Conference in April to be Re-Scheduled

As you will appreciate we are living in unprecident times. Please see the details about the proposed re-scheduling of the April Conference and other Round Table events.

Until now we have been holding off making a decision about this year’s Conference until the extent and impact of the Covid-19 outbreak became clearer. The unprecedented events of this week made it clear that it would be impossible to hold our Conference as planned. First travel restrictions meant that our overseas speakers and delegates would not be able to attend, then the demands of social distancing mean that all similar events were being cancelled. Even before the closures announced by the UK Government on Friday night we had concluded that it would be irresponsible to the public at large and our members in particular to increase the risk of infection by holding the event as planned. Now that decision has been forced upon us anyway.


We are looking into rescheduling the event to later in the year if possible. Our US speakers have indicated that they still wish to come to the UK to speak to us and can potentially be flexible with dates. Currently we are looking either at the weekend previously scheduled for the Annual General Meeting in London (13-15 November), as this will already be in people’s calendars, or the weekend of 30 October-1 November, which is easier with regards to venue. It will of course also depend upon how the outbreak progresses and the timing of any relaxation of government restrictions.


The Committee is working to make sure that any financial impact on the Round Table is kept to a minimum, and we assure members that they will be reimbursed any fees already paid. If you will definitely not attend a re-arranged conference and wish to have a refund, please contact Peter Lockwood at Old Country Tours. However, we ask you to appreciate that Peter is a small business working in an industry that has been heavily hit by the shutdowns, and like many such is under a great deal of pressure and uncertainty at this time. The preferred alternative is that OCT hold your payment to be used for a rescheduled conference – or even as a credit towards next year’s event. If you are happy and willing to do this then it would be much appreciated and one less thing for Peter and the Committee to worry about.


The position with regards to other events – the June and September meetings and the October Field Trip – is also impossible to predict at this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation and make timely decisions based upon firm facts rather than conjecture.


Eventually things will get back to normal – in the meantime stay calm and keep safe.