Decision Regarding the 2021 Hungary Family Education Conference
Over the past months, staff members at SHARE Education Services have been watching the many factors that need to be considered in order to conduct a safe and successful conference in Hungary in February 2021. As you already know, it has been a moving target to keep tabs on all the restrictions throughout the region we serve. We had previously set a deadline to make a decision by September 1 but kept pushing that decision back, hoping that things would clarify.
We feel that we must now move forward with a decision in order to be able to plan for next year and to allow your family to plan as well. The consensus is that we will need to cancel the Hungary face-to-face conference for these reasons:
- Travel restrictions are still in place with no end in sight.
- Social distancing restrictions and group size requirements are still in place with no indication of change.
- February is still flu season and any sickness can be perceived as a threat to the whole group. Conflicting reports of vaccine availability make it hard to predict.
- We need to cancel before having to pay hotel deposits and give hotels enough time to re-book if we are not coming.
So what options will be offered instead?
- We will ask our plenary speaker and perhaps a few others to offer a few webinars for the adults during that week. The children’s program staff will offer a short online activity for the children as well. We will post links to sign up for those sessions.
- We recognize the need for F2F interaction among the teenagers who normally attend the HU conference. This is especially true for high school seniors who need closure and encouragement in their upcoming transitions, so we are exploring the possibility of having a teen retreat a bit later in the spring. If you are interested in attending, please send a note to Diana Thomas (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let her know that your teen(s) is interested. A smaller, less expensive venue is being explored. Again, this is tentative based on guidelines and restrictions at that time but we are moving forward with hope.
More good news is that we are also continuing with plans to do a full conference near Athens, Greece at the end of March. By that time, provided restrictions are lifted, the weather will allow more use of outdoor space and flu season will be mostly finished. So we’d love to have you join us there. Registration will open on our website on January 1 for that conference.