AIFD® today announced the cancellation of this year’s AIFD® National Symposium, “Vision,” in Chicago (due to take place July 2-7).
AIFD® acknowledges this will come as an enormous disappointment to those who view Symposium as a time to participate in the industry’s most extraordinary artistic education and spend time with their floral family. We have made this decision based on the facts as we know them today and, importantly for the whole AIFD® family, based on the responsibility and genuine care we feel for all our members and the global floral community. This is not a decision that AIFD® has taken lightly and there are several overriding concerns that have caused AIFD® to make this decision at this time.
The primary concern is always the safety and health of our attendees, and with so much uncertainty in the current environment, we just did not feel right putting our attendees at any kind of risk. Waiting until the last minute to assess the environment would not be appropriate or possible given the tremendous amount of logistics that go into an event of this size. Pair this with the fact that we are very aware that the floral industry is going through a challenging time, and we want to be sensitive to our attendees, industry and education partners and exhibitors, designers, and hard-working volunteers – we cannot in good conscious hold an event of this magnitude when we know so many are struggling to maintain normalcy.
There are still many things to be discussed and coordinated, and we thank you for your patience as we navigate through these uncharted territories together. Here is what we know so far:
General Symposium Registrants & Exhibitors:
You will be refunded in full within the next 2-3 weeks. You should cancel your hotel rooms and flights. Most of the airlines are working with everyone in waiving cancellation fees and/or allowing for a refund. Please reach out to your airline for help.
You will be refunded in full within the next 2-3 weeks. You will receive a complimentary Candidate or CFD® membership year through June 30, 2021, depending on your current status. If you have already taken the online test, you do not need to re-take the test should you decide to sign up for the PFDE® in the future.
This is still your year! We have several ideas in mind to ensure that you are still celebrated as 2020 Inductees this summer. In addition, we plan to have a 2020 Induction Ceremony at the 2021 National Symposium in Washington, D.C.! More details will come soon.
2020-2021 Elite Partners:
You will be refunded in full within the next 2-3 weeks. We have several promises we want to make to you to support your partnership with AIFD® over the next year. More details will come soon.
Membership & Leadership Meetings:
Plans will still be made to hold the summer National Board meeting and elections, as well as the Annual Membership Meeting, Chapter Board/Membership Meetings, and more. We will share these details as they are finalized.
Committed to Serving the Industry
We have tried to make the best decision for the industry and we are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us. This is precisely why we have thought long and hard over the past few weeks, consulting in depth with partners and stakeholders across the industry before making this announcement. Our strapline “Proud to be AIFD®” has never felt truer, nor more important.
Despite the disappointment we know you will feel, we want you to know that we are fully committed to serving this industry that we love. We are already working hard in the background to deliver value and service above and beyond the Symposium you were looking forward to.
We intend to keep morale high and, together with leaders around the world, focus on collective efforts to rebuild confidence and advocate for the importance of flowers.
Once again, we thank the whole industry for the support that has been shown to us and we are here to support others in the industry as we all work through this difficult time.
Jackie Lacey AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI
Sandy Schroeck AIFD, CFD, PFCI
Deborah De La Flor AIFD, CFD
Symposium Program Coordinator