When AEO envisioned the conference theme, Resilient: Small Businesses Strengthening Local Economies, we could not have predicted how our theme would have come to life for small businesses across the country. The advent of COVID-19 has required small businesses to pivot due to the stress and shock of economic upheaval, and AEO must shift as well. While the current public health emergency will prevent AEO from hosting its annual conference in-person, our team, board, and partners have come together to build a replacement that takes advantage of multiple platforms and engagement mechanisms to maximize exposure, dialogue, and most critically, expand our impact well beyond our original audience. 

Our conference has served to equip practitioners and industry leaders with tools, latest trends, best practices, and networking opportunities. It serves as a hub of innovation and thought leadership, provoking ideas to help Main Street rise to its full potential. This is what makes AEO the great marketplace it has become known to be.  

We are committed to mobilizing our efforts to craft an experience that encompasses some of the traditional elements of the conference, but is relevant to the current climate and needs of our AEO community.  In the new format, attendees will have opportunities to engage each other and interact with compelling content. This includes:  

  • Opportunities to attend a virtual series that combines a live town hall, virtual coffee breaks, compelling stories from Main Street businesses, and networking with colleagues during a virtual happy hour. 
  • A knowledge center with resources and ways for attendees to watch at their own pace, if unable to attend each live session.  
  • A digital community that will allow attendees to discover and share newest insights with uploaded videos, like AEO’s signature TimTalks. (TIM is Transformation in Microfinance) 
  • A dynamic platform for our audience to hear from a diverse group of speakers, including celebrity speakers such as Roland Martin and Soledad O’brien.  

We know that conference closeout can be tedious, that’s why we’ve made it easy. Many of you who are consistent attendees have already asked about applying your registration to next year’s conference.  Not only can you secure the price you paid this year and transfer your registration, but you can also participate in other innovative initiatives we’ve created to help Main Street now.  

Additionally, we will take care of canceling all rooms booked through AEO’s room block. Lastly, as most airlines have created policies to be flexible, we encourage you to seek opportunities to recover any funds spent on airfare. 

Over the upcoming weeks, we will be in touch to share next steps about this exciting and dynamic new experience. We can’t wait to attend, watch, and discover with you! 

Attendee Registration Allocation

In order to designate how you would like AEO to apply, refund, or administer your 2020 conference attendee registration. Complete the form linked below. If there are multiple registrants from your organization, each registrant must submit a form.