What We’re Doing to Be Safe In Person
We’ve personally spoken to more people than we can count both on the ground in the RTP/NC and regionally/ nationally to gather data and genuinely get a “feel” for the situation.
And even after that initial due diligence, we continue to work closely with local partners (the Convention Center, the Downtown Association, etc.) to do our best to ensure a safe environment for everyone in October.
Although this list will evolve over time along with the situation, here are a few steps being taken:
- We’re limiting overall attendance to decrease traffic and room congestion. In 2019, the last year we hosted an in-person event, just under 5,000 registered and attended. As a result, hallways and breakout rooms were packed and bustling both days. We’re reducing those numbers in 2021 and will implement spacing measures to allow for distancing between attendees.
- We’re limiting the number of overall (onsite) tracks and sessions. As a result, there will be previously utilized breakout rooms that will go unused this year. The goal is to decrease congestion and allow for distancing.
- We’re reconfiguring the floor and exhibit areas. The goal here is to again decrease traffic congestion and increase space between attendees and exhibitors, and among exhibitors themselves.
- We’re working with our Convention Center food vendor to implement enhanced food safety protocols. We always make lunch available to attendees and all participants to prevent having to go offsite to eat/drink. We’re working to make eating and drinking as safe as possible.
- We’re working with the Convention Center to ensure enhanced cleaning and air filtration measures are implemented onsite, and that cleaning products (sanitizers, masks, etc.) are readily available and located throughout the space. This will reduce the probability of infection and spread.
- We’re increasing and improving messaging both before and during the conference, to make sure our community and attendees are aware of safety best practices. We’ll create and distribute consistent messaging pre-event and we’ll do the same onsite in October.
- We’re strongly encouraging anyone traveling to the conference to follow established CDC Guidelines.
- We’re working hard to better utilize outdoor spaces around the Convention Center, and around the greater downtown area as a whole (if the weather allows). Fresh air is a good thing, and we want to expose attendees to it as much as possible.
- We’re working with networking host sites and partners to ensure best-practice safety protocols are in place and that outdoor space is fully utilized. All are eager to work with us to make any onsite experience the absolute safest it can be.
And finally, we feel the single best thing that can be done to ensure safety is to get vaccinated.
While we fully understand opinions differ and we do not plan to require proof of vaccination to attend, we strongly encourage it as a courtesy to fellow attendees and members of our community. Vaccines are now freely available throughout the U.S. and increasingly available worldwide – and their remarkably high levels of effectiveness have thus far been well established. A handy vaccine location guide can be found here.
A final, final note…
Let us know of any additional safety measures we can take to ensure a safe environment in October. While we’ve communicated with many, many people and organizations thus far we don’t pretend to have identified all the best ideas. We need all the help we can get. Drop us a line at [email protected] with suggestions and/or recommendations.
Please regularly view our official COVID-19 Policy page for any updates leading up to the event as additional data and information becomes available.