By Jenabeth Ferguson
Two weeks ago, Ann and I attended an event at the Boston Convention & Exposition Center. It was the first time in almost two years I stepped foot on an exhibition floor and for someone who has been in the conference and tradeshow industry for almost 25 years, it was by far the longest I had gone not being in that setting. A lot of things looked far different from the last time I’d been at an event.
Part of the pre-registration process included showing proof of COVID vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of attending. Masks were required per the city of Boston. There were a lot more hand sanitizer stations everywhere. You could choose your badge holder by color to indicate your comfort level of contact with other attendees. The seats in session rooms were spaced apart. There were one-way signs for the aisles in the exhibit hall. All those things were new and different due to COVID but what wasn’t different was the networking and engagement of those in attendance.
People were inspired by the keynotes. Speakers were sharing their expertise and lessons learned in the conference sessions. Exhibitors were demonstrating their latest products and services. And perhaps most importantly, old friends and colleagues got to see each other in person and not through a screen.
It was a good thing for me to see as we get closer and closer to bringing the Symposium community back together this December. We will be having a lot of the same precautions in Austin which you can read about here. I know some of you may still not be comfortable or able to join us and that is certainly understandable. And others I keep hearing from quite literally cannot wait to walk back into the Austin Convention Center and see so many of your friends and colleagues from all across the country together again.
If you are planning to be in Austin this December or if you are still considering registering and have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Vice President, Symposium Director
Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo
September 19-21, 2023
Charlotte Convention Center
Charlotte, North Carolina
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