46th Biennial Convention

 

Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 22-25, 2020


Update from SIA President, Tina Wei-Kang Pan: It is with a heavy heart that I report your SIA Board of Directors has discussed and decided for reasons outside of our control to cancel our 46th Biennial Convention in Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 22-25, 2020. We will be terminating our contract for cause with the Hyatt Bellevue because of the global public health pandemic.
 

 


Convention Termination Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: FAQ includes information about the Club Convention Fee Refund.

General Questions

Why did the SIA Board make this decision?
Many things influenced the Board of Directors’ decision but first and foremost was the health and safety of our members. A number of circumstances are beyond our control. This includes the continuing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the disaster declarations by the U.S. and the State of Washington and the resulting laws, regulations and orders of the U.S. government and its agencies, the State of Washington and other countries from which our members would be traveling to attend the convention.

Did the Board consider a postponement?
The SIA Board did consider a postponement, but this was not a feasible option because of the human and financial resources it would require. Instead, the Board asked staff to focus on 100th anniversary celebration event in San Francisco in October 2021, and the July 2022 convention in Seoul, Korea.

How will we celebrate the 2018-2020 biennium including thanking our leaders?
The Board of Directors has directed that the 2022 convention in Korea will celebrate the quadrennial of 2018-2022. We will include a celebration of all of our leaders and our accomplishments during this period.

When and where will the 2022 convention be held?
Our 2022 Convention will be in Seoul, Korea, July 20 – 23, 2022.

Club Convention Fee

On April 15, 2020, we communicated with clubs that the board had decided to retain the club convention fee to cover the costs and liabilities associated with the cancelation of the 2020 convention. We communicated we would have audited financial reports in October 2020 and the board would review those reports and decide what the next steps would be after they had a full accounting of our revenue and expenses.

After this decision, we were contacted by the Hyatt Regency Bellevue to let us know they would be releasing us from our contractual obligations without any financial penalty. The Hyatt’s decision to release us from our contract at no charge does not absolve SIA of other financial expenses associated with the convention but it does eliminate our largest expense. At this time, we anticipate the total amount of expenses associated with the 2020 convention to be about $190,000.

How much will the refund be and when will it be received?

Each Club will receive a partial refund in the amount of $400 send via check mailed to the Club Treasurer on record. Refunds will be mailed in August 2020.

After the final accounting review in late October 2020, any convention revenue surplus will go to the board of directors for review and decision on how to best return any surplus to the clubs who paid their 2020 convention fee.

Registration/Meals

I am currently registered for the Biennial Convention. What do I need to do to get a refund?
We will be processing refunds for all paid registrations, ticketed meals and optional events. We will begin the refund process the week of Monday, May 4, 2020, and should complete this process by Monday, June 1, 2020. Your refund will be processed via the original method of payment. If your registration fees were paid via another individual, club, region or a third-party vendor, the refund will be issued to the original payer. All cancellation fees will be waived.

I purchased tickets for meal functions and optional events. What do I need to do to receive a refund?
All ticketed meal and optional event fees will be refunded as described above.

I purchased registrations and/or meals for multiple members attending the convention. What will happen with those refunds?
All registrations and/or meals will be returned in the same manner in which they were paid regardless of the names on the registrations.

I cancelled my registration prior to the official termination of the convention. Will I receive a refund of the $75 cancellation fee?
Those who had already canceled their registration will receive a refund of the $75 cancellation fee.

Housing/Hotel Accommodations

All room reservations for the July 22-25, 2020 convention have been cancelled by the Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel. No credit cards were charged for the hotel reservation. If a charge appears on your credit card, please contact SIA by email to siahq@soroptimist.org for additional assistance.

I contacted the hotel directly and booked a group block of rooms with the hotel. What should I do?
Contact the Reservations Department at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue Hotel, 1-877-803-7534, to cancel your group reservations and obtain the appropriate reservation cancellation confirmation.

I booked at a different hotel. What do I need to do?
If you have booked at a different hotel, you will need to check the terms on your confirmation and cancel the reservation directly with that hotel. SIA cannot assist with reservations at other hotel properties.

I booked my hotel through a third-party site. What do I need to do?
If you booked a room through a third-party site such as booking.com or expedia.com, you are subject to the terms of your reservation. Please contact the third-party site directly. SIA cannot assist you with this type of reservation.

Travel Arrangements

I have a reservation for air travel to Bellevue/Seattle, WA, for the 46th Biennial Convention. What should I do?
Contact your airline or travel agency and follow their guidelines regarding the cancellation of flights. Many airlines are updating their policies and waiving fees on flight terminations, re-bookings and changes because of the travel restrictions that have been put in place in the U.S. as well as many other countries.

Program

There were so many great things planned for this convention. Will we have any opportunity to see any of the planned content?
It is our desire to bring you some of the great content planned for this convention. We are developing those plans and will share more information when it’s available.

There were going to be proposed bylaws changes at this convention. How will we conduct business now that we won’t be meeting in Bellevue?
We are developing a method for our clubs to consider and vote on the proposed bylaws amendments. We will contact all clubs when we have developed that plan.

Exhibitors/Vendors

I am a vendor/exhibitor at the Convention. What do I need to do to receive a refund for my booth space?
All current exhibitors are eligible to receive a full refund of booth rental fees. Starting May 4, 2020, you may request a full refund by sending an e-mail to lindas@soroptimist.org. Refund requests must be received by May 29, 2020. All cancellation fees will be waived.

If you have any additional questions, please contact siahq@soroptimist.org.  Thank you.

 

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