The Southeast Recycling Conference (SERC) has announced that it is canceling its event, which was scheduled to take place March 15-17 at Miramar Beach in Destin, Florida.
Gene Jones, CEO of Southern Waste Information eXchange Inc. (SWIX) and event organizer, says the event has been canceled due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus, or COVID-19, as many companies that had planned to attend the event had initiated travel bans.
“When I sent out my email [on March 9] we had 247 attendees still registered for the conference,” Jones says. “Since then we have dropped down below 200 as many firms have initiated travel bans. SERC normally draws 500 to 600 attendees every year. This is a difficult decision to make, but I believe the best option for the SERC community is to cancel the conference at this point.”
Jones adds that SERC is unable to offer refunds currently, but he says anyone who registered for the 2020 event will receive registration for next year’s event, which is scheduled to take place March 14-17, 2021, at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, Florida. In the event that individuals cannot attend the 2021 event, Jones says 2021 registration can be transferred to another colleague or individuals can receive a credit for SERC 2022, which is tentatively scheduled to be held in Destin, Florida.
“We started working on SERC 2020 at the conclusion of SERC 2019 and have incurred expenses during the course of the year,” Jones adds. “Moving everyone’s registration to next year or the year after is the best way we can secure the investment you made.”
Many individuals who were planning to attend SERC had made reservations at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Jones says the hotel is working with SERC attendees to waive its cancellation policy.