Conference Contingency Plan

ASHE Conference Contingency Plan

Approved by the ASHE Board of Directors March 19, 2020
The Executive Director and President will work collaboratively to update members on the status of contingency planning. The Executive Director will serve as the chief organizational spokesperson in regard to conference and operational contingency planning. The President will provide communications to the membership and conference registrants as they relate to strategic decisions made by the board and the reasons behind decisions. The final decision to alter the conference is vested with the Board of Directors.
The following steps will be taken leading up to decisions regarding any change to a place-based conference:

  1. The Executive Director will monitor relevant organizations and entities, such as the CDC, WHO, peer organizations, weather-related organizations, state laws, and hotel operations.

  2. The Executive Director will maintain contact with hotel venues and relevant vendors in anticipation of any potential event threat.

  3. The Executive Director will regularly update the President, Executive Committee, and Board of any potential conference threats.

  4. The Executive Director and President will update the membership as necessary, including the posting of this plan, as well as FAQs on our website. 

  5. When it may be necessary to cancel, re-schedule, and/or re-imagine the annual conference, the Executive Director will present financial, logistical, and member-impact risks and opportunities to the President, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will make the final decision as to which of these options is in the best interests of the organization.    

  6. When presented with the decision of canceling, re-scheduling, or re-imagining an annual conference, the Board should consider financial and logistical implications but must prioritize the health, well-being, and safety of a substantial number of conference attendees and/or the local community (e.g., traveling into an area damaged by a hurricane). 

  7. Just as the President and program chair(s) are responsible for providing leadership for the annual conference (e.g. theme, presidential sessions, keynotes and special initiatives) when it is place-based, the president and program chair(s) will have the primary role in determining content for a later or re-imagined virtual conference. If a later or re-imagined virtual conference is planned that allows opportunities for Council and preconference content, the Council chairs and preconference chairs will retain leadership for that content, as they would in a place-based conference.

  8. If the board decides a conference is re-scheduled, re-imagined, or canceled:

    1. The Executive Director will bring to the President, Executive Committee, and then Board options and recommendations for whether a full refund or a prorate of paid conference, preconference, professional development, sponsorship and/or exhibitor fees will be granted.

    2. The decision of whether to provide a full refund or a prorate of paid registration fees will be made by board vote.

    3. If the conference is re-scheduled or re-imagined, accepted papers and sessions will remain accepted and ASHE will make a reasonable attempt to create a venue for sharing (e.g., a repository, virtual presentations, digital upload).

    4. If a conference is not canceled, re-scheduled, or re-imagined but a large portion of the membership is adversely impacted by an event, ASHE will issue a full refund  or a prorate of paid conference, pre-conference, and/or professional development to the re-scheduled or re-imagined conference or the next year's conference to members impacted.