The Strategic Partners for Excellence in Spiritual Care are actively monitoring the COVID-19 (commonly known as the coronavirus) situation as it relates to our 20/20 Vision Conference (May 2020). The health and safety of our attendees, members, and staff are our paramount priority.
We are committed to providing updates and information as the COVID-19 situation continues via email and postings to this webpage.
Date: March 13, 2020
The Strategic Partners for Excellence in Spiritual Care are aware that the Governor of Ohio and the Director of the Ohio Department of Health have placed a temporary and indefinite ban on all gatherings of 100 people or more throughout the state.
At present the organizers of the 2020 conference are in consultation with the various conference locations including the Huntington Convention Center, the conference hotels and the city of Cleveland to review our options regarding canceling or postponing the event.
Because the order banning gatherings does not have an expiration date, the organizers are looking at all the variables before we make a final determination. These variables include what is best for our members and attendees, Speaker and venue contracts, attrition clauses, legal liability and the possibility that the ban will be lifted in less than 60 days.
We know how significant canceling this event will be, so the organizers want to be sure that we use the proper time, temperament and judgement before making the final decision. We will have an update for you by the end of this week of March 16th after we have gathered and reviewed additional information.
Date: March 9, 2020
We are closely monitoring the Covid-19 (Coronavirus virus) developments through the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. This is a fluid and evolving situation. While some large conferences and events have recently been canceled, it is important to point out that those events were due to begin later this month, while our conference is still more than 8 weeks away and altering plans right now would be premature.
As we continue to prepare for our Vision 20/20 Conference, we remain confident in the preparation by the Huntington Convention Center and our host hotels to ensure a safe environment. We realize this situation could change but currently, we are proceeding with hosting our joint conference and look forward to welcoming you to Cleveland, OH.
We will continue to provide you timely updates and information over the coming weeks and during the conference. We appreciate your patience and confidence as we work together to make the best-informed decisions to ensure your health and safety.
We feel confident moving forward with our plans because we remain in close communication with the convention center and the host hotels. They are taking all the protective steps, as well as all the onsite precautionary measures, to maintain a healthy environment. This includes protocols for cleaning staff, increasing frequency of disinfecting and cleaning most commonly touched areas, posting information, and maintaining communication with local health agencies. They have a big stake in making this a virus-free and successful event.
We have received a few cancellation requests, and some of your employers have issued travel restrictions and/or restrictions on attending conferences. We understand and respect those precautionary decisions. This may affect some folks, but not the majority of conference attendees.
To help you and the conference planners, we extended the cancellation deadline until Friday, May 1st to provide you more time to consider your best choice.
To date we have more than 1,300 individuals who have registered, and we continue to receive registrations. We have four excellent plenary speakers, and nearly 100 other workshops and events for attendees.
Factors we need to consider for cancelling the event would be:
- A government ban on travel
- Closure of the Huntington Convention Center by the Ohio Department of Public Health
- Closure of our host hotels
From our risk management perspective, we are being advised that cancelling an event without one of these factors involved could result in loss of insurance coverage obtained to protect the event and us as host organizations. We have tabulated the costs right now to be over one million dollars, including contractual obligations for hotel rooms, food and beverage orders, convention center fees, audio visual and labor contracts, exhibit hall and audio recording services, travel, and many other costs. While we realize that finances are not the driving factor, we also need to be good stewards of your, our members’, financial resources.
So, we ask for your continued patience and partnership with us, as we learn more.
We look forward to a wonderful, historic gathering in Cleveland. If you have not yet made your reservations, please visit our conference website for more details.