WQA cancels 2020 Convention in light of COVID-19
Guidance from health organizations led to the ‘extremely difficult’ decision
LISLE, Ill -- After much deliberation in the wake of rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Water Quality Association has canceled its 2020 Convention & Exposition, originally scheduled for Orlando, Fla., April 1-3.
“We understand the great importance of this signature water treatment industry event to our members, exhibitors, dealers, clients and other attendees, so this was an extremely difficult decision for us,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “But, in the end, our concerns for attendees’ health and safety, and related travel restrictions imposed on many of our exhibitors and attendees, left us with no choice.”
Two recommendations in particular helped the association reach its final decision:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified COVID-19 a pandemic and repeated its call for comprehensive strategies to prevent infections, save lives and minimize the virus’ impact.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued clear guidelines advising that community-based organizations cancel gatherings of more than 250 people.
More than 3,000 drinking water industry executives were expected to attend the event at the Orange County Convention Center, with some of them coming to town a day early to participate in the 2020 WQA Business Boot Camp on March 31. The convention was to include a trade show April 2-3, plus dozens of education sessions, many of them offering Continued Professional Development credit toward recertification. WQA now is investigating what alternatives might be offered.
WQA is working on reimbursement procedures and will keep members and registered convention exhibitors and attendees informed through email and through the conference website, wqa.org/convention. Attendees will need to cancel their own hotel and travel arrangements directly. Be sure to review cancellation policies to understand requirements and avoid penalties.