GAS2020 – Travel & Health Update (MAR 11)

Updated as of March 11, 2020:

  • 2020 GAS Conference on May 20-23 will proceed as planned
  • 75% Refund* Deadline Extended to April 15th
  • Announcement on the status of the Sweden conference in April

The Glass Art Society Board and staff have been watching events concerning COVID-19 very closely, and as circumstances continue to change, we understand this uncertainty can cause concern and frustration. Please be assured that GAS is doing everything possible to actively monitor the situation and make the best decisions for our members and organization.

GAS2020 Plans to Proceed, Update Coming in April

Based on the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO), insight from our partners in Sweden, and the status of other international events scheduled for late May in Northern Europe, the Glass Art Society will be proceeding with the 2020 GAS Conference from May 20-23 as planned. However, we will continue to keep a close eye on the situation and will update attendees should the conference become affected in any way.

Since the conference is still more than two months away and there is so much we are unable to predict, we cannot make the ultimate decision on GAS2020 at this time. Similar to many other institutions that have temporarily canceled events or restricted travel through the end of March or the beginning of April, GAS will be reevaluating the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation after this brief waiting period and plans to make an announcement regarding the status of the Sweden conference in April. 

Seattle: Work from Home through March 31st
Italy: Lockdown through April 3rd
Berlin: Cultural Event Cancellations through April 19th 
NYC: Containment Zone through March 25th
Sweden: Sweden set to ban large events to halt coronavirus spread through April 30th

Refund Deadline Extended

In addition, GAS has decided not to enforce the next tier of refund deadlines on March 21st. Instead, we will be extending the deadline to receive a 75% refund* until April 15th. The urgency to rush these requests need not be limited by a deadline that was published when conference registration launched in November. However, we are only offering full refunds* to those in countries affected by travel bans or restrictions due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), which includes Mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran only.

If the conference is canceled, GAS will offer full refunds (minus a $50 administrative fee) to all registrants. However, if you choose to cancel before GAS makes a determination, we will not be able to retroactively provide a full refund to you. You will receive a refund in accordance with the policy in effect at the time of cancelation (see Refund & Cancelation Policy). Only those who have active registrations at the time of the announcement will receive full refunds. 

Considerations When Cancelling

Should you decide to cancel your registration prior to an announcement from GAS, we ask for your understanding. Our refund and cancellation policy was set on a sliding scale in November based on consideration of costs associated with planning an international conference of this scale. Policies like this ensure the financial and operational sustainability of our organization should unexpected situations like this arise when so much money has already been invested in an event. 

We request that those currently registered be patient and considerate as they contact GAS for refund requests. We also hope that you may consider alternatives when approaching cancelation, like transferring your ticket to another person, asking for a credit to apply to the next GAS conference, or donating the cost of your registration directly back to GAS. This donation can help offset the conference costs incurred by the organization that cannot be recouped, allowing us to continue offering our services to the glass community. Please know that we are hearing your comments and concerns, and we are working to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

*Includes Value Added Tax (VAT) paid minus $50 administrative fee.
 

What Does the World Health Organization (WHO) Say?

The great advantage we have is that the decisions we all make – as governments, businesses, communities, families and individuals – can influence the trajectory of this epidemic. We need to remember that with decisive, early action, we can slow down the virus and prevent infections. Among those who are infected, most will recover.”
– WHO Director, March 9, 2020

Refunds + Cancellations Policy

You must wait at least 48 hours after completing your registration to modify or cancel. Once we’ve applied a base administrative fee of $50, you will be eligible to receive either a full or partial refund according to the following schedule:

  • By 02/20/2020 = 100% refund plus VAT tax paid 
  • By 04/15/2020 = 75% refund plus VAT tax paid (EXTENDED)
  • By 05/01/2020 = 50% refund plus VAT tax paid (EXTENDED)

For those in countries affected by travel bans or restrictions due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), we will be offering 100% refunds on any conference registration cancellations (less a $50 administrative fee). Currently, this includes the following countries: Mainland China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, & Iran.

Alternatives:

  • Transfer their ticket to another person, free of charge.
  • Request a credit that can be applied to next year’s conference registration.
  • Donate the cost of your registration directly to GAS

Frequently Asked Questions

As of the morning of March 11th, there have been 477 confirmed cases in Sweden and 340 confirmed cases in Denmark, but please check news outlets for the most up-to-date information.

Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.

Based on the latest information from the World Health Organization (WHO), insight from our partners in Sweden, and the status of other international events scheduled for late May in Northern Europe, the Glass Art Society will be proceeding with the 2020 GAS Conference from May 20-23 as planned. Please be assured that GAS is actively monitoring the situation and plans to make an announcement regarding the status of the Sweden conference sometime in April. Since the conference is still over two months away, we do not want to make an ultimate decision when there is so much we are unable to predict. Thus, similar to many other institutions that have temporarily canceled events or restricted travel through the end of March or the beginning of April, GAS will be reevaluating the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation after this brief waiting period.

GAS works for many months—even years—to bring together a conference, and our 49th annual conference in Småland, Sweden, has been no different. Like many non-profit organizations, we plan our annual expenses based on anticipated income from the conference. Thus, losing most or all of our conference revenue while being locked into the majority of our expenses would create a significant financial hardship for GAS. That’s why we are asking you to consider alternatives to cancellation to help support GAS during this difficult time, including requesting a credit that can be applied to next year’s conference registration or donating the cost of your registration back to the organization.

Yes! If the conference is canceled, we will offer full refunds (minus a $50 administrative fee) to all registrants. However, we encourage members to consider alternatives to help support GAS during this difficult time, including requesting a credit that can be applied to next year’s conference registration or donating the cost of your registration back to the organization.

No. If you choose to cancel before GAS makes a determination, we will not be able to retroactively provide a full refund to you. You will receive a refund in accordance with the policy in effect at the time of cancelation (see Refund & Cancelation Policy). Only those who have active registrations at the time of the announcement will receive full refunds.