The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA), a division of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) Region One will move the Geosynthetics Conference and IECA Annual Conference online. The conferences were originally scheduled to be colocated in Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 21–24, 2021.
“As much as we were looking forward to being in Kansas City, it became apparent we wouldn’t be able to do so safely,” said Steve Schiffman, president/CEO of IFAI. “The safety of IFAI and IECA members, attendees, exhibitors and staff is paramount. The exceptional content, opportunity to connect with exhibitors and industry networking will be effective in a virtual environment.”
The virtual conference will be held Feb. 22–25, 2021, online. Education for both conferences will be accessible across numerous device types on a robust platform that provides access to live and pre-recorded content. Education will feature timely content presented by knowledge experts that provide real-world solutions to industry problems including plenary sessions, roundtables, fireside chats, technical papers, poster sessions and short courses.
Attendees can network in online communities dedicated to specific industry topics, speaker engagement, roundtable discussions and participate in trivia night. The platform also provides one-on-one interactions through text and video chat capabilities. Attendees can also share their biography, social media and contact information with peers to stay connected post conference.
The virtual Expo Hall will feature world-class exhibitors showcasing their latest products and services to attendees in a virtual space. Attendees can live chat with booth staff, in addition to viewing product videos, attending education sessions and engaging in networking lounges.
“The safety of our attendees is of the utmost importance to us,” said Samantha Roe, IECA executive director. “Stakeholders of both organizations made the difficult decision to hold the conferences virtually during this ongoing pandemic. A virtual conference is the optimal way to deliver quality education, exhibition and networking opportunities to industry professionals.”