Update: We face the need to again postpone to early 2021. With ever-changing restrictions, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Champions Retreat until 17-19 March 2021. Read more here.
I can confirm (with great disappointment on behalf of all involved) that we are postponing Champions Retreat, now to be held 21-23 October at the same venue, Spring Bay Mill, in Tasmania.
Why we are postponing
We have been closely watching updates on the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in order to ensure the health and safety of our community. In the past week, multiple reports have shown that the spread of the coronavirus can more effectively be slowed by earlier interventions, such as social distancing. Analysis suggests that this course of action is necessary in Australia. We expect this will be government policy in coming days or weeks. These interventions can seem extreme to some but are especially important to keep safe the most vulnerable members of our community.
Given this research and the likelihood of government advice on social distancing, we considered the potential of postponing now, rather than being forced to cancel closer to the date. At this stage postponement is viable on the basis that we can defer most expenditure and we are hopeful registered attendees can change their plans. A last-minute cancellation would not enable us to postpone.
What you need to know about your tickets
With less than 14 days until the event, tickets are now non-refundable. Postponing the event makes it possible for us to host it in October, which would not be the case if we were forced to cancel last-minute. We hope that most, if not all, registered attendees can still come.
For registered delegates, your ticket will be good to go for the Retreat on the new dates: 21-23 October 2020. including on-site accommodation if you booked a glamping tent.
It is normal and necessary to have a non-refundable policy closer to the event date, given most expenses are committed by this stage. We have been working with the venue and suppliers to preserve as much flexibility as possible, and Spring Bay Mill and its partners have been very generous and helpful in this regard.
We plan to offer a secondary market to allow you to sell your ticket if you cannot make the new date. This will take some time to develop, so please be patient.
Recognising extraordinarily difficult times, we are also developing a hardship policy that will allow businesses to seek a refund. Please stay tuned for updates as again, it will take some time to develop. Right now our priority is managing the postponement.
What you should do now
Please make the necessary changes to your travel plans. When changing the dates of your flights, please note we will start at 5:00pm on Wednesday 21 October and finish by 1:00pm on Friday 23 October. You may follow the guidance previously provided on the website for timing of flights and shuttle buses.
We have been in contact with the Eastcoaster and can advise that those with bookings there can change their bookings to the new dates. If you have already paid, you may seek a refund if you prefer.
If you have booked elsewhere please change your dates directly with your accommodation provider.
Next week we will directly contact those with on-site accommodation bookings that were organised through us.
The Champions Retreat was designed to bring us together, and we are facing a difficult time ahead with increased social distancing doing the opposite. The coming weeks and months will bring further hardship to many businesses, and with many of us likely to be housebound for extended periods, we recognise the need for community only grows.
We are working on what we can do to support you, and how our community of B Corps can support each other, as well as our wider community. We welcome your thoughts. We’ve already been approached with useful resources to share and lots of ideas for ways we can work together. We will be in touch next week with more information to all our B Corps in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand!
Thanks to all involved in managing this event, including our amazing team at B Lab, to Sally Hill and Laura Carroll, everyone at Spring Bay Mill and to our Event Partners for backing us with your time, energy and financial support. This community brings the love and always reminds us that we are better when we work together for a common good.
For now, we wish you all the best at a difficult time, and look forward to when we next gather together.
Andrew, Gaya & The B Lab Team