Florida Association for Pupil Transportation members were informed that the 2010 conference has been canceled, a decision made “with great regret,” according to President Mike Connors.
Shirley Higgins, FAPT’s executive director, informed the members this week via the group’s listserv. Instead of the conference, FAPT will provide Web-based seminars, regional “drive-in” workshops and FAPT’s normal mid-year transportation directors meeting in February. Connors added that FAPT will resume its annual conference in 2011, the 63rd in the association’s history that stretches back to 1946. FAPT has canceled annual shows only twice prior, once in the 1950s and the 2002 conference in the wake of 9/11.
“The decision of the executive committee to cancel the association’s conference for 2010 was made with great regret and only after considerable deliberation,” said Connors, the transportation director at Brevard County Schools. “FAPT and the state of Florida are not anticipating an economic recovery and an associated improvement in state and local tax revenues that help to support conference attendance until the 2010-11 fiscal year.”
He added that the cancellation was made to be fair to trade show vendors, an element that is “critical to FAPT’s success.”
“Simply put, it would not be fair to ask vendors to attend the trade show and support FAPT in a year when we anticipate very low attendance,” Connors said.