In 2021 we elected to postpone our two business conferences (The Beer Marketing & Tourism Conference and the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference) due to lack of demand from industry and our local hosts. Our three media conferences (Beer Now, International Food Blogger Conference, and Wine Media Conference) are scheduled to proceed. We believe these will take place. Here is what you need to know:
2021 Conference Schedule
We purposefully scheduled our 2021 conferences for the latter half of the year. The WMC will take place in August, the IFBC in October, and Beer Now in November. Given the United States is quickly recovering from the pandemic, we are confident these events can proceed. Having said that, each conference will need to meet local and state requirements.
If we cancel a conference, you can elect to receive your money back or transfer your registration to the new date. If you cancel your registration, there are no refunds but you can transfer your registration with at least 30 days notice with these options:
- Transfer to another Zephyr conference in the same year
- Transfer to the same conference the following year
- Transfer your registration to someone else
COVID Testing and Vaccinations
We will require everyone to have either a negative COVID test within 36 hours of the conference start or proof of vaccination before attending our conferences. We will provide a form to upload proof or your vaccination or test. At this point, we strongly recommend vaccination as you will be surrounded by hundreds of others, even with social distancing.
Safe Conference Bubble
Attending a conference is similar to substantially broadening your “bubble” of contacts. Thus, if we can keep each attendee safe we can keep everyone safe. We will do this requiring all participants to have a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination. We will then ask attendees to limit their outside interactions while at the event.
Larger group gatherings are inherently higher risk than smaller group gatherings. We will limit attendance at 2021 conferences to 250 participants. Please note this might mean we are unable to accept all registrations.
We all know that being outside is much safer than being inside thanks to greater air circulation and thus less exposure to a potentially infected individual. We have secured an outdoor meeting space for the Beer Now Conference and the International Food Blogger Conference. For the Wine Media Conference we will have access to an outdoor tent for tastings if needed.
Most of our conference participants fly to their destination and we are not in control of that aspect of travel. However, airlines are taking major steps to keep passengers safe, including not selling tickets on middle seats, extra cleanings, requiring facemasks, using electrostatic cleaning, and passenger screenings. Studies have shown the risk of infection on flights to be low.
Our hotels are implementing extra procedures including employee education, increased sterilization, removing touchable items such as pens, reducing elevator capacity, changing food service, and more.
Conference Safety Protocols
We do not yet know what the state of safety measures will be when our conferences take place, from August through November of 2021. Thus, the following safety measures could change.
- Hand sanitizer available on site
- No handshakes or hugs
- Require masks while indoors
- When possible, provide extra transportation capacity on excursions so each person has no one sitting next to him or her
- Secure excess conference space in meeting rooms to space out attendees as much as possible
- Eliminate or reduce breakouts to allow each attendee to have his or her own seat for the duration of the conference
- No buffet meals or any situation with shared serving utensils
- Receptions, tastings, and networking located in larger rooms or – when possible – outside to allow for networking with social distancing
We believe small conferences like ours will be safer than larger events. We believe we will be able to run our conferences in 2021. We plan to be as prepared as possible to hold our events safely while still having the amazing food, fun activities, and excellent content, our conferences are known for.