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 proceeding as planned. Here is what you need to know:
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 72 hours of the conference start or proof of vaccination before attending our conferences. We will provide a form to upload proof of your vaccination or test. We strongly recommend vaccination. At the Wine Media Conference in early August, 100% of attendees were vaccinated.
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 by 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 150 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.
Masks While on Buses
Because it is possible to catch COVID while vaccinated, we will require masks while on buses or in vans for transportation provided by the conference. We will strongly encourage masks while indoors.
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 requiring face masks, using electrostatic cleaning, and passenger screenings. Studies have shown the risk of infection on flights to be low.
Our hotels and outdoor venues 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
The following safety measures could change.
- Hand sanitizer available on site
- No handshakes or hugs
- Recommend masks while indoors
- Secure excess conference space in meeting rooms to space out attendees as much as possible
- Limit or eliminate indoor meals
- Receptions, tastings, and networking located in larger rooms or – when possible – outside to allow for social distancing
We believe small conferences like ours will be safer than larger events. We will be as prepared as possible to hold our events safely while still having the amazing food and drink, fun activities, and excellent content our conferences are known for. Will this work? At the 2021 Wine Media Conference in early August, we are not aware of any community transmission of COVID. Yes, this can work.