At the April 2017 meeting of the Board of Governors, a discussion of the Annual Meeting location occurred, and a process was developed for considering non-North American locations for future meetings.
The Board discussed a number of factors that influence viable alternatives for the location of the meeting. Locations for our conference model and size must be committed seven to ten years in advance of the meeting itself. This is because only a relatively limited number of locations are viable for a conference model of our complexity and a group of our size. The conference industry seeks contractual commitments far in advance as part of complex negotiations between the AOM and various service providers, including hotels, local unions, and transportation organizations. Often these negotiations are organized by city representatives, who typically offer discounts for large-scale and multi-year commitments. Further, the business models that shape conference arrangements are typically quite different outside North America than in North America. One such consequence is that space available in non-North American locations may lead us to have to change our presentation model from paper presentations to poster sessions or travel greater distance between multiple facilities. Despite these complexities, the Board of Governors and headquarters team at the AOM were committed to considering non-North American alternatives for a future meeting.
The headquarters team and the Board of Governors commissioned a report by a consultant on potentially viable cities both inside and outside North America for the 2025 meeting, which was the next available slot for a location of the Annual Meeting that had not yet been contracted. A small number of cities, including locations both inside and outside North America, were identified as possibilities for the 2025 meeting. Those cities were invited to make full proposals to the AOM. Once these proposals were received and evaluated, the President sought member input about the tradeoffs associated with the most viable of the options. The Board of Governors and the headquarters team integrated this feedback into its final deliberations on the location of the 2025 Annual Meeting at the Board's April 2018 meeting. Copenhagen was selected.
Specialized AOM conferences are also being held outside of North America. The initiative on specialized conferences offers members opportunities to gather at thematic and experiential conferences in locations outside of North America. We invite members to take part in these new conferences and consider submitting a proposal to hold such an event.