After seeking counsel from the LBM Advantage Forest Products Committee, several members and vendors, and senior co-op leadership, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Fall Planning Conference originally scheduled for November 3-5 in Boston MA.
Although there is plenty to be optimistic about in regard to lower covid infections, loosening restrictions, and increased travel, the decision was based on current conditions and not what we hope they will be this fall. These are the three major factors considered:
- The event we are used to would not be the same, based on current covid restrictions. From significantly smaller social gatherings such as cocktail hours, to less staff per company able to attend, to mask mandates, the event would be negatively affected in many ways. Furthermore, we would be at the mercy of our host hotel and the city of Boston to determine these regulations. Though restrictions may loosen later this year, we did not want to gamble a substantial cancelation fee on something so unpredictable.
- Roughly 45% of our Fall Planning Conference attendees travel from Canada, and their current travel restrictions are very stringent. It would be difficult for them to make their way to Boston to participate. We viewed that as an undue burden on our friends to the north.
- Lastly, many members and vendors expressed they are simply too busy to travel! This is a good problem to have for our industry, and their first obligation is to their own businesses, so we didn’t want to pull anyone away or cause more stress.
Despite all of the above, our traders are ready and anxious to work virtually with our mills and members to get meetings setup! We will be reaching out and coordinating appointments so the business that is usually discussed during the Fall Planning Conference can still take place.
In addition, the Forest Products Committee will be planning “A Week with Forest Products”, which will be a virtual event. Look for more details on that to follow!