ICFA 41: COVID-19, Cancellations, and Credits/Refunds
By Skye Cervone In IAFA, ICFA On March 5, 2020
As a result of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the news about COVID-19, the IAFA board would like to take this opportunity to issue an update on ICFA 41.
The conference will meet.
We have to meet certain guaranteed minimums for room occupancy, food and beverage expenditures, etc., specified in our contract with the hotel, or pay out of pocket. It is not an exaggeration to say that cancellation would jeopardize the very existence of the IAFA.
The first concern of the board members is members’ safety and well-being. We urge IAFA members to proactively research COVID-19 and consult status reports through reputable sources such as the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/), and the Florida department of health (http://www.floridahealth.gov/
So far, nothing that has been posted suggests that travel to Orlando poses any significant risk, so those who cancel travel to Orlando at this time may not be covered by their travel insurance. However, we do understand the current level of concern, and we also understand that some members may think that they cannot take any risk traveling at this time for personal health reasons or proximity to immunocompromised individuals.
Because of the extraordinary circumstances, we are crediting registration for those who cancel as a result of the outbreak. This credit must be used within 2 years. We will provide refunds to people from countries under travel restrictions. Because we are required to have final numbers for rooms and meals to the hotel a week before the conference, we will provide credits or refunds only to people who cancel by 5p EST on March 9, 2020.
If you are most comfortable canceling your attendance, do please email me at once, and I will inform all relevant stakeholders. If you have hotel reservations at the Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside, please do NOT cancel your reservation directly through the hotel, or we will lose the room from our block. Instead, e-mail Jeri Zulli (email@example.com) with the date range and confirmation number. Jeri will take care of the paperwork. Likewise, if you need a room, please reach out to Jeri at once.
The board is discussing a number of ways to make it possible for people not able to attend physically but who wish to have their work included in some way to do so. We will make an official announcement before the March 9 deadline.
I will soon send around an email addressing logistical concerns for those traveling to attend the conference.
–Karen Hellekson, IAFA Registrar (firstname.lastname@example.org)