Special Announcement

AIEC 2021 goes fully virtual

Page last updated: 6 August 2021 10 am

IDP and IEAA have made the difficult decision to move the 2021 conference to a fully online experience. The virtual conference will still be held from Tuesday 5 to Friday 8 October 2021.

This decision has been driven by the current COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns imposed in several Australian states and the unpredictability of sudden and more frequent interstate border closures.

While we know this is disappointing, we are committed to supporting our sector through these trying times.
By offering the conference in a virtual format, we will broaden the learning opportunities and reach within the sector as now all attendees will be able to participate regardless of their location. AIEC is an opportunity to meet with industry leaders and our peers to share and learn from our collective experiences and to strengthen our sector for the future.

We encourage you to visit the conference website to view this year’s exciting program and to register for the virtual conference.

We look forward to working with our partners, sponsors and speakers to prepare for an engaging virtual delivery and interactive experience through the AIEC Virtual Attendee Hub.

We would like to thank our destination partners, Study Gold Coast, Study Queensland and Destination Gold Coast, and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for their support and understanding. A date for a future Gold Coast conference has not yet been confirmed.

Delegates, exhibitors, sponsors and partners will receive more detailed information relating to their participation in the coming days. Information on our website will also be updated as details are confirmed.

We thank you for your support and invite you to join us online in October for what could be the most important AIEC of our time.

Andrew Barkla, Chief Executive Officer, IDP
Phil Honeywood, Chief Executive Officer, IEAA

What does this mean for your registration?

In-person delegates  

Your registration will be automatically converted to a virtual registration. 

The difference between your in-person registration and the equivalent virtual registration ticket price will be reimbursed. If you have registered and paid for any additional social events this will also be refunded. 

You will receive a notification once your registration has been converted and the partial refund has been applied to the card you used for payment.  

Virtual delegates  

If you have already registered as a virtual delegate, this means you don’t need to do anything.   

AIEC will keep you up to date with the latest conference announcements. We very much look forward to hosting you virtually this October.  

What does this mean for speakers?

All sessions will now be delivered online via our Cvent powered virtual platform, the Virtual Attendee Hub (VAH).

The transition to a virtual program means that all presentations in your session must now be pre-recorded and submitted four weeks prior to the conference. If you are a speaker, you will receive an email with detailed instrutions on how to prepare for your session, how to record your presentation and when and how to submit it in time. 

You will also need to attend a Speaker Training information session to help you prepare for the day of your presentation.  

We do not expect many changes to the program schedule, so your session date and time are not likely to change. However, please note that all times are listed in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT).

What does it mean for sponsors and exhibitors?

If you are a sponsor or exbibitor, the Sposorship and Exhibition Manager will be in touch to discuss your specific package and virtual inclusions.

Depending on your package, you may be entitled to a full or partial refund as per the terms and conditions.

Resources and useful links

IDP Education

Information and FAQs for international students, including how IDP counsellors can help, changes to IDP events and changes to IELTS testing.


IDP Connect

IDP Connect offers its partners additional services and guidance throughout this challenging time.


International Education Association of Australia

Information regarding changes to IEAA events, news and resources regarding COVID-19.


Global Reputation Taskforce

On 21 January 2020, the Australian Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, announced the formation of the Global Reputation Taskforce (Taskforce), under the leadership of the Council for International Education. The Taskforce was formed to shape Australia’s response in times of reputational damage or significant external risk to the sector, and to accelerate efforts to build a strong cohesive national brand for international education.


Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment

DESE has numerous fact sheets for students, parents, schools, vocational and higher education providers.


Australian Department of Home Affairs

Key information on travel restrictions or international travellers, temporary visa holders outside Australia and more.


Study in Australia

These webpages are curated by Austrade, and its Study Australia partners, to assist international students to stay informed.


Australian Government Department of Health

This site contains important health information about COVID-19, the symptoms, who is at risk, how it spreads, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.


World Health Organisation (WHO)

Find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of COVID-19.



Austrade is working closely with the network of government departments and industry agencies to help Australian businesses overcome complex and fast-evolving COVID-19–related challenges.


Study Australia

Study in Australia is the Australian Government's official resource for international students.




AIEC 2021 Key dates

20 September: Virtual platform launches

5-8 October 2021: Conference