Philadelphia Meeting Termination FAQ

Updated March 26, 2020

What is the status of the Philadelphia Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo?

Safety is a core value of the American Chemical Society and as such the health and well-being of our members, staff and the public is paramount. For that reason, ACS has decided that it is inadvisable, and impractical, to hold the ACS Spring 2020 National Meeting & Expo and it has therefore terminated it in light of our growing safety concerns for our attendees and the City of Philadelphia.

Why was a decision made to terminate the meeting?

The decision was based on several factors, including, but not limited to:

  • The Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania signed an emergency disaster declaration and several COVID-19 cases have now been reported in the greater Philadelphia area.
  • Input from Philadelphia city officials and continued review of recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), other governmental bodies.
  • Input from our members who were increasingly concerned with travel and the large gathering in Philadelphia.
  • Watching the expanding trajectory of the virus, using tools such as the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 tracking tool to monitor the increasing trajectory of COVID-19 domestically and globally.

Where can I get up-to-date information related to actions being implemented related to the cancellation of the meeting?

On this page. Information is being updated as it becomes available.

Will my fees (registration, special events, etc.) be refunded? 

Yes, your fees will be refunded. 

When and how will my refund be issued?

We are working to process all refunds as soon as possible and thank you for your understanding. If you paid with a credit card, you will receive a refund directly to that card. If you paid by check, a check will be mailed to the address provided with your registration. No further action is needed by registrants at this time. All credit card refunds will be issued no later than Monday, April 20. Checks will also be mailed by April 20. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your registration refund, or if you have not received your refund by May 20, please contact

Will ACS help with fees associated with the cancellation of my travel and hotel reservations?

If you made your hotel reservations through ACS Housing (ConferenceDirect), your room will automatically be cancelled. If you have not received an email confirmation of the cancellation at this time, please contact your individual hotel to confirm cancellation of your room.

ACS will not be able to help with housing arranged outside of ACS Housing. Please contact your provider directly.

As to travel, most transportation providers have made special provision to address COVID-19 related issues. Please contact your transportation provider directly.

I am an exhibitor – what happens to the fees I paid?

Please contact Karen Miller at for your options for a refund or an opportunity to move your exhibit to a future meeting.

I was scheduled to give a talk in Philadelphia – what happens to my abstract? Can I withdraw it? Can I withdraw and submit for ACS Fall 2020 National Meeting & Expo in San Francisco or another meeting?

ACS is launching a virtual platform, SciMeetings, which was developed in partnership with ACS Publications. It will be fully open access and allow for the virtual posting of the research you planned to deliver in Philadelphia so that it can be globally cited, shared, and accessible.  

SciMeetings is offered complimentary to you, and the use of the platform for the posting of research is solely at the discretion of the presenter. This option will also be extended to those researchers who previously withdrew their abstracts – authors of withdrawn abstract will receive an invitation from the MAPS system on March 18 to reinstate if they would like. Any presenter who does not want to participate will still have the option to withdraw their abstract.

Presenters should have receivee an email communication on March 19 from SciMeetings (email will come from Morressier, the vendor powering the platform) to invite them to submit virtual posters and talks, as well as other supporting files. Presenters will have the option to make the presentations and posters visible to the public or to keep them private. They will also receive a DOI and CC BY-NC-ND license for submitted presentations and posters. 

As of  Sunday, March 22, SciMeetings for ACS Spring 2020 is open for viewing of the uploaded posters and presentations. The platform includes robust search capabilities to make it easier to find the science of most interest to you. Because presenters have until April 30 to load their materials, we anticipate this will be a growing and evolving resource over the next month.

Many ACS divisions are also working to organize virtual symposia and talks, so look for notifications about those soon as well.

I'm having trouble uploading to SciMeetings. 

We've developed a How To Guide (PDF) to help presenters navigate the upload process. 

I already withdrew my abstract – can I take advantage of the options being developed for sharing my research?

The SciMeetings option will also be extended to those researchers who previously withdrew their abstracts – authors of withdrawn abstract should have received an invitation from the MAPS system on March 18 to reinstate if they would like. If you did not recieve a message and would like to reinstate, please contact

As a Program Chair, I would like to move one or more of my cancelled Spring 2020 sessions to the Fall meeting. What do I need to do?

Please contact to add cancelled Spring 2020 symposia to your division/committee’s Fall 2020 Call for Abstracts. Please include the following details when sending your request:

  1. Symposium Title
  2. Symposium Organizer(s)  name, email and institution
  3. # of Sessions per symposium
  4. Specify Invited-only or Contributed

The Symposium will be added to receive submissions and all participating authors must submit their abstracts to the desired symposium before the submission deadline. Also please note that sessions moved from the Spring meeting must be included in your division/committee’s allocated meeting space. Additional session rooms are not available at this time.

Our group wants to hold its session as planned, can we move forward?

Given the uncertainty of the situation and the rapidly expanding COVID-19 outbreak, we would not recommend holding any in-person gatherings. We would encourage you to explore virtual options for your activities.

If I choose to participate in the virtual options for sharing my presentation via SciMeetings, will I still receive a refund of my registration fees?

Yes, all registration fees are being refunded regardless of whether you choose to take advantage of the virtual presentation options.

What about other upcoming ACS meetings, will they be cancelled?

As of now, no decisions have been made with regard to other upcoming ACS meetings.

Looking forward, we will rely on the same criteria and input points applied in this case to assess the status of scheduled ACS meetings and events. Please consult event and meeting webpages for the most up-to-date information or feel free to call us back.