- Why was WBC 2020 transitioned to a virtual event?
After thoughtful consultation with brewing industry leaders and partners, combined with the input from our recent member survey, and resulting conversations with our onsite venues, the ASBC Board of Directors and the Master Brewers Executive Team made the decision to transition the World Brewing Congress 2020 onsite meeting into a virtual experience — WBC Connect 2020. This was felt to be the best and safest course of action after careful consideration of evolving COVID-19 pandemic developments.
It was important to all that a safe and globally accessible solution was provided to gather our professional community in the pursuit of “Brewing Without Boundaries.”
- What factors were taken into consideration when making this decision?
The health and safety of all involved is what drove the final decision. To that end, many pandemic factors were considered including (but not limited to):
- Global travel restrictions and company travel bans
- Shelter in place mandates across the U.S. and globally, impacting onsite participation
- Anticipated self-quarantine and social distancing extending into the summer months
- Precedent-setting and unprecedented cancellations of other domestic and international events
- Why was WBC 2020 not postponed for a later date so that we could all gather together in person as originally planned?
World Brewing Congress is held every four years and as such, we could not postpone the meeting for a later date for several reasons, including (but not limited to):
- The likelihood that the factors which drove our decision to pivot to an all virtual event (listed above) will be still be relevant for in-person meetings in late 2020.
- Both ASBC and Master Brewers have existing contracts in place for their standalone 2021 meetings.
- We have a lot of excellent scientific content that we want to get to you now. We have a robust program, with excellent Keynote speakers, workshop and technical sessions, ePosters, and opportunities for attendee networking that we can’t wait to share with you!
- What do you mean by a virtual event?
WBC is focused on an alternative solution that will provide an engaging, accessible, and inclusive platform to convene our global community, enabling us to connect, to learn, to share knowledge, and to advance our mission of “Brewing Without Boundaries.”
WBC is working diligently to develop an informative and engaging virtual experience, allowing participants to easily access important topics, research, and content that was originally developed for the onsite experience. The new virtual experience will also provide opportunities for participants to network, connect, and share knowledge, products, and solutions. Specifics regarding the new virtual experience will be shared by WBC Headquarters in the coming days through email and via the congress website.
- Will the virtual event be held over the originally scheduled dates?
WBC is currently working to transition the onsite program to a virtual experience. We are going to launch the virtual event beginning on September 18, 2020. We thank you in advance for your patience as staff works to develop the new virtual experience. More details regarding the virtual format and programmatic approach will be shared in the coming days. Continue to visit the WBC Connect 2020 website for all the latest information.
- Do I need to be registered for WBC Connect 2020 to present my abstract?
Yes. You must be registered at the discounted presenter rate in order to present your abstract. All speakers will be hearing from Emma Nygren, the WBC Program Manager, via email in the coming days with important instructions on presenter registration. There will also be information for presenters on the WBC Connect 2020 website.
- I'm an oral presenter of either a workshop, special, or technical session. What will happen to my session in the virtual event?
All speakers will be hearing from Emma Nygren, WBC Program Manager, via email in the coming days. Please continue to prepare your presentation as we are planning to include all Workshops, Technical Sessions, and Posters in the virtual format. All registered presenters will have their abstracts published and will be able to include their session in their resume/cv as a conference presentation.
- I need to prerecord my presentation, but do not know how to get started.
WBC will provide more information to registered speakers on how to prerecord and upload their presentations prior to the start of WBC Connect 2020. WBC will be sending out a speaker toolkit that includes best practices for this purpose. This information will be shared with all registered presenters in the coming days through speaker email communications and posted to the WBC Connect 2020 website.
- Will posters be included in the virtual event?
Yes, WBC Connect 2020 will include ePosters. Poster presenters will have the opportunity to interact with attendees through our ePoster platform. More information on ePosters will come directly from WBC Headquarters via email in the coming days. There will also be information on ePosters published on the WBC Connect 2020 website.
- When will registration open for WBC Connect 2020?
Registration will open on June 22, 2020. Rates and other important registration information are now posted on the WBC Connect 2020 website.
- What is the difference between the registration tiers?
The registration tiers correlate to the level of access to the virtual program content a registrant receives and how long they have access to it. You can learn all about the registration tiers and what they include by visiting the WBC Connect 2020 registration page.
- I registered for Basic but wish to upgrade to either the Premium or Boundless virtual content. How do I do that?
You can upgrade your registration to a different tier at any time! Please email or call the WBC Connect 2020 Registration Desk at +1.651.454.7250 to request an upgrade. Please allow 24 hours from the time of your request for your upgrade to be processed.
- What is the cancellation/refund policy for WBC Connect 2020?
Cancellations MUST be made in writing and received by WBC no later than August 31, 2020. Cancellations received by this date are subject to a $25 processing fee. Registration cancellations received after August 31, 2020, are NOT subject to a refund. You may transfer your registration to another member of your organization. After August 31, requests to change a registration from your current tier to a lower tier cannot be processed.
- What happens to the sponsorship dollars my company gave now that WBC Connect 2020 is fully virtual?
We are happy to work with each company directly with their available options. Sponsors can reach out to Brianna Plank at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can I get reimbursed for my WBC 2020 exhibit booth now that WBC Connect 2020 is fully virtual?
Please contact Brianna Plank directly at email@example.com, who will gladly review all exhibitor options.
- What other options do I have to engage with virtual event attendees?
As part of the virtual event experience, we are exploring several options to provide our valued exhibitors an effective way to engage prospective and nurture current customers. Brianna Plank will be reaching out to exhibitors and sponsors very shortly, or you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I secured lodging in Minneapolis, MN over the original in-person meeting dates. What will happen to my hotel/housing reservation?
Cancellations of any hotel/housing reservations previously made in Minneapolis are the responsibility of the individual on the reservation and must be made directly with the hotel/property and in accordance with their cancellation policy.
- Does WBC reimburse me for my travel expenses incurred (i.e., airfare, rental car fees, visa fees) now that the event has shifted to all virtual?
WBC is not liable for any travel expenses incurred, which include, but are not limited to, nonrefundable airfares or ticket change penalties imposed by the airlines, rental car fees/cancellation fees, visa fees, etc. Please speak directly with your travel vendors, as they may have their own reimbursement options for you.
In the event we haven't answered your questions, please contact us
right away. We will address your concerns as soon as we are able.