The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Work, school, travel, and public life are changing every day. Uncertainty might be even more concerning than what we already know. 

Protecting the health and lives of all people by limiting opportunities for transmission of COVID-19 should be the highest priority for anyone organizing gatherings of people, particularly if it involves travel to bring them together. We have deep respect and empathy for the organizers and participants of events that have been cancelled in recent days.

CAST, our annual conference, is currently scheduled for the first week of August. It is very difficult to predict how this situation will develop and make commitments for five months from now. Given that, we have decided to operate as if we will be able to hold CAST in Austin, in August. 

We will keep the situation under close review and promise that we will make measured decisions about CAST 2020, informed by public health officials and our conference participants. If it becomes clear that we cannot or should not hold CAST, we will cancel the conference.

Our decisions affecting speakers, attendees, sponsors, volunteers, partners, and vendors will be as transparent and as compassionate as possible. We are publishing updated attendee cancellation policies here for additional transparency.  

In the meantime, we will continue with publishing our program, promoting CAST, and selling tickets. We’re hopeful that life will be more familiar by late summer, and we can see you in Austin this August. 

– The AST Board

CAST 2020 Cancellation Policy  

We have amended our cancellation policy for CAST 2020 to the following:

1. If CAST is cancelled, we will provide full refunds to all attendees.

2. If Austin is subject to any travel restrictions within 30 days of CAST, we will cancel CAST.

3. If an attendee is prevented from attending by a government or employer restriction, we will provide a full refund.  

4. If any attendee wishes to cancel before July 20th, 2020, we will provide a full refund.

5. For any cancellations after July 20th not due to travel restrictions, we will provide a 50% refund. 

Our previous event cancellation policy was as follows: All cancellations are subject to a 15% service charge to cover financial transaction fees. All cancellation requests must be made in writing 30 days prior to the event, no-shows and cancellations after this will not receive a refund and will be charged the full registered package amount.

By changing our cancellation policy, we hope to make it easier for anyone hoping to come to CAST to purchase a ticket, and keep CAST 2020 viable.  

Travel Cancellation Information 

Our venue hotel offers cancellation up to 72 hours before arrival at no charge.

Airlines are scrambling to offer incentives and protections for potential travelers at this point.