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Conference Policies

Harassment and Safety
AZA is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and AZA staff. All participants, including, but not limited to, attendees, speakers, volunteers, exhibitors, Association staff and others are expected to follow these attendance policies. Theses expectations apply to all AZA meeting-related events, including those events held by conference hosts in conjunction with AZA conferences and events.

Responsible Drinking
At many AZA networking events, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served. AZA expects participants at our events to drink responsibly. AZA and conference host event staff have the right to deny service to participants and may require a participant to leave the event.

Personal Safety and Security
AZA works hard to provide a safe and secure environment at its meetings and events by working with venue staff to make sure meeting participants are safe. We ask that all attendees report any questionable or concerning activity to any AZA staff so that they can take immediate action. No concern is too small, if you see something, say something.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Regardless of where you are, use the buddy system when walking to and from the conference location, networking event locations – especially during early or late hours.
  • Don’t wear your meeting badge on the street. Take it off as soon as you leave the building/venue.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash or credit cards.
  • Don’t leave personal property unattended anywhere, anytime.
  • If it is an emergency or if you need immediate assistance, you should ask any AZA staff member or the on-site security personnel to help you.
Unacceptable Behavior
  • Harassment, intimidation, or discrimination in any form. 
  • Physical or verbal abuse of any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, AZA staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Examples of unacceptable behavior include, but are not limited to, verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, national origin, inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces or in presentations, or threatening or stalking any attendee, speaker, volunteer, exhibitor, AZA  staff member, service provider, or other meeting guest.
  • Disruption of presentations at sessions, in the exhibit hall, or at other events organized by AZA at the meeting venue, hotels, or other AZA-contracted facilities. 
AZA has zero-tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment by participants or our staff at our meetings. If you experience harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, AZA asks that you inform any of the following so that we can take action:

Candice Dorsey - mobile – (703) 282-9082
Melissa Howerton - mobile – (703) 517-3597    
Jack Keeney - mobile - (301) 655-1973
Kris Vehrs - mobile - (301) 332-9573

AZA reserves the right to take any action deemed necessary and appropriate, including immediate removal from the meeting without warning or refund, in response to any incident of unacceptable behavior, and AZA reserves the right to prohibit attendance at any future meeting.

All payments must be made in U.S. funds, drawn on by a U.S. bank, and payable to AZA. Credit card payments will be processed in U.S. funds, in accordance with effective exchange rates. Statement to show charge by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

All refund requests must be received in writing by Friday, March 9, 2018. Refund requests received after this date will be reviewed on a case by case basis.  No refund consideration will be given for requests received after Monday, April 2, 2018.  Approved refunds will be issued within 30 business days and a $50 processing fee will be deducted. Substitutions from the same institution or company will be accepted, in writing, without penalty.  Event tickets are nonrefundable. Please send cancellation or substitution requests to: AZA, ATTN: Cheryl Wallen, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 710, Silver Spring, MD 20910, (e) cwallen@aza.org, (f) 301-562-0888.

Membership Requirement
Commercial Membership is required for any individual representing a commercial entity (a company that provides products and services, including consultants).  Non-member registration is only open to individuals employed by a zoo, aquarium, non-profit organization, or government agency.  Non-member registration is not open to individuals employed by a non-member commercial entity. Consultants or individuals representing a commercial entity that is not a current Commercial Member, Conservation Partner, Exhibitor, or Sponsor, are NOT eligible to attend the conference.

Attendees representing a zoo, aquarium, non-profit organization, or government agency are NOT required to be individual members of AZA or work for an AZA-accredited institution in order to register for the Conference. 

Hotel Reservations
The discounted AZA rate is only available for registered attendees and registered exhibitors of the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting. Once you have registered or purchased exhibit space, you will find your unique reservation link in your confirmation email. The hotel will not be accepting call-in reservations.  If this policy causes an issue, please contact Cheryl Wallen.

Vendor Solicitations
Solicitation of attendees and exhibitors by non-exhibitors is prohibited and individuals will be subject to expulsion.

Age Requirements
No one under the age of 18 is permitted to register and attend the conference sessions, meetings, or social events, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the entire conference. That parent or guardian must be a registered attendee and over the age of 18. Children under the age of 18 must be registered and accompanied by a registered parent/guardian over the age of 18 at all times.

Photographers will be taking pictures at the conference, which may be used for promotional and educational purposes. Registration or participation in the meeting and other activities constitutes an agreement to allow AZA to use and distribute attendees image or voice in photographs and recordings of the meeting - now and in the future.


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