Message from the Chair: Registration Rates for DPS-EPSC 2023

Dear DPS and Europlanet Members,

We will soon open the registration website for DPS-EPSC 2023, so I wanted to take a moment to discuss the registration rates for this year’s meeting. As in past years, our registration rates are determined by a few guiding principles:

  • The DPS should not plan to make a profit on the meetings but should budget for the meeting to roughly break even.
  • Attendance should be assumed to reflect the historical attendance at DPS meetings.
  • Virtual attendees should not subsidize in person meeting costs like food and facilities.

We learned a lot about hybrid meeting costs last year in a world shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. But we still have several unknowns when setting registration rates, the biggest being participation. How many people will attend, and what will be the split between in person and virtual participants? To estimate this value, we considered both historical data and a poll we distributed earlier this year.

Using these estimates, we have set the registration rates at the same level they were last year, with a few exceptions: (1) early in-person registration is now slightly higher, to reflect the shift towards early registration that we observed last year, (2) late in-person registration is now slightly lower, to not discourage more last minute participants, and (3) virtual registration rates are now slightly lower, to make the meeting more accessible to virtual attendees and better reflect the costs of their participation. The slight reduction in virtual registration rates will hopefully accommodate more of our European colleagues and those aiming to reduce their carbon footprint. Please see Table 1 for a list of this year’s registration rates (registration deadlines will be posted at a later date).

As you can see in Figure 1, our registration rates have been roughly in line with inflation over the past twenty years. There are two exceptions to this trend, in 2009 and 2022. In 2009, we began paying the AAS staff to help us plan our meetings, which had previously been done on a volunteer basis by our (overworked) Local Organizing Committee. In 2022, there is another jump above inflation. These costs reflect several different changes, including increased venue costs, COVID-19 mitigation measures, and the introduction of hybrid meeting options. Even with these registration rates, we lost or expect to lose money in both the 2022 and 2023 meetings. We therefore cannot lower the registration rates without putting the Division in a difficult financial position.

Nonetheless, we continue to keep student registration low, to facilitate participation by our early career members. We also encourage students to take advantage of the Hartmann Travel Grant. In addition, the Underrepresented Minority Communities in Planetary Science Travel Grants are available to support the participation of students, scientists, and other space professionals who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Information about both grants can be found here: news/travel-grants-dps-55.

The LOC, SOC, and VOC have been working very hard to deliver an excellent hybrid meeting this fall. Please consider encouraging your institution, project team, or organization to sponsor an event, if not a full exhibit booth ( I hope to see many of you in San Antonio or online this October.


  Full Member (DPS or Europlanet) Students and Emeritus Educators, Alumni, and Amateurs
In-person participation
Early $850 $445 $355
Regular $995 $495 $395
Late $1100 $495 $455
Online participation
Early  $335 $175 $135
Regular $445 $195 $150
Late $445 $195 $150

Table 1: Registration rates for DPS-EPSC 2023. All dollar amounts are in USD.

Figure 1: Registration rates for DPS Full Members, for meetings from 2003 to 2023 (in blue). No data is provided for 2011 and 2019, when the DPS meeting was held jointly with the EPSC in Europe. The values for 2020 and 2021 reflect the costs of a purely virtual meeting. These values are compared to the cost expected due to inflation (in orange), using the registration rate in 2018 as the starting point.