Regrettably, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zonta International Board was forced to cancel the 2020 Zonta International Convention planned to be held in Chicago from 4-8 July. The decision was necessary, since the global outbreak has created events beyond Zonta’s control that prevent us from holding this Convention we all had so much looked forward to.


We will update you on this page should there be new facts.

(updated 30 April 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 as new decisions will be made and ways forward become clearer. 


1.     Will my registration fee be refunded?


All registrants will receive a full refund of their registration fee and all special event fees. 

The registration company sent a second email to the registrants who did not reply by 27 April, requesting they make their selection no later than 6 May. Each registrant need s to select one of four methods for their refund. Everyone must make a selection before the refunds will be made. Refunds will begin to process in May. Please allow us time for this manual processing.  

Those who cancelled their registration prior to the convention being cancelled will also receive a refund of the cancellation fees paid, but they were not sent an email.  They do not need to take action.  In addition, there were a few whose emails were not delivered due to email address failures.  These will be refunded.

If you did not receive the email on 16 April from, please check your spam.  If not there either, then please contact Please include your registration reference number.



2.     Will I also receive the full registration fee refund if I canceled prior to the announcement of the Board’s





3.     Will the fees for the ticketed events be refunded?

All fees for ticketed events will be refunded. No cancellation fees will be withheld.


The tours and friendship dinners have been refunded in full to the credit card used to book the tour or dinner.


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

The Marriott Magnificent Mile

The Marriott has canceled all reservations in the Zonta room block. You should have received an email on 1 April confirming that your reservation was canceled. If you did not see this email, please check your spam. If you do not find it there, you may call Marriott to confirm cancellation if you desire. If you booked outside our room block at the Marriott, you must cancel your reservation yourself.


Another Chicago Hotel

If you have booked at a different hotel, you will need to check the terms on your confirmation and cancel the reservation directly. Zonta cannot assist with reservations at other properties. 

If you booked a room through a third party site such as or, you are subject to the terms of your reservation. Zonta cannot assist you with this type of reservation.


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


Please check with your airline. Different airlines have different rules. At this time, many are offering refunds based on the situation with COVID-19.


6.     What will happen to elections and business now that the convention has been canceled?


Since we are prevented from holding the Convention, Article VII, Section 4 (Emergency Powers) of the Zonta International Bylaws allows 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."

At this point, we can say that with the cancellation, the Board has determined to do the next best thing and that elections and voting will proceed electronically.


Please note, clubs will still need to register delegates once the credentialing platform is open.


7.     How will the canceled convention affect the organization?


At this time, we are working through many details with vendors to mitigate financial losses. Zonta does hold an event cancellation insurance policy and a claim will be submitted; however, as with all major claims this process can be long and the recovery amounts unpredictable. Therefore, we expect a significant financial impact.

More information

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