Today’s Coronavirus Tracker

Current updates on association response to the global COVID-19 crisis, along with a roundup of conference, travel, and business news and information.

Cancellation Challenges

While more than a quarter of associations with in-person events scheduled between May and December have yet to cancel them, cancellations are far more common—and many association pros are having trouble seeing the potential resumption of events before January.

That’s based on the latest data from the ASAE Research Foundation’s Association Snapshot 2.0, which finds that 28 percent of respondents with events scheduled between May 1 and December 31 have not canceled any events, while 71 percent have canceled at least one event—and more than a third (34 percent) have canceled three or more. (Most significant: 21 percent say they’ve canceled five or more events.)

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In a separate question, slightly more than a third of respondents (35 percent) could not see a resumption of events before January 2021, while a quarter suggested the earliest date for a resumption could be September (14 percent) or October (11 percent). Around 15 percent still saw the summer months of June (1 percent), July (6 percent), and August (8 percent) as a possibility, while 17 percent were not putting a date on a potential resumption.

A potential driving factor for those that have not canceled their events may be the need to offer refunds. The survey found that 46 percent of attendees were being offered a full refund for events taking place between May and December, while 32 percent were offering exhibitors the same. Other forms of refund—including partial refund, future event discounts, comp registrations, and future exhibitor space—were being offered at lower rates (20 percent combined for attendees, 29 percent for exhibitors).

Recent Headlines

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For Economy, Worst of Coronavirus Shutdowns May Be Over (Wall Street Journal, 05/25/20) “Plenty of data show the country was still mired in a severe downturn in April and May, with overall business activity falling and layoffs rising—though more slowly than in the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis. Current projections have the economy contracting by 6 percent to 7 percent this year and unemployment lingering in double-digit percentages for a while. But, for the first time since the pandemic forced widespread U.S. business closures in March, it appears conditions in some corners of the economy aren’t getting worse, and might even be improving.”

How Summer Could Determine the Pandemic’s Future (Politico, 05/25/20) “What’s certain is the coming few months will say a lot about the state of the country, the public’s psyche and how much death and illness it’s willing to accept. With so much confusing data and contradictory political messaging on the reopening before the November elections, there is a road map to follow this summer to know if the fall will be a time of true recovery or deepening despair.”

‌In Times of Crisis, a Little Thanks Goes a Long Way (Harvard Business Review, 05/22/20) “The chatter in our cafeterias and conference rooms is replaced by the disquiet we’re experiencing inside our socially-distanced bubbles. From general malaise to specific maladies, many employees are afflicted by stress and anxiety that make brushing teeth and cooking a meal feel like the day’s crowning achievements. My clients, executives in a variety of organizations, feel overworked, underappreciated, and cut off from their colleagues. While there’s no panacea for these current ills, regularly practicing gratitude can help.”

Current Incidence Statistics

Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. Data sources include the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, and National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China, as well as local authorities, medical sources, and news reports.