Dear STC Summit Attendees, Speakers, Sponsors and Exhibitors:
The health and safety of our attendees, speakers, and staff is our highest priority, and STC is committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe environment for our community to come together. Based on the evolving COVID-19 situation within the country, including Washington’s Governor Inslee issuing an emergency proclamation that limits large events, as well as a growing number of travel bans and restrictions among the tech comm community, STC has made the decision to transition the 2020 face-to-face Technical Communication Summit & Expo to a virtual conference format this Spring. More details about the online conference will follow in the next two weeks. We are pivoting as quickly as possible in the changing environment!
We recognize how much time and passion our conference committee, speakers, attendees, staff, and sponsors devote to preparing for this event each year, and we’re committed to ensuring that their work is shared with the tech comm community. We are also committed to bringing the community together in the upcoming virtual event and will continue to bring you the best tech comm content available for Career Vision 2020.
Your current conference registration will automatically transfer to the virtual conference, and you’ll receive more details about the content and format of the virtual event in the next two weeks. If you wish to have your registration fee refunded, please contact STC in writing at stc@stc.org. If you already requested a refund prior to receiving this email, please contact us again to let us know if you will attend the virtual event instead. We will also have a virtual Expo Hall and networking opportunities for all. These details will be released in the next two weeks.
If you made a hotel reservation, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue will accept reservation cancellations up to 48 hours in advance of the arrival date. Please follow the guidance in the confirmation email you received from the Hyatt Regency Bellevue or call the hotel directly at 425-462-1234.
We understand the inconvenience and disruption that may arise as a result of this decision, but we believe it is in the best interest of all of us. Please contact us at stc@stc.org and watch the Summit website and our Notebook blog for more information. We appreciate your understanding and support during this rapidly changing environment.
Sincerely,
Liz Pohland
Chief Executive Officer
Update as of 13 March The STC Board of Directors has unanimously voted to cancel the 2020 Summit in favor of a virtual conference. The health and safety of our attendees, speakers, sponsors, vendors, and staff is our highest priority, and STC is committed to taking appropriate precautions to provide a safe environment for our community to come together. Based on the evolving COVID-19 situation within the country, including Washington’s Governor Inslee issuing an emergency proclamation that limits large events, as well as a growing number of travel bans and restrictions among the tech comm community, STC has made the difficult but necessary decision to transition the 2020 face-to-face STC Technical Communication Summit & Expo to a virtual conference format this Spring. More details about the online conference will follow in the next two weeks. We are emailing all registered attendees and speakers with additional details today. We will keep posting updates as we know more about the virtual event. We appreciate your understanding and support during this rapidly changing environment. Update as of 11 March Since our first announcement last week, we’ve been following the COVID-19 updates from the Washington government and the CDC. We’ve also seen King County explicitly request organizations cancel or postpone gatherings over 250 people. We are in discussions as to whether our event can go on as currently scheduled. We will make that decision this week. If we do reschedule or hold a virtual conference, we’ll transfer all existing registrations and sponsorships to the new conference. We will refund anyone who cannot make the new dates. If you have any questions at this time, please reach out to stc@stc.org. We are deeply concerned about the well-being of our members, attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and staff, and we don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way. Update as of 10 March
We’ve been paying close attention to the news about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and are having lots of conversations about the impact it might have on STC’s Summit in May. Here are some updates.
 
Is Summit still happening?
As of right now, with the information available from the CDC and the Bellevue City Government, things are on track for the STC Summit to happen in May. There are currently no confirmed cases in Bellevue. We will continue to watch updates and follow the advice of experts.
If the government issues any formal domestic travel advisories in the United States, we’ll follow up with speakers and attendees right away.
 
How will STC ensure health and safety at the event?
Our conference team is receiving up-to-the-minute coronavirus announcements and advisories from the CDC and the Bellevue City Government, and we intend to follow their recommendations for conference organizers.
 
What is STC’s cancellation and refund policy?
We have extended our 1 March deadline for refunds and cancellations to address concerns to 27 March. A $150 processing fee will be applied to all cancellation requests, except in the case of visa denials, government travel restrictions due to COVID-19, or flight cancellations due to COVID-19. Cancellation requests must be received by Friday, 27 March 2020. Requests for refunds must be made in writing to stc@stc.org. After that date, no refunds will be made unless the Summit is cancelled by STC. (Note that cancelling your Summit registration does not cancel your hotel reservation; you must contact the hotel directly.)
What if employers won’t let staff travel?
 
We are hopeful that many companies will lift their travel restrictions by May, but our team is looking into options for remote conference attendance. We’ll have more to share about that in a few weeks.
Stay tuned …
We’ll stay in close touch with STC Summit enthusiasts and attendees in the coming weeks as more information becomes available. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any additional concerns or questions.
Update as of 5 March We look forward to welcoming you to the 2020 Technical Communication Summit & Expo in Bellevue, WA, May 15-18, for a highly engaging and rewarding convention of education researchers, practitioners, and tech comm leaders. STC’s leadership, volunteers, and staff are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the Summit’s schedule and programs, and we look forward to a successful conference. Many of you may have heard that Washington’s King County Executive, out of an abundance of caution, has issued a local emergency order to proactively prepare for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and enable county government to take “extraordinary measures” to fight the outbreak, including waiving some procurement protocols, and authorizing overtime for King County employees, among other powers. City of Bellevue staff continue working with and receiving information from multiple partners daily to track the current and potential effects of the virus in the community. Health agencies are also closely monitoring the situation, both globally and in the United States. Public Health – Seattle & King County has a variety of resources to help you understand what we currently know about the virus and how to protect yourself. The agency issued a news release on March 2 with details on the new cases in the Seattle area. A basic FAQ sheet can give you the facts. The fact sheet is available in multiple languages. The Public Health Insider blog has informational updates for the general public with safety tips. Misinformation and discrimination over the virus can create fear and hostility. Anti-stigma information and workplace resources can help you stay accurately informed. In addition, Public Health offers instructions for minimizing the spread of diseases (available in multiple languages). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers information about travel notices and the World Health Organization offers current travel advice. At this juncture (March 5, 2020), there are no cases of the virus reported in Bellevue, and there appears to be no imminent risk of becoming infected by virtue of being in Bellevue, therefore the 2020 STC Summit is not being canceled. STC is staying informed daily and will continue to monitor statements from the City of Bellevue, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization regarding COVID-19. We will follow guidelines from these agencies and the local health departments in the coming weeks. [Note: We will continue to update this post as new information is forthcoming. If you have questions, please email stc@stc.org.]
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