AGU Fall Meeting draws over 20,000 geoscientists each year. Over four decades, AGU Fall Meeting has been held in downtown San Francisco. This location has become dramatically more expensive while also feeling impacts of local policy decisions that have been widely reported in the media, leading some other professional events to spurn the location. Multi-year renovations at the Moscone Center led AGU Fall Meeting to be in New Orleans for 2017 and Washington, D.C. for 2018. This venue change was very widely lauded as these locations are convenient to fly to and accessible via Amtrak, as noted in the announcment of rotating cities for future AGU Fall Meetings.
As I noted in my observations on 2017 AGU Fall Meeting, cost and difficulty of travel to the conference has been increasingly a detractor leading some senior thought leaders to not attend AGU Fall Meeting. This new rotating venue setup may see those people and in addition undergraduates for whom AGU Fall Meeting was too expensive to attend have at least a 1 in 3 year or 2 in 3 year chance of attending. While the value proposition of AGU Fall Meeting is definitely distinct from discipline-specific conferences for each attendee, rotating cities maximizes value to attendees overall.