Dear NAGDCA Members,
We know many of you have questions around the likelihood of NAGDCA having an in-person meeting in October. We understand that because we are asking ourselves the same question and wanted to provide an update of where things stand as of today.
Currently, we are maintaining the existing plan for an in-person meeting as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Our call for speakers closed a couple of weeks ago and the committee is reviewing submissions and will be finalizing speakers shortly. Registration opened recently and members are encouraged to sign up with assurance they can cancel with no penalty. We are seeing very low registration numbers in comparison to prior years which isn’t too surprising. Many of you have travel bans in place and are not sure if they will be lifted by October. Others are not sure if they even want to travel if they can or are facing budget cuts, so we are also including those factors into our decision-making process.
In addition to planning for the in-person meeting, we are also looking at the possibility of a virtual event. There are many forms this can take including holding sessions on the same dates as the annual conference, dripping session content out over several weeks as well as holding virtual networking events where people can break into small group discussions. What we know for sure is we cannot expect to take an in-person conference and expect it to look the same way in a virtual setting. If we go that route, it does, however, create an opportunity for us to re-imagine the conference and explore creative ways to deliver content and make connections.
As we have always said, our number one priority is our attendees’ health and safety. That continues to be the case. We must also consider the financial implications if we have an in-person meeting and many cannot attend as well as the impact if we transition to virtual and face significant hotel cancellation fees.
There is much to think through, and we want you to know the NAGDCA Board and staff are focused on doing what is in the best interest of the organization and our members. We appreciate your feedback and patience as we navigate through these challenging times.
Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS)
NAGDCA Vice President & Conference Committee Chair