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The following is a joint announcement from the San Marcos 2020 Convention Leadership team and the IPMS USA Executive Board. We jointly appreciate all the feedback we received regarding this year‘s convention. We’ve taken your comments and concerns into careful consideration, while maintaining an ongoing dialogue and negotiation with the Embassy Suites convention center in San Marcos. These negotiations have been proceeding carefully due to the significant financial exposure that IPMS would be subject to if we simply decided to cancel the convention unilaterally. We are now prepared to announce that the 2020 National Convention is officially canceled. While this may disappoint many, including your authors, we believe it is the prudent, safe and sensible thing to do. On a more positive note, we have been successful in negotiating the use of the Embassy Suites San Marcos location for the 2023 convention. Therefore, the rotation for the next three years, circumstances permitting, will be Las Vegas in 2021, Omaha in 2022, and San Marcos in 2023. Tentative dates for the 2023 convention will be August 2nd through the 5th. We are currently finalizing details of the contract with Embassy Suites and expect a finalized version within a week. For those who have registered already for the convention, we will be processing your refunds. For those who have booked hotel reservations at one of the convention center hotels, it will be up to you to cancel those on your own. Vendors will be refunded their money for tables as well through our vendor coordinator, Craig Gregory. Chapters and individuals who have sponsored contest categories may also receive refunds for their sponsorships. Again, we want to thank you all for your patience and support during these trying times, and hope that you recognize we have made the best possible decision for all under the circumstances. For any questions please contact John Noack at: IPMSPresident@ipmsusa.org Or Len Pilhofer at: email@example.com Respectfully submitted, Len Pilhofer, 2020 Convention Chairman John Noack IPMS USA President
The IPMS/USA Executive Board and the 2020 National Convention Planning Committee are still moving forward with planning and on-time execution of the 2020 convention. We are well aware of the plethora of challenges ahead of us in the next 90 days. There are many more unknowns than "knowns" at the moment. However, with the facts on-hand we feel the convention can still be held. The #1 consideration in planning is the health and well-being of all of our members. Some of you have reached out to me stating that since you are in a high-risk age or health group you are not willing to risk being exposed to COVID-19. We fully understand this and agree that if you are in a high-risk category, we feel that you are probably better off not coming even if all restrictions are lifted by late July. I have read many opinions on public forums over the past several weeks regarding the status of this summer’s convention. As a convention planner, the biggest item I pay attention to is the contract that IPMS/USA committed to with the hosting hotel, Embassy Suites, and their parent company, Atrium Hospitality. These contracts are generally written in favor of the hotel, i.e., the financial burden is on the guest (IPMS/USA) to produce the numbers expected for the hotel to make a profit. We could have balked at the contract when it was presented in 2018 but then the week we picked would have went to the next organization looking to host a convention. In other words, we have to play by the hospitality industry’s rules. If IPMS/USA were to back out of the contract without cause the financial burden on our society would be very substantial. Luckily, Embassy Suites in San Marcos is fully aware of the current COVID-19 situation - and in fact they are taking it in the shorts like all other hotels around the country - and have verbally agreed to work with us to execute a successful convention regardless of the contract language. This is good news for IPMS/USA. I am committed to working with Embassy Suites since they have been so good in working with us during the past couple of years to make our show a success. The biggest wild card that both the General Manager (of Embassy Suites) and I see at the moment are government-imposed restrictions on crowd sizes and public gatherings. This is the biggest factor we are keeping an eye on and is what will eventually dictate if we are FORCED to cancel. If there are public gathering restrictions or reductions in maximum occupancy rules in the local city and county, we will assess if we can still execute a convention based on the details of potential restrictions. AS OF RIGHT NOW THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS EXTENDING TO THE DATES OF THE CONVENTION. There may be many opinions and conjecture regarding restrictions in-place during the convention but as of today, they remain conjecture. I am not planning a convention based on conjecture and opinion…only facts. A lot of what the committee will plan in the coming months will be based on the numbers we see for pre-registrations and other convention related purchases. If we see low numbers - like we are seeing so far - we will scale back what we are spending money on. I have no more details on this other than we are looking at options that may produce a smaller-size convention than others in the past. It pains me to plan this way because I think I am the most excited IPMS member regarding this convention but I have to face the reality of what is happening in the world today. It’s not fair but it is happening. We will deal with it. Refunds: If you have spent money so far or if you want to spend money registering in the short-term be assured that IPMS/USA will refund any money if we are FORCED to cancel due to the public gathering restrictions I mention above. Unfortunately, there remain many more questions than we have answers for at the moment. I wish I had a crystal ball that could tell me/us exactly what the conditions on the ground will be this summer...but I don’t…the team has to plan with the best information it has at the moment. This is what we will do. I stand by to answer any questions any one of our members have regarding the 2020 convention. Please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org Best Regards Len Pilhofer – IPMS# 49932 Director, IPMS/USA National Convention 2020 www.nats2020.com
The 2020 convention items are now up and for sale on the IPMS web store. They can be accessed via the various pages of the convention website - www.nats2020.com - or directly via https://www.shopipmsusa.org/category-s/106.htm. Convention pre-registration will stay active and accessible via these web links until the 16th of June at a price of $55 for adults. After that registrations may be purchased on-site at the convention at a cost of $65 (for adults). While the planning committee is keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation across the country and especially here in Texas we are continuing planning for the convention. As usual, please send any questions to me at email@example.com.