First Ever Virtual GOAL Conference Attracts 800 Active Participants

The Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2020 conference is in the books!

Held virtually for the first time ever this year, the event was a success, with more than 4,000 pre-registered attendees, 800 of which logged on to the GOAL platform and application to watch the live stream of at least one of 10 sessions. This year’s program featured 50 speakers from almost 20 countries across 10 sessions from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8.

To show its appreciation for their support, GAA opened GOAL 2020 to all GAA individual and corporate members, with no registration fee. Their support — as well as the support of GOAL 2020 platinum sponsors Devi Seafoods, Evergreen Group, North American Renderers Association and U.S. Soybean Export Council — allows GAA to continue to act as a voice for responsible aquaculture and organize pre-competitive activities such as GOAL.

Even though the live component of GOAL 2020 is over, the content lives on in the conference platform and application for the remainder of this year. That’s about 15 hours’ worth of presentations and panel discussions that are available to GAA individual or corporate members.

“Though we were disappointed that we had to postpone the in-person event in Tokyo this year, the virtual event spawned opportunities for GOAL and GAA that tend to be limitations with an in-person event,” said GAA Communications and Events Manager Steven Hedlund. “We had about 800 attendees actively participate in last week’s virtual event, and we’ve never had more than 550 attendees at the in-person event. Because we opened up GOAL 2020 to all GAA individual and corporate members and eliminated the registration fee, we were able to expand our membership program through new memberships and new strategic partnerships with other member-based associations. Additionally, the program was one of the strongest to date, with 50 speakers, about two-thirds of which spoke at GOAL for the first time. These speakers may not have been available to join us this year had there been an in-person event.

“Though we were pleased with the outcome of GOAL 2020, we won’t rest on our laurels, as we’re already at work on improving the experience for next year. We’re looking at different ways of delivering GOAL-branded content throughout the year as well as the potential of a ‘hybrid’ experience with simultaneous in-person and virtual events,” added Hedlund.

Voting remains open for this year’s eighth annual Global Aquaculture Innovation Award, sponsored by Lineage Logistics. The three finalists are Mark Luecke of Prairie AquaTech, Simão Zacarias of the University of Stirling and Pablo Berner of Nuseed. GAA members are encouraged to read the Global Aquaculture Advocate articles and watch the live stream of each presentation, which was part of Session #8. The winner will be announced soon.

Next year, GOAL will return to Tokyo, Japan, from Oct. 25 to 28, featuring a “hybrid” experience with a simultaneous in-person and virtual event.

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.