| || ||Letter From President Kevin Wood|
What is your favorite part of the state convention? Is it a seminar on a topic of interest? Maybe exploring the newest technology in survey equipment? I enjoy seeing some good friends. Others build on the experience to make a mini-vacation. I have worked to make the 2020 VAS Convention the very best experience that is possible. The event was revised earlier in the year and moved to October - more planning, but still a very strong event.
However, the times continue to change. We must adapt everything that we do to meet safety standards for all whom might attend. The current COVID-19 standards require social distancing and now limited attendance in any gathering. These state-mandated standards limit our classroom size to 26 at the largest. It also does not allow for large gatherings in the exhibit hall or banquet. Some of our members cannot travel because of COVID-19 restrictions in their office. Others are concerned due to safety issues in Virginia Beach or even outside of their own limited points of contact.
I have talked to the VAS Executive Board, the VAS Board, the Education Chair, and members in different chapters across the state. Our resolution is that the VAS Convention must move forward, in the safest way possible. A live or in-person convention will not provide the membership the opportunities they need. Nor can anyone guarantee a safe environment for the membership. The safest way to move forward is virtually. In that light, I have met with the VAS staff and canceled the hotel for our October event in Virginia Beach.
The plans are changing with the “where” of the convention. To the best of my abilities, the “what” of the convention will not change. You will still get education credits, a chance for socializing with friends, and opportunities to see the newest technology. The 2020 VAS Convention is happening in October. It may not be what we all expected coming into this year, but it will be special. It will probably include a few things that we have never done. How you choose to accept this change makes a difference. The VAS needs your support more than ever now. You will not have to leave home, but your presence will be felt all over the state. I will be working with the VAS Staff, the Tidewater Chapter, and the Education Committee to reshape our convention for 2020, so stay tuned and be prepared to be a part of the experience.
Kevin B. Wood, LS