ADCOLOR Cancels 2020 Gathering, Will Host Virtual Conference in September

The annual gathering was set to take place in Atlanta for the first time this fall

Screenshot of a Zoom conference
ADCOLOR 2020 won't visit Atlanta as planned, but members are still 'Here For It,' according to the conference's motto. ADCOLOR
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On Thursday, ADCOLOR announced that it no longer plans to hold its 2020 conference in Atlanta as originally scheduled. Instead, the diversity group’s annual gathering will go virtual, pivoting to an online format that will take place from Sept. 8-10.

“Business as usual has quickly turned into business unusual amid Covid-19,” said ADCOLOR founder and president Tiffany R. Warren, “and our main priorities right now are to continue supporting our community and to prioritize everyone’s health and well-being.”

Warren, who is also svp and chief diversity officer at Omnicom said that ADCOLOR is “extremely grateful for the partners who have supported us through this adjustment despite their own set of challenges” and are “excited to execute something great together.”

“Communities of color have been disproportionately affected during this pandemic, making it especially important that we uphold our mission and champion these and all communities in the creative, marketing and tech industries even when it can’t be done in person,” Warren said.

In March, the organization announced that its conference—which brings together diversity advocates, professionals of color and other underrepresented groups from across media, advertising, entertainment, brands and more each year—would take place in Atlanta for the first time. And not just anywhere in Atlanta. ADCOLOR 2020 was slated to take place at the historic Hyatt Regency that Martin Luther King Jr. dubbed the “Hotel of Hope” after it became the first to open its doors to gatherings of the Civil Rights Movement.

Instead, the conference will be held at the hotel in 2021, which will coincide with ADCOLOR’s 15th anniversary.

This year’s theme, while virtual, is “Here for it.” In a video exclusive to Adweek, ADCOLOR members describe the meaning behind the message.


Applications for ADCOLOR’s 14th annual awards will remain open, with an extended deadline of June 5. The same extended deadline also applies to applicants for the ADCOLOR Futures program, which provides training and mentorship for young ad professionals under 30 who have one to three years of experience in the industry.

Each year, ADCOLOR also partners with Adweek to honor diversity champions at agencies, brands and nonprofits.

Warren sits on Adweek’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, where she helps consult on diversity and mentorship initiatives. Warren also spoke at Wednesday’s first-ever Adweek Diversity and Inclusion Summit, where she noted how difficult diversity work can be as well as discussing the killings of black Americans by police and other issues that especially impact professionals of color.

@MaryEmilyOHara Mary Emily O'Hara is a diversity and inclusion reporter. They specialize in covering LGBTQ+ issues and other underrepresented communities.