After thoughtful consideration, the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Board of Directors announced today that AFSA39: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition scheduled for September 13-16 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando will not take place this year.
“AFSA’s priority is the health and safety of its community – including our members, exhibitors, volunteers, supporters, and staff,” said Chair of the AFSA Board Ted Wills, president of Anchor Fire Protection in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania. “As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, it’s become evident that we need to make tough choices.”
AFSA39 is an incredibly important event for the association and it’s one of our favorite ways to engage with our members from around the globe, but the AFSA leadership felt it was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation.
“We recognize the impact of this decision for the association and our membership,” said 2020 Convention Co-Chair Chris Johnson, president & CEO of Piper Fire Protection in Clearwater, Florida. “Our annual convention brings together hundreds of passionate professionals every year to learn and connect with fire safety industry leaders from across the country and around the world. However, the well-being of our community must be our number one concern, and that drove our decision-making."
Wills agreed: “At this unprecedented time, the health and safety of our members is our top priority, and one of our greatest strengths is our ability to adapt and reinvent ourselves when needed the most. May these challenging and uncertain times find us working even closer together so that our businesses, our association, and our families will all thrive.”
AFSA staff, in partnership with AFSA member leaders, will continue to carry out the important business of the association, such as board and committee meetings. AFSA understands its members and partners will have questions about the next steps, including the refund process and the potential for alternative educational opportunities. Please be assured, AFSA is working to provide details as soon as possible.
“Although this is a disappointment, AFSA is far from the only organization taking a hard look at its events,” said Marlene Garrett, CMP, AFSA vice president of program operations and educational services. “We want to make our meetings incredible experiences, and we are using this experience to fuel our planning for our 40th anniversary convention and exhibition celebration in our home state of Texas next year.”
AFSA’s 40th anniversary will coincide with AFSA40 which will be held September 18-21, 2021 at the JW Marriott Hill Country in San Antonio, Texas, with 2022’s marquee event scheduled for the Bellagio Las Vegas and AFSA42 returning in 2023 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando. For more information, visit firesprinkler.org.