September 2017

Long Range Planning Committee Update

David W. Polly, Jr., MD
Long Range Planning Committee Chair

The Long Range Planning Committee is charged with selecting locations and venues for the Annual Meeting and for IMAST. This year the committee was looking for 2020 locations in North America for the Annual Meeting and outside North America for IMAST. The committee looks carefully at a variety of factors, including amount of space, layout or “flow” of the space, hotel options, air access, cost and general appeal.

Austin, Denver, Phoenix, and Seattle were all proposed for the Annual Meeting with Auckland, New Zealand, Sydney, Australia and Santiago, Chile suggested for IMAST. Requests for Proposals were distributed to all venues. No venues with adequate space were available for requested dates in Austin or Denver. A new convention hotel in Seattle was, unfortunately, too far behind schedule for consideration this year. There were, however, several properties in Phoenix with available dates and adequate space. Following a site inspection in February and a careful review of all proposals, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge was selected.

No proposal was received from Santiago for IMAST. Auckland and Sydney both had promising submissions, although the new convention center in Auckland is still under construction. Although Auckland is an appealing city and the new center will be centrally located, construction was not far enough along to make a good assessment of space. The convention center in Sydney, Australia offers good space, an excellent location with good hotel choices and restaurants within easy walking distance, and direct flight access for many people, so it was selected.

Additionally, the Board of Directors decided in June that the 2018 Annual Meeting should be moved out of Seoul, South Korea due to concerns about growing tensions and increased military activity in that area. As a result, the committee was charged with finding a new location for next year’s meeting. To avoid conflict with other meetings, such as NASS and Eurospine, that have already been scheduled for fall dates in 2018, the committee wanted to stay with the original dates of October 10-13, which made finding a venue on relatively short notice somewhat more difficult.

Requests for proposals were sent to various locations in Asia and to Bologna, Italy, which had already submitted a proposal for a future meeting. Most could not provide the desired dates, but Bologna did and was felt to be the most promising of those that were available. A site inspection in early July confirmed that Bologna could be a good option for the meeting and it was put forth as first choice. The Board of Directors approved all three selections – Phoenix, Sydney, and Bologna – at their meeting in July.


Annual Meeting – Bologna, Italy – October 10-13
IMAST – Los Angeles, CA – July 11-14

Annual Meeting – Montreal, Canada – September 18-21
IMAST – Amsterdam, Netherlands – July 17-20

Annual Meeting – Phoenix, AZ – September 9-12
IMAST – Sydney, Australia – July 15-18


Chair: David W. Polly, Jr. Committee: Kenneth MC Cheung, Chair Elect; John P. Dormans, Past Chair; Henry F.H. Halm, IMAST; Ferran Pellisé, Global Outreach; Ronald A. Lehman, Jr., IMAST; Benny T. Dahl, WWC