Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), based in Arlington, Virginia (U.S.), announced yesterday through email to its members and supporters that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has cancelled two face-to-face events – the 2020 IARW-WFLO Convention and the 2020 GCCA Cold Chain Conference & Expo.
GCCA will instead hold two new online initiatives for members beginning in late September and a physical event in October in Hawaii (U.S.).
GCCA consists of three trade associations – International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), International Refrigerated Transportation Association (IRTA) and Controlled Environment Building Association (CEBA) – as well as the World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO), a nonprofit foundation.
The 2020 IARW-WFLO Convention was originally scheduled to take place May 5-8, and was then rescheduled for August 30-September 2, in Bonita Springs, Florida (U.S.). The 2020 GCCA Cold Chain Conference & Expo was slated for September 28-30 in Dallas, Texas (U.S.) Both Florida and Texas are currently among the “hot spots” in the U.S. for COVID-19 cases.
The decision to cancel the events “was not taken lightly,” said the email, signed by Ron Buford, Chairman, IARW Board of Directors; and Brian Beazer, Chairman, WFLO Board of Governors. “The GCCA staff have spent the past two months exhausting every possible option to conduct these meetings face-to-face. But after consulting with association leadership, the hotels, event venues, industry leaders, and health experts, we have come to the consensus that we will be unable to provide a safe environment for networking, learning and business development.”
The three alternative events were described on the email as follows:
Cold Chain Essentials – Virtual Learning Series; September 28 through November 13:
Topics in this virtual learning series will include: Essentials for the Cold Chain C-Suite; Facility Operations; Engineering and Construction; Supply Chain and Transportation; “Customer” Engagement; and Cold Chain Innovation. New content exclusively for associate members and vendor partners will also be available on member companies and industry trends. Also included will be virtual networking and engagement opportunities throughout the series.
Cold Chain Collaboration – B2B Meetings; September 28 through October 9:
This will include a virtual business-meeting platform to allow GCCA members from across the world to engage in pre-scheduled meetings with qualified participants. Participant segmentation and cost models are currently being finalized.
Innovation Summit at IARW-WFLO Strategic Board of Directors Meeting: October 22 – 26:
Attendees and sponsors that were originally scheduled to attend the IARW-WFLO Convention will have the opportunity to attend this new in-person event held in conjunction with the October IARW-WFLO Strategic Board Meetings in Kauai, Hawaii. The Innovation Summit will address the current state of the industry and offer networking opportunities.
More details on each of these initiatives plus registration details will be released shortly. More information is available at GCCA’s New Initiative web page.
After consulting with association leadership, the hotels, event venues, industry leaders, and health experts, we have come to the consensus that we will be unable to provide a safe environment for networking, learning and business development.GCCA