SGA Blog

​​SGA Conference Event Update: Natural Gas Connect 2020 & Spring Gas 2020 are Going Virtual

June 2, 2020

SGA Conference Event Update

Dallas, Texas – Since 1908 the Southern Gas Association (SGA), the natural gas industry’s leading training association, has convened the natural gas industry, operators, associates, and industry leaders to share best practices, innovate, and build relationships.

With the onset of COVID-19, 2020 SGA conferences scheduled in March and April were initially rescheduled for later in the year.  Natural Gas Connect remained scheduled for July.  Even as plans for the meetings proceeded, SGA continually monitored the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies for guidance and reporting on the general outbreak nationwide. The determination of committee volunteers to proceed creating valuable content for Natural Gas Connect & Spring Gas Conference & Expo, even in a very fluid and uncertain environment, is greatly appreciated.

The Coronavirus outbreak has significantly impacted our nation, the natural gas industry, and has overtaken our meetings. We consulted with executives from our member companies; the majority indicated that out of an abundance of caution, their companies have decided to curtail domestic travel and attendance at large meetings, even in the absence of a federal or state travel or meeting ban.

Our priority is the safety and well-being of our staff and attendees. Additionally, we are cognizant of the fact that SGA’s Natural Gas Connect and Spring Gas Conference & Expo bring together over 3,000 people from hundreds of companies in virtually every state. These attendees return to their companies after spending several days with each other. SGA has an obligation to conference attendees, the many family members, employees, and customers they would interact with upon return, as well as vendor and hotel employees they would encounter at the conference, to help them be safe.

In the United States, each city, state, and county are independently managing the response to coronavirus. The CDC also continues to warn us that a reoccurrence is probable if the public doesn’t adhere to mandatory social distancing and recommended infection precautions.  In light of these developments, out of concern for meeting attendees’ health and safety, and after consultation with the SGA Board of Directors, we have decided to proceed with virtual conferences in lieu of the following in-person gatherings:

  • Natural Gas Connect (St. Louis, MO – July 13-15)
  • Spring Gas Conference & Expo (Columbia, SC previously rescheduled for August 4-6)

Management Conference:  Will not proceed in person.  We are currently conducting a survey of the Board to determine if Management Conference, scheduled for September 9-11, will be held virtually.  We expect to be able to update you on this no later than July 1, 2020.

This decision aligns with our membership’s travel restrictions and minimizes disruption and uncertainty in everyone’s lives.

From the conversations we’ve had with many of you over the past few weeks, we feel confident this move reflects the needs and opinions you’ve been communicating. Thank you for helping us with this decision.

With this pivot to VIRTUAL events, SGA is perfectly positioned to provide the extensive and necessary training, peer-to-peer learning opportunities and content delivered at Natural Gas Connect and Spring Gas Conference & Expo. Additionally, our Natural Gas Connect keynote speaker, well-known author and journalist, Robert Bryce, has committed to opening our virtual conference.

There are many benefits to a virtual conference:

  1. Additional flexibility.  Taking into consideration the requirement to balance multiple priorities, we have pivoted to offer the Natural Gas Connect Academy.
    1. Shorter sessions, 60 and 90 minutes, that will be available both live and on-demand.
    2. Spreading the content over 4 weeks, from July 13th to August 6th.  This adaption will allow attendees to take advantage of as many of the important sessions as they choose.  This also addresses one of the most frequent comments we received on the face-to-face conference; affording attendees the ability to attend two sessions being held simultaneously.
  2. Reduced pricing for members.  We understand the impact that commodity prices and Coronavirus has had on our industry.  The Natural Gas Connect Academy virtual conference allows SGA to lower the cost to attend and provide two economical pricing options for our members.
    1. Individual member rate: $495/Individual non-member rate: $795
    2. Member company rate $10,000 allows unlimited attendees from that company

The virtual Spring Gas Conference & Expo will offer similar innovation, from August 17thto September 3rd.  Attendees who signed up for the Spring Gas Conference will be automatically enrolled in the virtual event.  As well, they will be provided access to Natural Gas Connect.  No further registration for Spring Gas will be accepted.  However, previously registered attendees will need to cancel any hotel and travel reservations. ​

Registration for Natural Gas Connect will be available on our website on June 8, 2020 https://southerngas.org/event-calendar at which time registration will be open.  The virtual Spring Gas Conference & Expo agenda will be posted by June 29, 2020.

Exhibits: An important part of both Natural Gas Connect and Spring Gas Conference & Expo are the technology updates and conversations with exhibitors, our valuable industry partners. It is our desire to hold a virtual exhibit hall that facilitates these very important interactions and relationships, provided our exhibitors desire to do so.  We are inviting all exhibitors and potential exhibitors to a webinar on June 15 from 11:30-12:30 central to demonstrate the virtual exhibit hall experience.

Virtual Exhibit Hall Demonstration
Mon, Jun 15, 2020 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM (CDT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/578058469

Thank you for your membership and continued support of SGA.  Today and everyday we are working diligently to provide valuable content that links ideas, people and information.  We are committed to our mission to advance the individual and the natural gas industry, during Coronavirus and beyond.

If you have any questions, please reach out to me or a member of our leadership team.

Suzanne.Ogle@southerngas.org

Nicolle.Billmyre@southerngas.org

Cindy.Mitchell@southerngas.org

Telesa.Walton@southerngas.org

 

Wishing you health and fortitude in this new environment.

Respectfully,

Suzanne Ogle

Chief Executive Officer

 

This entry was posted in SGAnews. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.