BOWIE, Md. — COVID-19 is claiming another conference as the Tire Industry Association (TIA) is canceling the 2021 Off-the-Road Tire Conference.
The gathering was slated for Feb. 17-21 in Tucson, Ariz.
"The continuing spread of the virus has led us to conclude that canceling the conference is in the best interest of everyone," TIA CEO Roy Littlefield said in a statement. "While disappointed, the safety of our attendees and staff is paramount, which is why we have come to this decision."
Those registered to attend and sponsor the conference will be receiving an email explaining the decision and deposits will be refunded within two weeks.
TIA is now looking to hold the next OTR Tire Conference in February 2022. Details will follow.
"We considered conducting the 2021 OTR Conference online, but one of the strengths of the event is the in-person interaction, which would be lost if the program was held virtually," TIA President Dan Nothdurft said. "We look forward to gathering together again in person once this pandemic subsides."
TIA already has shifted plans to celebrate the 100th year of its founding to the 2021 SEMA Show. TIA originally was to celebrate the milestone in November until COVD-19 forced SEMA to cancel its live events.
Last year's event concluded just before the pandemic started. TIA's 65th annual OTR Tire Conference was held Feb. 19-22 at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif.