DST 2020 Conference postponed

It is with great disappointment that we write to inform you of the postponement the DST 2020 Conference due to take place between 30th March and 1st April. As a committee, we have sought guidance from World Health Organisation announcements, the UK government’s current and planned future position on the outbreak in the UK, and the rapidly changing travel restrictions to make our decision. Therefore, in light of the current global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and working in response to current travel bans and the desire to operate in the best interests of our delegates we have made the difficult decision to postpone this event to a date yet to be decided. 

While the University itself is following current UK guidance and operating in a ‘business as usual capacity’, the picture worldwide is continually changing and we are required to make decisions ahead of time with a very uncertain picture. It is due to this, and the desire to run a full and engaging programme of both traditional and non-traditional panel types, that the committee has chosen to postpone the conference rather than converting it in to a digital event. 

The committee will be meeting again before the end of the month to reassess the situation in relation to the new proposed date for the conference, and we will ensure that this new date is communicated to all delegates once decided. While we have unfortunately received a number of withdrawals from the conference in the last couple of weeks due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, however we would like to assure delegates that all accepted abstracts will still be able to feature in the conference once it is rescheduled.

Below we have included some information on what we anticipate to be pressing questions. If you have any questions that fall outside of this information, please do get in touch and we will respond as quickly as possible. 

What happens with my registration fee?

There are two choices regarding your registration. We will be operating a system of carrying over every registration received so far to the new conference date if we do not hear from you or if you would prefer this – if you are then not able to attend the new conference date we can refund the registration fee at that point. Alternatively, if you would prefer, we are able to offer full refund for registration fees now.

If you would like a refund, please contact saedstorytelling@lboro.ac.uk and we will be able to arrange this for you. Your patience in receiving this refund is appreciated during this extremely busy time.

What about my flight?

Many airlines are being lenient about COVID-19 related cancellations and rebooking; experiences vary by airline.  If your university/organisation has banned your travel please contact them directly with regards to how to proceed.  If we have booked your travel we will have cancelled this as part of the postponement process and you do not need to take any action. 

What about my accommodation?

If we have booked accommodation for you we will cancel this on your behalf and there will be no charge to you.

What happens now?

The Conference committee would like to keep working as planned on a book proposal that will include a selection of papers from our conference.

We will also be back in touch in the coming weeks with an update on the rescheduled conference dates.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Antonia, Lyndsey, Sally and the rest of the conference committee.