Update: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
As you will undoubtedly be aware, we are all currently facing disruption and impact to our daily lives as a result of the global Coronavirus epidemic. This has moved us, ConFuzzled, other businesses, and indeed the world, into unprecedented territory, with circumstances and recommended actions changing by the day.
We have closely been monitoring the situation, pulling in all information that we can from official governing bodies, and reacting accordingly. As it stands at the time of writing this statement, the HM Government still has not officially announced or made available their plans regarding the banning of mass gatherings, and until such instruction is available to us, we will continue to plan for the convention to occur in May 2020.
In light of the ever changing developments, we want to be as transparent to you as we can. Below is a list of things we feel you should know to highlight what is being done, the considerations that are going into the decision making process, and what to expect should the need arise to cancel or postpone the event this year.
Are you still going ahead?
At the time of writing, our position has not officially changed and currently, the con is still expected to run as normal in May 2020.
This may seem like an odd decision given the circumstances, however, there is a lot of complexity involved in organising and delivering an event as large as ConFuzzled. We have contractual obligations with our 2 venues, as well as other businesses that all form part of the supply chain. It is therefore not a clear cut decision we can take in isolation, as reneging on our commitments could very likely result in us being unable to secure the future of the convention. Therefore until we are firmly in the knowledge that the HM Government has banned mass gatherings, we are proceeding as planned, in the meanwhile working in the background to adapt the event based on the current landscape.
Will the convention be cancelled or postponed?
We are currently in discussions with our suppliers to weigh up the options available to us. We must face the very real reality that we may be forced to postpone or cancel the event. In each unique circumstance, if this should arise, the convention will deliver a formal statement outlining to you what your options will be. These circumstances will obviously rely very much on what agreements can be reached with each of our business partners.
We must stress that each scenario brings its own pros and cons. Whilst postponement to later in the year might seem like the easiest solution, we need to consider things like both venues having the space available or suppliers availability aligning with our new dates. Additionally, we would need to consider the stress this would put on our team of volunteers who would effectively be delivering 2 conventions within a 6-7 month time window when taking into account next year’s event.
The true message to emphasise to you is that the process is a complex one, however, want you to rest assured that we are considering every single option. This means preparing for each possibility, and that we will update you the moment circumstances change, with clear instructions on what you will need to be aware of.
Are you insured, and can I get a refund?
We are thrilled that so many of you look forward to ConFuzzled. We know you put a lot of planning and effort into attending. It may be the one holiday or big event that you might attend and so it is a heavy financial investment for you.
The circumstances we currently face are unprecedented in the history of the convention. This is why we are remaining in constant communication with our business partners, as well as our insurers.
Whilst we are of course insured for ConFuzzled, there are specific sets of criteria that must be satisfied in each given situation to invoke this process. Currently, owing to the HM Government’s position to not ban mass gatherings as an example, we cannot take the business decision to cancel the convention without there being heavy financial penalties that would jeopardize the future of the event. As such, at the time of writing, our standard Terms of Sale and cancellation policies remain in effect.
What this means to you –
- If you are faced with flight cancellations or restrictions on travel, you will need to liaise with your travel insurer directly. Unfortunately, this is outside of ConFuzzleds control.
- You can look to sell your registration spot to someone else who wishes to attend. Email our registration team should you choose this option.
However, we want to stress the following;
As well as making challenging business decisions, we need to consider the human element and the safety of our attendees and staff. We are not ignoring the health risk involved in running a large scale event, even if no such announcement should come from HM Government. This is why we are working with each of our suppliers to ensure we make the best decisions for all involved. Any decision we take, whether due to Government directive or collective agreement, will be done so in such a way that we aim to ensure the safeguarding of the event and the minimisation of any impact to you, the attendee.
Can you help in any way?
We ask that each and every one of you tries to remember that ConFuzzled, as large as it is, remains a non profit organisation, run by a dedicated team of volunteers. These circumstances that we all now find ourselves in are uncharted waters. We appreciate that you yourselves will no doubt have many questions and concerns however, our team is equally under immense strain right now and we ask that you treat them with respect and appreciation.
Remember, any decisions that have or may be taken in the coming weeks will be done so with the highest degree of due diligence and not taken lightly. Please try to refrain from taking out any frustrations or annoyances on our team. We are trying our absolute best to ensure we cater for everyone’s needs. We ask that you consider the impact your actions may have on their wellbeing and simply ask for you to treat them with respect and the courtesy that they are owed for giving up their time for free to enable you to enjoy ConFuzzled year on year.
We know many of you will have questions not answered above. What if you are in an at-risk group? Will we be extending registration re-sales? What will the convention be doing to protect people in attendance?
Like yourselves, we have these thoughts and considerations in mind, and are working tirelessly to consider each scenario in what is currently a dramatically changing landscape. We continue to adapt, and will release more information to you at each phase of decision making.
What happens next?
We have further meetings scheduled this week with our venues to reassess the situation and once again consider the options available to us. The HM Government is anticipated to release their guidance on mass gatherings on Tuesday 17th March, at which time we will have a much clearer indication of what our next steps will be.
If the circumstances should change we will ensure each of you is aware through our normal communication channels, and this will be delivered in the form of a Directors statement, and will include any instructions you need to be aware of.
In closing, the Directors wish to issue a personal statement both directly to our attendees and our team. We appreciate wholeheartedly your understanding and patience through these trying times. Our objective is to ensure the safeguarding of ConFuzzled for years to come, and want to thank you all for your continued support whilst we ride this wave.
Rizzorat, Crimson, Russet
ConFuzzled UK Ltd Board of Directors.