Health and Safety Plans - FAQs

What safety and health protocols will be in place to protect people who attend in person?

 

The HFES 66th Annual Meeting safety plan includes a range of measures designed to safeguard the health and safety of all conference attendees, exhibitors, and HFES staff. All individuals who attend the in-person conference in Atlanta will be required to follow established safety and health protocols. Protocols may be updated at any time and HFES will communicate any changes to our meeting registrants and exhibitors.

 

Our current safety plan includes the following:

 

What we expect of attendees 

  • At this time, we are stating that we will require that attendees provide proof of full vaccination before obtaining their badge and being admitted to the meeting. 

  • Attendees must wear a face covering at all times when in the hotel, except when drinking and eating. Face coverings must cover the nose, mouth, and chin. Attendees will be provided an N95 mask at the registration desk. 

  • Attendees will be asked to follow good hygiene practices, including washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and maintaining physical distancing when possible.

 

What HFES will do 

  • May arrange for spaced-seating sections in meeting rooms. 

  • Support hotel staff in their efforts to provide a safer meeting for our attendees. View the Marriott’s Commitment to Clean for details. Continue to evaluate these and additional protocols, as well as CDC recommendations, to mitigate the risk of infection during the in-person event so you can have a safe, enjoyable conference experience. 

  • Continue to provide any additional updates on the meeting website leading up to the meeting and provide timely communications via email and the mobile app during the meeting. 

  • Provide a link to a daily self-health assessment tool and encourage attendees to complete a daily individual health assessment. 

  • Continue our scheduled routine planning meetings to review, adjust, and communicate practices and policies intended to help our attendees, exhibitors, speakers, and staff participate in this meeting. 

  • Establish an on-site team to evaluate and manage health and other related matters should any surface.

Is there a maximum number of people allowed to attend a session?

Yes. Each meeting room in the hotel has capacity limits, and seating is based on a first-come, first-seated basis.

 

Do speakers need to keep a mask on during their presentation?

No, provided enough space remains between presenters, attendees, and other speakers. Speakers must remask once they complete their presentations.

 

What about the receptions and coffee breaks? 

At this time we are stating that all must wear a mask except for when actively eating or drinking. 

The opening reception is indoors. We are setting the room with tables and chairs spaced apart. Seating is not mandatory. In any case, whether you are seated or standing, please remember to remain at least three feet away from your fellow attendees. 

The plan is for any food item to be passed to the individual. There is no self-service option. Bartenders will hand you your beverage. At this time, coffee break stations will be self-service.

 

What factors did HFES consider?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continuously monitored and assessed various factors concerning delivering an in-person meeting. These include: 

  • Rules and guidance from the CDC and federal, state, local, and facility levels 

  • Evolving public health and safety protocols and vaccination projections; 

  • The safety and health of our members, speakers, exhibitors, volunteers, and staff 

  • Financial models

  • Business trends, including travel forecasts.

 

These factors remain fluid, and we will continue to monitor them to ensure we can deliver a safe, informative, inspiring, and fun event that also makes good business sense for HFES.