The USGIF released a new statement announcing that the GEOINT Symposium has been postponed until April 14-17, 2014 in Tampa, Florida at the Tampa Convention Center.
Dear GEOINT 2013 Attendee,
As you know from our communication on Tuesday, the GEOINT 2013 Symposium has been postponed due to the federal government shutdown and the Pay Our Military Act. Despite the phenomenal support from the City of Tampa, its Mayor, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and others in Tampa, the absence of government speakers from our program and the absence of government customers from our exhibit hall, forced the unavoidable postponement of the 10th Annual GEOINT Symposium.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we've sorted out the details. The USGIF staff has been working to provide you as many details on the impacts and how to move forward with the new Spring date. We know everyone is anxious, so included below is a comprehensive response for as many questions as we have answers for at this time. Please be aware it is our intent and hope to roll all contracts over for an April 14-17 GEOINT Symposium. We are presently working with the folks in Tampa on the viability of this intent.
Q. The GEOINT 2013 Symposium is postponed to when?
A. We intend to now hold the Symposium April 14-17, 2014.
Q. Is the Symposium still in Tampa?
A. Yes. We intend the venue will be the same for the Allder Golf Classic, GEOINT Foreward, General Sessions and the Exhibit Hall. We are working with the folks in Tampa to do so.
Q. Will the agenda change?
A. We hope not. We are working with all of the keynotes, panelists, and presenters to reconfirm their participation. There may be changes, but we intend to keep the agenda intact.
Q. Does the theme also stay the same?
A. Yes, the theme for the Symposium will continue to be "Operationalizing Intelligence for Global Missions."
Q. I plan to attend in the Spring. Do I have to cancel or re-register for the event?
A. No. Because the event is postponed, not canceled, USGIF is maintaining all registrations for the new dates. All current registrations for the GEOINT Symposium will automatically transfer to the new dates in Spring 2014. Attendees will receive a new confirmation email during the first week of November. No further action is required if you still plan to attend the GEOINT Symposium, April 14-17, 2014.
Q. The April 14-17 dates doesn't work for me. Can I get a refund?
A. Yes, you have until Dec. 1, 2013, to request a full refund, less the $100 processing fee, if the postponement of the Symposium no longer works for your schedule. Requests made on or after Dec. 1, 2013, are ineligible for any refund.
Q. How do I request a refund?
Q. Can I make a substitution at no cost if I am unable to support the new dates?
Q. What happens if I cancel my registration now and later learn I'm available to attend?
A. Please note that all new registrations will be at the onsite rate. If you receive a refund/cancelation for your existing registration and then rebook, you will pay a higher fee.
Q. I canceled my registration before the Symposium because something came up. Now I can attend in April 2014. Do I have to pay the entire registration fee again?
A. USGIF will allow you before Dec. 1, 2013, to repay the difference between your refund and the full-symposium registration price should you have canceled and now wish to reactivate your registration.
Q. What if my organization used a Member discount code to register for the conference, but the USGIF membership is going to expire before the new dates? Will I have to pay more?
A. No. Although we hope you'll renew your membership, we will honor any existing Member comp codes/registrations made for the original dates of the Symposium.
HOTELS & HOUSING
Q. Do I need to cancel my hotel room?
- Marriott: (813) 221-4900
- Embassy Suites: (813) 769-8300
- Hilton: (813) 204-3000
- Westin: (813 229-5000
Q. What happens to my reservation deposit?
A. All hotels are obligated, under the circumstances, to refund your deposit. We have received a few calls from attendees having issues with the Embassy Suites and the Marriott. Please be assured we are actively engaging with the hotel management to work this out.
Q. When will the new housing booking be available?
A. Housing options for the new dates will be available beginning Nov. 1, 2013.
BOOTH SPACE / SPONSORSHIPS / MEETING ROOMS / ADVERTISING
Q. Now that GEOINT 2013 has been postponed, what happens to the monies paid for booth space, sponsorships, advertising and meeting rooms?
A. All monies paid for booth space, sponsorships, advertising and meeting rooms will be transferred to the new GEOINT Symposium dates. If this is an issue, please contact:
Jeffrey T. Ley, CEM, CMM
Vice President, Business Development and Exhibitions
Q. Will my booth space be in the same location?
A. Yes, USGIF intends to utilize the existing floor plan. Your booth number and location should remain the same.
Q. Will I need to sign a new contract for booth space, sponsorships, advertising, or meeting rooms?
A. USGIF will provide an addendum that simply changes the dates of the already executed agreement. Exhibitors will have 30 days to sign and return the amendment.
Q. Will exhibitors need to submit a new certificate of insurance?
A. Yes, all that is needed is a change in dates. The indemnities and terms of the insurance do not change.
Q. Can I supply a new exhibitor profile for the event guide?
A. Yes, USGIF will contact you in advance of the event to confirm the profile you have provided.
Q. Can I supply new artwork for my advertisement in the event guide or show daily?
A. Yes, USGIF will contact you in advance of the event to confirm the artwork you wish to use.
Q. I have signed up for a sponsorship and know USGIF has ordered items to fulfill the sponsorship. Is anything additional required on my part?
A. No, the sponsorship deliverables will automatically transfer to the new GEOINT Symposium dates.
---- original post 10/8/13 ----
The following letter was posted to the GEOINT 2013 website from USGIF CEO Keith Masback:
Dear GEOINT Symposium Attendees, Exhibitors, and USGIF Members:
As you well know, we are operating under the significant constraints of a government shutdown. Recently the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Pay Our Military Act,” which allowed most Defense Department personnel to return to their jobs alongside the excepted personnel who were still working. However, the act also included language that has made it impossible for personnel to travel (except in direct support of operational forces) or attend events — including the GEOINT 2013 Symposium.
Up until Friday of last week, the Symposium had been poised for success on par with previous years and actually enhanced with the addition of a number of new and exciting elements. Government and military registration, both U.S. and international, was the highest ever, as a percentage of total registration. We are one of the few events this year to fill downtown Tampa nearly to capacity, and the excitement has been palpable, despite the challenges associated with sequestration. However, the new legislation, subsequent legal interpretations, and resultant directives have drastically changed the environment.
The USGIF staff has been working diligently in an interactive way during this tumultuous period to determine the best course of action for our members, attendees, and exhibitors. We’ve met with USGIF sustaining members, we’ve talked with our government partners, and heard from exhibitors. USGIF is simply unable to commence and maintain the event in its original scope. Given the absence of government speakers from our program and the absence of government customers from our exhibit hall, we have no choice but to postpone the 10th Annual GEOINTSymposium to spring 2014. This is very difficult for everyone involved, and there are many immediate, second- and third-order effects. USGIF, our members, our exhibitors, our attendees, and our many partners in the greater Tampa area community will have to work through the effects imposed by these government decisions and the required postponement of our event.
We regretfully understand this may put our event closer to or overlapping with some other events. Unfortunately, this is the only time in the first half of the year open for the Tampa Convention Center and surrounding hotels. It is also the only financially tenable option forUSGIF. In addition to inadvertently impacting the events of peer organizations (which we pledge to work diligently to mitigate), this change will cause a ripple effect on our planned NGA Tech Showcase West (currently scheduled for April) and USGIF’s GEOINT Community Week, including Tech Days and the GEOGala — and we are working on options for those events as well.
We have worked steadily over time to be excellent stewards of the resources which our Community has invested in the Foundation. We will, like many of you, have tough financial decisions to make as we navigate the coming weeks and months. Your ongoing partnership, membership, and support for the programming we provide to the Community remain vital.
Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We plan to communicate clearly and often, and we are always ready to address your questions.
Keith J. Masback
Chief Executive Officer
United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF)