The Florida Dental Laboratory Association (FDLA) announced that the 2020 Southern States Symposium & Expo has been canceled due to risks presented by the COVID-19 coronavirus. This is the first time the Symposium & Expo has been canceled. The Southern States Symposium & Expo is the highlight of the FDLA's annual offerings and the largest of its live meetings, bringing together hundreds of dental laboratory professionals and service providers from across the nation.
The FDLA says in a statement:
"The decision to cancel was not taken lightly or without careful consideration and consultation.
"The FDLA Board of Directors and staff monitored the COVID-19 situation closely leading up to the cancellation. FDLA's priority in making this decision is the health, safety, and well-being of our members, our staff, our exhibitors, sponsors and speakers. At this time, there are no plans to postpone or reschedule the Symposium & Expo in 2020, due to the uncertainty we are all facing at the moment and the inability to set an accurate timeline. The 2021 Symposium & Expo is planned for May 6 - 8, 2021 at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld.
"To all of our attendees who were planning to attend, we apologize for the inconvenience this cancellation has caused and will offer full refunds for all paid registration fees. You may also roll over your registration fees to the 2021 Symposium & Expo at no additional charge and you will be automatically registered. Our registration staff will contact you with specific instructions on how to request a refund or roll over your registration. Due to the circumstances, we are currently working on how we will do this most efficiently. We ask for your patience as we process a large volume of refunds.
"Exhibit, Sponsorship and Advertising fees can also be applied to the 2021 Symposium & Expo. Our exhibit manager will be in contact regarding the options available for securing your company's exhibit, sponsorship and advertising location for the 2021 Symposium & Expo.
"If you or your company is currently registered as an attendee, exhibitor, sponsor or advertiser, a separate notice will follow within the next few days with directions on how to roll over your registration for the 2021 Symposium & Expo or request a refund. All refunds should be requested by April 30, 2020. Past April 30, 2020 we will take in good faith that you would like to extend your payment to cover your fees or deposits at the 2021 Symposium & Expo.
"FDLA will work to preserve the hard work its presenters poured into preparation for this Symposium & Expo and look to provide educational opportunities to our members to assist in the maintenance of CE requirements mandated by the State of Florida and the National Board for Certification for CDT's.
"Hotel Reservations and Cancellations: The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld will cancel all reservations made under FDLA's room reservation block. A notice of cancellation will be sent to the email address used when making the reservation. In the event that you do not receive a cancellation notice or you made your hotel reservations outside the FDLA reservation block and/or through a third party hotel booking site, you are encouraged to contact the hotel to cancel your reservation. If you need to contact the hotel regarding your reservation, please call: 407-351-5555.
"We at FDLA feel a deep appreciation for our members and the outpouring of support we have received in the wake of this news. FDLA is a member-run, not-for-profit organization that exists to serve its members, so we appreciate your continued support. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions, concerns, or requests for topics."