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 new date, format, or have questions about ticket costs.
Why has the 2020 Conference been moved online?
We’ve listened to advice from the Government, and our Board has reflected on what would be safe and responsible even as social distancing rules are relaxed in the coming months. The health and safety of staff, attendees and volunteers is our priority. We also recognise that the sector must do its best to bounce back and we need to continue to support that by meeting our mission of “creating opportunities to connect and inspire the heritage community across the South West, for the benefit of organisations and their audiences.”. For those reasons, our Board has made the decision to take the conference digital in the Autumn (1 & 2 October).
Why has the date changed to 1 & 2 October 2020?
We needed to allow time to make any necessary changes to the programme we had been working on to ensure that the conference was as relevant as possible to current issues. We also felt that changing the date would mean that people who have been furloughed might be able to attend if we moved the date, and felt that it would also be better to allow extra time for tickets to be purchased given financial issues that many in the sector face.
How will I access the online conference?
The conference will be hosted on Zoom, and a link will be sent to ticket holders once it is created. We believe it is a simple platform to use, but if you are uncertain about whether you will find it easy enough to use, we recommend that you try and set up a test Zoom meeting with a friend or colleague so that you can see how it works: https://zoom.us
Will my ticket still be valid for the rescheduled date?
I bought a ticket before the changes to the Conference were announced - what are my options?
Can I transfer my ticket to someone else?
Yes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange this.
Can I get a refund on my conference ticket?
You can of course get a refund if you no longer are able to attend. 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.
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 to ensure disruption to the programme is minimised, however the day-to-day work 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 original 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 original 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
I am a member wishing to attend the AGM, which usually takes place during the conference. How will the AGM be affected?
This will be moved online, and further details will follow.
I have booked a Trade Stand - how will this work, or can I get a refund?
All trade stand bookings are still valid but as the event is now online, they will take a new format - we will be in touch with you about this. You can get a refund, but we encourage you to get in touch first by emailing email@example.com