AAO President Ken Dillehay released a statement following a Honolulu press report that the association had pulled out of Hawaii due to convention center space.
Ken Dillehay, DDS, MS, president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), released a statement following an article in Honolulu’s Star Advertiser reporting that the 2022 AAO Annual Session scheduled to be held in Honolulu has been canceled due to space restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his statement to members, Dillehay says the AAO was notified by the State of Hawaii that a significant portion of the meeting space would be unavailable through December 2022 because it is being used by the State.
In a letter addressed to the AAO, and dated May 4, 2021, the Hawaii Convention Center general manager, while welcoming the AAO in 2022, pointed out that the Convention Center, which is a state-owned facility, has been used to provide expanded office space for State emergency services throughout the past year and that the Governor of Hawaii has directed the Convention Center to continue to offer space for state agencies as the pandemic continues. The Convention Center has designated one of its exhibit halls for state agencies through December 2022.
The Convention Center reassured the AAO that this loss of space would not disrupt its meeting and offered to work with the AAO, but, the AAO has opted to move the 2022 Annual Session instead.
“The loss of space, when combined with whatever social distancing restrictions might still be in place next April, is expected to greatly compromise the attendee experience. With this in mind, the AAO is considering all of its options in order to deliver the type of truly outstanding meeting experience our members and attendees deserve,” said Dillehay.
According to the Star Advertiser, the meeting is being moved to Miami