Cancelation of FTE B Conferences due to Coronavirus for the first time in 75 years

First and foremost, we hope you and your families are safe and well. The last few weeks have been unprecedented for all of us, to say the least.

Mass gatherings and events around the world are canceled by authorities, companies have declared travel bans for their employees, flights are being canceled and airports closed due to the Coronavirus . In the meantime, the measures are already going much further, most countries are in lockdown and public life is paralyzed. After almost 75 years it was the first time that we had to cancel the FTE B Freight and Passenger Traffic Coordination Conferences which were supposed to take place at Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana. 

However FTE B Freight and Passenger Traffic was replaced by many virtual meetings via video conference tools like Skype, Teams, Webex etc. and FTE provided a tool called for the people who could not access any of the other platforms.

After sending out an experience survey to all participants, it was clear that people think that it is still necessary and crucial for the results to meet in person. 88.9% answered yes to meeting face to face.

The difficulties were technical issues like poor audio quality; therefore delay of meetings, flood of e-mails and that it was not possible to solve problems out of the official meetings. The obvious upside to attend remotely is the reduction of travel time and cost.

Since it is hard to predict whether FTE C/D Conferences can take place onsite we are considering different options. Option 1: a hybrid conference could be possible where the people that can travel to Ljubljana do so and the others attend via video conference Option 2: we will search for a different venue in another location that is easier to travel to Option 3: if traveling won’t be possible by July, we will have another virtual conference where every participant attends the meetings remotely.

Our top priority will always be the health and safety of our participants.

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