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Home / News / Update about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the ISME World Conference
Update about COVID-19 (coronavirus) and the ISME World Conference
16 Mar 2020

Message from Susan O'Neill, President, ISME

Dear Members

Many people are feeling anxious and uncertain right now as the world is facing a pandemic with the Covid-19 virus. These feelings are understandable as we are in an unprecedented situation that is changing day by day. There are an increasing number of major events being cancelled or postponed world-wide, and ISME is aware that members would like information about plans for the ISME Helsinki 2020 World Conference and the pre-conference seminars.

At this point, with the 2020 World Conference nearly five months away, we will:

  • Continue to plan and develop the conference and pre-conference seminars with the intention of them taking place as planned in early August. 
  • Continue to monitor closely, consult widely and act on the advice of the World Health Organisation as well as Health Authorities in Finland and other countries in determining the best course of action.
  • Extend the early bird period for registration until May 9th. 

The extension of the early bird registration gives all of us time for the situation to become clearer. By May 9th, which is 8 weeks from now, we will be able to make an informed decision about continuing or postponing the World Conference. In the event of a postponement, we would offer you a chance to carry your registration forward or receive a refund. 

We are aware this may affect travel bookings and insurance, so if we do postpone we would also issue a formal notice. Most airlines are now recognising the need for people to re-book and are offering to do so without any additional cost. There are many possibilities for hotel accommodation in Helsinki and so a delay until May 9th for making a booking is also an option. We hope that members will continue to register with confidence, knowing there are options if we need them.

We will also extend the Award application date to 31 March.

As a strong and caring community of music education professionals, we will continue to draw strength from each other during this challenging time. We will get through this by pulling together, listening to the experts, and each of us doing our part. 

Stay well and thank you for your patience and collegiality through these extraordinary times. We will update you again as soon as we have more news.


Susan O’Neill
President, ISME