Chuck White, President IAM, explains the decision to hold the 2020 IAM conference as a virtual event, how it will work and how much it will cost to take part.
The decision to turn the IAM Annual Meeting & Expo into a virtual event was not undertaken lightly. Though we knew it wouldn’t be an easy task, we were also keenly aware of importance of the Annual Meeting to our members - in our member surveys, nearly 50% of IAM members always give the Annual Meeting as their top reason for joining. For that reason, among others, we felt that cancelling or postponing the meeting was out of the question.
It quickly became clear that an in-person event would be impractical, or even dangerous. The Annual Meeting & Expo draws representation from nearly 120 countries every year, with over 2,000 members gathering onsite. A gathering of our magnitude would be irresponsible, and safety has to come first - so, we set out to find the best alternative.
Fast forward to today: IAM has combined our decades of successful conference experience with a leading-edge software platform called Swapcard. Together, we are building a virtual conference experience that goes far beyond just an online meeting.
Our goal with this Virtual Annual Meeting is to provide as much of the value of the traditional meeting as possible at a fraction of the price to attendees. Though we know it won’t be quite the same, there are a few advantages besides the price; nobody will need to wear a mask, for instance, and you won’t need to endure the time or expense of air travel, exhibit transport and setup, or hotels.
The primary conference services that the Virtual Annual Meeting & Expo will include are:
- Networking with your fellow IAM members;
- Learning directly from industry experts;
- Conducting demonstrations of your products and services through virtual exhibit booths; and
- Nurturing relationships with other professionals in your field.
All of these are critical components in establishing and increasing your business. Networking is the most important one for many of you, and we are working very hard to make it effective and useful for our attendees. The networking and exhibit sections will be available to registrants weeks in advance, in order to give you time to schedule meetings and become familiar with the systems.
With these tools, you will be able to set up meetings 24 hours per day if you like, accommodating every time zone. Those interested in exhibiting should visit the Virtual Booth Prospectus, which provides details about how to increase your visibility in the event, upload files, and generate targeted appointments.
The Virtual Annual Meeting will also feature a robust schedule of thought-provoking conversations about our industry and what the future holds for your company. We will host a significantly expanded set of conversations focussed on the corporate relocation sector, including discussions about the future of global mobility and region-specific relocation trends in Asia, Europe, the US, and Latin America.
These sessions will be paired with IAM’s traditional programme of panel discussions with US military and government leaders on current events in their sector. From the latest on the Global Household Goods Contract (GHC) to substantive discussions on GSA and the Department of State, anybody who provides transportation services to US Military and Government employees will need to attend to hear from these big clients.
IAM’s programme will also include Learning Lab sessions on leadership, financial protections, risk management, digital marketing, technology, and more. These conversations are always important, but take on even greater significance in today’s uncertain climate.
We recognise that we are entering new territory as the only association in the global moving and mobility industry that has transitioned to a virtual event. Accordingly, the price to attend has been significantly reduced from that of the traditional event that will reward the forward thinkers and early adopters who attend with a substantial return on their investment:
Early Adopter: $299 USD (Available through August 31)
Regular Rate: $349 USD (August 31-October 5; or any time for Governing Members)
Late: $499 USD (After October 5)
With the lower price to register, the Virtual Annual Meeting will have something for anyone at your company: owners, CEOs, CFOs, sales and marketing, move coordinator, and everyone in between. Connect your entire company to the global community of movers by registering today at iammeetings.com.
As moving professionals, we are all in this together. The increased difficulty of doing business in the time of coronavirus, combined with the slow start to the year’s busy season, make it more important than ever that we continue to meet and conduct business. IAM is here to support your success, create value for your company, and most importantly, do it all is as safe a manner as possible until we are able to resume meeting in person.
Photo: Chuck White