March 10, 2020 – The following is a letter from GAWDA President Abydee Butler Moore addressed to GAWDA Members. To read the letter in its entirety, click here.
At this point, our GAWDA Spring Management Conference is on schedule and on track. We are monitoring the COVID-19 national and international activity, working with the hotel and event facilities closely, and preparing a contingency plan in the event of worsening conditions in the weeks approaching our conference. Our SMC is still over 3 weeks out, and a lot can change in that time period.
We have been assured by the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau that the city continues to be open for business. There are no travel restrictions or advisories in the domestic U.S., which includes the State of Texas and Austin. The city is focused on mitigation strategies to protect the community and its visitors as it relates to events being held in the next few months. The city has released guidelines for planners and organizers of events to more proactively increase preventative measures and require mitigation plans for events in the region applying to mass gatherings of 2,500 people or more. Events with fewer than 2,500 people like ours are advised to proceed as normal.
We respect that some of our members with international presence in affected areas may have business travel restrictions. We ask that you advise us of those and we will gladly offer registration refunds should the issue still be present the week prior to the SMC.
The safety and well-being of our members is our utmost concern, and we are responsibly monitoring this situation as the weeks progress.
Think positive thoughts, and wash your hands.
See you in Austin!