Frequently Asked Questions

Posted July 30, 2021.

Here are the answers to the questions we know you have about our in-person Annual Meeting. Is a question missing below?  Let us know by emailing


Will SBM require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from meeting attendees?

SBM strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination and has released guidance to help primary care providers increase vaccination in their communities. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Attendees still have time to get vaccinated before the Annual Meeting. SBM also strongly values individuals’ right to decide the best course of action for their health. We encourage attendees to consult with their medical professional for advice on COVID-19 prevention. SBM will not require any proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results. In a recent survey, 97% of respondents who plan on attending our meeting confirmed that they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. You can find details on Baltimore’s COVID-19 vaccination rates (and other COVID-19 statistics) via the CDC website.


Will SBM require meeting attendees to wear masks?

SBM will follow local health agency recommendations in place at the time of the meeting. We encourage those who feel most comfortable wearing masks to keep theirs on. A mask with your favorite sports team’s slogan or alma mater’s logo is a great conversation starter when networking. Disposable masks will be available at registration.


Will hand sanitizer be available at the meeting?

Hand sanitizer stations will be accessible throughout the meeting space. SBM will also provide individual bottles of hand sanitizer to meeting attendees. The Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor conference hotel has enhanced cleaning protocols as a preventative measure.


Will the meeting practice social distancing?

SBM will follow local health agency recommendations in place at the time of the meeting. SBM will also provide color-coded items to help attendees signify their interaction and distance comfort level.


What is SBM doing to mitigate a high volume of people in the Poster/Exhibit Hall?

The meeting will feature six poster sessions instead of the traditional four poster sessions. This will allow for 30% fewer posters to be presented in each poster session. Aisles between posters will be wider than at past Annual Meetings. Presenters will be encouraged to hang posters early so that attendees can view them outside of poster session hours.


Will I be penalized if I submit an abstract and later withdraw my submission due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic?

We have suspended the Withdrawn Abstracts Policy for the 2022 meeting. We want submitters to feel comfortable submitting their science. If a submission is withdrawn, we welcome you to re-submit for the 2023 meeting.


Is there a virtual or hybrid option for the Annual Meeting?

SBM will offer the opportunity to register as a virtual attendee. Virtual attendees will be able to navigate the in-person meeting via robot. Virtual attendees will have the option to register for the entire meeting, or a single day. Virtual attendee registrations are limited. Additionally, Recorded Research Spotlight presentations will be available to all attendees via the meeting’s mobile app, and may be a good option for submitters unsure about in-person attendance. SBM is not offering a hybrid meeting because you—our members and attendees—have told us in many surveys that you prefer in-person events.


What if I am no longer comfortable attending the Annual Meeting in person after I register?

We have suspended the Cancellation Policy for the 2022 meeting. We will refund your full registration fee if you no longer feel comfortable attending the Annual Meeting. All refunds will be processed after the Annual Meeting.


The pandemic is ongoing and public health guidance is evolving rapidly. SBM will be monitoring events closely and will adjust our meeting plans as needed to ensure the safety of all attendees. We hope to see you for our society’s long-awaited reunion in Baltimore!