GSMCON2020 Cancelation FAQs

The 2020 Government Social Media Conference is cancelled both as an in-person and virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read this page for more information.

GSMCON2020 Cancelation Information

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, GSMCON2020 is completely canceled, including the replacement virtual conference we were working towards. The physical event was canceled due to the ban of large events in Seattle by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and the virtual conference later announced is canceled after learning that most of you couldn’t participate in the virtual conference either due to ongoing impacts. 

As the effect of COVID-19 is being felt by communities across the U.S., your crucial role in your agencies is needed now, more than ever. We see your hard work, hear your frustrations and will continue to support you in the best ways we can.

We’ve amended our cancelation policy in order to offer two options for GSMCON2020 attendees, both of which will come with a one-year free membership to our updated professional association.

Please read more about these options in the FAQs below.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

We've compiled answers to questions you may have about GSMCON2020. Please see if your question is here first, and we're available to answer any other questions you have via email or please call (888) 803-9401 ext. 11.

Conference Cancelation Questions

Large events have been banned in Seattle by Washington Governor Inslee due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fewer than 100 attendees felt they’d be able to participate in a virtual conference (according to our survey), and many of our keynotes and speakers had to cancel. Most attendees indicated they intend to transfer their ticket to the 2021 event in Philadelphia.

We extensively considered this, but we learned that very few attendees would be able to participate in a virtual event according to our survey, and many of our keynotes and speakers had to cancel. Because of the ongoing and unknown impact of COVID-19 to our country and the world, it’s extremely difficult for us to guess when conditions would change for us to hold the virtual conference. We’re hearing that many of you would prefer more certainty.

Our community is sharing advice and resources with each other on communicating during this crisis on our Government Social Media Community group on Facebook. We’re also developing a free COVID-19 SocialGov Hub to support government social media professionals in collaborating with each other to share advice, resources and more on handling public communications during this crisis.

Yes, the results are in and the finalists and winners deserve to be recognized and honored. We plan to hold a virtual Golden Post Award ceremony later this summer at a more appropriate time. Certificates and trophies will be mailed to the finalists and winners.

Refund & Ticket Transfer Questions

The standard policy states no refunds after Feb. 21, 2020, which also specified cancelation under Force Majeure (that’s the provision that refers to acts of God and uncontrollable events). Travel insurance was also recommended. However, we understand this time is difficult for everyone. Canceling GSMCON has a significant impact on the future of GSM, but we’ve amended our cancelation policy in order to offer two options for GSMCON2020 attendees, both of which will come with a one-year free membership to our updated professional association. Please read more about these two options (see transfers/refunds below).

  • Yes, we’re amending our cancelation policy to allow attendees to transfer their ticket to the 2021 event and urge attendees to choose this option. This gives you the full value of your 2020 ticket with the same access, even if ticket prices were to increase for 2021. GSMCON2021 will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA from March 23-25, 2021.

  • If you purchased any pre-conference workshops, we’ve rescheduled them with our hosts for GSMCON2021 on Monday, March 22, 2021. We’ll let you know if there are any time changes closer to the date, and we’ll transfer your participation to those workshops. 

  • You may transfer your ticket by completing the form [sent via email directly to ticket holders] by April 17, 2020. The request period for transfers or partial refunds closes after that time.

  • We’re also giving a complimentary one year membership to the GSM professional association for every qualifying GSMCON2020 ticket holder. We’ll contact everyone separately about this membership. Ticket holders who are already GSM members will automatically get a free one-year extension on their current membership.
  • We have absolutely no desire to keep funds for an event we were unable to hold, and we know your government agencies need revenue now more than ever. We’re encouraging attendees to transfer their ticket to 2021 in order to get the full value of your 2020 ticket.
  • If you don’t transfer your ticket to the 2021 event, you can request 45% of your total ticket price refunded back. Why 45%? Because ticket sales carry our organization through the entire year, many of the funds have already been used in the last six months of planning the conference. If the event were canceled months earlier, the refund amount could have been larger, but we were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 just 2 weeks before the event. Anything larger than a 45% refund would at this point risk our ability to hold the 2021 event for everyone who transfers.
  • You may request your 45% refund by completing the form [sent via email directly to ticket holders] by April 17, 2020. The request period for transfers or partial refunds closes after that time. Refunds will be issued on or around May 1, 2020.
  • Please note we are actively applying for COVID-19 economic recovery loans to increase the refund amount, though information at this time is that the current programs only allow funds to be used for very specific operations and may not help. We’ll reach out to attendees directly if this changes.
  • We’re also giving a free one-year membership to the GSM professional association for every qualifying GSMCON2020 ticket holder. We’ll contact everyone separately about this membership. Ticket holders who are already GSM members will get a free one-year extension on their current membership.

We carry several types of business insurance. We’ve exhausted every avenue and like so many others are dealing with during this time, insurance companies are not covering business loss due to COVID-19.

Please make your choice by completing this form [sent via email directly to ticket holders] by April 17, 2020. The request period for transfers or partial refunds closes after that time.

  • Refunds, for those who make that selection via the form described above, will be issued on or around May 1, 2020. 
    • If your ticket was paid by credit card, then the card will be credited with an amount equivalent to 45% of the total purchase amount.
    • If you paid via check or ACH, then your 45% refund will be made by check. We will reach out to you to confirm the correct mailing address.  
  • Our purchase policy has always been clear about cancelations in order to be fiscally responsible, because companies that run on revenue from an event know that a cancelation due to Force Majeure such as acts of God could close the company, and that’s why the clause is there. However, we’re trying to help government agencies as much as we can in this unprecedented pandemic — we’re all in this together. Offering to transfer tickets to our 2021 conference is our way of giving you the full value of your ticket. But we know revenue is more important to your agencies than ever.  
  • Because ticket sales carry our organization through the entire year, many of the funds have already been used in the last six months of planning the conference. If the event were canceled months earlier, the refund amount could have been larger, but we were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 just 2 weeks before the event. Anything larger than a 45% refund would at this point risk our ability to hold the 2021 event for everyone who transfers.

 

  • If you’re transferring your ticket to 2021 and you purchased any pre-conference workshops, we’ve rescheduled them with our hosts for GSMCON2021 on Monday, March 22. We’ll let you know if there are any time changes closer to the date, and we’ll transfer your participation to those workshops. 
  • If you request a refund instead, the add-on workshop(s) portion will be refunded at 100%. If you want to transfer your ticket to the 2021 event, but the workshop(s) will no longer be relevant to you, you can also choose to do a combination of transferring your ticket to 2021 and getting a refund of one or more of your workshops.
  • Please make your choice by completing the form [sent via email directly to ticket holders] by April 17, 2020. The request period for transfers or partial refunds closes after that time.

GSMCON2021 will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, PA from March 23-25, 2021. You can transfer your ticket to this 2021 event by following the procedures above.

We’re reaching out to Virtual Pass holders directly with their options. If you did not receive a message via email, please reach out to us at hello@gsmcon.com.

GOVERNMENT SOCIAL MEDIA LLC

245 E. Liberty Street, Ste. 230, Reno, NV 89501
Visitors by appointment only please.

1.888.803.9401
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