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IAFA 2021 Statement

Dear IAFA Members,

The Board has been monitoring the ongoing situation with the pandemic closely and has met twice this summer to consider options for the 2021 conference. The future prospects remain unclear, but based on information about our membership, likely timelines for widespread vaccination, ongoing border closures, and our financial options, the Board took the decision at its meeting on September 19, 2020 to move the 2021 Conference to an online format.

More information will follow soon about methods of participation, timelines for events and other considerations regarding membership and registration fees. We are also adjusting the timeframe for the event to maximize chances for participation across time zones, but we will convene during the originally scheduled conference “long” weekend, March 18-21, 2021. We are currently working to sort out these details and will prioritize releasing information about options for participation and presentation, as they most urgently need to be worked out so that the conference application cycle can begin. Please be assured that we continue to work on the rest of the picture and will release additional information as we make further decisions.

We are aware that this news is very disappointing—to us as well! Nonetheless, we believe it a priority to protect the health of our members and guests over other considerations. We also feel that we needed to make this decision early enough to give us time to mount a great online event. Rest assured that we are aware that social interactions are a hugely important part of our conference culture, and we are working on ways to allow maximum interaction and also to recreate a version of some of our most important social gatherings.

Right now, the important information is that we will have a conference and will soon open the submission portal. Do not, however, book hotels or flights since we will not be gathering in person in 2021. Thank you for your patience as we continue to refine our plans and release further information to you as more decisions are taken. We ask that you do not send in questions for further information at this time as we are still in the process of evaluating our options and making decisions. We will update you as quickly as possible as further plans solidify.

We are all committed to ensuring the ongoing quality of ICFA and the future of our organization. While it might not be the same as typical, we will have a 2021 gathering and look forward to seeing you in virtual spaces.

Dale Knickerbocker, IAFA President