The annual meeting of the American Bar Association, which had been scheduled to take place July 29 to Aug. 4 in Chicago, will instead be virtual, held entirely online over those same days.

The ABA Board of Governors decided today that the safety of staff, members and affiliated organizations called for cancellation of the live event, according to an ABA statement released today.

“While we will not meet in person this summer in Chicago, I am pleased that we will nonetheless gather together to continue our important work,” ABA President Judy Perry Martinez said in the statement. “The ABA will present our annual meeting this year with a fresh, new approach to our always informative and inspiring event that so many of us and our families look forward to.”

Nearly 500 meetings and events had been scheduled for the annual meeting, as well as the annual meetings of the Board of Governors to discuss the association’s business matters and the House of Delegates to consider policy proposals, the ABA Journal reports.

The virtual meeting will be free to ABA members. The ABA says it will include access to influential speakers relevant to the legal profession and the highest quality programming with a revised schedule to accommodate members’ locations and time.

It will also include governance and business meetings, CLE Showcase programs, virtual networking opportunities, General Assembly with the presentation of the ABA Medal, and the House of Delegates.

Read more about the meeting at the ABA’s website.