We believe all five of our 2021 conferences will take place live and in person. Here is what you need to know:
2021 Conference Schedule
We believe domestic travel will resume in the spring of 2021 due to a variety of factors:
- Warmer weather will lead to more outdoor activities and less indoor transmission.
- States that are currently suffering from high infection rates have implemented more safety measures that will bear positive results.
- The federal government is now more involved in coordinating the fight against the pandemic.
- The availability of vaccines will begin to have an impact.
Having said that, we still expect dark times in the late winter months, especially if the new virus strains gain hold. However, we have purposefully scheduled all five of our conferences for August or later in 2021 to make sure they are as safe as possible.
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, you can do so 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
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 immediately prior to the conference and can provide us with a doctor’s note, we will honor any of the above options up to the day before the conference.
COVID Testing and Vaccinations
COVID testing is become more widespread in the travel industry, including with airlines and at airports, and vaccines are supposed to become widely available in the United States sometime between April and July of 2021. Both testing and vaccinations are critical for keeping yourself and others safe. At Zephyr Conferences, we will require everyone to have either a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination before attending our conferences. Mail-in PCR COVID tests are currently available and at-home tests might be widespread enough to allow onsite, immediate testing as well.
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 and the Wine Marketing & Tourism Conference we will have access to an outdoor tent for tastings if needed.
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.
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. If necessary, we will eliminate these safety measures.
- Hand sanitizer available on site
- No handshakes or hugs
- Eliminate handheld microphones
- 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 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.