The New Virtual Venue

Though the virtual venue was not what we had in mind when we began to plan the 2021 OAH Annual Meeting, we are excited to invite you to this new space for circulating American history and connecting American historians. This new space will provide an opportunity for American historians from various backgrounds, career levels, and resources to indulge in the scholarship, community, and networking that many have enjoyed at the in-person event. The venue will eradicate the dreaded conflicting sessions, allowing you to see as much content as you desire‒for up to 30 days after the live event! The venue is also designed to be chock full of opportunities to meet, connect, discuss, and engage your peers and colleagues within the 2 dimensional space.

The 2021 OAH Annual Meeting will continue to offer quality education, live networking and engagements, and access to publishers and resources as it has always done…just a little differently.

Our new Virtual Venue is designed to mimic familiar features to simplify how you navigate the conference.

The Lobby

#OAH21 Virtual Conference Lobby showing links to the Networking lounges, Breakout Hall and Exhibit Hall

You will first be welcomed to the OAH Lobby. From this space you can navigate to the Auditorium, Lounges, and Exhibit Hall. The lobby includes a help desk where you can chat live to OAH staff either via type or one-on-one video. You will use this space to:

  • Complete your profile – your profile is a virtual representation of yourself, and without it others will not be able to identify you in order to communicate and engage with you
  • Navigate from one area to another (you can return to the lobby from any other virtual space at any time)
  • Connect with OAH staff for help, information, or just to say hello
  • View daily welcome videos – these will highlight what is happening every day of the conference


From the lobby, you will navigate to the Auditorium. These rooms will house all the live and on-demand sessions. All live sessions will be recorded, so if you miss it, you can go back and watch it later.


The venue will house various networking lounges where attendees will be invited to congregate to meet and interact. Join a group chat or invite a colleague to a one-on-one video chat. Visit the lounges at set times to take part in various virtual receptions!

Exhibit Hall

Just like at the in-person meeting, the virtual conference will include a fully interactive exhibit hall where you can browse exhibits and their offerings, talk to exhibitors, and complete your annual American history book binge!

The Virtual Venue offers options to converse, network, and engage your peers in essentially every virtual room you enter!

Chat Feature

The Virtual Venue will include an area within essentially every virtual space for you to engage with other attendees, session participants, or exhibitors. The area, located on the lower portion of the screen, will be designated for group conversations. You will be able to see who is in the space with you in the side bar and chat to them while in the same room. If you see a friend, "whisper" to them and invite them to a one-on-one video call!

Image showing the chat feature in the platform, including group chat or private messaging.

Search Attendees

Just like at the in-person conference, unless you happen to bump into someone in a shared space, you can often attend an entire conference and miss seeing your friends. The virtual platform will offer the opportunity to search for friends and message them if they are online. Make plans to meet up for coffee at one of the various lounges or booths!


Networking lounges will be available for the duration of the conference. These lounges will house special events and receptions. Join at scheduled times for planned events or pop-in at your convenience.

The Hallway

Live sessions limited to 90 minutes, but discussions can last much longer. The Hallway will be available for you to carry on those conversations started within the live sessions.

Discussion Hall

The presenters of On-demand sessions will host discussion groups based on their sessions at various times Friday through Sunday of the scheduled conference. Check out the schedule ahed of time to be able to meet up and ask your questions. 

With over 150 sessions and workshops at our in-person conference, most attendees only get to view a handful of sessions. At our virtual conference, you will be able to watch as many as you like.

Live Sessions

A selection of live sessions will be available during the conference dates. Interact with fellow attendees and session participants and take part in live Q&As. Can't make the session? All live sessions will be recorded and available to view after the session has ended for up to 30 days following. If conversations last longer than the standard 90 minutes, carry them over to the Hallway, a lounge designed specifically for this purpose.


Workshops will be presented live via Zoom. Pre-registered attendees can link to the Zoom Room via their registration listing in the OAH User Portal. 

On-demand Sessions

On-demand sessions will be available to watch anytime during the conference and for 30 days following. Some on-demand sessions will  host discussion groups in the Discussion Hall between Friday and Sunday of the conference.

Chat Room Seminars

Chat Room Seminars will take place in the Discussion Hall.

The Breakout Hall - OAH 21 (select a category, scroll through a list of available sessions, Read through abstracts, bios, and access supplemental material.

The Virtual Exhibit Hall includes all the access to resources and networking opportunities that you would expect at an in-person conference!

Exhibit Hall

OAH21 Virtual Exhibit Hall showing exhibitor booths and navigation

The Exhibit Hall is made up of several sections. Exhibits will include the exhibitor's links to books and discounts, information, videos, and supplemental material. Each booth will also include the ability to chat live with the exhibit personnel or anyone else in the booth via the chat window, or in one-on-one video chat!

You will be able to wander the hall in two ways: You may move from section to section within the exhibit hall or from booth to booth. Looking for someone in particular? Just search for them in the search bar.

"Hey, I Know Your Work" Mentorship Program

Graduate students, recent graduates, or early-career historians will be able to meet with established scholars to discuss research, professional aspirations, or simply to get acquainted. Mentors and Mentees will be able to meet at the Mentorship Booth for one-on-one conversations! (Information on the mentorship program will be available soon!)

Other Features:

Museum Displays

History Plunge - Trivia Nights