Due to COVID-19, 2020 AMBUCS National Conference will be virtual… but let’s keep the mission in motion!
Dear AMBUCS Members,
On the evening of May 7, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National AMBUCS Board of Directors unanimously passed a motion to add an amendment to our organizational bylaws. The amendment reads, in part, as follows:
“If the National AMBUCS Board of Directors determines it is impractical or unsafe to host an in-person National Conference, then with approval by a 2/3 majority of an official quorum of the board, a virtual or online conference may be held in place of a physical conference.”
After amending the bylaws appropriately, the Board made a difficult decision, unanimously voting to cancel our in-person 2020 National Conference. Instead, a virtual conference will be held on a date to be determined. The National AMBUCS Board of Directors will meet via Zoom on June 11, 2020 to finalize details for the virtual National Conference.
Thankfully, we were able to switch our contract with the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky to next year. Our 2021 AMBUCS National Conference will be held Wednesday, August 25th through Saturday, August 28th. We promise to make sure it’s an event to remember, so don’t miss it!
For those of you who may understandably have questions about the decision, we wanted you to know the following factors were carefully considered by the Board:
- The safety and well-being of our members and those we serve must be our primary concern.
- Though stay-at-home orders and travel restrictions have been lifted in some parts of the U.S., the residual effects of this crisis will continue.
- Using our extremely limited AMBUCS financial resources at this time to cover the cost of travel, lodging, etc. for Board members and ARC staff would have jeopardized the long-term fiscal health of our organization.
- A drastic drop in attendance would have been unavoidable. Many members would have been apprehensive about traveling due to health concerns. Others would not have sufficient financial resources to attend, because of layoffs, furloughs, loss of business, etc.
- Many chapters that traditionally underwrite the costs of National Conference for chapter officers and other attendees will be unable to do so, since annual fundraisers have been cancelled.
- Cancellation of our current contract, without signing a contract for a future event or events at the Galt House, would have cost the organization $122,000, which we do not have.
- If we held our 2020 AMBUCS National Conference as scheduled, the Galt House and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts were willing to make only two changes to our contract. They agreed to reduce our required food and beverage minimum by $10,000 (from $45,000 to $35,000) and our guest room attrition minimum by 20% (from 80% – 60%). On the surface, these measures would seem to reduce total costs, but meeting these contractual obligations would have likely doubled the cost per person.
- Each year, Amtryke LLC underwrites the cost of National Conference with a “sponsorship.” Last year, in Pittsburgh, this amount was $35,000. Due ot COVID-19, Amtryke LLC will not have sufficient revenue this year to provide such a sponsorship.
- Even with the Amtryke sponsorship, National Conference is never a revenue generating event. In our best years, we come close to breaking even.
- The Galt House was willing to move our 2020 National Conference to August of 2021, with no penalty, and lock in the 2020 food/beverage and guest room rates. In addition, they were willing to book our 2026 National Conference at or near 2020 rates, with additional incentives from the Louisville CVB.
Please let us know if you have additional questions.
Vic Menendez Jay Laurens
National AMBUCS, Inc. Chief Executive Officer