AGU Fall Meeting: News Media Registration Opens; Book Hotels Now

9 August 2012

Moscone Convention Center
San Francisco, California
3–7 December 2012

Contents of this message:

1. Find out what’s new (and important) in the Earth and space sciences at the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting

The American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting returns this year to the Moscone Convention Center, located at 747 Howard St. in San Francisco, California. The dates are Monday-Friday, 3-7 December 2012. More than 20,000 scientists from around the world are expected to assemble for this premier meeting of the Earth and space sciences. The meeting will take place in the convention center’s West, North and South buildings.

For journalists, the Fall Meeting is an opportunity to learn about the latest research in fields as diverse as climate change, water resources, planetary exploration, volcanism, seismology, and extreme weather— as well as the latest results from the Mars Science Laboratory, a.k.a. the “Curiosity” rover.

See the preliminary program lists with over 940 scientific sessions. Note: Some of these proposed sessions may be canceled or modified, and others added.

For public information officers of universities, government agencies, and research institutions, Fall Meeting is an opportunity to present research to more than 125 reporters through press releases, participation by your scientists in press conferences, and one-on-one contact with the media. Please get in touch with the AGU public information office if you are interested in pitching press conference ideas.

A link to our online News Media Registration Form for use by both reporters and PIOs is in the third section of this advisory.

A full program of press conferences is in development and will be announced in later advisories.

NOTE: We will not be organizing a field trip for News Media registrants this year.

2. News media registration information

News media registrants receive, at no charge, a badge that provides access to any of the scientific sessions of the meeting, as well as to the Press Room, Quiet Room, and Press Conference Room. No one will be admitted without a valid badge.

Registrants are encouraged to preregister online and may also book housing and purchase ticketed events (such as the AGU Honors banquet) as part of the process — see Item 3 below for links and additional information about online registration.

Full instructions for picking up preregistered badges and for registering on-site will be included in a future advisory, as will the specific locations of rooms for press activity and events.

PLEASE NOTE: This year, both badge pick-up and on-site registration will take place in Moscone South. The Press Room and Press Conference Room are expected to remain in Moscone West.

Eligibility for press/news media registration is limited to the following persons:

  • Working press employed by bona fide news media outlets who regularly report news on the Earth and space sciences. These registrants must present a press card, business card, or a letter from an editor of a recognized news media outlet assigning you to cover Fall Meeting.
  • Freelance science journalists and science bloggers who present evidence of three (3) bylined news reports in the Earth and space sciences intended for the general public and published in 2012.
  • Public information/press officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Note:  Scientists who will be presenting at the meeting and who are also reporting from the meeting for bona fide news media outlets may be issued News Media credentials at the discretion of AGU Public Information Staff. Everyone who presents at the meeting must also register for the meeting and pay the appropriate fee as a presenter.

Representatives of publishing houses, the business side of news media, political action committees or similar, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk at the meeting and pay the appropriate fees, regardless of possession of any of the above credentials; they will not be accredited as News Media at the meeting.

All press badges will be issued solely at the discretion of the AGU Public Information Office.

3. News Media Registration Form

Members of the news media are encouraged to preregister online to expedite the process of receiving your badges when you arrive. The News Media Registration Form is set up for online submission only.
Preregister here.

The last day for online preregistration is Monday, 26 November 2012. You may also register onsite in the Moscone South building (specific location in the building to be provided in a future advisory).

4. Hotel information (book now for the best selection)

With over 20,000 scientists and some 200 journalists and press officers expected at Fall Meeting, it makes sense to book your hotel room now at preferential rates. Hotel booking is now a part of the online registration process and you may reserve hotel accommodations after filling out your Media Registration Form (see link in Item 3 above). You do not have to wait until your registration has been approved to book rooms.

Forty-eight hotels offer rooms at rates starting as low as $99 per day, plus tax. Hotel reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Special AGU room rates are subject to availability after the 2 November reservations deadline.  Cancellations are allowed without penalties 24 to 72 hours prior to arrival, depending on the hotel. By booking now, you are more likely to get your preferred location or rate.

See the list of available hotels, as well as their rates and locations.

NOTE: AGU will not be providing shuttle service from the hotels to the Moscone Center this year.

5. New press conference times

In previous years, press conferences, workshops, and speaker availabilities at AGU’s Fall Meeting have been scheduled to start every hour, on the hour, throughout the business day. This year, we are changing the start times so that the press conferences align more closely with the meeting’s scientific sessions. The new schedule will also allow for breaks throughout the day.

The new press conference schedule will have eight 1-hour slots per day (although not all will be filled each day). Press events will start at: 0800h, 0900h, 1030h, 1130h, 1330h, 1430h, 1600h, and 1700h, Monday through Thursday.

A complete press conference schedule will be announced closer to the meeting.

6. U.S. visa regulations for international reporters

All journalists who are not United States citizens or permanent residents need a visa to cover scientific meetings in the U.S. This applies equally to journalists from “Visa Waiver Program” countries (e.g., Western Europe), who do not normally need visas to enter the U.S. as tourists. This is not a new requirement, but it is now being strictly enforced.

The visa for journalists is an “I” visa, issued by the American Embassy or an American Consulate in your home country. If you are planning to cover Fall Meeting, please apply early for your “I” visa. The procedure is not complicated, but depending on the volume of total visa applications, it may take some time to be issued.

The U.S. Department of State has posted a fact sheet about visas for journalists on its Web site, which you are urged to consult.