Submitted by Specialty Section Collaboration and Communication Group and SOT Council
The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting attracts more than one-third of the SOT membership. Gathering more than 2,000 members in a central location provides excellent networking opportunities such as the Specialty Section luncheon events and evening receptions. The impact of the networking opportunities during the meeting is enhanced by having the Specialty Sections meet in proximity to one another at the designated location. Having the sections meet in close proximity allows for members to interact with or participate in multiple section events in an evening, for efficient time management while reducing the traveling from one event to another, provides more time to network with colleagues or learn science, and finally allows for professional support of the events by the Society and/or vendor.
Because of the importance of these events to the Society, the location of the Specialty Section luncheon and evening receptions is determined by SOT. Holding these events onsite is critically important to all members of the Society because the combined services received by the sections, for example, food and beverage services, contribute to the negotiating power of the society to lower housing rates and reduction of expenses in other areas of the meeting such as a helping to reduce the cost Annual Meeting registration fees for all members.
SOT Council recognizes that the costs of these events have been increasing in recent years and has taken steps to help the sections with these expenses. The attendance of Specialty Section members at the Annual Meeting is of significance to each Specialty Section as a portion of the registration revenue is shared with them. In 2015, SOT Council voted to raise dues for Full and Associate Specialty Section members to help provide additional funds to offset the cost of these events. Beginning with the 2018 Annual Meeting, SOT Council allocated $30,000.00 that was proportionally distributed to the sections, based on previous attendance, in an effort to further defray the costs of their luncheon event or evening reception. This subsidy will continue in 2019.
Member participation and support of Specialty Sections throughout the year and during the Annual Meeting are greatly appreciated.