AGU Fall Meeting 2018 thoughts

AGU Fall Meeting 2018 continues the new rotating cities plan into Washington, D.C. This was a great conference, and easily and economically accessible for an event drawing over 20,000 professionals.

Facility: like New Orleans but unlike the San Franciso Moscone Center, the Walter Washington Convention Center could hold nearly all AGU Fall Meeting events under one roof, with some smaller events in the Marriott Marquis across the street. The bikeshare, scootershare and rideshare options made accessing the conference venue while staying in economical locations across the city quite easy.

The venue WiFi worked OK–we did not feel a need to use celluar. The WiFi setup seemed professional and efficient.

The on-site food court had variety but as typical of conference venues would benefit from more vegetarian and vegan options.

A key characteristic of AGU Fall Meeting is bringing together over 20,000 scientists studying topics from riverine to exoplanets, public policy, data curation and education. As with the New Orleans Convention Center, the Walter Washington Convention Center had every poster in the same large room, instead of being split up among two or three buildings as in San Francisco Moscone Center.

Exhibits: the NRL booth size was once again one of the largest and quite impressive. Of note was a climate change denial booth, where a lot of selfies were being taken, if not pamphlets.

Carbon-reducing travel to AGU Fall Meeting was more popularly cited in 2018, as noted by a casual search of #trAinGU and “#AGU18 Amtrak” yielding many dozens of posts and replies, nearly all positive. The Northeast Corridor and Carolinian connect directly to D.C. Those farther away took multi-night trips on Amtrak.

Staying at a downtown conference hotel can approach $500/night, and Washington, D.C. is no exception. However, staying a short subway trip away, one could easily find whole-home rentals for well under $100/night, even booked shortly before the conference.