In what likely marks a move toward virtual defense trade shows over the next year and possibly beyond as a way to save costs, the Air Force Association (AFA) on July 6 said that it will hold its three-day 2020 Air, Space and Cyber Conference virtually, as COVID-19 infections have risen in 39 states.

The online event will begin Sept. 14 and will feature conference sessions on air, space, and cyber operations. Sessions will include live addresses from senior Air Force, U.S. Space Force, and industry leaders, according to AFA.

The event will include a virtual exhibit hall highlighting cutting-edge industry developments and demonstrations, online meetings, and interactive presentations.

AFA’s president, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, said the decision to move the traditional in-person event to online stemmed from AFA’s recognition that “a safe, high-caliber, in-person” conference for 12,000 attendees would be impossible.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, state and county directives, and “feedback from prospective speakers, attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, Airmen, and Space Professionals” led to AFA’s decision, Wright said.

AFA is to post details on the September conference on its website.