Dear AIB colleagues,
We hope this message finds you in good health. During the past weeks we have been closely monitoring world events along with our colleagues at Florida International University, and strategizing to find ways to continue to advance IB scholarship while doing our utmost to uphold the safety and wellbeing of our members.
Our international presence has always been a core strength of AIB. Unfortunately, in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, our association has been severely affected by mounting travel restrictions, freezes in institutional support, and bans on public gatherings. Given the current information provided by governments and public health organizations, we see no reason to expect sufficient improvement in time for our 2020 Annual Meeting in early July.
At the same time, AIB’s Annual Meeting has always been one of the greatest sources of value for our members to come together with colleagues and share new ideas, receive timely feedback, and develop professional skills. During these difficult times, we want to honor and preserve these benefits. Thus, in keeping with the spirit of this year’s conference theme, “How Crossing Borders Changes Business”, AIB’s Executive Board has decided to transform the 2020 meeting. For the first time in our organization’s history, we are preparing to hold the 2020 AIB Annual Meeting entirely online.
Given the size and complexity of our event, this move presents new challenges as well as new opportunities. We are confident that, given the enthusiasm of our program committee, track chairs, workshop organizers, and presenters, we will be able to deliver a unique experience that our members will find engaging and enlightening.
We will contact you again in a few weeks with additional details on the new format. For now, we want to share the following key information:
- Out of deep gratitude for the extraordinary work and dedication that our colleagues at FIU have put into planning an outstanding event for us this year, we have instead decided to hold the AIB 2021 Annual Meeting in Miami.
- All members who have had their research accepted to AIB 2020 will be given an opportunity to present it in our new, online format. If you decide to opt out, you will be welcome to submit an improved version of the same work for next year’s in-person Annual Meeting. We will contact each author to ask for their preference sometime in April.
- We are working on utilizing online mechanisms to hold shared, interactive events like consortia, paper development workshops, clinics, and panels.
- Registration rates for the online conference will be lower to encourage as much participation as possible. If you have already registered for the Miami conference, the Secretariat will soon contact you and provide a full refund for that registration. If you have made lodging or flight arrangements, please remember to cancel those as well.
- The best way to support your colleagues and the field of IB as a whole during these trying times will be to renew your AIB membership for the coming year. Not only will it strengthen our efforts to deliver a top-tier digital event in 2020, it will help us lay the groundwork for even more ambitious online content in the future.
- With plans for the event continuing to evolve, the best place to find up-to-date information on AIB 2020 will be online. Keep an eye out for regular updates in your email, on social media, and aib.world.
Now, more than ever, we appreciate your dedication to and continued involvement with AIB. Though current conditions will not allow us to gather as a community face-to-face this year, with your support we look forward to finding new opportunities to connect at our first all-online event.
With our very best wishes for your continued health, safety, and security,
Jeremy Clegg, AIB President
Rebecca Piekkari, AIB 2020 Program Chair
Tunga Kiyak, AIB Executive Director