COVID-19 has made it’s presence felt all over the world. It has disrupted nearly all of our lives in one way or another. I don’t pretend to be an expert about this, but what I do know is that recommendations are coming out and being updated on a daily basis about groups coming together. Because of these constantly changing recommendations we are taking a few actions.
We are reaching out to all conference organizers and recommending that live conferences are put on hold for a while. This means a few different things, so take a second to read all the way through to see how this might impact you.
- Conferences between now and the end of April: We are working with the organizers to cancel or postpone the live portion of their conferences. We are also planning on distributing Promos to anyone who had already signed up for those conferences, including attendees and presenters. Each conference is handling this slightly differently, and there still a lot of figuring out to do. If you have already signed up for a conference during this time, your conference organizer will distribute information to you when things are figured out. Please be patient with us as there is a lot changing very suddenly and it might take some time for information or Promos to be fully distributed.
- Conferences from May forward are being asked to hold off on planning until we are closer to the event to have a better idea of what recommendations will be at the time they were planning their conference. We will be constantly monitoring recommendations and coordinating with organizers to either postpone or cancel those plans as needed.
- Some conferences will attempt to shift to an online format. We are working with folks and figuring out the best way to execute this. We will also do our best to help promote conferences that are being run online to help give Judges who might be stuck at home a way to connect with the larger Judge community.
- At this time, those who participate in online conferences will not be eligible for Promos (with the exception of folks covered by the first bullet point who had already been accepted to a conference between now and the end of April that then moves online). This may change as we get a better handle on how these conferences run and are received, when it does we’ll be sure to update folks.
The short version is if you were planning on going to a conference, please await info from that conference organizer to see exactly how this impacts that event.
With live events being impacted all over the world, we believe there is an opportunity to expand the Judge Program’s knowledge in the world of running events digitally. Online events are a great way to keep local communities together during times where they may not be able to connect, and give Judges a whole new world of opportunities to continue to serve those communities.
In the next week or so we’ll be publishing courses that touch on the differences between live events and online events, where to get started, and what platforms are currently available to run those events. This is something that’s always been on our road map, but we believe it’s more important than ever to help equip y’all with info about how to keep doing what you do best in a world where live events might be on hold for a while.
It’s been a wild few weeks, and it is looking like the next few might be wild as well. I’ve been following and participating in lots of discussions about the impacts that COVID-19 has had and how to best support our community through all of this. There is nothing ready to be announced, but know that there are lots of folks working behind the scenes to help take care of this community. There have already been a ton of support extended to the Judge Program and the impact that this has had on many of us.
We will be tracking and sharing many of these things in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for ways to stay connected and stay involved. Communities exist so we can support each other when things seem the hardest, and what I’ve seen the last few weeks has reminded me just how amazing this community is. Thank you for being awesome, and please continue to do so as we all go through this together.