Many of you have asked how ASJA will handle refunds of registration fees for the now rescheduled April 19-20 conference. Thank you for your patience as we considered the various options for managing these fees.
We're happy to offer you one of two options: a full refund or a deferment of registration fees to next year's conference on April 18-19, 2021, at the Downtown Marriott.
Why would I defer this year's registration fee to next year's conference?
One consequence of not hosting our annual conference is the financial and cash-flow hit. While we will not be able to recoup all of the lost revenue, deferring your registration fee can help with cash flow. If we choose to increase registration fees (a decision that has not yet been made), deferred registration fees will be honored at this year's rates.
ASJA leadership is also aware that some of our conference attendees face lost income because of the pandemic, and many of us work under tough cash-flow conditions regardless. Therefore, we are more than happy to refund your registration fee in full. Do not worry about ASJA if you need to make that decision. We get it!
How do I let ASJA know which option I choose?
The process is simple. Just email [email protected] with your choice. Staff only needs your name to process your refund or defer your registration fee to next year. You will receive an email confirming that the requested action has been taken.
Please allow at least a week to receive that confirmation message. As you can imagine, staff will be inundated with requests. In addition, staff members are also dealing with non-ASJA issues related to the pandemic. This means response time will likely be slower than we would like. If you don't get a confirmation email within a week, please feel free to email again.
Hold on to your confirmation email, especially if you decide to defer your registration fees to next year's annual conference. That's just good bookkeeping practice!
What else can I do to help smooth this process?
As mentioned above, staff are working under the same strange, pandemic-centric conditions as the rest of us. They are working from home, in a big city where everyone else is working from home. While we haven't experienced internet slow-downs, yet, those might happen. In addition, we're all managing work- and home-life in very different ways, including staff members.
In short, we need everyone to practice patience. In ordinary times, glitches tie up even the best systems. And these times are extraordinary. Everyone has been so generous with their understanding. We cannot thank you enough-and we hate to ask for more patience.
What's happening with the virtual programming?
Various folks are already making plans for a Virtual Client Connections, as well as considering the ins and outs of offering at least some of our conference planning online. We should have more information available in the coming weeks. We'll continue to communicate via these special emails, through ASJA Weekly, on the forums, in the member-only Facebook group, and elsewhere on social media.
We wish everyone all the best as the world goes through this truly unprecedented experience. We still have so much work to do to protect freelancers' rights, and we're looking for ways to keep our members working, especially as our country needs a free press now more than ever.
Thank you for your support. Here's to a quick resolution to this pandemic. May you and your families be healthy.