AASECT Conference Cancellation

Dear Colleagues,

As you may unfortunately have heard through a premature communication from our conference hotel, J.W. Marriott has closed its doors until early June, and AASECT will not be hosting our 2020 Annual Conference in Palm Springs as planned. We would have preferred to have shared cancellation news with you ourselves, rather than have some of you hear the news from the hotel and others from colleagues who received the hotel’s cancellation emails. The hotel confirmed that some notices were sent out accidently ahead of notifying us earlier this week. We want to say how sorry we are for any inconvenience you have experienced and for our not being able to get the news to you first.

After we researched the health status of Palm Springs early last month and while watching developments around the world, we realized the pandemic would surely prevent our hotel from going forward with our conference. Rather than cancelling our conference at that point, however, we conferred with the board, who directed we hold off from finalizing plans until conditions freed us of the possibility of losing our sizable deposit, which represents members’ investments in AASECT. The safety and health of our members and staff remained priority as we worked with the hotel to achieve best possible outcomes for our members. We appreciate your patience during this unsettling time.

The Board of Directors would like to extend a huge thank you to our Conference Co-chairs, Jane Fleishman and Tanya Bass and our Conference Planning Committee members, Lexx Brown-James, Juan Camarena, Sabitha Pillai Friedman, Rosalyn Dischaivo, Chris Fariello, and myself. The Conference Planning Committee worked incredibly hard since last July to put together this amazing conference. The Conference Planning Committee is exploring options for hosting a virtual experience and will continue to do so in the weeks ahead. We hope to be able to provide an opportunity for our community to connect, learn from/with one another and be supported during these challenging and uncertain times. Please stay tuned for more details on their plans in the coming weeks.

Those who have already registered for the conference have two options:

  1. You can apply all registration fees paid for the AASECT 2020 Conference to the AASECT 2021 Conference, taking place on June 10th – 13th at the J.W. Marriott in Tampa, FL. These fees will be considered payment in full for the conference, and registrants will not be expected to pay any fee increase for the 2021 Conference if there should be one next year. If you registered for a full or half day pre-conference workshop, that payment can be applied to a full or half day pre-conference workshop next year. If you select this option, you don’t need to do anything. AASECT staff will be taking care of transferring this for you. You will receive a new registration confirmation in the coming months.
  2. You can opt out of applying your registration fee to next year and instead choose to have your registration and any pre-con fees refunded in full. If you would like a full refund, please complete this refund requestPlease note, the refund process is manual for each attendee, and AASECT staff will be working as quickly as possible to issue these refunds.

Please note - all attendees are responsible for canceling their own travel arrangements and confirming cancellation of any hotel accommodations.

We will miss seeing you in Palm Springs in June, but we look forward to seeing you in person at the AASECT 2021 Annual Conference in Tampa, FL. We know these are difficult times, and we appreciate the extraordinary challenges you face as educators, counselors and therapists helping to prepare your communities in response to the pandemic. Your work is of vital importance — especially now. Although it is disappointing to have to forgo our in-person meeting, the safety and health of our attendees, staff, and Palm Spring residents have been our primary concerns. At this point, we are fervently hoping that the impact of the virus will be as light as possible. We sorely regret the illness and fatalities of so many already.  Please protect yourselves and others to the best of your abilities.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help or if you have any questions about our meeting plans. You can reach us at conference@aasect.org.

Be safe and be well.



    Susan Stiritz
    President, AASECT

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