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In anticipation of next month’s 2021 FGIA Hybrid Fall Conference in Phoenix, AZ, we sent out information to our members about the safety protocols and what to expect at the event, for those attending in-person. The health and safety of our participants and staff is of paramount importance, and I wanted to also share that information here on the Member Edge blog. The Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, our event venue, will accommodate CDC-recommended spacing for our group under current operating capacity. At this time, the hotel requires face coverings in all indoor and public areas (outdoors, too) regardless of vaccination status.

The following additional safety protocols will be part of our planning process:

  • Hosting meals and networking events outside (even for breakfast, we will have some outdoor seating).
  • Food and beverage service with resort staff and any self-service items will be fully packaged.
  • Receptions will be structured to allow for free-flowing social interaction guided by safety protocols to enable high-value participant engagement, for example:
    • Traffic flow will be controlled to minimize congregating.
    • Tables with spaced seating will be available to support social distancing, particularly when eating.
  • Housekeeping currently offers limited services to minimize interactions within the room; however, a full cleaning is offered upon request.
  • Restaurants are offering normal service with additional spacing between tables.
  • An abundance of hand sanitizing stations and complimentary face masks will be available.
  • Breaks will be incorporated in the conference schedule to allow time for sanitation and audiovisual reset of microphones.
  • Signage will be provided to remind attendees of designated exits and entrances, safe practices in food/beverage areas and social distancing.
  • Information for the nearby COVID-19 testing site will be provided to all participants.

We have some additional protocols in place if you are not feeling well. For example, I am certified as a Pandemic Compliance Advisor, meaning I will ensure safe practices are in place, communicated and carried throughout the entire event. As always, for any emergency warning signs, such as trouble breathing, shortness of breath, confusion or dizziness, please call 911.

If you have a fever, cough, muscle or body aches, fatigue, sore throat or other flu like symptoms, you might have COVID-19 or a variant of it. If you are experiencing any COVID symptoms while in your hotel room, please do not come in the meeting space. Instead, please contact me and I will arrange with the hotel to ensure you are looked after. Hotel security is able to check your temperature and, if needed, will arrange for a ride share service to take you to the nearby testing site. A negative test must be provided before returning to the meeting space. If someone is experiencing symptoms or is waiting for a COVID test, the link to connect to the virtual event will be provided.

Quarantine if you have been in close contact (within six feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless you have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested three to five days after their exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors and in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. For three to five days after the conference, participants are asked to report post event positive cases to me for proper communication to those that may have been exposed.

Safety is our number one priority at our events. If you have any questions about these policies or anything else related to the conference, please reach out!