Annual Conference Update from the Executive Director

May 19 2020

We are in uncharted waters. As the pandemic ravages our world, the field of touring and presenting has come to a standstill, and the future is uncertain. We are in a highly dynamic environment where perspective, knowledge, and strategy change day by day. There is so much we don’t know and can’t control. It is stressful and frustrating.

In partnership with Arts Northwest, and South Arts, WAA and Arts Midwest recently surveyed the field about participation in the fall booking conferences. We received nearly 1,110 responses. The vast majority of you—70 percent—said attendance at San Diego/2020 was unlikely. We were not surprised by this.

It is all but inevitable that we will not hold the WAA Annual Conference in-person. But, like many of you, WAA’s contractual obligations mean we are stuck in limbo—unable to move forward and unable to cancel. In the meantime, we are developing contingency plans for a virtual conference complete with an exhibit hall, plenary events, breakout sessions, pitch sessions, showcasing, and networking.

We hope to announce specific plans in the coming weeks. For now, conference registration is on hold. In the meantime, if there is anything we can do to help, please let us know.

Be well. Be kind. Be strong.

Tim

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