As announced in early April, following the impacts of COVID-19 and restrictions on events and travel, the 2020 Sports Turf Management Conference & Trade Exhibition was postponed as we worked with the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) to determine available options.
Over the last few weeks, we commenced work with the Convention Centre management on developing a workable plan in regards to hosting the turf industry event at a rescheduled date.
These discussions with MCEC over the past few weeks have failed to provide any suitable options for us to host the 2020 event at a time that would be appropriate for our industry.
Due to these concerns, and following consultation with a range of members and sponsor partners, the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) has made the difficult decision not to host the conference in 2020.
This was a tremendously difficult call for the Association to make given the importance of the conference to the industry, our members and supporting partners. However, it was felt that both the timing options available, restrictions to travel and that social distancing measures now in place around large group gatherings are unlikely to be lifted in the short term and, with this in mind, we feel it practical to make this decision to give our members, delegates and partners as much notice and certainty as possible.
We have seen significant challenges across many industries due to the impacts of Coronavirus and we recognise that pushing the conference into the busy spring/summer period would impact many of our delegates, more than we would have felt comfortable with. It is with all of the above in mind, that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 event.
We are able to announce that the 2021 Sports Turf Management Conference & Trade Exhibition will be held next year in June, on the Gold Coast. In the coming weeks, we will announce further details for the 2021 Sports Turf Management Conference & Trade Exhibition dates, event and program.
Over the past 24 hours, we have notified all registered delegates and trade exhibitors about the decision to cancel the 2020 event, providing further information specific to each group relating to registrations.
While the Conference and Trade Exhibition for 2020 have been cancelled, there are a number of important industry activities that are aligned with the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association Conference that will continue. These activities include the Annual Sports Turf Industry Awards encompassing the National Graduate of the Year Awards for both Golf Course and Sportsfield management supported by Toro, the Claude Crockford Environmental Management Award supported by Syngenta and Excellence in Golf Course Management Award supported by Bayer, which will all continue to be delivered though in a slightly altered format for this year. We will be announcing details of the adjusted Awards process over the next week to State Association winners and nominees.
While these are extremely challenging times for all of us and our industry, we thank all members and trade partners for their continuing support. As planning for Gold Coast 2021 begins, the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association will keep the industry updated as we work toward delivering a conference and trade exhibition that brings people and ideas together, and showcases the very best of the Australian sports turf management industry.
For further information, please contact the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association