We hope this message finds you well. The Executive Board held a meeting on December 8 to consider the likely effects of COVID-19 on the AIB Annual Meeting. Based on the Board’s unanimous vote, we can now announce that the AIB 2021 annual meeting will be held entirely online.
Timing and the safety of our members around the world, were key factors in reaching this decision. We also considered COVID-19 vulnerability, budget freezes, bans on travel and public gatherings, and their likely impact on attendance at an in-person event. Given these concerns and information available from governments, health authorities, and other sources, we saw no reason to expect sufficient mitigation of these risks in time for the 2021 conference.
Making the decision to go virtual now will give members maximal flexibility in planning their participation and position the AIB to deliver a high-quality online event. Advance planning will help us better leverage the advantages of an online platform, including opportunities to offer superior programming, reach more members, and plan for optimal operations and delivery.
In keeping with the conference theme, Disruption, Megatrends, and Transformation: Reimagining International Business in a Changed World, we aim to preserve the spirit of our traditional AIB Annual Meetings. Given the enthusiasm of our program committee, track chairs, workshop organizers, and presenters, as well as the knowledge gained from the 2020 conference, we are confident of delivering a first-rate experience that our members will find engaging and enlightening.
The Call for Papers has been released, and we will provide paper and panel submission guidelines in the coming weeks. Key event updates of this kind will be announced regularly via all-member emails, social media, and our AIB 2021 event homepage.
Please note that registration rates for the virtual conference will be lower than those typically charged for in-person AIB events in order to make this Annual Meeting accessible to the widest possible range of participants.
The best way to support your colleagues and our field during these trying times is to renew your AIB membership for the coming year. Not only will it strengthen our efforts to deliver a top-tier digital event in 2021, it will help us lay the groundwork to provide innovative online benefits in the future. Now, more than ever, we appreciate your dedication to and continued involvement with the AIB.
With best wishes for your continued health and safety,
Jeremy Clegg, AIB President
Gary Knight, AIB 2021 Program Chair
Tunga Kiyak, AIB Executive Director