ACCAU Melbourne 2020 cancelled (with refund)
We will cancel this year’s event initially scheduled for 28/03/2020. For all tickets, we will issue a refund as soon as possible. For details, please keep reading.
Announcement Date: Sat 14 March
Dear Attendee of the Agile Coach Camp Melbourne 2020 (ACCAU Melbs 2020),
With a heavy heart, we inform you that we will cancel this year’s Agile Coach Camp Melbourne, initially scheduled for 28/03/2020, due to COVID-19.
That was not an easy decision for us to make.
Over the past few days, we have been following the development of COVID-19 closely. On Wednesday, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Supermarkets are running out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other goods. More and more companies encourage or require their employees to work from home. Australian schools and universities prepare for shutdowns. As of today, there are 156 confirmed cases in Australia with an increasing growth rate (12% growth rate from Tuesday to Wednesday; 24% from Thursday to Friday). Stock markets all over the world are plummeting. Countries announce travel bans and lockdowns. Monkeys go savage. Altogether, it looks pretty dire.
We don’t know where this is going. We scheduled the camp to take place in 2 weeks. Because of voluntary social distancing, mandatory working-from-home policies from employers, governmental restrictions, and other influences from COVID-19, we find it very likely that a lot of attendees will be negatively affected within the next two weeks. These attendees then will very likely not be able to attend our coach camp. And we can also see the scenario that nobody will be able to show up at the event (lockdown).
The risk here is that we end up with an open space event that only has so many people — if there are any left at all. We can see that this then becomes an unsatisfying experience for everyone involved (attendees, sponsors, organisers) and we don’t want to risk that.
As organisers, we also want to act responsibly. You might have heard about flattening the curve via social distancing. We can wait for the governmental lockdown to happen, and we can also start acting on it right now. In this case, earlier is better. It’s one thing for everyone personally to decide if they want to distance themselves socially. It’s another thing to invite 50 people to an event and contribute to social closeness. For us, we concluded that it’s not responsible anymore to do the latter.
So, that’s why we decided to cancel the event.
We will issue refunds to all attendees via Eventbrite. Unfortunately, we have to issue refunds one-by-one (thanks, Eventbrite!), so this might take a while. We don’t expect any problems here. However, if you haven’t received your money by the middle of next week, please let Bernd know via email ( email@example.com ), and we’ll sort things out.
We thought about going online, offering an Agile coach camp with remote attendance. You know, turning the crisis into an opportunity. And while we like the idea a lot, we don’t think we’d have the capacity within the next two weeks to pull this off. Let alone finding out if anyone would like to attend an event like that. We love a good challenge like this, and, at the same time, we feel challenged enough given the current pandemic situation.
At this point, we don’t know if we are going to re-schedule later this year. There’s just too much uncertainty about how much impact this virus will have, and for how long. Maybe there will be a chance to organise the coach camp later this year, and perhaps we’ll be back for ACCAU 2021.
We understand if you are disappointed right now. So are we. You have been looking forward to this event. So have we. It would’ve been the 6th annual Agile coach camp in Melbourne this year. In the past, lots of attendees came back year after year. So did we. Attendees of past events were excited about the curiosity, the companionship, and the inspiration they experienced. We all will miss out on that now. That hurts a bit.
Let us assure you that we see this as a break, not a stop. We don’t know what the future will hold, of course, but we are confident we all will recover from this. And when that happens, we will be back, and we organise the next camp. That’s something we look forward to now. We hope that you do, too.
Thanks a lot to our venue sponsor Nintex for their ongoing support over the past six years.
Chris and Bernd
Organisers of the Agile Coach Camp Melbourne (ACCAU Melbourne)