CanBIM Member Update - COVID-19

March 12, 2020

CanBIM members and supporters,

I’m sure all of you are well aware of the news related to the COVID-19 and the devastating global impact this virus is creating. CanBIM extends its heartfelt sympathies to all who have been affected by the virus. CanBIM is committed to ensuring we will continue to deliver high value and high-quality initiatives for our community.  

We have been closely monitoring the news and government advisories around COVID-19. As a result, we have decided to shift all of our events to be more online centric with a live broadcasted experience vs. an in-person event for the foreseeable future. We will continue to monitor the situation and will adjust accordingly as needed. We are making plans for all 3rd and 4th quarter events to be in-person events, but will have an alternative plan in place in the event that this is not possible. Please visit the CanBIM website for more information on upcoming events

Recently, many major events have been cancelled or moved to virtual format around the world. Although Canada isn't experiencing the same level of impact as other countries, the feedback we have heard from our members is that travel will be reduced to “essential travel only” and that employees are now encouraged to work from home and avoid large gatherings such as conferences.

We are committed to servicing our membership, supporting our sponsors and expanding our organization through unique digital offerings.  We have already been developing many ideas around how to improve our conferences through expanding our digital presence, developing our online international audience and it seems that the COVID-19 is forcing these plans to move higher on the priority list.  

CanBIM is fully committed to honor our commitments to our supporting organisations as it relates to marketing benefits. We are preparing the details (which will follow) to explain how this will impact the annual sponsorship program. Our current plan is as follows:

  • There may be either postponement to some of our events or we may move to entirely virtual format depending on the severity of the spread of the virus. (Note the fear of the virus might keep people from showing up to the events and therefore an in-person style event would not be successful)
  • Certain initiatives will not be postponed, but rather converted to an online or digital experience, such as CanBIM Certification ceremonies and the Awards Program.
  • If we need to make changes to events, we will honor the sponsorships benefits and will provide alternative sponsorship opportunities that are equivalent or comparable to existing offerings.
  • We will expedite the development of alternative activities that do not require our members to physically gather in one place. This could include: Webinars, Digital Think Tank initiatives, Research reports initiatives, Podcasts and video interviews.

We are also exploring the idea of creating new online interactive events, such as:

  • Product training (in conjunction with our vendors & supporters)
  • Hackathons; development of open source digital tools to integration or automation.
  • Designathons; Pull together a cross discipline group of experts into an interactive and/or moderated digital work session, focused on a topic of social importance such as “affordable housing” or “emergency facilities” for infectious disease control etc.

We will keep you updated as the situation evolves and we welcome your feedback. Feel free to reach out to me or Gerry Lattmann, Executive Director directly with questions and or concerns.

Best Regards,

Thomas Strong
President & CEO