COVID-19 FAQ

During these unprecedented times, we know that you are facing uncertainties about the future both on a professional and personal level. One thing that you can be certain of, however, is that SQFI remains committed to providing you with the skills and knowledge you need to maintain the efficacy of your food safety and quality assurance programs and to keeping you updated on changes to the SQF Code. 

Please review our Conference FAQs below regarding Coronavirus.


Is the 2020 SQF Conference still taking place? 

SQFI remains committed to providing stakeholders with the skills and knowledge they need to maintain the efficacy of their food safety and quality assurance programs and to keeping them updated on changes to the SQF Code. 

At the current time, we are moving forward with plans to hold the SQF Conference in Orlando this October to share updates on Edition 9 as well as discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the food safety industry, including the Covid-19 crisis.  

At the same time, we continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and place the utmost importance on protecting the health and safety of our conference participants. As we develop contingency plans for this event, we will keep you updated if there are any changes to the conference format.  Sign up for conference updates. 

How and when will SQFI decide if the event will be held in-person or virtually? 

The safety and wellbeing of our stakeholders and staff will be our primary consideration. We will factor in several criteria before deciding on the conference format, including federal, state and local mandates and guidelines and the operating status of our host hotel. We do not expect to make this decision prior to July. Sign up for conference updates. 

If the in-person event goes ahead, how will you make it safe to attend? 

The safety and wellbeing of our stakeholders and staff is of utmost concern to us and remains a priority as we move forward with planning the event. Our logistics team will work closely with our venue partner to ensure that protocols are in place to adhere to federal, state and local health and safety guidelines. More details on these measures will be made available as we get closer to the event.  

What would a virtual event look like? 

Contingency plans for a virtual event are in development in case a live event is not practical, possible or safe.  Details will not be available until a decision to move to a virtual environment is made. However, a virtual event would include many of the components you are used to at an SQF Conference, spread out over several days: professional development sessions, networking opportunities, virtual receptions, gamification and some sort of virtual exhibit hall. 

What would the price of a virtual event be? 

Contingency plans for a virtual event are still in development and pricing has not yet been determined. Any difference in price between a live and virtual event would be refunded back to the attendee. Please see our refund and cancellation policy for more details.  

What are the sponsorship options if the SQF Conference is offered as a virtual event? 

We are currently working to identify a virtual event technology partner in case an in-person event is not possible, practical or safe due to the Covid-19 crisis.  Sponsorship opportunities in a virtual environment are currently being researched and will be discussed with current and potential partners if a virtual event is offered. 

What is the revised attendee cancellation and refund policy? 

Full refund of the registration fee will be made if notice of cancellation is received in writing to register@fmi.org by September 25, 2020. Please note, registrations can be transferred to another company employee at any point prior to the conference. 

If the in-person conference is cancelled due to circumstances beyond FMI’s / SQFI’s control, registered participants may either: 

1. Request a full refund of the in-person registration fee or;
2. Apply their in-person registration fee to a virtual event, if offered. Any difference between the registration fee for an in-person event and a virtual event will be refunded;
3. Apply their in-person registration fee to a future SQF conference (2021 or 2022). 

What is the revised sponsor/exhibitor cancellation and refund policy? 

Sponsorship and exhibit fees are non-refundable except as noted below. 

  1. If notice of cancellation is received within fifteen (15) days following signed agreement execution, but no later than September 1, 2020 (whichever date occurs first). 
  2. If the in-person conference is cancelled due to circumstances beyond FMI’s/SQFI’s control, Sponsors / Exhibitors may either: 

a. Request a full refund of their in-person event sponsorship fee
b. Apply their in-person sponsorship fee to a virtual sponsorship package offering replacement value (if a virtual event is offered); or 
c. Apply their in-person sponsorship fee to the 2021 SQF Conference

Sponsorship and exhibit fees for a virtual event are non-refundable.

If attendance numbers at an in-person event are significantly impacted by circumstances beyond FMI’s/SQFI’s control, no refunds will be given. However, FMI/SQFI will make every effort to provide the Sponsor / Exhibitor with replacement value. 

What does “replacement value” mean? 

SQFI will work with existing sponsors to identify their needs and sponsorship goals and develop a customized sponsorship plan. We value our partnership with our sponsors and will make every effort to help sponsors meet their business development goals whether in an in-person or virtual environment.