SPA Trustees & Executive Committee Statement on SPANC20

17 March 2020 (Updated: 18 March 2020)

It is with regret that the SPA is announcing the postponement of its annual conference, due to be held at Sheffield Students’ Union from 3-5 April, 2020.

Due to the ongoing issues surrounding COVID-19 coronavirus and in light of Government advice, the SPA’s Trustees, Executive Committee and Host Officer agreed it would not be responsible to hold such a large event in the current climate, when not only may there be a risk of transmitting the virus between delegates and speakers, but when many delegates may miss out due to travel restrictions or being told to self-isolate.

The rescheduled conference will now take place on Friday 2 – Sunday 4 October 2020 at Sheffield Students’ Union.

All tickets and accommodation bookings will be honoured for the rescheduled dates. An opportunity for refunds will be made available for current ticket holders once more details can be announced.

Please bear with us as we continue to work on this over the coming weeks. The health and safety of our delegates, speakers and volunteers is and always will be our utmost priority.


Questions about SPANC20

Q: Why has SPANC20 been postponed?

Due to the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19 coronavirus and in light of Government advice, the SPA’s trustees, executive committee and host officer felt it would be irresponsible to hold an event where the virus could be transmitted. It would likely also be the case that many delegates would miss out due to travel restrictions or being told to self-isolate.

The UK Government has advised that mass gatherings should be avoided, and we felt it important to make a clear decision as soon as possible to give you maximum time to make other arrangements.

Q: When will SPANC20 be held?

SPANC20 will now be held on 2 – 4 October. The rescheduled conference will still take place at Sheffield Students’ Union.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding this outbreak, we will continue to monitor the situation in the run-up to the new dates and be sure to communicate any new information as soon as possible.

Q: Is my ticket still valid?

Yes. If you’ve already purchased a ticket this will transfer directly over to the new date, including accommodation and food provided with it. Ticket sales have currently been suspended but will reopen in the run-up to the rearranged date.

Q: If I can’t make the new date, can I get a refund?

Refunds will be made available for all current ticket holders who cannot make the new conference dates. To receive a refund, please email admin@spajournalism.com with your Transaction ID and the word “refund” in the subject line. All refund requests must be received on or before 1 April. After this point, the usual rules on refunds and transferability will apply.

Q: What if I have already paid for my travel?

Unfortunately the SPA is unable to reimburse travel costs already incurred, however many travel operators are offering free changes or cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Please check with them to see if you are able to move your tickets to the new dates, or cancel if necessary.

Q: What about the Awards and the AGM?

Both the Awards and the AGM will be held at the rescheduled conference.

Q: I was attending under the Diversity Bursary, will that still apply?

Yes this will be honoured, but if you’re unable to make the new date please let us know on admin@spajournalism.com as soon as possible so we can offer a spot to somebody else.

Q: What happens if the conference is cancelled altogether?

In the event that the rescheduled conference has to be cancelled due to COVID-19 coronavirus, a full refund of your ticket will be issued.

Q: What if I have more questions?

If your query isn’t covered here, email admin@spajournalism.com and we’ll do our best to help! You can also follow us on Twitter – @SPAJournalism – for any updates.