Due to advice from the UK Government about Covid-19, the South West Fed has taken the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 Conference & AGM. However, it is not cancelled (read the full statement here: https://www.swfed.org.uk/latest-news/2020/03/18/south-west-fed-statement-events-postponed-due-to-covid-19-advice/889).
Below are FAQs that we have put together to explain the situation further and to give you some guidance if you are affected by the postponement.
Is the 2020 Conference cancelled or postponed?
We have decided to postpone the conference due to UK Government advice about Covid-19. We are not planning to cancel the event.
When is the event taking place?
We are working with the venue, Bath Spa University, to arrange a new date. This is likely to be in Autumn, but it may take a few days or weeks to confirm a new date.
Will my ticket still be valid for the rescheduled date?
When will the programme be announced?
It might take several weeks or more to announce the programme. We were ready to announce the keynote speakers when the UK Government released advice about avoiding unnecessary social contact, and our whole programme was almost complete. We are working with the speakers and the venue to rearrange the date and ensure disruption to the programme is minimised, however the day-to-day work of the venue and of all our speakers is likely to be impacted and it may take a while for some speakers to recommit. Please bear with us while our volunteer Board members work to reschedule the programme. You can subscribe to our mailing list, visit our website, and follow our social media channels for further announcements.
I booked accommodation for the event, how can I get my money back?
A number of hotels and accommodation booking agencies are waiving their cancellation and/or booking amendment fees. We advise you to view their policies and discuss the situation with them. This article may be useful: https://www.dailypost.co.uk/whats-on/trips-breaks/coronavirus-airbnb-bookingcom-hotelscom-update-17926475
I booked travel to the event, how can I get my money back?
A number of travel operators are waiving fees to change and/or cancel tickets, however getting a full refund from an operator is likely to depend on your ticket type. In some cases, it may be better to wait until you can see if you can attend the new date so that you can simply amend the date of travel to avoid losing money.
National Rail has released advice here: https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations_destinations/coronavirus.aspx
National Express has released advice for coach travel with them here: https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/coronavirus
Can I get a refund on my conference ticket?
We are keen to encourage you to hold on until future announcements about a new date - we are very excited about the programme for the event and are working hard to make the event go ahead with minimal changes. Like many other small charities we are at risk of being negatively impacted by loss of income, we kindly ask for your patience until we are able to announce a rescheduled date. However, you can of course get a refund if you no longer are able to attend - your rights to ask for a refund remain unaffected. If you can no longer go, we would be extremely grateful if you could consider selling your ticket on to a colleague or friend.
Is there a fee if I need a refund?
As we are postponing the event rather than cancelling the event, the £5 fee still applies. This is because we need to pay a member of staff to process the refund.
How can I donate all or part of my ticket fee to the South West Fed if I can no longer go?
This would be extremely generous of you, and we would be very grateful to you for any such donation. In light of the Covid-19 crisis, Ticket Tailor, who we use to sell tickets through, have set-up a scheme to donate fees to which we are looking into. Please check back for information on that, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Several organisations are making their events online webinars instead - is this something you would consider?
Our Conferences are excellent opportunities to network and chat to others about challenges, ideas, experiences and opportunities. For us, replacing the conference with a webinar wouldn't allow such interaction, so we have no plans for this. However, we are looking into ways of sharing videos of our conference sessions for those who can't attend future conferences.
I am a member wishing to attend the AGM, which usually takes place during the conference. How will the AGM be affected?
We will be liaising with the Charity Commission and Companies House to understand our obligations and further details will follow.
I have booked a Trade Stand - will this be booked for the new date, or can I get a refund?
All trade stand bookings are still valid, and we encourage you to be patient until we find a new date, however we do understand many businesses will be affected by the current Covid-19 crisis. You can get a refund, but we encourage you to get in touch first by emailing email@example.com