On July 22, the National Pest Management Association’s (NPMA’s) board of directors voted unanimously to host PestWorld 2020 as a virtual convention instead of a physical event in Nashville, Tenn. This will still include its scheduled keynote speakers, educational sessions (CEUs) and status as the largest trade show in the industry. Dates for “V-PestWorld” will remain Oct. 13 through 16, as planned.
To arrive at the decision, the NPMA conducted significant market research, both qualitative and quantitative, with all stakeholders — including members, past attendees, speakers and suppliers. Significant data points for consideration included:
- Nashville recently reverted to a modified Phase 2 format, limiting group gatherings to a maximum of 25 people;
- The mayoral announcement that this phase would be in place for the foreseeable future;
- An infection rate for the COVID-19 virus trending higher in Nashville;
- Self-quarantine imposed by states visiting Tennessee;
- Various travel bans throughout the country; and, of course,
- The health and safety concerns for all attendees.
“Many of our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and pest control companies have a travel ban in place through the remainder of 2020, so they would not be able to attend any face-to-face events,” Alexis Wirtz, the NPMA’s senior vice president of Meetings and Conventions, said in a news release.
The NPMA President Scott Steckel agreed. “It’s not an easy path for any of us, and none of us have a roadmap to rely on,” he said in the news release. “After several months of looking at multiple options on how to host PestWorld 2020, the board voted unanimously today to put into action what we feel is the best option for the industry. We are really pleased that the PMP and supplier communities have expressed such overwhelming support of NPMA and this V-convention. We look forward to an exciting event.”
The NPMA President-Elect Justin McCauley said that with the decision finalized, “our focus now shifts to planning and executing the best virtual convention possible for our industry. Although I’m disappointed we couldn’t all get together in Nashville this October, I’m hopeful that a virtual event will allow for an even greater participation from those in our industry.”
Find updates about other industry events impacted by COVID-19: Pandemic affects status of industry events
Read more COVID-19 coverage here: MyPMP.net/COVID-19