shifting all of our energy and resources to continuing to develop back-up programming options that will likely feature some combination of virtual and/or physical events or meetings.  We’re also working on FAQs that should address concerns and questions you have.  We hope you will be excited and eager to participate in these once our plans are announced, but understand if time and circumstances don’t allow it.

Regarding registration fees, we are looking at a number of options, based on our “plan B” contingencies.  However, we will provide a full refund to those who request it.  We ask for your patience and that you give us a couple of weeks to continue to put some things in place, and track the effects of COVID-19, before you make the decision to ask for a full refund.  Also know that we are planning to refund all undergraduate, graduate and spouse/guest registrations over the next few weeks.

Development of “plan B” and the issuing of refunds is complicated by the fact that we are also in the process of moving our offices.  As many of you know, BEA’s offices are located in NAB’s Building.  NAB (and the BEA staff) were preparing for a move to NAB’s new building at the end of the month. However, because of the risk of a more serious COVID-19 outbreak, NAB has decided to accelerate their move to Thursday, March 19th.  As we do our final purging and packing, we once again ask that you be patient with us as we work through all these details.  Thank you for all your understanding and support.

We apologize for all the inconvenience that this causes.  We know the coronavirus impacts so many of you beyond your involvement with BEA and our hearts are with all of you as you make your own tough choices and have to change plans.  We’ll be thinking about you as we all work to get past this.

– BEA Executive Committee and Staff