2020 Annual Meeting FAQs

SAA 2020 Annual Meeting FAQs

It is with deep regret that we must announce that the Society for American Archaeology’s Board of Directors has voted to cancel the 85th Annual Meeting in Austin this April due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. (Read the full notice here.)

Please see our answers to the most frequently asked questions. The question form continues to be open. The FAQs were updated on March 18, 2020. 


You can access the form here. Please complete the form by June 1, 2020. 
SAA is working on putting a form in place by April 2nd to process meeting registration fee refunds. The form will allow registrants to select between the options of receiving a refund, using your registration fee to pay for a registration to the 86th Annual Meeting in 2021, or donating it to help SAA offset the financial ramifications of the meeting cancellation and help the Society in its ability to offer robust member programs and services. 
The SAA is deeply grateful to the members of our Board and all the past presidents of the Society who have written this letter to us indicating that they will opt to donate their registration fees. SAA is a nonprofit society and not being able to recover all of the costs of this meeting will have a significant impact on our finances. Every contribution helps the SAA recover our costs and preserve our programming.
Meeting registrants will receive an email from SAA when the form is live on April 2nd. If you are not receiving emails related to the SAA 2020 Annual Meeting, you may have unsubscribed from our emails. 
SAA’s published refund policy applies to annual meetings that proceed as planned. This said, we are doing everything in our power with a small staff and an unprecedented situation to address the requests for refunds.
Yes, registrants will be permitted to apply their registration as a credit for next year’s Annual Meeting. More details on this process will be announced soon. 
Yes. If you would like to turn your meeting registration into a charitable contribution to the Society, please email jonathon_koudelka@saa.org and he will make the necessary changes to our financial accounting. You will receive a receipt within a few weeks and (unless you specifically request to remain anonymous) be recognized as a supporter of the Society in the March 2021 issue of The SAA Archaeological Record. In addition to helping the Society defray its non-recoverable costs, donations will help cover expenses like our efforts to educate the public and policy makers about the importance of archaeological knowledge and cultural heritage.



Most of the hotels in the SAA room block allow a penalty free cancellation within 72 hours of the reservation check-in date. So far we have received the following confirmations:
  • The Hilton Austin will automatically cancel the reservations and will email notification.
  • Hampton Inn has already sent out cancellations to all guests who provided emails when making their reservations.
  • Holiday Inn will automatically cancel the reservations within the SAA room block.
  • La Quinta cancelled all reservations within the SAA room block and issued a notification on 3/13.
  • The Line emailed cancellations on Friday 3/13.
  • The Embassy Suites sent out cancellations on Thurs 3/12
Any airline credit, refund and/or change will be at the discretion of the airline. You will need to contact your airline about their specific policies.


Submissions and Program

We welcome individual registrants resubmitting their abstracts and sessions. SAA cannot do this automatically because some content is time sensitive and some attendees planned to present in Austin because of geographical convenience. The 2021 Open Call for Submissions will be available online starting May 1st and will close on September 10, 2020 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time in case this is an option you are interested in pursuing.
Yes, we encourage all registrants to resubmit for the 86th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, April 14-18, 2021. Submissions open May 1, 2020.
The SAA Committee on Ethics has discussed options for the 2020 Ethics Bowl. In order to ensure a fair format, the decision was made to cancel this year’s Ethics Bowl. Some of the considerations included difficulties in an online environment with judging and rule enforcement. At least one team has a member who is not allowed to return to campus, making cooperation difficult. Further, some participants do not have access to reliable connectivity and would be at a disadvantage if the event is held online. We encourage you to support the 2021 Ethics Bowl in San Francisco.
The Society is proud of its 2020 Award winners and is discussing how to create a digital awards ceremony to recognize the achievements of our community. We are also exploring an online State Archaeology Celebration Poster Contest so that we can continue to support the public outreach efforts that states have made over the last year. We will provide more details as soon as possible.
The Annual Business Meeting is the conventional turnover date for SAA appointments. The Board will hold a meeting in lieu of the Annual Business Meeting, previously scheduled for April 24 in Austin. This action is in keeping with Article IX of the Bylaws. As soon as this is scheduled, we will add this notice to the Notes from HQ (where we had planned to announce the Annual Business Meeting.)
The APA Style has posted an answer to this question and SAA will be using a similar format if a presentation from a cancelled conference is cited in a journal article.