With W12 Congress due to take place in the middle of May (still 11 weeks away), the W12 team continues to plan confidently for the Congress.
We currently have no plans to postpone or cancel our Congress despite some major events cancelling across the globe in the past few days.
This unprecedented situation is changing daily so we remain watchful but also focused on delivering what is an extremely important event for the global business events community.
We are in daily contact with our partners around the world and in Africa. We’re also in regular communication with our partners in South Africa (the South African Convention Bureau, CTICC and the South African Tourist Office), as well as the appropriate authorities, including travel and health advisory bodies nationally and globally.
Mindful of our duty of care we are carefully considering and consulting with experts on what the appropriate sanitary, health and other measures should be and can assure our industry that all appropriate measures will be in place at the Congress.
COVID-19 is presenting the business events and travel industries with an unprecedented global challenge. The W12 team are passionate believers in, and advocates for, the substantial social and economic power of meetings and events. We know that the negative long-term impact of speculation, hype and over-reaction will be damaging not just to our industry, but also to your local communities and business as a whole.
We feel strongly that it is our collective responsibility to focus on the facts and to act with common sense and sound judgement, taking the advice of the relevant authorities and scientists. In the words of Gloria Guevara, President and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), “containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself.”
Separating fact from fiction
We’re aware that there’s a lot of speculation and hype surrounding the impact of Covid-19 globally and that it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction.
On our website we’re sharing some of the sources we believe to be the most reliable, independent and credible. Above all, we believe it’s important not to overreact but to keep this global health issue in context.
We agree with our friends at ICCA: “In general, it is good practice in situations like these to stay calm, communicate responsibly and follow official health and travel advice.”
Shelley Humphreys Webb
W12 Congress Director