Kentucky School Advocate
By Laura Cole
KSBA Director of Board Team DevelopmentI would like to come to the Winter Symposium, but I’m concerned about the coronavirus. What precautions will be in place at the conference?
Throughout the conference KSBA and the Marriott hotel will be following all state guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Attendees will also be encouraged to do their part to protect themselves and fellow guests.
In accordance with the state mask mandate and Marriott hotel policy, face coverings are required1 in all indoor public areas of the hotel. Hotel guests are also reminded to practice social distancing, staying at least 6 feet from other guests and hotel associates. There are occupancy restrictions in common areas (including meeting rooms) and KSBA will be the only group using the hotel’s conference space.
Attendees will be encouraged to use the escalators to move between meeting levels and elevators will be limited to four people at a time.
There is contactless check in available on the Marriott Bonvoy smartphone app. Valet parking is also suspended. There will be partitions in place at the front desk and at Starbucks.
Marriott has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in areas with high traffic including restrooms, elevators and escalators. There are also more hand sanitizing stations throughout the hotel.
The main doors to public bathrooms will be propped open to limit touching the doors and the bathrooms have touchless fixtures.
Staff members will be wearing face coverings and gloves based on the activities they are performing. The hotel will be using enhanced technologies, including electrostatic sprayers with hospital-grade disinfectants to clean public areas.
For private rooms, each guest room will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected prior to guests’ arrival. The hotel will not provide housekeeping automatically every day, but you can request a daily housekeeping service.How will the restrictions affect the conference?
Because the hotel will not be providing pens and notepads, KSBA will include extra notes pages in the conference brochure.
KSBA will not use traditional sign-in sheets or provide printed handouts for breakout sessions. Alternative arrangements will be made to track session attendance in a way that limits contact. Handouts will be available electronically in advance of the conference should attendees wish to download and print them.
While beverage service and conference meals will be available, self-service options will be limited. Water dispensers, for instance, will not be available. Food will be plated or otherwise served to guests. On Friday, bottled water and other beverages will be available to attendees throughout the day. On Saturday, beverages will be served with breakfast and then attendees will receive a pre-washed and filled reusable KSBA water bottle.
Our exhibitors will also be taking extra precautions. Booths will be distanced appropriately to accommodate social distancing guidelines. The number of exhibitor staff per booth has been significantly reduced. Exhibitors will be encouraged to practice social distancing when interacting with conference attendees. KSBA is encouraging exhibitors to wear gloves when distributing their materials and/or making them available for self-pick up.What if the conference can’t be held in person?
If it becomes necessary, KSBA is prepared to move the Winter Symposium online. The same sessions and speakers will be offered on the virtual platform. Registrants will be notified in the event of such changes.