It is almost Convention time here at NECA, and we are excited to move forward with NECA 2021 Nashville! As you know, in this COVID-19 environment, we have been in constant communication with the City, the Convention Center and all of our destination partners related to travel and venue protocols for our annual event. We want to be clear that the safety of our attendees, exhibitors, staff, partners, and speakers is our biggest priority. The bullet points below provide our NECA community with up-to-date information on Convention and set forth our final NECA 2021 Nashville protocols as we strive to provide a safe environment for all:
- NECA hired Epistemix, a computational modeling software company that develops simulations to fight disease and inform policy, to model the safety of NECA 2021 Nashville based on the expected number of attendees (7,000-7,500), number of exhibitor companies (250), average age of attendees, vaccination coverage of attendees, the vaccination coverage in Nashville and other factors.
- The scientific data produced for NECA forecasts a 50% decrease in potential COVID-19 cases if masks are worn at indoor events. Epistemix also predicts that cases in Nashville are projected to peak in mid-September and begin decreasing prior to NECA 2021 Nashville.
- As a result of this data and the current CDC guidance, NECA will implement a mandatory mask policy at all indoor areas for its opening reception at the Wild Horse Saloon, as well as all indoor areas of the Convention Center, including all general sessions, the trade show floor and the closing reception. The mask mandate will be enforced by Convention Center Security as well as uniformed Nashville Police officers.
- NECA is contracting with an online vendor to prepare and distribute a secure online health and wellness questionnaire that must be completed and submitted by attendees in order to register for a badge at Convention.
- NECA is taking additional steps to host more activities in outdoor spaces as well as increase square footage where possible to encourage social distancing. In addition, NECA 2021 Nashville will be the only event happening in the convention center, providing an exclusive space for attendees, exhibitors and staff.
- NECA attendees are encouraged to comply with all other facility masking and COVID-19 related requirements at hotels, restaurants and bars and to feel free to wear a mask at their discretion outside of the referenced indoor venues.
- As always, social distancing is encouraged at all appropriate times.
NECA will update this convention information if relevant conditions warrant.