United Soccer Coaches 2021 Convention Moving to Interactive Digital Experience in Wake of COVID-19
Pictures from United Soccer Coaches Convention 2020 remind us if how much has changed in just months since the pandemic was declared in March.
The news is simple, practical, and ever so frustrating.
The annual United Soccer Coaches Convention, which takes place every January is now the latest in the casualties of the Coronavirus. Impossible to be sure it can safely hold a convention in Anaheim in January 2021, United Soccer Coaches’ Convention has moved from in-person to interactive digital.
The Convention is a crowning event in the soccer landscape with high-level speakers, informative sessions, a cool exhibit floor, and endless deal-making.
In my never-ending hours with the computer screen, punctuated by the endless stretch of Zoom meetings, there was the thought of the convention in January being the celebratory moment where so many of us in the soccer world would all come together with the pandemic behind us.
Looking forward to this event served as a beacon of sunshine in these dim days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the realization that an in-person convention in January 2021 is not in anyone’s best interest, United Soccer Coaches has intelligently moved this event into an interesting Interactive Digital Experience.
A commendable decision, now attendees can look forward to at least connecting, learning, and hopefully deal-making, even if it digitally.
“We’re very excited about the United Soccer Coaches Digital Convention. It opens up the whole world of presenters and creates unique opportunities for connecting our soccer coaching community,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO of United Soccer Coaches.
“We had hoped that Anaheim21 would be the soccer celebration when we got to the other side of Covid19, but you can’t create a bubble for 15,000 people!”Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO of United Soccer Coaches
“Three months ago we started exploring options that we honestly couldn’t imagine needing to use.”Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO of United Soccer Coaches
“We were amazed at the innovative and engaging events people were creating around the world for all different industries. We’ve learned from them, selected the most interesting opportunities, and are adapting them for our soccer community,” said Berling-Manuel.
“There will be a Grand Exhibit Hall, networking and social opportunities, a Digital Job Fair, the All-America Awards ceremony for college, club and high school players, and much more. We’re talking to both NWSL and MLS about their College Drafts, so there is a lot to look forward to.”
“The Digital Convention will be uniquely affordable and include all of the sessions in a recorded form so it’s accessible to every soccer coach.”Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO of United Soccer Coaches
“As always, our Convention is a United Soccer Coaches member event, but new coaches to our association are welcome and can join as part of the registration process. Our members are soccer coaches at all levels — youth, college, high school, and pro. It’s an extraordinary community and makes us the largest coaches association of any sport,” added Berling-Manuel.
“The 2021 United Soccer Coaches Convention is the 80th anniversary of both our association and our first Convention.”Lynn Berling-Manuel, CEO of United Soccer Coaches
“It has been the can’t-miss annual event for generations of soccer coaches. We have progressed with the times to reflect the changes in our game and the Digital Convention is one of those steps. We will be in-person again in Kansas City, Mo. in 2022, but I’m sure with what we learn this year it will also have new features and innovations. That’s what makes each Convention both fresh and familiar!”
Here is the statement released by United Soccer Coaches today with the announcement that the convention in Anaheim, California is canceled and the event will be digital for 2021.
United Soccer Coaches Statement on Convention 2021:
Due to the ever-changing conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and for the safety of members, partners, presenters, exhibitors and colleagues, United Soccer Coaches announced today that the coaching association’s annual Convention scheduled for January 6-10, 2021 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. will become an interactive digital event.
“While the loss of an in-person event is disappointing, we are excited to deliver our Convention in this new interactive digital format for 2021,” said Lynn Berling-Manuel, United Soccer Coaches CEO. “This continues as a remarkable opportunity to unite coaches and the larger soccer community across the country and around the world. Now it’s from the convenience of their own homes and will still foster a real sense of personal connection in these uncertain times.”
The annual Convention is the ultimate event for coaches of all levels, unparalleled in its opportunity for education, networking, advocacy, and recognition. All of those opportunities and more will now be delivered in an interactive digital form.
Over the course of the week, attendees will be able to choose from a wide daily schedule of lecture, field, and roundtable sessions just like they would at an in-person Convention. Sessions will be accompanied by interactive features allowing for conversation between peers and the session presenters. In addition to educational sessions, attendees will also be able to foster connections with fellow coaches through digital networking events, awards ceremonies, wellness breaks, and Hallway conversations.
“During this time of unprecedented interruption in our lives, we can always find comfort in the soccer community we are tied to.” United Soccer Coaches President Kevin Sims said. “With change comes the opportunity to create, and the association is well-equipped and committed to create an unmatched digital experience to deliver to its 2021 Convention attendees.”
More details on the Digital Convention will be unveiled soon including the Digital Exhibit Hall, Career Fair, awards, Advocacy Hour, receptions, socials and presenters from across the game.