Earlier this year, the Elephant Managers Association (EMA) announced the annual conference to be held on October 12−16 and hosted by the Milwaukee County Zoo was canceled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The Milwaukee County Zoo graciously agreed to host the EMA Conference in 2021, but we did not want to wait that long for the opportunity to network and learn from our members and colleagues from around the world. So in 2020, for the first time, EMA will host our annual conference virtually, free to all members!
We will host the EMA virtual conference the same week as previously scheduled, October 12−16, 2020, via Zoom. All EMA members will be sent a link and password, allowing them access to the virtual conference all week long.
EMA is now accepting papers for the virtual conference. Please complete and submit the Call for Papers form by September 1, 2020. The Call for Papers Committee will be selecting papers that cover all topics in elephant management and through various formats, including traditional PowerPoint presentations and live feeds on training and enrichment from member facilities. All presentations will be 15 minutes long, with a five-minute question-and-answer period. All presenters must have good, stable internet connections. Presenters will be selected and notified of their acceptance by September 14, 2020. Once selected as a presenter, the Call for Papers Committee will set up an appointment to test their internet connection.
EMA President Vernon Presley stated, "I am happy that the EMA is continuing its annual tradition and hosting our first virtual conference. In unprecedented times you must adapt, and our Board Members and Executive Committee felt that it was important to fulfill this part of EMA's mission. It is an exciting time to be an EMA member. Not everyone can attend an in-person conference due to cost and staff challenges, but this virtual conference gives all members an opportunity to join us as we discover new ideas together."