Update on Virtual Conference Live Presentation Options and Registration

Dear Colleagues,


ABC recently contracted with Pathable to provide a cutting-edge platform for this year’s virtual conference.  They have a strong record of success: two “sister” organizations chose Pathable for their virtual events this year: the Academy of Management (AOM) and the Broadcast Education Association (BEA).


Presentation Options 

Because of Pathable’s robust platform, you may choose to present live.  However, even though we offer this live option, we encourage you to consider using the pre-recorded one.  The advantages of pre-recording are many, with the two most important being complete control over your content and timing and no worries about interruptions coming from those around you or from a wobbly internet connection.  In addition, while we will contract for technical support, and Pathable will have a strong team of support personnel on-hand, we won’t have a support person in each concurrent session at all times.  They will move from session to session and be on-call.


Pathable’s platform will support live Q & A following sessions, group gatherings, and online conversations between two or many individuals. We will create “Birds of a Feather” meetings using the Zoom platform (embedded within Pathable).  These meetings can serve groups wanting to gather for research, planned topics, or as friends (e.g., an alumni group). 


Time Zone and Scheduling. We had to choose a single time zone as the baseline, and we decided on Eastern Standard Time (EST). However, our co-chairs are working to schedule your presentations so that they will work with your local times.  In addition, we’re extending the conference period (from Tuesday morning, October 27, through Saturday evening, October 31—rather than starting on Wednesday and ending on Saturday at noon). The goal is to be flexible, offer plenty of time between sessions, and eliminate, as much as possible, windows when members would normally be sleeping. 


Uploading Presentations. All presentations, if pre-recorded, must be uploaded by October 15.  That deadline enables us to ensure the presentations and the links to them are working. More information about this process will follow.


Additional Points to Consider

  1. All presentations, whether pre-recorded or live, have the option of presenters being live for Q&A. We encourage you to be available for live Q & A.
  2. Pathable will record all presentations. As mentioned above, the flexible and extended scheduling and the recording of all sessions also means you can watch performances at times that are convenient for you.
  3. The conference material will be available beyond the conference date for anyone who registers, including some who might register after the conference (once the word spreads about the value and usefulness of the materials available). If you do not want to provide access to your presentation after November 6, please check the box during registration.


Additional Resources Available. Pathable has resources to help you prepare for your session, including tips about presenting and recording.  They also offer speaker training sessions, advice about navigating the system, and ideas to help set up your agenda and meetings (Pathable also provides an online scheduling tool similar to Guidebook’s). 



Registration will open Friday, August 14. Visit the conference page for details at: https://www.businesscommunication.org/page/2020-annual   When you register, please select your method of presenting:

  1. Pre-recording with live Q & A
  2. Pre-recording without Q & A
  3. Live presentation with live Q & A.


We will annotate the onilne agenda with those details. 

Costs.  We have cut the cost of registration as far as we possibly can.  Please visit the ABC registration page https://www.businesscommunication.org/page/2020-annual#Registration for a menu of registration options depending on your status.  Early bird registration prices begin at $75 for students (not presenting) and retirees.  Early bird registration cost for members is $125 and $200 for nonmembers.


You will also see many workshop options.  Included in the member registration are up to two workshops (usually $40 each).  If you choose more than two, each additional one will cost $10.



Even if you are not presenting, we hope you will participate and support this year’s event.  Given the reasonable cost of registration, the networking opportunities, and the wealth of material that will be available on demand, the event offers a valuable resource for all ABC members, especially members who had always wanted to attend our annual conference but, for one reason or another, were not able to do so.


Participating in our 85th Annual International Virtual Conference is a safe way to come out of your “quarantine bubble,” gain valuable insights into the latest in BComm research and pedagogy, and renew acquaintances and support your friends and colleagues in ABC.  


If you have any questions, please let us know.  For all registration questions, please contact abcoffice@businesscommunication.org.


Virtually yours in service,




Jim Dubinsky, ABC Executive Director


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