As COVID-19 cases spike in Florida, Informa Connect has postponed its upcoming Inside ETFs and WealthStack conferences, which were slated to take place at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla. on Sept. 27-29.
Hollywood is located in Broward County, where COVID-19-related deaths are on the rise. Overall, Florida currently has more coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths than any other state.
“While we have the ability to move forward with Inside ETFs and WealthStack, we do not believe that hosting a large-scale event in Florida later this month is in the best interests of our attendees, speakers, sponsors—and our team,” said Mark Bruno, managing director of wealth management at Informa Connect.
The events will take place in 2022. More details will be made available in the coming days when the specific dates and venue are solidified.
Bruno added that over the last five to 10 days, several speakers canceled due to safety concerns or travel restrictions, and there were growing concerns about COVID-19 from attendees, sponsors and event staff, particularly from participants with younger children, who are not yet in a position to be vaccinated.
“It had nothing to do with the quality of the program or the financials; this was everything about timing and location,” Bruno said. “We had the registrants; we had the speakers we wanted; we had the sponsors; we just didn’t have the right time or the right place.”
About 800 individuals registered for the September event, and the company had some high-profile speakers lined up, including former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his father, former New Orleans Saints and Houston Oilers quarterback Archie Manning. Other speakers included Shirl Penney, CEO of Dynasty; Dave Welling, CEO of Mercer Advisors; Joe Duran, co-head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management; Dani Fava, head of strategic development at Envestnet; and Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research at Morningstar.
“We felt like this was the responsible choice,” Bruno said.
The Wealth Management Industry Awards, scheduled for Sept. 9, and the FinovateFall conference, slated for Sept. 13-15, both in in New York City, will move forward as planned with in-person events.
Several companies and industry groups have been cancelling or postponing their fall events in recent weeks. Organizers of the popular T3 advisor technology conference recently announced that the 2021 gathering would be pushed to an as yet undecided date in the spring of 2022 in Denton, Texas. Last week, the Financial Planning Association called off its scheduled in-person conference due to the spread of the delta variant. The event was originally scheduled for Sept. 22–24 in Columbus, Ohio. Potomac Fund Management postponed its 2021 Advisor Conference, originally scheduled for September, to 2022.
On Wednesday, Snappy Kraken announced its decision to reschedule the JOLT! conference, originally scheduled for Oct. 20-22, to May 4-6, 2022 in Las Vegas.
(Editor's note: WealthManagement.com is a sister brand to Inside ETFs and WealthStack; all are owned by Informa Plc.)