The US comedian and movie director, Woody Allen, once said that 80% of success is showing up. When it comes to professional meetings, there’s more than a little truth in his claim. Think about an Academy of Management (AoM) annual meeting. It would be a rather short and uninteresting event if only a few showed up. Charles Jamison presided over the second meeting of the AoM in Philadelphia back in 1934. There were 24 attendees. Jump ahead to 2000 when Dave Whetten presided over an AoM meeting in Toronto with more than 5500 attendees drawn from a membership exceeding 11,000. There were thousands of opportunities to hear paper presentations at competitively-selected panel sessions, symposia, caucus meetings, keynote addresses, receptions, and informal gatherings. I wouldn’t guarantee that every paper or presentation was ready for verbatim publication in one of the AoM journals. But there were in 2000 and continues to be in 2012 great opportunities to see, hear and learn from a diverse group of scholars and scholarship at AoM meetings. And it happens in one place over a few days. Quantity has a quality all its own. And when you show up, you promote both.
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