When the organizers of various trade shows, conventions and expos in the industrial supply sector began cancelling and postponing those events back in early March due to COVID-19's spread at the time, it seemed that STAFDA's Nov. 8-10 convention was far enough out to happen as scheduled.
Unfortunately, it, too has been forced to succumb to pandemic safety measures, with the association emailing members Wednesday afternoon that its Convention & Trade Show in Anaheim, CA has been cancelled.
STAFDA said the decision was forced once California reverted back to Phase 1 of its economic reopening plan on July 13 and no reopening date on the horizon.
"The COVID-related conditions in California are beyond STAFDA’s control making it impossible for us to move forward with our meeting," STAFDA said.
The announcement came just two days after STAFDA made an unprecedented offer to distributors in the construction/industrial channel whose organization's annual meeting was canceled, to attend STAFDA's Anaheim event. In all other years, STAFDA's convention & trade show have been open to members-only.
The association said it had been taking every safety protocol to safeguard attendees' health and well-being and went on to commend the Anaheim Convention Center and city officials for taking necessary steps to support the convention.
"Registrations for Anaheim got off to an impressive start despite today’s uncertain environment," the group said. "STAFDA is grateful for the support from members who want to return to our people-centric, hands-on way of doing business. Thank you! "
While the in-person event is now cancelled, STAFDA is developing a virtual event option and said it will notify members once the details are finalized. The virtual event would include workshop speakers, the keynoter from the original planned general session and two State-of the-Industry speeches, and a virtual component to the trade show.
STAFDA encourages member who booked rooms at the Anaheim Marriott and Hilton Anaheim to cancel their hotel reservations, while the STAFDA office will begin issuing refunds to members who’ve registered for the Anaheim meeting.
"This is the first time STAFDA has ever had to cancel its convention & trade show, but just like other industry shows and co-ops have experienced this year, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the meetings industry," the association said. "Let’s get through 2020 and plan on seeing each other again ‘in-person’ at STAFDA/Charlotte, November 7-9, 2021!"
For more information, contact STAFDA at 800-352-2981 or [email protected].