Dear TIAFT friends,
2020 had such a lovely ring to it – a year full of promise, hope and optimism. Twenty-twenty is also a term that has been used to describe perfect vision (as well as for hindsight), but no-one could have foreseen that an invisible virus spread by the tiniest of droplets, could cause a ripple, a wave and then a tsunami of havoc that has turned our world upside down.
Just as we approached our final 6 months of preparation and planning, our ‘sprint to the finish line’ of what was to be a most memorable TIAFT meeting in November this year, we all suddenly found ourselves locked away in our homes, trying to stay safe in the wake of this pandemic.
As you are aware by now, we the TIAFT 2020 Team, in consultation with the TIAFT Board have had to make the difficult decision to postpone our conference to ensure the safety of all our delegates, trade partners, speakers and invited guests. We are very grateful to the TIAFT President and the Board for their support and guidance throughout this stressful time. We also appreciate the goodwill and consideration shown by the future TIAFT conference hosts in this regard.
The new dates for our conference will be from Sunday 24th – Thursday 28th October 2021 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), with Saturday 23rd October being used as a setup day for the exhibitors.
The CTICC has been very understanding of our dilemma and we are currently negotiating with them to keep our conference costs the same or as close as possible to those for 2020, so that the registration dues can remain unchanged as well.
The success of our conference is measured by your participation and contribution and we are hopeful that the new dates suit everyone. In fact, judging by the international messages of support we have received, we may have a larger number of delegates than originally hoped for. You are all very welcome!
Before our meeting was re-scheduled, we had already received many registrations and abstract submissions and we thank you for those. Because of the uncertain global situation, no registration payments have been processed and abstracts received have not been distributed for review. All current registrations and abstracts already received will stay active, but with an option to withdraw or edit at a later stage, depending on your circumstances or possible new research?
We have therefore decided to suspend further registrations and submissions until early in 2021, when you will be informed of the re-launch by email and on the websites.
After some days of intense disappointment about this inevitable postponement, we have picked ourselves up and now look forward to hosting you all next year instead. 2021 also has a good ring to it – a new year full of promise, hope and optimism too!
So TIAFT friends, Come to Cape Town in 2021 – let’s make this event the light at the end of the long tunnel we now find ourselves in.
Our warmest regards,
TIAFT 2020/1 TEAM