By Amanda Ciejko and Ross Creech
As was recently announced, the 2021 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention will return to a virtual setting. After the overwhelming success and positive feedback from the membership regarding the virtual convention held in 2020, USDF is confident that we can deliver a convention experience that members will enjoy and that will allow us to successfully complete and attain our governance tasks and objectives.
Throughout the convention planning process, USDF leaders kept their eye on future conventions, and aimed to revamp the convention format. These changes will not only streamline the event overall, going forward, but will also allow for some new and exciting experiences, as well as expanded recognition for our award winners.
Here are some changes of note for future conventions, including the virtual 2021 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention, to be held December 1-4.
As we know, many of our volunteers and convention attendees have varied interests and responsibilities, which have resulted in some tough decisions having to be made in the past about which meetings to attend. No more! This year’s schedule features no conflicts, with the exception of the concurrently running regional meetings.
Popular Forums Return
One way the ‘no conflict’ schedule was made possible was by incorporating one of the most popular aspects of the 2020 virtual event: the introduction of the USDF Council Forums. Replacing the antiquated “open meeting” concept, these forums allow attendees to hear from all interrelated committees, provide an opportunity for more meaningful and informed discussions, and presents a more encompassing picture of USDF and its trajectory to attendees.
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to attend the exciting Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Athlete Forum!
Reports and Motions Available at Start of Convention
Another aspect that will be carried forward is the utilization of pre-convention committee meetings. By hosting closed committee meetings prior to the commencement of convention, via Zoom, chairs will be able to work with their liaisons to complete committee reports and motions for the board. With these reports available by the start of the convention, attendees and delegates will have the opportunity to review all of this information and utilize the live forums and onsite meetings to have effectual discussion on the topics coming forward.
Return of the Salute Gala
Longtime convention attendees may remember the years when the Salute Gala was a standalone event. Well, it’s back! Friday night will feature the return of the Salute Gala, where we will honor our Lifetime Achievement, Volunteers of the Year, Rider, and Breeder of Distinction Awards recipients. The Gala will also feature a tribute to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Teams. This event is an evening to honor these dignitaries, volunteers, and cumulative award winners for the endless dedication to USDF and the sport. For future conventions, by holding the event on Friday night, delegates staying for the Saturday morning session of the Board of Governors meeting will have the opportunity to attend without having to extend their hotel stay!
Always Leave Them Wanting More
Over the years, our high-achieving competitors and award winners have been recognized in combination with the Salute Gala award recipients, but we are seizing the opportunity to make these award presentations more meaningful, and truly be able to give people, horses, farms, and breed organizations their time in the spotlight. This event will now be split into two VIRTUAL events (the Adequan®/USDF Year-End Awards Ceremony and the Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards Presentation).
By splitting these into two virtual events, not only will the recipients of these prestigious awards be recognized on a more national scale, but it will also provide ample time to recognize all of our winners and give them a moment in the spotlight. The standalone All-Breeds presentation will also allow for our dedicated Participating Organizations (POs) to provide some insight into their breed and dressage within. Dates and times of these two virtual events will be announced as soon as they are made available. Keep an eye on the USDF website for the most up-to-date information.
In this ever-changing world, we must change with it. The implementation of this new format is expected to positively impact the effectiveness of future conventions, in regard to business and governance, as well as the experience of attendees. We hope you’ll join us as we move forward into ‘The Next Frontier’! For more information on the virtual 2021 Adequan®/USDF Annual Convention and related opportunities, visit the convention website.
Footnote: This article was originally posted on August 9, 2021. Due to the change of the event location from Houston to virtual, the article has been edited to reflect the change.
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