• Meeting Content

    Use of Meeting Program Content

    Programs, presented at the Academy’s annual meeting and Subspecialty Day, are not public events. They are for the education of attendees and purchasers of recorded presentations as authorized by the Academy.

    Photography and Social Media

    The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s policy for the use of photography and social media at AAO 2019 is intended to strike a balance between the needs of scientists, physicians and other health care professionals, patients, and advocates for the latest ophthalmic information and the needs of presenters to protect their proprietary content from unauthorized use.

    • Non-flash photography is allowed for personal, social or non-commercial use.
    • Respect presenters who state they do not want their slides and/or content shared on social media.
    • Attendees taking photos must do so in a non-disruptive manner so as not to disturb the presenter and other attendees.
    • Slides with patient faces or other identifiable information cannot be shared on social media due to HIPAA regulations.

    Video recording, live audio and/or video streaming is strictly prohibited. Failure to comply with this policy may result in being removed from the session and/or meeting.


    The objective of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (the Academy) in sponsoring annual and other periodic scientific sessions, distributing recordings of portions of those sessions and publishing the Academy’s journal, Ophthalmology, is the free expression and interchange of ideas and information for educational purposes. The Academy does not accept responsibility for any opinions, positions, or statements contained or expressed in such material, and such opinions, positions and statements are not necessarily those of the Academy.

    Courses are intended to provide instruction leading to new knowledge and/or skills. The Academy does not certify competence upon completion of the courses. Courses are not intended to serve as a basis for requesting new or expanded privileges.

    FDA Status Disclaimer

    Some material on recent developments may include information on drug or device applications that are not considered community standard, that reflect indications not included in approved FDA labeling or that are approved for use only in restricted research settings. This information is provided as education only, so that physicians may be aware of alternative methods of the practice of medicine, and it should not be considered endorsement, promotion or in any way encouragement to use such applications. The FDA has stated that it is the responsibility of the physician to determine the FDA status of each drug or device he or she wishes to use in clinical practice, and to use these products with appropriate patient consent and in compliance with applicable law. The Academy is providing the opportunity for material to be presented for educational purposes only. The material represents the approach, ideas, statement or opinion of the presenter and/or author. It is not necessarily the only or best method or procedure in every case and does not represent the policy, position or endorsement of the Academy. The material is not intended to replace a physician’s own judgment or to give specific advice for case management. The Academy specifically disclaims any and all claims that may arise out of the use of any technique demonstrated or described in any material by any presenter and/ or author, whether such claims are asserted by a physician or any other person.

    Event Photography and Video/Audio Recording Release

    Any person who attends an American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy) annual meeting event grants permission to the Academy, its employees and agents (collectively “Academy”) to record his or her visual/audio images, including but not limited to, photographs, digital images, voices, sound or video recordings, audio clips, or accompanying written descriptions, and, without notifying such person, to use his or her name and such images for any purpose of the Academy, including advertisements for the Academy and its programs, in any media or format including web-based, film or in print.

    Lead Retrieval

    When attendees have their badges scanned by exhibitors, they are releasing their contact information, registration type, practice type, and subspecialty information.


    Only the authorized personnel from exhibiting companies have access to the Academy’s annual meeting and the exhibition. Solicitation by individuals not participating as exhibitors is prohibited. Attendees should report these activities or other questionable practices to the exhibition director’s office or the Meetings Office. Individuals who violate this policy are escorted from the premises.

    Display and Distribution Policy

    The Academy has retained exclusive use of the convention facility to enable registered attendees to participate in Academy-sponsored educational and informational activities. Display or distribution of non-sponsored information or advertising in or on the property of the convention facility, except in exhibit booths, is prohibited. Violation of this policy will result in confiscation and disposal of the material. Individuals who violate this policy may be escorted from the premises.

    Photography/Recordings in the Exhibition

    Attendees, exhibitors or members of the media wishing to photograph, videotape or make any type of electronic recording of an exhibit must secure permission from the exhibiting company. Media wishing to photograph or record any part of the Exhibition must also be escorted by a member of the newsroom staff.

    Media wishing to photograph or record any part of the Exhibition must also be escorted by a member of the newsroom staff.

    Code of Conduct

    The purpose of this policy is to ensure a professional, collegial and safe environment for Academy meetings/events in which Academy members, staff, and other participants treat one another with mutual respect. This policy applies to anyone present and participating in any Academy meeting or Academy-related event, including, but not limited to, attendees, members, speakers, staff, contractors, vendors, exhibitors, and guests.

    Expected Behavior

    The Academy expects all participants at Academy meetings/events to behave responsibly and professionally; to abide by this Conduct Policy; and to comply with the following:

    Treatment of others. Participants must exercise professionalism, consideration, and respect in their speech and actions, and must refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, disruptive or harassing behavior and speech.

    Safety and security. Participants should alert Academy staff if they notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.

    Responsible consumption of alcohol. At many Academy networking events both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are served. Academy expects participants at these events who choose to drink alcoholic beverages to do so responsibly. Academy and event staff have the right to deny participants service of alcohol for any reason and may require a participant to leave the event.

    Controlled substances. Participants should not be under the influence of illegal drugs or other unauthorized or mind-altering or intoxicating substances while attending Academy events.  Included within this prohibition are lawful controlled substances that have been illegally or improperly obtained.  This policy does not prohibit the possession and proper use of lawfully prescribed drugs taken as prescribed.

    Unacceptable Behavior

    Academy will not tolerate harassment on any basis by any participant at any Academy meeting/event. Unacceptable behaviors may include, but are not limited to:

    • Unwelcome and uninvited attention or contact with another participant;
    • Verbal or written comments, or visual images, that are sexually suggestive, offensive, or that denigrate or show hostility or aversion toward an individual, or group of individuals, that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or that unreasonably interfere with an individual’s ability to participate in an Academy meeting/event;
    • Slurs, threatening or negative stereotyping, intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning speech or actions by any participant in any Academy meeting/event, and in one-on-one communications carried out in the context of any meeting or event;
    • Verbal harassment or harmful or prejudicial verbal or written comments or visual images related to gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual activities, race, ethnicity, language, religion, disability, age, appearance or other personal characteristics (“Personal Characteristics”);
    • Deliberate intimidation, following or stalking;
    • Demands for sexual favors with explicit or implied threats related to job benefits or opportunities;
    • Posting, displaying, or circulating any electronic media currently available or created in the future including any written or graphic material that demeans or shows hostility or dislike towards a person or group based on their protected status or Personal Characteristics. This includes, but is not limited to, graffiti, cartoons, websites, any social media platform, or radio or television programming;
    • Conduct by registered attendee(s) or guests at any Academy meeting/event that is unlawful, in violation of the show rules or the convention center lease terms or convention hotel(s) policies/rules, in violation of/or is antithetical to the purposes and good order of the Academy meeting/event and its operation by Academy, such as, the use of an invalid or another’s name badge, failure to pay registration fees, or misrepresentation of comments made during symposium discussions or from the podium.

    Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

    • The Academy reserves the right to revoke, without refund, exhibition space and/or registration credentials of any attendee not in compliance with this policy.
    • The Academy reserves the right to refuse the registration of any individual, as long as such refusal is consistent with applicable law and Academy policy.
    • The Academy reserves the right to revoke, without refund, an attendee(s)’ badge and to have Security remove them from the event premises at any time without prior notice.
    • The Academy has the right to remove any individual, without refund, who has transferred a badge to another individual, as well as the recipient of such badge, in order to gain access to an Academy meeting or event and to invoice the non-paying party for the event.
    • Members found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to any disciplinary action the Academy’s Board of Trustees deems appropriate after due consideration.

    Reporting Harassment

    If you experience harassment or hear of any incidents of unacceptable behavior, the Academy asks that you inform Katherine Salazar-Poss, the Academy’s General Counsel, at generalcounsel@aao.org or +1 415.561.8541 so that we can take the appropriate action. 

    AdvaMed and PhRMA Codes

    The Academy supports the AdvaMed and PhRMA codes. Both physicians and industry are bound by legal and ethical obligations. These codes provide a framework for that interaction, as does the Academy's Code of Ethics and related Academy conflict-of-interest guidelines. For more information, visit their websites: www.advamed.org and www.phrma.org.

    CMSS Code for Interaction With Companies

    CMSS, the Council for Medical Specialty Societies, developed a Code for Interaction With Companies. The voluntary code is designed to ensure that societies' interactions with companies are independent and transparent, and advance medical care for the benefit of patients and populations. The Academy is one of the original signatories to this code and is in full compliance with the code. For more details visit www.cmss.org/codeforinteractions.aspx.