According to an article from the [removed]Atlanta Journal Constitution[/removed], one of the most visible casualties of the tornado that recently hit Atlanta was the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting. Thousands of attendees at the meeting, which was scheduled for March 13–15, were turned away from the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) after a tornado hit on March 14.
"The wind just kept getting faster and faster and louder and louder," said dentist Doug Clepper of Augusta. He and his wife took the fire escape downstairs from their 10th floor room in the Omni Hotel. "It was very surreal. People were dressed up for parties. Women were crying," Clepper said.
The storm was a shock to the 23,152 exhibitors, speakers, and professionals attending the meeting. The roof of the GWCC was severely damaged, so exhibitors faced the task of trying to remove exhibits, some of them large, after the show ended early.
Terrell Brown of Centric Orthodontics of Marietta, Ga, said the postponement of the Hinman meeting could mean thousands of dollars in lost revenue for companies that sell their products at the show. "To lose a full day could cost you a third of your projected revenue," Brown said.
According to its Web site, the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting will provide refunds to attendees who purchased tickets in advance for the following paid events scheduled for Saturday, March 15:
• Registered Attendance Lectures;
• Participation Courses;
• Video Taping Sessions; and the
• Homes Tour.
The refunds will be automatically issued within 6 weeks of the Meeting and in the same manner as payment was made. Attendees do not need to contact Hinman to receive refunds. Refunds requested for anything other than the above-mentioned items will be handled on a case-by-case basis and must follow the refund request procedure found in Hinman publications and online.