It had seemed like an inevitability ever since the coronavirus outbreak forced the UK into a series of measures centred around social distancing and limiting the gathering of large groups – and now it is official: the British Insurance Brokers’ Association has just announced the cancellation of its annual conference.
Around two weeks ago, Insurance Business revealed that AXA was pulling out of the event, expressing the need to put the health and wellbeing of it staff first, and now the Association has taken the decision to cancel the event that had been scheduled for May 13 and May 14 at Manchester Central.
In a statement issued moments ago, the Association noted that it looked forward to seeing everyone “at BIBA 2021,” indicating that the event was being cancelled outright for this year rather than being postponed.
Here is the statement in full.
“We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment to all of those involved, including our sponsors, exhibitors, suppliers, delegates and speakers. Indeed we, and the whole insurance sector, will miss the 2020 event,” it said in the statement. “We would like to sincerely thank all those involved for their support.
“We have not taken this decision lightly. The cancellation is however necessary for reasons which we are sure you will appreciate, and which are beyond our control. Since the seriousness of the spread of coronavirus became apparent, we have hoped that its trajectory would be such that BIBA 2020 would not be affected. It is clear now that this is not the case and we cannot, proceed with the event, particularly in circumstances that would put the health of many thousands of people at risk and be contrary to the Government’s advice to avoid mass gatherings.
“In addition, the developments in the last few days mean that we cannot guarantee the one thing that our exhibitors trust us above all else to deliver - namely a large-scale, high quality event where business gets done.
“We are immensely grateful for the support that our exhibitors have already shown us.
“We are contacting each of our exhibitors and are also contacting all of our delegates. We are fully committed to continuing to serve our members and to campaign on issues for the good of the whole insurance sector including managing, in insurance terms, the current health crisis the world is facing.
“We hope to see you at BIBA 2021 which we will work to make even better than before.”