The Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting, originally scheduled for March 19 to 21 at the Georgia World Congress Center and Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, has been cancelled due to the growing number of COVID-19 concerns domestically and abroad.
“It was a very difficult decision to make, as we know it affects thousands of attendees and industry professionals who were planning to attend the meeting next week. But, the health, safety, and well-being of our attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and members are our highest priorities,” said Dr. Bob O’Donnell, general chair of Hinman 2020.
“Our concern is not only for the health of everyone involved, but also the quality of event that we can deliver with the current logistical challenges we are facing. Hinman’s goal has always been to provide world-class continuing education and exhibits, and in the current climate, we will not be able to provide the experience that our attendees have come to expect from our organization,” O’Donnell said.
The Hinman Meeting typically attracts more than 20,000 dentists, hygienists, assistants, students, and other dental professionals and industry personnel to Atlanta. Also, more than 400 companies exhibit at the conference. This is the third time in its 108-year history that the meeting has been cancelled.
In 1931, the meeting was cancelled out of respect for the death of its founder, prominent Atlanta dentist Dr. Thomas P. Hinman. In 1933, the meeting was cancelled due to the Great Depression. In 2008, it closed a day early due to a tornado that struck the city.
Hinman’s organizers say they have been closely monitoring the situation, reviewing daily the recommendations provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization as well as guidance from local government and health officials.
Many academic centers, health systems, and businesses have issued notices that do not allow for domestic travel. These travel bans and restrictions have had a direct impact on Hinman’s educational sessions and exhibits, its organizers report.
“Unfortunately, it left us no choice and it became very clear that we must move the meeting to a later date. It’s simply the right thing to do,” said O’Donnell. “And, of course, we couldn’t live with ourselves if even one attendee was at risk.”
Hinman will share with registered attendees and exhibitors its plans for the 2020 program on its website and social media pages in the coming days. Information regarding refunds will be posted as well. For more information, call (404) 231-1663.