Trade Associations, Shows & Conferences

GOAL 2020 Goes Virtual With Unifying Global Conference Event in October

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The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) announced on May 12 that its annual Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference will be a virtual event this year, and the live event scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2020 has been postponed to October 2021.

Since its inception in 2001, GOAL has built a reputation for interesting and timely content, attracting aquaculture thought leaders determined to stay ahead of the curve on emerging challenges and solutions. Featuring a dynamic conference platform and application, this year’s virtual event promises to deliver the same quality program but with much greater reach and versatility and a more interactive experience between speakers, moderators and the audience.

“The silver lining of this terrible Covid-19 cloud is the unifying force of virtual meetings. This presents new opportunities to broadly share the latest information and advances to accelerate progress toward our collective goal of responsibly producing more healthful seafood,” said GAA Founder and President George Chamberlain.

GAA Founder and President George Chamberlain

Individual and corporate members will be able to access to the functionality of the conference platform and application, including livestreaming, live Q&A and polling, and virtual meetings. They will also be able to access PDFs of presentations and reports as well as recordings of the livestream on-demand. Corporate members will be able to access virtual networking and matchmaking opportunities, with the ability to “call” face-to-face meetings within the conference platform. To help unify the global seafood sector, Day 1 of the conference will be offered free of charge to members of seafood associations and other strategic partners worldwide.

GOAL 2020 will be held from October 6-8, as previously scheduled, with six to eight program sessions occurring throughout the week of the conference.

GOAL 2021 is scheduled to be held at the Okura Tokyo next year in October, with dates yet to be announced.  Though GAA anticipates the return of the live event in 2021, the addressing of this year’s challenge posed by the imposition of coronavirus social distancing dictates signifies a transition of the GOAL conference to a “hybrid” model with a cohesive live and virtual event.

“At GOAL 2019, we livestreamed Day 1 of the conference to four shrimp-farming and -processing hubs throughout India as well as six Southeast Asian cities, and it was a big success, attracting hundreds of aquaculture professionals who were unable to join us in Chennai,” said Steven Hedlund, GAA’s communications and events manager. “The success of that virtual event, coupled with the travel and meeting uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, inspired us to evolve GOAL beyond the traditional format. The in-person event draws 400 to 500 seafood professionals from 30-plus countries. But a virtual event held simultaneously has the potential to draw thousands. We’re excited by what the future holds.”