NATPE Miami has cancelled its in-person conference that had been scheduled for Jan. 18 to 20, in consideration of the health and safety of its attendees as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 ramps up case numbers globally.
The decision was announced on Saturday (Jan. 8) by JP Bommel (pictured), president and CEO of the NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives). New dates and locations are currently under consideration for the next NATPE Conference and Marketplace.
NATPE is now working to develop a plan to offer virtual and in-person events, when appropriate, throughout the rest of the year with either no fees, or limited ones, in appreciation of the supports the organization has received.
“Although this decision from a financial point of view will cost the organization a great deal of money, that was secondary to our primary concern, which is to put the welfare of our members first,” Bommel said in a news release.
“We put a great deal of safety protocols in place, but it is just not enough given the intensity of this virus which is spreading at an enormous rate all over the world. We look forward to producing a strong conference at the right time and under the best circumstances, and to provide all our attendees with the greatest value we can offer.”
The conference is the latest to be impacted by the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with two other conferences slated for the end of January — the Sundance Film Festival and the Realscreen Summit — also needing to re-evaluate in-person components. Sundance canceled its in-person events, shifting fully to online weeks after introducing updated health and safety protocols, while the Realscreen Summit has been postponed until June and will be taking place in Dana Point, California, as opposed to Austin, Texas.