The survey results are in and it’s clear – IDA members are excited to come together for our first live event since October 2019 in Baltimore. Fifty percent of survey respondents said, “Yes, they plan to attend,” and thirty-two percent said they are “unsure at this moment.” We know the Annual Conference is not always an option for all IDA members in a typical year, but it is certainly more difficult due to the impacts of COVID-19. Approximately forty percent of IDA members are hampered by budget constraints and/or continuing travel concerns included Canadian members where a timeline for lifting travel restrictions and quarantine requirements is simply unknown today.
We hope by late October conditions around the world will continue to improve allowing IDA to modify current physical distancing standards and mask requirements at the hotel. We are working hard to revise our conference policies to allow for a more lenient cancellation policy based on government actions. The conference rates remain unchanged, and the education program is well on its way to being extraordinary. We learned from our survey that eighty-six percent of the “yes, I will attend” respondents are urban place management organization CEOs and senior staff members, empowering us to design a high-level leadership program focused on the future of rebuilding our commercial centers while leaving sufficient unplanned space for leaders to gather more casually for long-needed camaraderie, peer mentoring, brainstorming and support. I hope you can make it to Tampa for the 67th Annual Conference & Marketplace! Look for news of registration opening on June 15, 2021.