COVID-19 at Meetings and Conventions for 2021

COVID-19 at Meetings and Conventions for 2021. What can we expect? What is going to be the new norm that stays with us for years? The Meetings and Tradeshow Industry has been in a tailspin, but ready to bounce back strong by the 3rd to 4th quarter of 2021.

March 2020 is the last time I traveled for a Corporate Photography Job. I remember the day perfectly our lives changed in ways I could have not imagined.

I am a Convention Photographer and provide services to the Meetings and Tradeshow Industry. It has been challenging to say the least. Businesses in all areas have been affected and many have not survived. The latest stimulus check will help but for how long?

Tampa Meetings and Convention Photography services of attendee at Tradeshow engaging at exhibitor booth. ©proimagesphoto

Tampa Meetings and Convention Photography services of attendee engaging in exhibitor booth. ©Joseph Rodriguez | proimagesphoto.com

As I go through the various cities looking at the Convention calendars of events, I see many cancellations and postponements. In addition, events have been scaled back but the good news is not completely, so there is hope.

The biggest vaccination campaign in history.

The biggest vaccination campaign in history is underway. 392 million doses have already been administered as of March 17, 2021 across 128 countries and this based on Bloomberg. 9.50 million doses a day so far and growing.

Another interesting item that Bloomberg posted.

In the U.S. more Americans have received at least one dose than have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began. So far, 111 million doses have been given and in the last week an average of 2.44 million a day. I recieved mine last week and I feel so happy and hopeful.

NORTHSTAR meetings group recently posted an article writing that recovery is starting back up. They write that approximately 355,000 new jobs have been gained in the leisure and hospitality sector last month alone. This according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is great news and hopefully with continued awareness and wearing masks we will get ahead of this pandemic.Keep in mind that even with Vaccines being administered daily, half of U.S. properties are projected to stay empty in 2021. I looked at the American Hotel and Lodging Associations 2021 State of the Industry report.

What’s going with the HOTELS AND LODGING INDUSTRY?

AHLA research shows 34 percent of American’s feel comfortable staying in a hotel right now. I can say this as well. My hotel points are enough for at least 40 days but I have not used them unless it’s for work and that was once last year in October.

When AHLA did their surveys, they found that many noted that their comfort level is tied to vaccinations, with 20 percent saying they won’t feel comfortable until a majority of Americans have been vaccinated. You can find out more by going to their site.

Hotels are coming back so please note that cleaning protocols are in place and have been since last year. New technologies in cleaning are being utilized not just in hotels but in the meetings spaces all over the country.

Meeting and Conventions will start to come back in the 3rd and the 4th quarter. Vaccines are rolling out at a good pace, and this gives meeting planners and convention planners positive vibes.

As we get moving toward normalcy, here is my take on the Do’s and Don’ts so you can be ready for the work to I feel confidant will be ahead of us. Please note, I realize this has been said a lot but I thought to just share again my thoughts here.

DO: SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEAR YOUR “MASK”

Yes, it’s a sentence that have come to be heard more than we care but there’s a reason for this. I’ve battled a few people (verbally but not too bad) that look at this as silly, government control and so on but here’s the reality.

Flatten the curve: You know the daily numbers we get from our local news, national news. If we can stay at least 6’ or 2 meters away from everyone that we don’t know and yes even those relatives and friends that you see on occasion, this really does help. Working from home for those that are lucky to still have a job know zoom as their best friend or worst enemy but it’s what we have to do. You can also still chat with you friends on the phone, yes, it’s not just for texting or sending photos. Use Zoom to chat as well if you can’t FaceTime.

DON’T: GOING TO LARGE GATHERINGS INDOORS OR OUTDOORS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PROPERLY PREPARED.

Fort Worth Meetings and Convention Photography of students attending Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Students attending the annual Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association meeting in Fort Worth, TX ©Joseph Rodriguez

You can be carrying the virus and not show any signs or feel any symptoms so this works both ways. Someone in that crowd may have it and not know it, some may have it and know it and don’t care. It’s just not worth the risk to you, your loved ones you have to go back home to and if you are the income earner this will devastate your family.

DO: GET VACCINATED

I went to the CDC.gov site and below are some highlights.

  • COVID-19 vaccination will help you from getting COVID-19. It’s that simple. Vaccines currently available in the United States have been highly effect at preventing COVID-19.
  • Additional COVID-19 vaccines that are in development are being carefully evaluated in clinical trials and will be authorized or approved only if they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you.
  • Experts believe that getting COVID-19 vaccine may also help you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection and an important tool to help stop the pandemic.

It is my belief that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and 2021 will be the year that happens. Let’s all come together and make a difference.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and if I can help you at your Tradeshow, Convention and Event. Send me your RFP. I would like to get back into the Meetings Industry and do what I do best. Capturing More than the Moment.

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