NOW POSTPONED UNTIL 2021

LETTER TO ATTENDEES

Dear Congress Attendee,

We regret to announce the postponement of the BAM Global Congress 2020.

The global situation with the coronavirus outbreak has developed very rapidly, with ever growing health concerns and restrictions on travel. It has become clear that running the Congress this year is no longer possible, for reasons beyond our control. 

We share this news with heavy hearts because we know that this will have an impact on those who have registered, paid for flights, and planned around this event. 

We greatly appreciate your support of BAM and are thankful that you planned to be at the Congress. We hope and pray that you will be able to come to the Congress on the new dates next year. We have had so many encouraging messages from our attendees, even as the situation has worsened. Thank you!

You will have many questions and we will try to answer them on this specially created Congress Postponement web page. Below you’ll find some preliminary information about registration, refunds, Congress 2021 and more. 

We want to underscore that we are not cancelling the BAM Global Congress altogether, but moving it to new dates (tentatively to late April 2021, around one year later). We hope that you will be able to attend the Congress next year. 

At the Congress 2021 we will celebrate what God is doing through BAM around the world, connect leaders and initiatives, and create momentum to scale the movement for greater impact. More about the BAM Global Congress 2021 below.

Please join us in prayer for the global situation, especially for those facing great hardship and loss because of this virus, including many BAM businesses.

We appreciate your prayers for our team as we continue to plan for new event dates. 

In Christ,

Jo Plummer and Mats Tunehag,

BAM Global Congress Convenors

On behalf of the BAM Global Advisory Board



POSTPONEMENT INFORMATION & FAQs

How did you come to this decision?

Since the coronavirus situation emerged, BAM Global leaders have been monitoring and evaluating the impact of the virus on the world, gathering information, and discussing the merits of moving forward with the Congress or postponing. Our primary concern must be safety for both the attendees and those serving us during the Congress. We have sought input from many different stakeholders in an effort to evaluate the various risks with a measured approach. 

We have been evaluating three major factors to determine our response: potential health risks, economic costs, and opportunity or social costs. We have also been monitoring the ability to travel to the event. We are all aware of the growing number of travel advisories, quarantine requirements and flight cancellations. 

Early on, we felt the health risks at the time could be managed, but the economic costs and loss of opportunity to our attendees, and also to the Congress itself, would be very significant. We emailed to let you know that we were continuing to move forward, and would only postpone if the situation deteriorated with factors outside our control. 

About two weeks ago it started to become clearer that the virus was spreading widely, with more countries reporting cases. The health risks became more significant and governments have been increasing mitigation strategies. 

It has now become very clear that we have to postpone the Congress. The following factors have significantly contributed to this decision:

  • A growing health risk to our attendees, and their loved ones, of gathering at a large international event, particularly those in more vulnerable health categories. 
  • Travel bans and quarantine measures would mean people returning from Thailand would either not be able to re-enter their home country (or next destination) or return to normal work and family life due to quarantine. 
  • Widespread cancellation of flights making travel to the event difficult.
  • An increasing number of people indicating their plans to cancel and a slowdown in new registrations.
  • Our hotel venue decided to stop people travelling from certain countries from entering the hotel. Just this week, they encouraged us to postpone the event.
  • The Thai government has identified a list of 11 high risk countries and territories. Thailand may eventually require a quarantine upon arrival from some or all of these places.

Thus, it is no longer possible for us to run the event as intended: a global gathering of the BAM community on our original dates in April 2020.

What are your plans for the BAM Global Congress 2021?

We plan to deliver the BAM Global Congress as planned, but with new dates, one year later: 28 April to 2 May 2021.

We believe choosing the dates at a similar time of year in April 2021 will be beneficial from a number of perspectives, including:

  • Allowing more time for people who want to come to plan it into their schedules and in a similar time slot during the year.
  • Allowing more time for the current outbreak to be contained by whatever means and for normal travel to be restored.

This decision has been difficult, but is out of our control. We now want to seize the opportunity this delay presents and use the additional time to grow the BAM Global Congress 2021 and its positive impact for all our attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.

At the Congress 2021 we will celebrate what God is doing through BAM around the world, connect leaders and initiatives, and create momentum to scale the movement for greater impact.

We are thankful for the many who are leading planning groups and preparing reports and presentations for the Congress. These are all still valid and important as we plan for the Congress in 2021.  

We were on target for a 900+ person event before coronavirus and we plan to use the additional time to engage even more people and to launch a technology tool to enhance pre-Congress networking and collaboration (for more on that, please read on).

What should I do about my Congress registration?

Your current registration will be automatically applied to the BAM Global Congress 2021.

The good news is that if you plan to come, there is no need to do anything. We warmly invite you to join us on our new dates, 28 April to 2 May 2021 and to keep your registration for the Congress 2021.

However, there are three options:

  1. Keep your registration for the Congress next year
  2. Ask for a refund as per our cancellation policy if you are unable to come
  3. Donate your registration fee to BAM Global if you are unable to come

There is no rush to decide, we have extended the terms of our cancellation policy (see below).

Here is more information about each option:

1. Keep your registration for the BAM Global Congress 2021

We invite you to keep your registration active for the following reasons:

  • We cannot yet guarantee that there will again be special offers such as the early bird price or group rate if you cancel and decide to re-register for the Congress later. You will also avoid paying the small cancellation fee which is part of our refund policy.
  • It will greatly help us to reduce our administrative burden of many cancellations at once.
  • It will also help us financially. BAM Global is a network of networks, our organizational structure is small and nimble and we do not have a large annual budget or reserve of cash. We could run the Congress because it was self-fundingSome of the money we’ve spent can be applied to the 2021 event, but some is not recoverable. Refunding all registrations will put a heavy cash burden on BAM Global.

We also have some exciting opportunities for our currently registered attendees this year: 

BAM Virtual Community

We are preparing to launch a brand-new networking tool for the BAM Global community, which will enable people across the BAM community globally to connect and collaborate securely and virtually. The original plan was to launch at Congress 2020 but with the new Congress date we now hope to launch in Q3 2020 and make it available to enhance pre-Congress collaboration and connections in advance of the 2021 event. 

Registered Congress attendees will have guaranteed early access to this new tool for the BAM movement and we’d like to invite you to be part of it!

BAM Webinar Events

We plan to host a series of BAM Webinars for those registered for the Congress and hope to begin around the time of the original Congress dates. We don’t want to wait to start celebrating what God is already doing, connecting with you, and creating for the future! More details to follow soon.

We aim to confirm the dates of the BAM Global Congress 2021 within the next few weeks.

If you discover that you can no longer attend the newly planned April 2021 Congress, there are two remaining options:

2. Cancel your ticket and receive a refund

We understand that some may wish to cancel your registration and we will extend our current cancellation policy (see below) and honor it until 28 February 2021 so there is no immediate rush.

You may cancel your registration by emailing our Registrar at registrar@bamglobal.org.

3. Consider donating your ticket fee to BAM Global

If you’d like to consider a donation, there are two ways, not mutually exclusive, to support BAM Global and the BAM Global Congress:

A. Donate your registration fee

If you are unable to come in 2021 you can decide to donate your registration fee to the BAM Congress. Please contact our Congress Registrar any time between now and 1 April 2021 at registrar@bamglobal.org and let her know that you would like to transfer your fee to the donation fund.

Donations will be used, a) to ensure we have people on the ground to run the event – we now face significant extra event team* costs caused by the postponement, so this will help us greatly, and b) for scholarships, for those who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend. 

*By ‘event team’ we don’t mean the BAM Global leaders but the hard-working group of people giving their time to run the event operationally!!

B. Additional donation to BAM Global through Sponsorship or Giving

If you’d like to support the work of BAM Global, a network that, among other things, organises the BAM Global Congress and sponsors the website businessasmission.com, you can find out more by visiting our Giving Page.

Or, consider joining our Sponsors team for the Congress and reach a BAM-focused audience. More information about sponsorship available here.

To learn more about BAM Global visit our About page

Thanks for prayerfully considering supporting us!


What is your cancellation policy?

We will extend and honor our current cancellation policy until 28 February 2021:

In the case of a cancellation request received before 28 February 2021 (11:59 pm GMT-10), we will refund the cost of the Congress ticket minus a processing fee of $50.

Unfortunately, we are not able to refund the full amount without charging the processing fee. This is because we have already spent approximately $140 per registration towards the planned 2020 event, please read more about why we decided to keep the $50 refund fee below.

You may cancel your registration by emailing our Registrar at registrar@bamglobal.org.

MORE ABOUT OUR REFUND POLICY

(added 24 March 2020)

A few people have asked us to share more about our refund policy, so here is some more information:

Why did you set the refund fee as $50?

When we created the original refund policy for ticket cancellation, we obviously couldn’t have predicted the scenario that the coronavirus has presented us with. However, we chose $50 because we felt like it represented a fair balance between the need to cover our irrecoverable costs, an incentive against casual registrations/cancellations, and the desire to return the majority of the fee in the event someone did need to cancel.

As the cancellation is not my fault, why are you still charging me the $50 fee?

As we approached the decision to postpone the Congress, we thought a lot about our cancellation policy and decided to keep the same policy and in fact extend it for almost another year.  This is for a number of reasons, including:

We are postponing the Congress and not cancelling it outright, so we are providing an option for most to able to retain the full value of their ticket. We are hoping that the majority of our attendees will choose to simply roll their registration over to the new Congress dates, with no fee lost.

We also wanted to be fair to those who were forced to made the decision to cancel prior to the postponement announcement, due to health worries, flight disruptions etc.. Keeping the fee consistent throughout was the most equitable way to handle this.

Like every organisation and business on the planet in the past few weeks, we have had to adjust to carefully manage our cashflow through this crisis so that we can ‘stay in business’ to deliver the Congress in 2021. We had already spent approximately $140 per delegate of the ticket price preparing for the Congress in 2020; while much of this can be applied to the 2021 event, some cannot and this reality also greatly affects our cashflow situation. With our current financial reserves we are able to deliver the Congress next year, but we cannot afford to refund 100% of the fee to all our delegates in the meantime.

BAM Global is a large network that delivers big projects, but we are relatively small at the core, staffed mostly by volunteers who give their time freely to serve the BAM global community. As such, we are a lean organisation with a lean budget. We can deliver a large Global Congress because it is self-funding and we are able to manage our cashflow, with the help of our generous sponsors and supporters. We do appreciate that many of you are staying registered or donating your registration in order to help us through this unexpected event.

For those of you who do want to cancel and get a refund, we totally respect and understand that. However, we are applying the same cancellation policy as we had before this crisis hit, which is to retain a non-refundable $50 fee when you cancel. We hope the information above has helped you understand why, but if you’d like to talk to us about this, we encourage you to get in touch directly with us by email at chairs@bamglobal.org.  Thank you!


What about my hotel room booking and flight?

HOTEL

The Ambassador City Hotel has been extremely helpful and supports our decision to postpone the Congress. Their goal is to work with us to transition our event to the new dates.

They preferred all Congress room bookings to be cancelled and rebooked again later for the new dates. Therefore all room bookings have now been cancelled. 

We will issue a new special booking link for Congress 2021 later this year.

FLIGHTS

One of the most difficult parts of this decision has been knowing that many had already made travel plans and that some would not be able to recover flight costs.

We are not in a financial position to be able to offer compensation, but we hope that the following information may help you retrieve some or all of your flight costs.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  The Government of Thailand has now closed the borders of Thailand and suspended all international flights until the 30th April. Therefore, all flights into Thailand for the Congress should have been automatically cancelled. We sincerely hope and pray that this will aid your case for getting your flight refunded. Please contact your airline or insurance company directly.

Flight Checklist:

  • Many airlines are cancelling flights and refunding tickets. Please enquire to your airline to find out more.
  • If your government issues a travel advisory or ban for Thailand (or Thailand issues one for your country) airlines will cancel more flights, so it is probably worth waiting a few weeks to see if this will be the case. This is now the case: no flights are currently allowed to land in Thailand until 30th April, all flights have been cancelled for the Congress arrival period.
  • If travel advisories are issued by your government or by Thailand, then this should trigger travel insurance policy coverage for such situations. If you purchased travel insurance, please check with them to see if you are covered. You may already be covered for the cancellation of an event or another reason, it is worth reading the fine print of your policy.
  • Check with your airline about re-booking for next year’s Congress. Many airlines are now offering free or reduced fees for changing flight destinations or dates. Contact them to see if you are able to change your flights to cover another trip you need to make later this year, or get travel credit that can be applied to the BAM Global Congress 2021. Note: flight changes should be made before the departure date on your original booking.

It is worth Googling travel cancellation and coronavirus for your country because there are many more useful resources online. 

We also recommend searching for your airline and coronavirus to discover what has been published about how your particular airline is handling the travel situation.


How can I pray?

We’ve put together the following ideas for prayer in the coming months:

  • Join us in prayer for the global situation, especially for those suffering great hardship and loss as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Please pray for the many BAM companies that are facing financial difficulty as a result of lost business or restricted movement of people or goods.
  • Please pray for a blessing on the Ambassador City Hotel and all their staff, and give thanks for their generosity and help. Pray for a continued strong relationship with our venue.
  • Please also pray for Thailand and especially all who depend on tourism for their livelihood.
  • Please pray for grace and provision for all Congress attendees that are negatively impacted by this postponement.
  • Pray for great wisdom for the BAM Global leaders and event team as we reconfigure the Congress planning to new dates and circumstances.
  • Please pray for grace and endurance for the core event team as they work through this unexpected delay to the event.
  • Pray for creativity for the program planning team and contributors, and for the extra time available for pre-Congress networking to bear much fruit.
  • Pray that information about the Congress in 2021 would spread to new audiences.
  • Please pray for the fruitfulness of the BAM Global Congress 2021 and that God would use it to inspire even more people to use their business skills and gifts for His kingdom purposes!

If you would like to receive monthly Congress Prayer updates throughout the next 14 months and join the WhatsApp Congress Intercession Group (optional), please subscribe here.

A Prayer for BAM Companies

The coronavirus is causing a lot problems for individuals, communities, and nations, but also for businesses.

So let us pray today especially for BAMers and BAM businesses, using a well-known prayer by St. Patrick, which Mats Tunehag has customized to a BAM related prayer. (The original is in bold and italics)

Please feel free to use it for yourself and your business, and if you’re not in business pray for others who are:

Christ with me, as I do business for Him and people

Christ before me, as I plan my business

Christ behind me, as I review my business

Christ in me; my guiding light in business

Christ beneath me; He is the foundation

Christ above me, He is the owner of my business

Christ on my right, Christ on my left, He is the Lord of the marketplace

Christ when I lie down, and rest from my work

Christ when I sit down, in my office chair

Christ when I arise, enthusiastic or weary

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, and my business

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, and my business

Christ in every eye that sees me, my staff, customers, suppliers, and competitors

Christ in every ear that hears me speak about my products and services

AMEN

See prayer in Bahasa, Portuguese, Korean and Russian here.

WITH THANKS TO OUR CONGRESS SPONSORS

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