Last updated March 17, 2020 at 2:15pm Eastern.

NIRSA 2020, the Association’s 71st Annual Conference set to begin April 18 in Phoenix, has been cancelled in response to the ongoing and rapidly accelerating threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As plans for the NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo proceeded thes past few weeks, the Association continually monitored Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health guidance and reporting on the general outbreak nationwide and in Arizona, and arrived at several precautionary steps to ensure a safe meeting for all attendees. The determination of meeting attendees, session presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors to make NIRSA 2020 a reality is greatly appreciated.

However, events have overtaken NIRSA 2020 and much of higher education.

Many institutions, along with many in the corporate sector, have decided that precaution is the best next step forward and have instituted domestic travel bans. Over the weekend, the CDC recommended that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our attendees, exhibitors, staff, and the communities they serve. NIRSA’s Annual Conference brings together over 3,000 people from hundreds of colleges and universities in virtually every state and a number of countries outside of the United States—all of whom return to their campuses. Arizona has declared a state of emergency, as have many other states and cities. Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in nearly every state in this country. It seems inevitable that the news will get worse in this regard.

In light of all these developments and recommendations from public health authorities and out of concern for the health and safety of meeting attendees and exhibitors, the decision has been made to cancel the NIRSA 2020 in-person event.

Plans to celebrate awards and honors will be announced at a future date. NIRSA is also developing plans to share some NIRSA 2020 content virtually.

Those who are registered for the meeting will receive registration refund information via email from NIRSA but will need to cancel their own travel reservations. If you reserved lodging through NIRSA’s room block, the reservation will be automatically cancelled without fees or penalties. If you reserved lodging outside of NIRSA’s room block, you need to cancel your reservation with your lodging provider on your own. 

Learn about the NIRSA Board of Directors here.