Wow…. what a week. It’s hard to get my head around the speed at which the coronavirus has spread and its impact around the world. Countries in virtual shutdown, borders closed, business at a near standstill in many places.
Since last Friday, the news of major conferences cancelling (or at least postponing) is astonishing but warranted. One of the captive insurance industry’s major events is the CICA conference. Having had to cancel is truly a heartbreaking choice, but Dan Towle made the right choice – as painful as it was.
Dan was kind enough to contact me soon after he made the decision and walk through the decision matrix, as well as some of the hurdles he still faces in resolving all that needs to be resolved when you cancel a conference like his. He described the calls and discussions with his board and key members of his organization before having to make such a tough call. One of the things that resonated with me from our conversation was the need to take a step back from the event you are planning and ask yourself “are we really asking people to travel and meet in a large group with this uncertainty?” With the news that followed of the growth in infections just days later it was clearly the responsible decision.
VCIA and the State of Vermont had to grapple with much the same choice when we decided to postpone the trade mission we had scheduled to Mexico City later this month – at a much less heartbreaking scale than Dan of course. Still, it was disappointing. That being said, it was much easier for us to reschedule, which we have done. The trade mission to Mexico City has a new date of September 22nd.
As for the VCIA conference in August, we are proceeding on schedule, with the hope that all this will be behind us by then. Like Dan, we may be faced with a tough choice come summertime, so I plan to stock up on Pepto Bismol in the meantime.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!
Rich Smith, VCIA President