In light of the current concerns regarding coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we pay close attention to emerging information from our local public health services, international authorities like the World Health Organization and other bodies. A contingency team has been appointed and supports the Convention team and the Board with evaluating and mitigating the risks that we face due to this extraordinary situation.


We will update you on this page should there be new facts and developments that affect our plans. Right now, there are no changes.

(updated 25 March 2020)


Please note: We are using our best efforts to answer the most frequent questions in a timely manner. This list will be updated as necessary following any major change in the pandemic situation or the rapidly developing preventive measures recommended.

1. Will the Zonta International Convention in Chicago in July be cancelled?

A decision based on a responsible assessment and evaluation of the impacts for Zontians and the entire organization will be made very soon. The Contingency Team is monitoring information about the spread and possible development of the infection curves, as well as information from governments, airlines and the travel industry. The team is also thoroughly checking all contracts and financial obligations, as well as legal and bylaws guidelines for conducting business in the absence of a face-to-face meeting.


2. Will my registration fee be refunded if I cancel my trip to convention? 

If you feel you must cancel immediately and cannot longer wait, then as of today, the Board approved guidelines for cancellation are:
            By 18 May 2020: Half refund of registration fees, less an administrative charge of US$100.
            After this date: Cancellations will not be refundable.


Should there be changes in the future, they will be announced to members and guests registered by email and will be posted on the Convention website. We would like to suggest you hold on until the Board has made a decision.


More information:


3. Will my registration fee be refunded if Zonta cancels the Convention?

At this point, the current refund policy applies. The Board is considering the refund policy as it reviews the options that we have.

4. Will my hotel room be refunded if I cancel my trip to convention?

Per our contract with the Marriott, cancellations made at least three (3) days prior to check-in will not have any charges. If you have booked at another hotel, you will need to check the terms on your confirmation

Please note that nearly two years ago, Zonta entered a contract to guarantee room rates and the room block for our attendees. When our attendees cancel rooms, Zonta still has a financial obligation to the hotel. This financial obligation should not supersede personal choice when deciding to travel to Chicago, but it is a fact for the organization to manage.

5. Will my flight ticket be refunded if I cancel my trip to convention?

Different airlines have different rules, depending on booking class. Please check with your airline.


6. What will happen to elections and business issues if convention needs to be cancelled?

If we are prevented from holding the Convention, Article VII, Section 4 of the Zonta International Bylaws allow the International Board to transact business and submit to the voting members for a vote all items that require action. The respective actions are described in Article X "Convention" Section 1 "Purpose." The most important business items are listed: "elect Zonta International officers and directors and members of the Nominating Committee," "vote on dues and fees," "vote on proposed amendments to the bylaws" and "vote on resolutions and goals that establish the international service projects and programs."

In case we will not be able to hold the Convention, we will choose the most effective way to get the business done.


This means we still need for clubs to complete the credentialing process so that we may be best prepared if we need to activate an alternative voting process.


7. How may a decision to cancel convention affect the organization?

Conventions start their planning and initial contracts years in advance. At this stage, we have entered most of our contracts and have been diligent in speaking with our vendors and reviewing all terms and conditions of those agreements. A decision to cancel the Convention will have a significant financial impact on the organization. While we have insurance for different items. These are uncertain times and events that have not been seen before, and thus insurance and force majeure clauses may be of little help. We are conducting a full financial review and are considering all possible future situations.

More information

For more information about the Coronavirus, please visit the below links: