The Future of Association Convening: Envisioning for The Sciences (FACETS)

AIP Letter Report

FACETS final report cover shot

As the COVID-19 virus spread, the consequences impacted how people gathered with one another in 2020. For scientific organizations that normally host annual meetings where researchers come together for information, professional development, and camaraderie, that meant initially canceling meetings and then launching virtual platforms for convening members, all at short notice.

The American Institute of Physics assembled a panel made up of experts in various parts of association conference planning to reimagine meetings of the future to be more impactful for and valuable to society stakeholders. Their report, "The Future of Association Convening: Envisioning for The Sciences (FACETS)," offers ideas and suggestions on how scientific conferences can integrate valuable lessons learned from retooling in-person meetings to virtual formats over the past year while also meeting changing demands of their research communities and the conduct of science.  Read the full announcement here.

Download the full report here


The Letter Report explores these various facets of the conference planning ecosystem throughout the following report and posit questions for societies to consider when envisioning their own future. Taken together, this report suggests how the future of convening can benefit all stakeholders, from the scientific community, to partners, industry, academia, and the greater society itself, as a new sustainable business model is forged.

The video below is a high-level summary of the major themes of the report. (~15 minutes in duration).

Transcript of Pre-recorded content (PDF)




Christine McEntee
Principal, CWMcEntee LLC, Former CEO, American Geophysical Union


Linda Allen
Director of Scientific Meetings, American Physiological Society

Gabriel Filippelli
Editor-in-Chief, GeoHealth

Amandeep Gill
PhD Candidate, University of Nevada, Reno

Lauren Kane
Chief Strategy Officer, Morressier

Alex Lazinica
CEO, Underline

Kevin B. Marvel
Executive Officer, American Astronomical Society

Jamie Murdock
Managing Vice President of Sales, Maritz Global Events Company

Brian Papa
Associate Executive Director, American Meteorological Society

Lily Wang
Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty and Inclusion, College of Engineering, University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Staff Liaisons

  • Liz Dart Caron, Chief of Staff, American Institute of Physics
  • Frank Graeff, Member Society Liaison, American Institute of Physics
  • R. Mark Wilson, Senior Associate Editor, Physics Today

Consultation Group

Other experts who consulted on report drafts and provided additional commentary and insights for the panel’s consideration:

  • Jen Ives, Associate Director of Meetings, American Meteorological Society
  • Seth Kahan, Founder & CEO, Visionary Leadership
  • Donna Kastner, Managing Director, Enlighten 123
  • Jason Maxey, 2018 Conference Organizer, The Society of Rheology
  • Lauren Parr, Vice President, Meetings, American Geophysical Union
  • Vanessa Bridges, Meeting Planner, American Institute of Physics
  • Rachel Ivie, Senior Research Fellow, American Institute of Physics
  • Arlene Modeste Knowles, TEAM-UP Program Manager, American Institute of Physics