This week the ABA Board of Directors held their annual Fall Board meeting virtually. The meeting focused on how we can continue to best serve all of our members during these uncertain times.
One outcome of these discussions was ABA's Marketplace in 2021. From talking to many of you, there was a concern January is too soon for you to be traveling and reconnecting with colleagues when much of the group travel business had not yet returned. Early during the COVID-19 crisis ABA worked with our partners at Visit Baltimore and secured backup dates for the 2021 Marketplace. Therefore the Board has voted to move the 2021 Marketplace and Busworld North America from January to June 18-22, 2021. Everyone believes that by June we will be well on our way to recovery. The Board wants to give a hearty thank you to Al Hutchinson and his team at Visit Baltimore for working with us to make Marketplace and Busworld North American in June a reality.
Through this time of evolution as the industry learns to adapt and work in our new normal, ABA's Marketplace is also evolving. We recognize that you look forward to ABA’s Marketplace to kick start your year and we want to still give you an experience that will help bolster your 2021. First, we will hold our Winter Board meeting virtually in January as planned and will also hold a virtual Annual Meeting at the end of January. The Annual Meeting being open to the entire motorcoach, tour and travel industry whether you are a member or not. In addition, we are developing Marketplace OnDemand, which will launch in January and run until we meet in Baltimore on June 22. During this time you will have access to your Marketplace passport, exclusive education, and the ability to do business with one another and reconnect with colleagues and friends virtually. Marketplace OnDemand will be available to all who have registered for Marketplace in Baltimore to ensure you have the best Marketplace experience throughout the year and when you arrive in Baltimore. Stay tuned for more exciting details in the coming months. Registration re-opens on Oct. 1.
I also want to note that this change is a pandemic-only occurrence, we will be returning to our regularly scheduled Marketplace in January 2022 in Grapevine, Texas.
I want to thank our Board of Directors for their continued commitment to our membership and ensuring that the entire industry can come together and recover and evolve to be stronger than ever.
I also want to take a moment and remind you of other commitments the Board and staff have made to our members during this pandemic:
- This year you will receive a dues discount. Your current dues renewal invoice reflects the discount of 25-50 percent depending on the category. If you have any questions about your dues, feel free to reach out to Lia Zegeye at email@example.com.
- ABA has increased four-fold the number of education and learning opportunities during the pandemic to help you and your team continue professional growth and business planning during this time.
- All ABA publications are now digital for the seeable future to ensure even those who are not working in the office, can still have access to all of the industry's information and news.
- Our Government Affairs and Policy team, along with members and outside lobbyists, continue to work 24/7 to obtain financial relief for the industry from Congress.
I look forward to seeing everyone again in person at ABA's Marketplace and Busworld North America in Baltimore, June 18-22, 2021. In the meantime you can reach me any time at 202-218-7229 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you, your families and your colleagues continued good health and a bright future.
Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS
President & CEO
American Bus Association