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MBA cancels upcoming technology conference over coronavirus concerns

Concerns of coronavirus have already affected the housing industry by driving mortgage rates down to record lows, but it looks like that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of impact.

Case in point: the Mortgage Bankers Association announced Thursday that it is canceling its upcoming Technology Solutions Conference & Expo in California over health concerns.

“In an abundance of care for our members, conference attendees and staff, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Technology Solutions Conference & Expo planned in Los Angeles, CA from March 29-April 1,” MBA Chief Operating Officer Marcia Davies said in an email sent to conference registrants.

According to the MBA, it made the decision “in light of the continued uncertainties about the coronavirus (COVID-19)” and after both the state of California and county of Los Angeles declared states of emergency over the virus.

According to the MBA, this conference may not be the last one that is affected.

“MBA is closely following the spread and impact of coronavirus within the context of a large number of upcoming MBA conferences, meetings and MBA Education event,” the trade group said on its website. “Rest assured that the health and safety of our members, students, and attendees is our top priority.”

The trade group said that it is currently working with the various venues that host its conferences to ensure the safety of conference attendees.

“We are working with our host venues to ensure that all proper safety precautions are in place, including: increasing active disinfection efforts in common areas; encouraging participants to adopt a ‘touch-free’ event experience; and promoting awareness around safe hand-washing practices,” the MBA said.

“We continue to monitor events and information from public health authorities and will update our schedule and policy as events warrant,” the group added.

As for MBA Tech2020, the MBA said it will work with its members to address the losses causes by canceling the conference.

“MBA will automatically refund all registration, sponsorship, exhibit and affiliate space payments. We ask for your patience as we work through the administrative processes required to do so,” Davies’ letter said.

“If you booked a hotel room through our online portal, we have canceled your room and you will not be charged,” Davies continued. “If your room was booked outside of our room block, please reach out to the hotel directly and cancel your reservation.”

Davies also said that the group plans to supplement the affected attendees with additional learning opportunities.

“We understand that the Technology Solutions Conference & Expo provides you with the information you need to support and grow your business. With that in mind, we will be providing opportunities for you to get this information virtually, through MBA webinars, in the months ahead,” Davies said. “Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to seeing you at future MBA events.”

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