3 March 2020
With some events cancelling in Europe, a few people are asking questions about the Associations World Congress. The AAE continues to plan confidently and has NO plans to postpone or cancel.
We are grateful for the continued support of our partners, delegates (8 registrations last week and ahead on bookings at this same stage last year), speakers, sponsors and exhibitors who continue to plan for the congress, and we have not experienced any significant impact so far.
The local government in Portugal considers the Associations Congress, which is a private specialist event of c.400 attendees as low risk. Portugal has the lowest occurences of Covid-19 in Europe and with its extensive preparation and resources in place it is expected to remain so. This, along with advice on continuing to fly to non-restricted areas from the WHO (more info), there is a low risk in attending.
The AAE team will maintain close contact with the event partners and relevant authorities, monitoring the situation regularly, but is also focused on producing what is an important event for the association community.
We are taking specialist advice and have local resources for appropriate hygiene, health and other measures. I assure you that all appropriate measures will be in place for the congress.
Covid-19 is presenting associations with an unprecedented challenge. We at AAE are passionate about education, learning and networking at association events, the value they provide delegates, and advances generated in all sectors and professions. We are aware that sensible measures are necessary as well as the potential for over-reaction to damage the good work associations are doing.
We, like most associations, are proceeding with their annual conference, and feel that it is our responsibility to focus on the considered facts, and to act with common sense and sound judgement, taking the advice of the relevant authorities and scientists.
Executive Director, Association of Association Executives
Congress Chair, Associations World Congress 2020