Dear Members and Friends,
Each October for over 15 years, the Howard County Chamber (Chamber) has the Signature Event. The flagship program is an evening of celebration and recognition of businesses and individuals who make Howard County and this Chamber all that we are today. The Covid 19 pandemic hindered our ability to hold the Signature Event in the traditional format last year leading us to hold virtual program. The virtual format proved rewarding for award recipients and viewers, but we know Chamber enthusiast long for personal interactions. As you can imagine, there has been great excitement about holding this year’s program in person. While the Delta variant has many alarmed, it is our intent to move forward with the event. Recognizing that questions abound regarding the event and the precautions being taken, we wanted to share with you our plans for hosting an exciting, yet safe program.
Venue Protocols and Precautions – What is Turf Valley doing?
As stated on their website, Turf Valley is committed to cleanliness. This means they have increased cleaning to ensure high-touch areas are attended to with vigorous cleaning methods. They have also increased disinfecting stations throughout the property. Turf Valley is following all the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Maryland Department of Health (MDH). Buffets are currently an option and are selected by the client event organizer. All buffet stations will feature a sanitizing station and optional gloves.
Turf Valley has increased cleaning schedules on all high touch areas and added additional hand sanitizer stations throughout the property and in all event spaces. They have added the use of an electrostatic sprayer to our cleaning protocols. In addition, we have implemented a new training program for all our team members, to update them on the protocols regarding COVID-19 and our heightened measures to create a safe environment. Turf Valley staff will have masks on.
Chamber Protocols and Precautions – What we are doing?
The Chamber is decreasing the amount of “banquet seating” and tables will be spaced 6-ft apart when possible. High top tables, some with or without barstools and alternative seating such as sofas and chairs will be present throughout to allow guests to distance themselves as necessary. We have eliminated a plated dinner and extended program to cut down on the amount of time guests will be seated in a crowded situation.
We will also space the registration tables to minimize congestion. Attendees will note that we will not have name tags as we will also strive to have as many touchless components as possible. Even the event photo booth will have an option that is completely digital to create a touch-less photo booth. We will have live entertainment and the band have informed us that they are 100% vaccinated. Vendors will be wearing face shields/masks during the event as applicable to state/local mandates. Lastly, we will have hand sanitizing stations prevalent throughout along with masks. While not mandatory, we do strongly encourage the usage of masks, vaccinated or not.
In closing, the Chamber understands the apprehension that the pandemic has brought about particularly when gathering in indoor public spaces. We also know that individual sensitivity levels run the gamut. Please know the Chamber is doing everything that we can to host an evening that is entertaining and safe. Do not hesitate to contact Senior Events Manager, Tayler Tarlton at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any additional questions or concerns.
Charles “Chuck” Phillips, Sr. VP, Site & Facilities Discipline Manager, KCI Technologies, Chair, Board of Directors
Leonardo McClarty, President/CEO, Howard County Chamber