While it may be technically feasible to host the entire conference virtually, we are doing this for the first time and there is simply insufficient time and other resources for a full redesign. In addition, AOM is a volunteer-run organization. AOM’s volunteers are faculty, PhD students and scholar-practitioners with professional obligations at their schools, colleges and institutions. Our priority is to support our volunteer culture and honor the obligations and commitments of those who have submitted their work and put in countless hours to prepare AOM 2020. Unlike a top-down driven company, AOM is member-driven and reliant on the labor and input of our global volunteers.
Therefore, we cannot “go virtual” with the entire program, nor can we simultaneously deliver a full-blown physical conference alongside a virtual one in 2020. However, in a context that is unparalleled, we could deliver some key parts of the 2020 program virtually – although they may be delivered in an unusual and experimental way. It’s not going to be perfect and perhaps the quirkiness will help to develop our agility and strengthen our community’s ties. A subgroup of the 2020 Annual Meeting Task Force, the Virtual Component Team, explored the virtual possibilities with the input of divisions and interest groups and other program leaders.