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The Southern Wholesalers Association (SWA) has modified its 92nd annual convention, originally scheduled for June 28-30. The association is now hosting a virtual event Monday, June 29 through Wednesday, July 1.
The SWA Executive Leadership and Committee Chairs met following their recent survey of their membership and looked at multiple options for the association's 92nd annual convention. The association considered the health risks of attending the conference, participation levels, the economy, travel restrictions, fiscal responsibility, the availability of speakers and the risks of both the educational and social programming. After two hours of discussion, SWA leadership decided that the most responsible decision was to modify the event this year.
While the association is still working on some of the details, the anticipated schedule will look as follows:
Sponsoring companies for 2020 may stream live or submit a video which will be posted on the SWA Facebook page for viewing on a schedule throughout the three days. The association is still working out the details of length, format and submission and will send additional information soon. SWA will be encouraging its sponsors to add “show specials” during their segments to encourage viewership. The videos will remain on the page indefinitely and anyone viewing the videos can ask questions which can be answered on the live stream or directed to the company for a later response. The association is hopeful even more people will see these ads than they would have had they attended the convention.
Additionally, SWA is currently working to add links to its sponsors’ websites on the 'Sponsors' tab on the SWA website. All 2020 Platinum and Gold sponsors will be permitted two full page email blasts to the SWA membership in the second half of 2020. All other sponsors will be offered one email blast during the same period.
This event will have no charge for participants. Those who have registered for the conference in Hilton Head have the option of choosing to push their registration and fees to next year and the June 27-29, 2021 conference in San Destin, Florida, or get a full refund of all registration fees that have been paid.
For those who have hotel rooms, they will be cancelled when the Hilton Head Marriott cancels the event in the system. SWA had been informed by several people that they are still planning to go to the hotel during this time and these people will need to make a new reservation. The association apologizes for the inconvenience, but events and reservations are linked in the system.
SWA is grateful for the support of its members. The association looks forward to this event and providing a great deal more virtual value this year and in years to come. SWA is still very committed to its annual convention and plan to have it each year moving forward.