The Society of American Florists announced safety protocols focused on keeping convention attendees healthy amid a surge in Covid cases.
“The safety and comfort of everyone at the convention is our top priority,” says SAF CEO Kate Penn. “We really wanted to put information out well ahead of the event so attendees knew our safety guidelines and so they could plan accordingly.”
SAF Orlando 2021 is the organization’s 136th annual convention, to be held Sept. 21-23 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort.
SAF’s safety guidelines follow those of the Centers for Disease Control, Penn says.
SAF is encouraging attendees be vaccinated prior to arrival and wear masks regardless of vaccination status while inside convention spaces at the resort.
“In this case it just makes sense to wear a mask and we hope that people will feel comfortable with that,” Penn says. “We are really hoping that everyone comes vaccinated, as well.”
SAF will provide masks and color-coded stickers for attendees to wear on their name badges if they choose. A green sticker indicates the attendee is fine with hugs; a yellow sticker indicates fist bumps or handshakes are preferred; and a red sticker indicates a wave is welcome.
SAF is working with the resort to accommodate social distancing during meals and educational sessions, as well as provide hand sanitizing stations throughout the resort.
In addition, all SAF staff is vaccinated and will wear a mask inside during the event, as will employees of the resort. Employees at Universal’s Aventura Hotel, which also has rooms reserved for attendees, will also be masked.
The schedule of events, which includes nearly 15 educational sessions, the Sylvia Cup Design and Outstanding Varieties competitions and the Star of the Industry Award Reception, has not been affected, Penn said.
SAF will monitor the situation in Orlando as conditions and guidance evolve, Penn says. Any updates or changes to the safety protocols will be sent by email and posted on SAF’s website.
For more information and to register for SAF Orlando 2021 visit https://safnow.org/events-education/annual-convention/. Check out who’s attending, here.
Questions about the safety protocols? Use the LiveChat feature on safnow.org to get in touch with an SAF staff member.
Amanda Jedlinsky is the managing editor of SAF Now.