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Home > Education > Webinar Series > IFEA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Forum Webinars


In a time of uncertainty that our world has never experienced before, IFEA World is pleased to present a new weekly “IFEA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Forum,” featuring an open and first-hand discussion by and between some of the top professionals in our industry today. When solutions cannot be listed, templated or easily provided, the power of sharing and networking between professional peers become our most valuable and trusted resources.

Join us to listen-in on these valuable discussions that are sure to provide a combination of empathy and understanding; awareness of potential action steps that your organization may want to take or consider; and new insights into any officially provided direction/programs by government and health officials.


Our next webinar, on Wednesday, April 1st, will focus on ‘The Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Festival & Event Sponsorship’, with a panel of leading industry experts – all directly impacted and responding to the new challenges facing everyone in our industry – discussing the direct response from and viewpoint of this critical stakeholder group in the face of potential property postponements and cancellations; maintenance of long-term partnerships; effect on the continuing sales process looking forward; and much more. Don’t miss this important exchange by your industry peers.

Presenters and topic will vary each week.
Bruce Erley, CFEE, APR
President & CEO
Creative Strategies Group
Denver, CO
Gail Alofsin
Director of Corporate Partnerships
Newport International Boat Show
Newport, RI
Stephen King, CFEE
Executive Director
Des Moines Arts Festival
Des Moines, IA
Kevin Grothe
Vice President of Sponsorship
Memphis in May International Festival
Memphis, TN
Moderated by:
Steve Schmader, CFEE, President & CEO, International Festivals & Events Association, Boise, ID


Please register for each weekly Webinar separately. A separate Log-In link will be emailed to you from customercare@gotowebinar.com for each Webinar.

There is no charge for these Webinar Presentations.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020 - Register Here

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8, 2020 - Register Here

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2020 - Register Here

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2020 - Register Here

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2020 - Register Here
Each Webinar will be presented at 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Mountain Time. (7:00 a.m. Hawaii | 10:00 a.m. Pacific | 12:00 p.m. Central | 1:00 p.m. Eastern | 5:00 p.m. GMT | 6:00 p.m. Rotterdam) To determine what time 11:00 a.m. Mountain Time is in your city, Click Here, listing the starting city as Boise, ID, USA


The Impact of the Coronavirus on Festivals & Events

March 25th, 2020 Webinar
IFEA Member Access - Log-In to View Recording
Speakers:Ted Baroody, CFEE, President, Norfolk Festevents, Norfolk VA | Bob Bryant, President, 500 Festival, Indianapolis, IN | Jeff Curtis, CEO, Portland Rose Festival, Portland, OR | Matt Gibson, President/CEO, Kentucky Derby Festival, Louisville, KY | Paul Jamieson, CFEE, Executive Director, SunFest, West Palm Beach, FL | Diana Mayhew, CFEE, President, National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington, DC

The Impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Festival & Event Sponsorship
April 1, 2020 Webinar
IFEA Member Access - Log-In to View Recording
Speakers: Bruce Erley, CFEE, APR, President & CEO, Creative Strategies Group, Denver, CO | Gail Alofsin, Director of Corporate Partnerships, Newport International Boat Show, Newport, RI | Stephen King, CFEE, Executive Director, Des Moines Arts Festival, Des Moines, IA | Kevin Grothe, Vice President of Sponsorship, Memphis in May International Festival, Memphis, TN
Moderated by: Steve Schmader, CFEE, President & CEO, International Festivals & Events Association, Boise, ID


Now until further notice, all NEW IFEA Memberships are ONLY $150 for 12 months of membership, no matter what your organization's budget level is. Additionally, all IFEA Membership levels are group memberships - so not only are you able to get an IFEA Membership for you and your organization - but everyone else within your same organization.



In addition to our other IFEA Facebook Affinity Groups, we have created one specifically for discussions pertaining to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as an outlet for those wishing to exchange ideas, thoughts, information and more about the effects, impact and ramifications of COVID-19 on your event and the Festivals & Events Industry as a whole with your fellow industry peers.
Go To Affinity Group


After a successful first Webinar for our IFEA Coronavirus Forum, we had quite a number of questions from the attendees that we did not have time to answer. All those submitted to the IFEA post-Webinar, will be sent to the speakers from today's Webinar, and we'll gather the answers and post them to this page. Stay tuned as we gather everything together.

Questions from March 25, 2020 Webinar

Question: Would any of the panelists be willing to share materials / communications / documents (letters / email / social media messages, etc.) that they have developed to send to their constituents / shareholders that could be a used as a template and adapted by other smaller festivals (IFEA members) that may not have access to some of the resources to developing those resources themselves?
  • SunFest - In their communications, they stressed to everyone that every message they sent out have the same tone as the below two linked statements (upbeat) and that it's about the attendee and the community . . not about the festival.

Who was the ticketing agency for SunFest? And did he have to refund everyone’s money?
Answer: Complete Ticket Solutions, and they were fantastic. Our belief is that we did. Postponing was not a viable option for us and the ticket was purchased for a festival that was now not happening. Plus people may well need their money. At this point roughly half of the buyers said they be happy to carry it over to 2021. I realize that everyone’s cash position is different, but I cannot emphasize enough how positive the reaction to this stance has been.

Question: Could SunFest send out a list of the resources he is using for applying for money?
Answer: They're researching that now and will aim to have a list next week. If anyone has any other resources they can share, please let IFEA know and we'll share them here.

I know the city jumped the gun – but what was Paul’s original plan on announcing the cancellation? I’m in the process of cancelling my event, and trying to figure out who I need to tell before I tell the public, how I tell the public, how I work with vendors, ticket holders, sponsors, etc.
Answer:Our plan was to get our Board’s buy in, agree with the City, and then release to everyone (meaning press, sponsors, media, volunteers, contractors, ticket holders, social platforms, our general data base) at the same time. Our belief is that news travels fast and we wanted everyone to hear it from us first. We saw how true it was that news travelled fast when we were unexpectedly cancelled. Our phones (business lines and personal cells) blew up immediately.
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