The Gases and Welding Distributors Association’s (GAWDA) Annual Convention will be a virtual event from 25th September due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

GAWDA had planned to celebrate its 75th year at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona, but coronavirus has seen trade events cancelled across the world due to restrictions on social gatherings.

Cases of coronavirus have risen sharply in recent weeks in most US states, including Arizona.

Abydee Butler Moore, GAWDA President, and President of Butler Gas, said, “It is with disappointment that we inform you GAWDA will not have an in-person Annual Convention this fall. We are in negotiations with the hotel to postpone our group at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge (Phoenix) until 2024. We thank our members for your feedback and participation on the recent Town Hall Virtual Meeting. Your GAWDA Board of Directors reviewed a summary of the polls collected and unanimously voted ‘no’ to an onsite convention. The safety of our members is paramount. Furthermore, the attendance reduction forecast threatened the quality of the GAWDA experience as well as the event’s financial model.”

GAWDA’s next major event will be the Spring Management Conference in Nashville, Tennessee on 29th March to 31st March next year.

Butler Moore added, “I am inspired by the optimism, fiscal toughness, and high esteem our members hold for our great Association. GAWDA is 75 years strong. This year has taught us to get creative and bring value to our members in new ways. These efforts will continue into 2021 as we plan the best SMC Reunion Convention possible in Nashville. Until then, your GAWDA Executive Committee is collaborating with headquarters to determine the virtual course of action for this fall.”