As the global Coronavirus Pandemic continues the Association of the U.S. Army has announced that their 2020 Annual Meeting and Exposition has been physically cancelled but will be held virtually online.
Retired Gen. Carter Ham, AUSA president and CEO explained that “after careful and detailed consideration, we’ve made the difficult decision to convert the 2020 AUSA Annual Meeting from an in-person meeting to a virtual experience.” Gem. Ham continued “based on health and safety considerations and ongoing restrictions on large gatherings, it is not possible for us to conduct an in-person meeting as we had originally envisioned.”
AUSA now plans a four-day virtual meeting beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13, and concluding on Friday, Oct. 16. Like the usual live events, the virtual meeting will feature addresses by top US Army and national security leaders, professional military forums and presentations by industry. Those interested will be able to register for the virtual meeting some time in September.
Most recently SOFIC became vSOFIC, as the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference moved online. Around the world defense sector trade shows and conferences have postponed, cancelled or shifted online in an effort to adapt to the current situation.
Switching to a virtual event was a “tough call,” according to Ham. “The Annual Meeting is an incredibly important event and one of our favorite ways to celebrate everything that unites us, but health and safety must come first,” the AUSA’s president and CEO said. “We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event as we had envisioned, but we know it’s the right decision.”
AUSA is now coordinating details for the virtual event, and team members will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and sponsors about new opportunities. Gen. Ham said that while the virtual AUSA may not replace the full experience traditional AUSA Meeting, he hopes it will “keep us connected with Army senior leaders and messages, with industry partners and with AUSA members around the globe.” He also added that AUSA are planning to offer a forum reaches “beyond the 33,000-plus people we expected to see in Washington, D.C., this year.”
The AUSA 2021 Annual Meeting is currently scheduled for 11-13 October, 2021, in Washington, D.C., updates can be found on the AUSA’s site here.