The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) has posted on its website that it plans to hold a virtual version of its 2020 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo over a three-week period between May 18 and June 5.
The original event, scheduled to take place March 15-18 at the Rosen Shingle Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida (U.S.), was cancelled on March 11 amid escalating concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The conference and expo are focused largely on ammonia and CO2 refrigeration in the industrial and commercial sectors.
“The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cancellation of your IIAR’s annual conference has impacted all of us in multiple ways and has created the need to come up with a new and different way to deliver as much value as possible to conference attendees and exhibitors,” says IIAR on its website.
The online event – called 2020 IIAR Online Conference and Virtual Exhibition – will take place on the IIAR website. Dates and times for specific technomercial, technical and educational sessions have not yet been announced.
In a separate email letter from the IIAR Executive Committee, IIAR noted that it incurred a loss of approximately $500,000 as a result of the cancellation of the March conference, adding that the online conference “will provide essential revenue to IIAR that allows us to continue to serve you, your company and the entire industry.”
The online event will include presentations of all technical sessions, workshops, technomercials, the “Sunday Educational Event” and panels that were scheduled for the Orlando Conference. Attendees will be eligible for education and PDH (professional development hour) credits.
Technomercial presentations will be pre-recorded, then presented in a semi-live format during the online conference.
No simultaneous sessions
Over the three-week online conference period, registrants will be able to attend all conference presentations. “Unlike our face-to-face conferences that sometimes require choosing between competing programs, no online sessions will be held simultaneously,” said the IIAR Executive Committee. “Plus, most technical sessions will be presented online twice, with an opportunity for live Q&A.”
In addition, most sessions will be recorded and made available to attendees following the online conference.
The online conference will also provide all exhibitors at the original conference with promotional and contact opportunities to anyone who clicks on a “virtual exhibit booth,” which will be promoted throughout the year.
All registrants for the original 2020 IIAR conference will have full access to the online conference, including online educational events and information, exhibitor/sponsor product and service information and contacts.
IIAR is asking that exhibitors participating in the online event contribute a standard amount of $1,850, “which will help IIAR to offset some of our cancellation fees,” said the IIAR Executive Committee.” Sponsors, who will be visible to all conference registrants in all sessions until February 28, 2021, are being asked to contribute a standard amount of $3,000.
Paid registrants will be able to apply 100% of their original 2020 registration fee to 2021 conference registration. Alternatively, they can be refunded 65% of their 2020 registration fee. Exhibitors and sponsors can receive an adjusted refund or apply it to next year’s conference.
IIAR’s next physical event will be the 2021 Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo, which will be held March 28-31 in Palm Springs, California (U.S.). The 2021 event will mark IIAR’s 50-year anniversary.
Questions about the 2020 online event can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent cancellation of your IIAR’s annual conference has impacted all of us in multiple ways and has created the need to come up with a new and different way to deliver as much value as possible to conference attendees and exhibitors.IIAR