OTA Board Announcement: 2021 Conference & Trade Show Canceled
November is usually the time when OTA members receive conference info. However, with each passing day, it becomes clear that the impacts of the coronavirus and its accompanying health mandates and regulations will continue into the near future. With this sobering knowledge weighing on us, the OTA Officers & Board of Directors have voted to cancel the OTA’s 2021 Winter Conference & Trade Show.
OTA Board President Tim Lynch’s article on p. 7 of the November/December Ohio Township News magazine provides further context and details about this extremely difficult decision, which was finalized after months of careful consideration; this included conducting a survey of past conference attendees and trade show vendors.
- The OTA Board feels a responsibility to prioritize the health of its members, vendors, presenters (all of whom volunteer their time) and OTA staff.
- Ohio is still operating with limits on group gatherings. If the event were held under the current limits (maximum 300 people), it would be a shadow of what members have come to expect.
- Social distancing and attendance limits would make it nearly impossible to have a trade show, one of the conference’s most-valued features.
- Even if current regulations and mandates are lifted prior to January, without a vaccine, we must acknowledge that it is impossible to predict any resurgence and future restrictions on events.
- A decision needed to be made in a timely fashion to reduce or eliminate cancellation fees that could be charged to the OTA.
Ultimately, the Board wants to ensure that all OTA events are conducted under the Association’s high standards; such events require adequate time for the staff to prepare, plan and execute.
The OTA is committed to finding adaptable ways of providing the information and resources that are typically provided and gleaned via the conference. While planning for 2021’s educational events is not yet complete, members of the OTA can expect an announcement by the beginning of December.