March 13, 2020
To: RLC attendees, sponsors, and partner
It is with great regret that we announce the unavoidable cancellation of this year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., which we had planned to hold March 22-25.
As you know from our previous communications, we recognize the importance of this gathering and had explored numerous options to keep it on schedule. And we know that this will come as an enormous disappointment to the sponsors and restaurant operators who had planned for months to attend. This is not the outcome we wanted. There are three overriding concerns that have mandated this result:
- First, amid all the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our attendees and our own staff is paramount. This is our community. We all must be kept safe.
- Second, an increasing number of government and public health officials have called for banning events with more than 1,000 people (250 in some states). Arizona has declared a state of emergency, and every professional and major college sports program in Arizona (and across the country) has been forced to suspend events to protect attendees and participants. It is clear that the officials we depend on to maintain public health are moving in only one direction.
- Third, our sponsors and partners fund and support the conference at considerable expense. They are entitled to a high ROI on their investment, which has become impossible based on the current and growing pace of attendee cancellations.
Just last week, we felt optimistic that RLC was solid and secure enough to proceed with our plans, but as it stands today, it is impossible to deliver the one thing that our sponsors trust us above all else to deliver: a large-scale, high-quality audience of restaurant executives.
We are so thankful for the support that has already been shown to us. Quite rightly, many of you see yourselves as friends and members of the extended Winsight/RLC family. This is precisely why we consulted transparently with our stakeholders and took every step possible to keep this event going. In the end, the health and well-being of our community requires that RLC not go forward at this time.
What to do now:
- Please cancel your hotel reservation immediately to avoid any penalties.
- For those sponsors who were exhibiting or had activations that required placing orders with Gulf Coast, PSAV or 5-0 Productions, we will follow up with a separate communication to include additional details and next steps for your placed orders.
There undoubtedly will be many questions as we work together through this unprecedented series of events. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for answers. We check that account actively.
We thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work through this difficult time.