In July the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA) and the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) jointly announced that WTC 2020 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will be moved to a fully digital platform due to the impacts of COVID-19, including border restrictions and health risks associated with international travel and the assembly of large meetings.
The digital WTC 2020 is currently in preparation at no extra cost for those already registered. The WTC organizing committee will notify all sponsors, exhibitors and registrants of the format for the digital event. A digital book of proceedings will also be made available to all registrants. The dates for the digital WTC 2020 remain unchanged from 11th to 17th September 2020.
Status of WTC 2020 Refunds
Following the cancellation of the physical congress in Kuala Lumpur, ITA and the Institution of Engineers issued a joint statement indicating IEM’s commitment to refund 70% of payments already made to WTC 2020 by sponsors, exhibitors and registered participants
ITA’s Executive Council (ExCo) created a task force to review IEM’s financial position and to urge IEM to offer the largest refund possible. Based on the task force review, ITA maintains its position that IEM should increase its level of refund. ITA has invited Malaysia to present their financial accounts at the virtual General Assembly in September and explain the basis for the level of refund being offered.
At the upcoming General Assembly, ITA’s ExCo will propose revisions to how future WTC events are organized, including ITA taking a stronger role in planning and financial control.