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You Spoke - and We Listened …

As you may know, our 2019 Annual Convention and Safety Forum is being held in Vancouver, again.  Last year, you will recall we implemented a significant increase in delegate fees, and a number of changes to our format. I received feedback in spades, and you should know that we are acting on it, this year.

Over the last seven years – and until 2018 - HAC has been reluctant to increase membership fees at all - resorting instead to modest increases in convention delegate fees and exhibitor fees to offset the Association’s rising costs.  We know that you experience a similar dilemma with the cost of your own products and services – particularly in difficult times.

HAC experienced a significant deficit in our 2017-2018 Fiscal Year – owing primarily to a smaller-than-anticipated Eastern Convention in Ottawa, and the cost of our advocacy efforts on Flight & Duty time. The Association still has sufficient reserves, but your Board and I needed to take some decisive action, to see that the trend was reversed.  Last year we implemented a 6% membership fee increase, and a 25% increase in our convention delegate fees – the delegate fee increase was also implemented to accommodate more international speakers, and the growth of the footprint of our convention from 2 ½ days to 3 ½ days – but also to offset rising Convention-related costs. Our membership fees had not increased since 2011.  The Board and I were driven to increase our fees to ensure the long-term viability of HAC; and to rebuild our reserves.  

In 2019 we will be rolling back our Convention footprint to three days, and lowering operator-delegate fees to mitigate the significant increase that was implemented in 2018, since our current fiscal year is unfolding in a more positive way. We are a Not-for-Profit, but we try not to interpret the phrase too literally.   Furthermore, we recognize the significant contribution that our Corporate Sponsors, Associates, and exhibitors make to our Association, so we are working to deliver more operators and provide a higher level of interaction between our Operators and Associates on the 2019 trade show floor, without compromising the quality of our Speaker-Series programing.  We hope that you will understand our efforts to manage our way through challenging financial circumstances, so that we can continue to deliver service to the industry and provide value to our industry at the most reasonable cost.

We always welcome the views of our Corporate Sponsors, Operators, Associates, and exhibitors, so as we prepare the 2019 Vancouver program, there is no better time to make your views known to fred.jones@h-a-c.ca, or on his cell at (613) 884-1422.