The National FFA Organization has announced that the 2020 National FFA Convention and Expo will be held virtually this year. National FFA CEO Mark Peoschl says that “After a discussion with the Board of Directors, the decision was made to move forward with a virtual experience in 2020.”
He says as they continued to plan for the national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other challenges, made hosting their in-person event impossible this year. This year’s event will still be hosted by the 2019-2020 National FFA Officer Team and continue the tradition of celebrating and inspiring hundreds of thousands of FFA members who will become the next generation of leaders.
Planning and moving the event to a virtual platform is underway and more details will be released late this summer. “We are, of course, leaning on our own group of in-house professionals to help us map out what that virtual experience will look like and needs to look like,” says Peoschl. “We will engage external professionals as well to make sure that we can pull this off in a very professional way and in a way that’s very meaningful for students. And, as we map out what the specifics of the virtual experience will look like, we intend to make an announcement on August 12 that will give a lot more details about the convention itself and how we’re going to execute this.”
Peoschl says the virtual experience will include many of the same features students expect from an in-person event. “We are going to of course continue to have general sessions, keynotes and retiring addresses, awards will be presented. But we are also working on what we think will be a very unique virtual experience for our FFA Blue Room. We intend to have a way to present our expo in a virtual fashion. We are also investigating how we can provide a concert experience for students. So, many of the same types of things that students would expect to see when they come to Indianapolis, but just having to do it on a virtual platform.”
“I know that these decisions are disappointing to young people who look forward to this kind of event every year,” Peoschl said. “We just feel that in order for us to be responsible for the health and safety for our guest, we have to move in this direction, but we look forward to a 2021 event that will be very, very special. And, I will also say, that in the process of making this decision in 2020, we’ve also agreed to extend our stay in Indianapolis with our National FFA Expo and Convention for two more years. So, that means Indianapolis will be the host of our event through 2033.”
“While the convention will look, a little different this year than what we’re used to, FFA members around the country have proven their willingness to not only adapt but create meaningful experiences while celebrating FFA and agricultural education,” says Kolesen McCoy, National FFA President.
The convention will occur virtually during the week of October 28, as previously planned. Learn more at FFA.org.