RAA Announces Rescheduled 2020 Annual Convention
Dear RAA Friends and Family:
I am writing to announce the rescheduling of our Annual Convention -- originally planned for September 29-October 2, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
This is a difficult announcement to make. After holding one of our strongest annual conventions in a decade in Nashville last year, we were looking forward to implementing numerous investments in our schedule and events designed to offer even greater value this year. More importantly, we know our convention provides for an important venue to bring our community together. I believe that today we need our community more than ever. In fact, our team is working on a virtual event to tide us over until we can meet again in person. However, in view of the extraordinary worldwide crisis of COVID-19, and as chances for a safe and productive 2020 event diminish by the day, rescheduling our in-person Annual Event provides us with an opportunity to preserve value for our members, attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.
In view of this, RAA plans to move its 45th Convention forward by one year, held at the same time and place next year, on September 25 - 28, 2021 in Phoenix, AZ. Most importantly, allowing for a full year before we reschedule allows us to rebuild our show and focus on creating a milestone event that will showcase the industry’s resilience and determination to rebuild -- together.
As we finalize our rescheduled dates and agenda, exhibitors who have registered for RAA’s 2020 convention will not need to take any action. Contracted booths will be rolled over to the new dates automatically; however, we will work with exhibitors and sponsors who are unable to reschedule. Our sponsorship and sales support teams will be in touch with exhibitors and sponsors to best meet your needs.
On a personal note, you have probably read that two RAA member airlines liquidated this year, and other airline and associate member companies have announced furloughs. Never before in my career have I seen our industry face so many challenges at once. This of course, sits atop the incredibly sobering human impact of this health crisis. My fellow Pittsburgh native, Fred Rogers, famously told his viewers, in times of trouble, to “look for the helpers.” In this industry, we need only scan social media to see incredibly inspiring stories of our member airlines, supply company partners and their essential workers locking arms (from an appropriate social distance of course) to meet the vast and evolving human needs associated with this health crisis. Whether it is an airline making special announcements to a lone passenger traveling to a sick parent, or a manufacturer repurposing its work to create ventilators, a uniform company making masks and other PPE to protect frontline workers, or your employee groups supporting one another and various charitable health organizations, I have never been more humbled to be part of this community. You inspire me every day, and on behalf of our entire team I want to commit to you that we will continue to be here for you in return, as we fight to protect our shared industry.
We will be rebuilding for some time and know you will too. Throughout, RAA will be here to support and protect this industry at every step. With all this in mind, when we considered whether or not these challenges presented a reason to discontinue our annual convention permanently, the answer was a resounding “no.” We need one another more than ever now and we hope you will with stick with us into the future.
The health and safety of all our attendees, your families, our staff and volunteers, and the community at large are of utmost importance to us. You—and your continued partnership—are important to us. Those with immediate questions may email me at email@example.com or, if you are a sponsor or exhibitor with specific questions, or you would like to sponsor or support our virtual conference later this year, you may contact Diana Lundie at Diana@thelundiegroup.com.
We thank you for your understanding in this complex situation. We look forward to seeing you again in person. Until then, please watch your inboxes for news as we will stay in close touch.
Faye Malarkey Black
President & CEO
Regional Airline Association
This web page was last updated on April 22, 2020. Please check back often as we will post updated information as new details of our rescheduled events are confirmed.