GAA Unveils Plans For ‘Hybrid’ GOAL With Virtual Events, In-Person Event in Seattle

GOAL 2021 logo

Introducing the new GOAL experience.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance on Feb. 15 announced that its signature GOAL conference, featuring a hybrid experience with a series of virtual events, will begin in April, culminating with an in-person event in Seattle, USA, later this year.

Since its inception in 2001, GOAL has built a reputation for quality, attracting aquaculture thought leaders determined to stay ahead of the curve on emerging challenges and solutions. This new hybrid, or dual, experience delivers the same quality content but with greater frequency, reach and versatility.

The GOAL conference began its evolution in 2020 with its first-ever virtual event. Held from Oct. 5 to 8, the virtual event attracted 800 active attendees, replacing the in-person event in Tokyo, Japan, postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. With the uncertainty of the pandemic, GAA has decided to again postpone the in-person event in Tokyo to 2022 and instead hold a face-to-face meeting in Seattle in the fall. (Venue and dates to be announced.)

Preceding the in-person event is a series of half-day virtual events open to all GAA individual and corporate members.

“On this 20th anniversary of GOAL, we are looking forward to broadening the discussion to include wild-capture fisheries and connecting seafood buyers and producers throughout the value chain through the global connectivity of virtual meetings and the relationship-building power of face-to-face meetings.” said GAA President and Founder George Chamberlain.

GAA is custom-building a platform to host virtual events. These events will feature a series of preliminary sessions to arrive at key priorities for further discussion at the meeting in Seattle. Sponsorship opportunities are available for organizations looking to bolster their presence within the aquaculture community. In addition to logo visibility and advertising, sponsors receive a corporate profile on the platform, with the ability to share sales collateral; a pre-recorded speech or presentation in one virtual event; and the opportunity to host a breakout session.

“The silver lining of the pandemic is that it prompted us to rethink how we deliver GOAL,” said GAA Communications and Events Manager Steven Hedlund. “The high-level content that’s traditionally part of the plenary at the in-person event will instead be delivered through a series of virtual events held throughout the year, available to all GAA individual and corporate members. That content will be summarized at the in-person event, freeing up time for attendees to engage in in-depth discussions and participate in the business, social and networking activities that GOAL is known for.”

Scheduled for April 15, the first virtual session is tentatively titled “Tomorrow’s Aquaculture Will Be Shaped by Today’s Emerging Technologies” and will explore how new tools can make aquaculture efficient, profitable, sustainable and humane. (Speakers and agenda to be announced in March.)

Additionally, as GAA transitions to the Global Seafood Alliance this year, GOAL is expanding its scope to include both aquaculture and wild fisheries content. With that in mind, GOAL is also being rebranded as “GOAL: The Responsible Seafood Conference,” dropping the “Global Outlook for Aquaculture Leadership” moniker that the conference has carried since it was last rebranded in 2007.

Added Hedlund: “I’d like to thank our friends in Japan for their support and patience as we navigate COVID-19 with an eye toward holding in-person GOAL in Tokyo next year. At the same time, we’re excited to hold this year’s in-person GOAL in Seattle as GAA expands its scope to include wild fisheries and evolves into the Global Seafood Alliance.”

About GAA
The Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. Through the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices certification standards, GAA has become the leading standards-setting organization for aquaculture seafood.