In light of Gov. Tom Wolf’s latest announcement that indoor gatherings of 25 or more people are now prohibited, it is no longer feasible for the venue to accommodate our August conference, as they do not have an outdoor space available, nor do they offer catering services beyond in-house dining.
Based on incoming registrations, we were in a good position to make the most of a rescheduled conference and still offer a meaningful experience for those in attendance. However, our attendees already exceed the 25-person mark, and that doesn’t include guest speakers, hotel staff and servers, among other limitations that make public gathering difficult during these unprecedented circumstances.
With this in mind, we are no longer able to hold our 2020 Conference. Executive Director Paula Piatt and I have spoken with hotel management, and they have agreed to cancel our contract with a high likelihood of a full refund of our deposit, pending ownership approval.
The plan is to still hold a virtual awards ceremony for our membership to enjoy. Paula also will be reaching out to all conference registrants and sponsors to discuss refund options. More information will be forthcoming in both of those areas.
I would sincerely like to thank Paula, the conference committee, the POWA board and officers, as well as all who volunteered their time and talents to host breakout activities, speak during seminars, offer financial support, donate merchandise, or lend a helping hand in various capacities.
We have invested countless hours in trying to make this year’s event a success, and we were confident we could pull it off with necessary modifications to our original schedule and enhanced safety measures, but a microscopic virus (which we are all beyond frustrated with at this point) had other plans.
I appreciate everyone’s understanding in making this difficult decision, and I hope you and your families stay safe during these difficult times.
POWA Board Chairman/Conference Chair