Is it 2022 or is it 2020 too? Phonetically, they’re the same, but while we’re still working through the pandemic, businesses are slowly returning to an adjusted sense of normalcy. Workers are coming back into the office and events are opening back up. But things are not the way they once were and there will be adjustments everyone will have to make and be willing to follow.
Conferences began in earnest the second half of 2021 and appear to be fully open for 2022. According to Michael Ferree, CEO and Founder of Lead Generation World, and Contact.io, “Conferences, even now, are even more important because people are still remote for the most part.” Widespread travel is not commonplace yet, so conferences allow people to gather, meet, and do business in a single location.
The team from Botsplash will be attending many and have begun collecting some best practices we wanted to share with you.
Before the conference, it’s a good idea to be aware of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for whatever state your upcoming conference is going to be in. Each state may have unique requirements such as mask mandates or social distancing guidelines that visitors may not be aware of. Here’s a handy, state-by-state description for each state’s Covid-19 restrictions:
Your conference may require you to be vaccinated and to have received your booster. It’s a good idea too as the UK Health Security Agency has stated boosters can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
Even with your vaccinations up to date and a booster in place, you’re not immune. You are much better protected, but we probably all know someone who has had a breakthrough case. A few days before leaving, consider an at home self-test to ensure you are healthy.
Pack some extra masks and hand sanitizer and be ready for a change when you get to the conference centers. Some actions we’ve heard conferences taking include doing temperature checks before entering the building. We’ve also heard of some conferences requiring proof of vaccination so have your vaccination card with you, use an app, or put a digital copy on your phone.
At registration, you will pick up your badge and you may see the venue or the event itself has some color coded physical distancing rules. For example:
- Red = Greet From 6 Feet
- Yellow = Elbows Only
- Green = Handshakes and Hi-fives
The show floor may limit the number of people allowed in and sessions and seminars may have chairs and tables spaced apart. If this is what you encounter, remember to be respectful because the event organizers and/or the venue is trying to keep people safe while allowing groups of people to congregate.
The CDC has many resources for being safe at large gatherings. Some of those guidelines include:
- Wear a mask for the protection of others.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Follow social distancing whenever possible.
After the event, before returning to the office, self-test one more time. Even if you’ve done everything right, you may have still come in contact with the virus. Your co-workers will be grateful, especially if you happen to have caught the virus but are not showing symptoms.
Don’t leave your conference safety and the safety of those around you to chance. Take some basic precautions before and during the event, and monitor your health after. Conferences are making a comeback and they’d like you to come back…healthy and safe.
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