DEAR INSPIRATION LAB FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS & CONFERENCE ATTENDEES,

We have officially decided to cancel our 2021 Inspiration Lab Conference.

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We will be issuing all ticket-holders refunds that should show up in your account within the next 7-10 business days.

 Please reach out if you do not see a credit after that time frame.

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As a business owner, I never want to fall into the trap of “sunk costs” and that is especially tempting with this conference.

Just because we have invested crazy amounts of time, lots of money, and of course tons of creative energy, that doesn’t mean moving forward with the event is the correct decision. It also doesn’t mean it was all wasted time and effort either. Now we’re better prepared for whenever we finally do get to have a big conference again and that is worth real time and money in and of itself.

Seth Godin often talks about sunk costs and in this article, he says:

“New decisions based on new information are at the heart of leadership. But you can’t make those decisions if you’re also busy calculating how much the old decisions cost you.”

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SO WE'VE MOVED FORWARD WITH THE DECISION TO CANCEL.

Here are the nine reasons why...

 💕I am the mother of a medically fragile child with special needs who is a childhood cancer survivor. I want to take limited risks when it comes to exposing him to COVID-19. Despite the fact that he, my husband, and I are all vaccinated, we’d rather not roll the dice on how his sensitive immune system, which isn’t 100 percent, would respond to a breakthrough case.

😷Our team at The Inspi Lab, expected conference attendees, and our event speakers include many moms of children who aren’t able to be vaccinated. We want to protect our most vulnerable, which in the case of the Delta variant, is children who are too young or too sick to get the vaccine.

🤒On top of that, there seems to be an endless list of local friends and family who are either experiencing breakthrough COVID cases and/or being exposed and therefore doing a 10-day quarantine. I know of four moms who had to quarantine their kids less than one week into the school year.

🚫The conference hinges heavily on my ability to be healthy and available for three full days. Then, per guidance from my son’s doctor, it would be best if — after all that exposure to hundreds of people — I wasn’t around Oliver for 3-5 days. Then I’d get tested and then, if negative and symptom-free, I’d return to my normal day to day. This means I’d be away from Oliver for at least a week, possibly more, which is far from ideal in the context of his medical needs.

🏢Hundreds of people, inside, for more than 6 hours each day presents significant risk of COVID exposure (even if participants are masked, vaccinated, and/or have a recent negative test). Conferences aren’t like weddings or church services because they go on for many hours and are difficult to hold outside or in open-air settings.

👩🏻‍💼We have a staffing crisis in the service industry in our community. We’d want to make sure every event attendee has an exceptional experience, which is what you’ve rightly come to expect from The Inspi Lab. But we can’t guarantee that right now. Our convention center recently had a banquet for 600 people and requested 50 contract staffers for the event. 15 showed up.

📉 With more than 30 sponsors and 30 speakers and an event team close to 10, we’d need almost 75 people to be totally healthy, not caring for someone who is sick or quarantined, and themselves not in quarantine, for the entire duration of the event. The statistical probability of that right now is low. It might be better in November, but we have to make decisions with the current available data and our community spread is very high right now.

 👀 At any time the state or local government could decide to implement capacity limitations again, and although the convention center is large, it would create serious challenges if we had to figure out a last-minute pivot to comply with that type of regulation.

🙅🏼 We want everyone to have an excellent conference experience and given all these variables, we feel there is far too much out of our control at this time.
 

In the midst of a national or even local crisis, I always want to be on the side of loving my neighbor, even if it comes with significant cost or discomfort. There will be days in the future when we can have fun, let down our guards, take off our masks, hug one another, dance together, and enjoy true fellowship again. It will happen and I can’t wait until that day.

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For now, if you want to get in on some of The Inspiration Lab magic still available...

We have a goal-planning workshop that we call Banner Year Blueprint (BYB) happening online in October.

I will be teaching this event and attendees will all have a chance to participate in the discussion and hear from like-minded women. I’ve written a new workbook for this workshop in the context of what is happening in the world right now, and I hope it will inspire, encourage, and hold you accountable as we wrap up this tumultuous year.

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You can also count on The Inspiration Lab Podcast to continue as we move into the fall.

Podcasts are a super COVID-friendly way to continue to send you inspiration and information to help you grow. Our podcast series for caregivers and parents of kids with special needs will wrap up on September 21 and then on September 28, we’ll launch a series for women small business owners.

And in just two short weeks, on September 15, we are hosting our FREE “Internships 101” workshop online.

Stay tuned for more details.

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In the meantime, thank you for understanding, thank you for your continued support, and please stay healthy as you take care of others and yourself. 

Love,

Stephanie

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