The 2020 Annual Conference Has Been Cancelled

Due to the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the Innovation Research Interchange (IRI) will cancel the 2020 Annual Conference originally scheduled for May 12-15, in Philadelphia, PA. There is simply no safe way in which to conduct a large, in-person, annual conference in the coming weeks.

IRI’s first annual meeting was in 1939 and we have conducted them every year since. This is the first to be canceled. We know how to do a meeting, not doing a meeting is new for us and there are many threads that need to be unwound. It takes a year to put this conference together, it will take a few weeks to undo it and we are working to find ways for IRI members and others within the community of innovation managers to access the content that IRI was to deliver.

I know you have many questions and the IRI staff and Board of Directors will be working hard in the coming weeks to ensure all your concerns are addressed. In the meantime, I want to reassure everyone who paid the registration fee, including partners sponsoring or exhibiting at the meeting, that we will issue full refunds to you in the coming weeks. If you have made travel and/or hotel reservations, please cancel them.

If you have any questions regarding the refund process, please contact Mallory Smith, Vice President, Events & Networks at or by phone at 703-647-2600. Please be patient with us, you will receive your refund soon but IRI staff members, like many people around the world, are working remotely and quite frankly we were not prepared to do this remotely.

Currently, we are exploring options to bring you content in other formats. We are approaching this as an opportunity to bring new value in new ways to our members and are working hard to meet that challenge. Please continue to monitor our website in the coming week for more information. Our website will be the best source for IRI event updates. If there is some challenge you are facing, please make use of our Concierge service. If there are some procedures, metrics or policies you want benchmarked or if there is any way in which IRI and the community of your peers we represent can help – contact Erika Toman at or at 703/647-2590.

We have been in constant contact with our Board of Directors, and members of our committees who have worked tirelessly to organize the Annual Conference. I want to thank all of them for their incredible work and leadership during this difficult time. And I thank you for your patience, understanding, and unwavering commitment to the field of innovation and the IRI.