The American Evaluation Association (AEA) continues to monitor the escalating global impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and understands its effect on the evaluation community. Based on current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and guidelines issued by the Governor of Oregon, we have made the decision to pivot the AEA Evaluation Annual Conference, Evaluation 2020, to a completely virtual experience.
Your health and safety is of utmost importance and our top priority. Though our conference is still months away, the uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 and impact to our communities has led us to plan for a virtual experience this fall in lieu of an in-person gathering. We believe this is the most responsible path forward to maintain safe conditions for our attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and the communities you serve.
This decision was not made lightly, as we know many depend on the education and networking opportunities the in-person conference provides. We are in the early planning stages for rethinking and reshaping our typical conference format to bring you a virtual experience that is inclusive and reflects the core value of AEA, advancing the practice of evaluation. Keeping the spirit of the Evaluation Annual Conference, the virtual experience will have opportunities to connect with other evaluators from across the globe and will offer education on diverse topics. As we continue to plan the program, we ask for your patience and understanding in the details we can share at this point. We will plan to communicate information regarding the virtual experience as soon as it becomes available.
We would like to take this time to recognize the efforts of our volunteers who have worked hard to create an in-person event for 2020. We feel fortunate that we are able to make this decision early in our planning and are excited to offer a virtual experience. We hope that by holding a virtual experience, more evaluators world-wide are able to participate and partake in our important conversations.
Though we will be physically apart from each other, we will still collectively shine a light on our practice. We will share schedule and registration details about the virtual event in the upcoming weeks.