The health, safety and well-being of the more than 20,000 attendees, exhibitors, speakers and members are the group’s highest priorities.

The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting for 2020 has been cancelled.

The 108th Meeting, originally scheduled to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, March 19 to 21, 2020, was forced to cancel due to growing COVID-19 concerns, which have substantially impacted the logistics of the conference, the group says. 

It’s one of the first big Atlanta conventions to cancel because of the coronavirus. Other big convention cities, like Chicago and Orlando, Fla, are also seeing conventions cancel.

The health, safety and well-being of attendees, exhibitors, speakers and members are the group’s highest priorities. The Hinman 2020 team has been meeting daily to discuss recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.

The Hinman Meeting typically attracts more than 20,000 dentists, hygienists, assistants, students and other dental professionals and industry personnel to Atlanta. In addition, more than 400 companies exhibit at the conference. Last year, the convention drew 20,352 attendees.

This will be only the third time in its 108-year history that the meeting has been cancelled. In 1931, it was cancelled due to the death of its founder, prominent Atlanta dentist Thomas P. Hinman, DDS. And, in 1933, the meeting was cancelled due to the Great Depression.

“In light of factors in the US, and around the world, it became very clear that cancelling was the right thing to do. The potential risks associated with a large gathering as well as the increasing travel advisories and restrictions were certainly considerations,” says Bob O’Donnell, DDS, general chair for Hinman 2020. “I am grateful to everyone who has worked tirelessly with the planning of the 2020 Hinman Dental Meeting and to those who will continue to assist with next steps for our 2021 event. The 2020 Meeting experience was years in the making with thousands of members, staff, speakers, attendees, exhibitors and partners coming together to make this Meeting possible. Our vital work will continue in the days and weeks ahead.”