COVID-19 Statement and Registration Fee Policy
The NCYM Board continues to be hopeful that our conference in Daytona Beach can move forward as planned with COVID-19 social distancing and safety modifications in place. We are working diligently with the hotel as they work with the CDC and local authorities to ensure a safe environment for everyone (READ the latest COVID-19 statements from Hilton Hotels HERE.
REGISTRATION FEE POLICY
NCYM’s regular Refund Policy will stay in place for refunds on conference registration fees (Please check hotel and transportation options for their policies). While we are hoping to still be able to have NCYM in person, we are expecting the need to move forward with a hybrid approach to the conference.
With your conference registration, you will be able to attend the conference in person (F2F) in Daytona. If you feel that traveling is unsafe for your situation, there will be a virtual option offered this year. We are working to make all of the main sessions and as many of the class sessions as possible to be available in a live format.
If we are forced by the hotel to cancel the F2F option, we will move to a completely virtual event. This option would be a last resort, and like you, we would be disappointed, but we want to be realistic and have a plan in place in case this happens. While a completely virtual event would not be our choice, we would incur the same costs or more by moving platforms; therefore, we would not be able to refund registration fees.
We understand the reluctance to commit, but please be aware that your commitment to NCYM is vital to its long-term success and ability to minister to youth ministers. If you have any suggestions as to how an online experience (equipment, platform, or other ideas) might be enhanced, please feel free to contact the NCYM Planning Board.
FINANCIAL AND LOGISTICAL DETAILS
Youth ministers understand the difficulties of event planning. Planning NCYM is much like planning a large youth event for your church or a larger group of churches. The NCYM board has been working on the NCYM 2021 Conference for a couple of years. Like most churches and para-church organizations, our finances run year-to-year and depend on the success of each conference and careful planning to stay financially viable.
We do everything we can to keep our costs low so that we can keep registration fees down. Unlike most conferences, our administrative costs are very low. Except for travel and some expenses for a spring/fall board meeting, our planning board receives no financial perks for serving as a board member (although they would tell you it is a blessing to serve their fellow youth ministers). Everyone on the board is a volunteer; all the planning, administration, setup, and take-down is done by board members and friends of the conference. They even pay a registration fee. The only organizational costs we incur are the small fees for our website and online schedule used for the conference. This is because we know youth ministers are on tight budgets, and it is the youth ministers on the tightest budgets (or sometimes no budget at all) who need NCYM the most. Therefore, a large portion of our registration fees can be used to bring in the best speakers we can find.
Hotel and speaker commitments have been in place for quite some time. (Did you know we are working on the 2024 conference?) We depend on our attendees showing up to help pay our speakers and give us better negotiating leverage with hotels for reduced room rates and free meeting space (this is why we ask our attendees to stay on-site instead at a cheaper hotel nearby). Our contracts with hotels estimate the number of attendees who have shown up in the past few years and help keep our hotel costs down.
While we do not have direct costs associated with the hotel, we do have commitments we agree to when we sign contracts for discounted guest and meeting room rates. If we cancel, there are cancellation fees involved. If the hotel cancels, we are released from the agreement. One reason we rotate the same hotel every few years is that it helps them be more flexible if they know we are coming back soon.
All of our speakers have already committed and are preparing their presentations. Some of our more prominent speakers require contracts negotiated months or years out as well. Moving to an all-virtual event does very little to reduce our costs.
Whether it is a hybrid model or a forced all-virtual event, hopefully, this additional information helps our attendees understand that just because the event is virtual does not mean it costs less for us to carry out the event; much of our costs for the conference remain the same. Regardless of how NCYM is carried out this year, you have our promise that we will do everything we can to make NCYM the best event possible for all of us!
The NCYM Board