Women in Aviation International (WAI) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) announced several premier events in 2021 that would be all-virtual rather than in-person, continuing a trend that coincided with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.
The thirty-second annual International Women in Aviation Conference will be held online March 11 and 12 because of “COVID-19 pandemic trends,” the group announced in a November 20 news release. The group cited the “safety and wellbeing of [its] members, partners, exhibitors, attendees, and staff” in making the decision.
“We had hoped to gather in-person next year, but as we continued to monitor and follow the local and state recommendations and guidelines for Reno, Nevada, not to mention the growing impact of COVID-19 worldwide, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person event,” said WAI CEO Allison McKay. She said the group was “confident” the virtual event would reach more people “around the world than we might have with an in-person event.”
The NBAA announced two virtual events for the first quarter of 2021 that will incorporate 3D technology to enhance the participant’s experience.
A Flight Operations Conference scheduled February 23 to 25 will be aimed at schedulers, dispatchers, pilots, and others “focused on mission planning, including for international operations.” A Leadership Summit March 24 and 25 will target “current and emerging business aviation innovators.”
Both events are part of the virtual NBAA GO initiative and will be hosted on the “most advanced and immersive technology platform our industry has seen,” promised NBAA Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation Mike Nichols in a November 20 news release.
Plans are in place for attendees, presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors to “network strategically through direct person-to-person meeting rooms, virtual 3D exhibit booths, and dedicated subject matter lounges.”