The SWA annual meeting will be postponed to June 3, 2020

The advertisers' association SWA is also postponing its annual meeting due to the Corona virus. SWA Director Roland Ehrler explains the background.


Over 350 participants have registered to date for the SWA Annual Meeting and traditional gathering of the advertising industry on March 19. As the organizer, the SWA is also bound in its 70th anniversary year by the requirements of the Federal Council and the Canton of Zurich regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Although a realization would still be allowed at the moment with appropriate precautions and hygiene rules, the SWA has already decided to postpone its event to Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The health of all participants, an unencumbered event experience and networking among members and guests are more important to the association than sticking with the March date, it wrote in a statement Wednesday.

Most speakers on the topic "Man or Machine: Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and Communication" have already been able to confirm the new date. spoke to SWA Director Roland Ehler about the postponement. Roland Ehrler, you and your team work months in advance to make sure everything succeeds. Since when have you been thinking about postponing?

We have of course been following the news for some time. With the arrival and spread of the virus in Switzerland, the situation has now escalated rapidly. As always around this time, just last Thursday our Board met to approve the business of the upcoming General Assembly. So we quickly agreed in the round that a postponement in the if necessary becomes inevitable. Only one day later, the situation was already aggravated by the measures decided by the Federal Council. Since last Friday, we have been trying to find the best solution for our members and guests. After all, we want to hold a great industry event in a good mood and without health risks, especially in our anniversary year!


There are still not that many Corona infections in Switzerland. Have guests nevertheless worriedly checked out with you - or did it go the other way around and you simply wanted to "play it safe" for your guests? 

Since last week there were first inquiries from speakers, from abroad and some participants if the annual meeting will take place as planned. However, it was still quite quiet and we continued to receive registrations and not a single cancellation. So today we have more than 350 registrations and are almost sold out! As organizers, we have a great responsibility here and do not want to take any risks for speakers, staff and participants.


An annual meeting in early summer, that has never happened before, right? At the same time, the SWA is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. So could it be that the annual meeting - "luck of the draw" - will now end in an early summer party? 

Yes, of course we hope so and we are very happy that already 3 of 4 speakers on our topic "Man or Machine" have confirmed the new date of June 3. But it is much more important that the spread of the virus is now quickly stopped worldwide, that people do not have to fear more than a "normal" flu and that the markets then also calm down quickly.

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