Dear GCSAA members,
The world is a much different place than when we gathered in Orlando in January for the 2020 Golf Industry Show. It seems much longer ago than just five months. And as many of you have had to adjust or adapt your business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so has GCSAA. Each summer, we begin revving up planning for the next conference and trade show. 2021 is no exception to that, but as we look toward Las Vegas, it is with a much different lens than in other years.
Our usual work of coordinating the gold standard education, networking opportunities and industry innovations you have come to expect continues, but we are also driven by the key question in the face of an uncertain world:
Can we produce a quality experience that meets the safety recommendations for COVID-19?
To help us prepare, we are developing five scenarios and mapping out what every activity would look like in each scenario. The five scenarios are based on potential pandemic threat levels.
Scenario One (low threat): Business as usual.
- Scenario Two (minimal threat): Live event in Las Vegas with social distancing and large-gathering restrictions in place.
- Scenario Three (moderate threat): Hybrid with a live event in Las Vegas and virtual event options.
- Scenario Four (substantial threat): An all virtual event.
- Scenario Five (significant threat): Event postponed or cancelled.
We were very fortunate that the 2020 GIS had already taken place before the virus took hold in most of the country. Many similar gatherings were postponed or cancelled this year, and we have been able to watch and learn from others.
We are equally fortunate that Las Vegas, a city so dependent on tourism, is at the forefront of making sure visitors are safe. The city reopened its casinos on June 4, and the brand-new Las Vegas Convention Center, hotels and all venues are consulting with public health experts to redefine cleaning, safety and sanitation standards. The Global Risk Advisory Council’s STAR is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities. The LVCC is one of the first convention centers to pursue this certification and should be accredited by the end of August.
The NFL’s 2021 Pro Bowl recently announced it plans to hold the event in Las Vegas on Jan. 31, and the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest tech industry event in the world, has announced it will go forward with its 2021 convention January 6-9 at the new LVCC. We too are currently moving ahead with hosting our event in Las Vegas.
In addition to keeping an eye on the latest data and the status of other events, we also want to know what your level of comfort is in attending a live event. In mid-August, we will be conducting a survey of members to gauge your sentiment on traveling and any other factors that could affect your attendance. In October, we will have a follow up survey in case circumstances have changed. Using this information and guidance from health and venue officials, we will decide on the best scenario for all involved in October, with registration opening in November.
With so much uncertainty in the world, it is difficult to know where we will be at the start of 2021. However, I am certain that GCSAA is putting your safety and comfort first when it comes to planning the conference and show. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.