What safety and health protocols will be in place to protect people who attend in person?
The Safety 2021 safety plan includes a range of protective measures designed to safeguard the health and safety of all conference attendees, exhibitors and ASSP staff. All individuals who attend the in-person conference in Austin will be required to follow established safety and health protocols.
To ensure a safe event for all, our current safety plan includes the following:
- Provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours prior to the event
- Face coverings must be worn when in the convention center, except when drinking.
- Face coverings shall cover the nose, mouth and chin. Avoid bandanas, gaiters, masks with exhalation valves or clear shield-like face masks.
- Disposable face masks will be provided if you don’t have one when you arrive.
- Contactless registration and badge printout.
- Physical distancing will be practiced and reinforced in the convention center, hotel meeting rooms and on the exhibition floor.
- Regular cleaning protocols will be followed throughout the event.
- One-directional aisles and designated entrances/exits will be used and clearly marked.
- Seating limitations will be in place for all meetings and sessions
- Good hygiene practices (frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer)
- Food options will be outside to reduce the amount of time someone has their mask off indoors
Our safety team will continue to evaluate these and additional protocols, as well as CDC recommendations, to mitigate risk of infection during the in-person event so you can have a safe, enjoyable conference experience. We will continue to provide updates on the Safety 2021 website as we get closer to the conference date.
It is also important to note that based on our analysis of how we can best provide a safe, healthy environment for attendees, we will not provide traditional conference lunches as part of the event. We are confident there will be plenty of safe food options available to attendees. The Austin Convention Center is conveniently located near a wide range of restaurants and a variety of food trucks will be available so you will have plenty of safe food options while attending the conference. We are also adjusting the schedule to make sure you have adequate time for lunch each day.
In addition, we won't be holding board, council or committee meetings, nor will we be hosting lounges, receptions, dinners or retreats.
Please note that attending an in-person event presents an inherent risk of exposure to communicable disease. By attending this event, you voluntarily accept all risks related to exposure from communicable disease and agree to not hold ASSP or its representatives liable for any illness or injury. You agree to follow all safety protocols issued by ASSP.
Is there a maximum number of people allowed to attend a session?
Yes. Each meeting room in the convention center and at the hotel has capacity limits, and seating is based on a first come, first-seated basis. We will share more details as we get closer to the event in September.
Why shift the date and location?
The safety and health of all involved remain our highest priority. We know that many members are eager to meet face-to-face with their ASSP colleagues, learn new things and see the latest safety innovations in person. Based on what we currently know about the pandemic, vaccine administration and projections about travel safety, we believe a hybrid event delivered in September offers ASSP the best opportunity to deliver our conference in a way that is mindful of the public safety and health challenges we continue to face due to the pandemic.
In addition, by offering a concurrent online program, we can provide a valuable learning experience for those not yet ready or able to travel, while enhancing the learning opportunities for those able to attend the live event.
What factors did ASSP consider?
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continuously monitored and assessed various factors with respect to delivering in-person education. These include:
- rules and guidance at the federal, state, local and facility levels
- evolving public health and safety protocols and vaccination projections;
- the safety and health of our members, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers and staff
- financial models;
- business trends, including travel forecasts for 2021.
These factors remain fluid, and we will continue to monitor them in the coming months to ensure we can deliver a safe, informative, inspiring and fun event that also makes good business sense for ASSP.