A few days on...March 13, 2020
Hi, everyone. It’s been a few days now since we announced the cancellation of RailsConf 2020, and we wanted to give you a progress update on what has happened since.
First off, as of earlier this morning, we believe that all attendee tickets have now been canceled. If you ordered a RailsConf 2020 ticket, you should have an email confirmation now of that cancellation. For refunds, the exact timing of receiving that now depends on your bank or credit card, but you should see a full refund within 5-7 business days. We have been working closely with Eventbrite to do this as efficiently as possible, and are very pleased to be able to report how quickly this was processed. That said, if you have any cause to believe that your ticket was not canceled and you did not receive your full refund in the expected timeframe, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, we’ve now been in touch with all conference Sponsors to begin processing each specific refund. If you’re a Sponsor who hasn’t heard from us, please reach out to email@example.com.
Third, a number of you have contacted us about having a remote/online version of RailsConf. At this point, we are not considering taking the full conference online. However, we are starting to discuss how to bring some form of RailsConf 2020 content online, for anyone who’s interested to be able to access. We’re still very early in that planning, but we promise that when we have more concrete information on this, we’ll be sharing it!
Finally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention how incredibly humbled we’ve been by the Ruby community’s response to our announcement. Cancellation wasn’t a decision that anyone on our team took lightly, and a significant factor was the potential disappointment and inconvenience caused to our attendees and community. Your overwhelmingly supportive responses have buoyed us — truly — and we thank you. As a community, we’re going to get through this, and that is because of all of you.
In that same vein, many of you have reached out asking for additional ways to help. Currently, there are two areas that we’ve identified where you could help.
Most immediately: a handful of RailsConf 2020 attendees have reached out to us noting that they’re going to be losing money on non-refundable travel and accommodation fees. Frankly, a significant way to make an impact would be any financial help you could provide to these members of our community to help offset these losses that they can’t recoup. Keep an eye on @railsconf for more details on this!
The other way to help, looking ahead for both Ruby Central and the Ruby community, is to support us in making RubyConf 2020 (in Houston on Nov 15-17) as robust and vibrant as possible. We still believe so strongly in the value of conferences, not just from talks and workshops, but the ineffable alchemy created in a community when we gather together.
So we’d invite you to help us build excitement and engagement for what will now be our only Ruby conference in 2020. This includes attending RubyConf, of course, but also: ask your companies or any organizations that you’re involved with to consider sponsorship. Consider being an onsite volunteer, either with conference tasks or via our Guide program. Apply to our CFP. Tell new folks in tech about our Scholarship program. We appreciate all of this so much, and we appreciate you.
As always, any questions at all can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
RailsConf 2020 & COVID-19March 10, 2020
It is with heavy hearts that we deliver this news to you: after a lot of intense discussion and close monitoring of the COVID-19 situation over this last week or so, our team at Ruby Central has decided to cancel RailsConf 2020. We’re still working out specific details, but to be clear, we’re choosing to cancel the event in its current form outright rather than postponing to another time this year.
Please know that we were hoping so fervently to still be able to make RailsConf 2020 happen as recently as late last week, till it became more and more obvious to us that it wasn’t going to be possible. Our primary duty is to the health of the community, both in terms of the physical health of community members as well as the trust that the community has shown us over the past 13+ years. In the coming weeks, we hope to announce more here about our next steps.
For now though, here’s what we can tell you: all Attendees will be issued full refunds of their ticket costs. If you have already registered for the conference, you should have an email in your inbox now from us with more details. As we note in that email, if you have already made travel arrangements, we believe that most airlines are honoring the ability to change (or even cancel) tickets to another time and we hope you’re able to make use of that. Similarly, most hotels (including our conference hotel) allow you to cancel your reservation without penalty if it’s done at least 48 hours before the stay.
Speakers, you should also have an email from us with additional details, but we wanted to note specifically how disappointed we are that you won’t be able to present your work to the community in person at RailsConf this year. We know how hard you all work on your proposals and presentations, and one major next step for our program team is trying to figure out how to still give you a space to showcase them.
For our Sponsors, you’ve received an initial notice of this, and in the coming weeks, we commit to being in close touch with you to coordinate refunds as well as to talk about next steps for potential future support. We want to thank you for your commitment and interest in RailsConf and sincerely hope to be lucky enough to continue to work with you.
Looking forward, we hope to have updates in the coming days and weeks about conference programming, additional help that we can provide towards attendee travel costs that can’t be recouped, and ways in which interested community members may be able to help out. When we have those updates, we’ll put them here, and will tweet out notices. In the meantime, if you have any questions that you need answered, don't hesitate to email us at email@example.com.
Thank you -- this was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but we feel extremely lucky to have your understanding and compassion.