2024 Annual Conference, and General Meetings

Dear Colleagues:

After considering the feedback that came to us at this fall’s hybrid ACGM, and the input from the member survey and those who were most involved in producing the conference, the Board has come to the conclusion that this year’s experiment is not sustainable in future years. Among the many issues that led us to this conclusion are

  1. Expense: hiring the audio-visual specialists who helped us was already a major expense, even though the Site Coordinators were able to procure their services at a very advantageous rate. In future this expense could run from twice to perhaps five times as much as we paid this year, and it was already our largest expenditure for the ACGM. Additionally, the burden on the office staff member who had to run the Zoom version as well as providing services for running the conference was unsustainable; we would need a second Mattison staff member to do that successfully.
  2. The burdens on the Agenda Planning Committee and the Formal Consensus Process Committee were essentially doubled because of having to run what amounted to two simultaneous business meetings: online and in-person.

For these and a number of other reasons, although this year’s ACGM was in no way a failure, the board has decided to try another experiment for 2024: we will split the Annual Conference and General Meeting into an in-person Conference and an entirely on-line General Meeting.

The Conference will be at Gaunts House near Poole in Dorsetshire, in southwest England, from Friday, October 18 (pre-day) through Tuesday noon, October 22. This is one day fewer than in the past, but without the business meetings there will be plenty of time for workshops and a more relaxed time in general. We also hope that scheduling over a weekend will make it easier for busy people to join us without losing a whole week of work. 

The Business Meetings will be held on Zoom on several days over probably two weekends after the Conference. We already have several years of experience doing this successfully. We will draw on this year’s experience of doing preliminary work on proposals in the late spring and summer. We will spend a limited amount of time at the in-person Conference introducing the year’s proposals and enhancing members’ familiarity with our remarkable Formal Consensus process. 

There are many details still to be fleshed out, of course, but the Conference Planning Branch committees are already hard at work on preliminary planning. Lucia Walker and Sharyn West, our Site Coordinators, aided by Linda Hein, visited several possible venues, and we are excited about Gaunts House, which was associated at its beginning with George Trevelyan, one of the original members of Alexander’s first training course. You can see details of the venue at https://gauntshouse.com.

We look forward enthusiastically to seeing you both in person and on line next fall!