How I Handled a Conference during a National Emergency

March 15, 2020 by  
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“How I Handled a Conference during a National Emergency”

 

Short and sweet to the point I’m exhausted today and happy, proud and thankful we had a wonderful blessed 2nd Annual Phenomenal Women Walking in Our Purpose Conference March 14, 2020. When everything was canceled people were told to not gather in groups over 250 panicking fearful and there were State of Emergency in MD VA and National, we did this during a COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. 

My decision to move forward and not cancel the conference stemmed from faith perseverance tenacity resilience and trust in God knowing that He would protect us, and we would do our part to protect our guests, vendors and speakers.

Day 1 March 2 I started looking at the numbers and media updates and warnings from CDC and the medical professionals especially Dr. Anthony Fauci, who happened to be a well renown doctor that my former supervisor, Dr. Henry Norris at Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), I  used to worked for and answered the phone for them. In the mid-80’s he was still the go to for medical advice and an expert.

I was responsible and accountable for a lot of people who depended on me to do due diligence and I was cautious but not afraid. I couldn’t get a refund from the venue Middleton Hall Waldorf due to the contract and couldn’t get reimbursement from my general liability insurance Liberty Mutual. All I could do is pray step up to the plate and make common sense and wise decisions.

 By Wednesday the numbers of infections had tripled in the US and I was really getting nervous. On Thursday I got emails calls texts and inboxes from the guests, speakers and vendors. I tried to reassure them that the venue and I were working together to take care of them, and I did an onsite visit Wednesday to discuss details with the venue. By Friday I started getting cancellations and fearful messages because Maryland declared a State of Emergency and President Trump declared a National Emergency! I prayed at home and sent prayers on social media groups and reassured my guests, speakers and vendors and told them if they didn’t feel comfortable, I understood and to drop out. Saturday, we had 4 vendors who couldn’t make it and 3-4 attendees, but all speakers attended.

I arrived brought hand sanitizer, box of tissues, got another donation of a hand sanitizer from a vendor, Peggy Gullette, who makes hand sanitizer and brought Lysol wipes, passed them out, sprayed with Lysol and prayed aloud several times. The venue separated the tables and spaced them far apart and I asked to remove 2 seats and seat 6 instead of 8. Since several vendors didn’t attend, we had more space to spread out and 5-6 feet space from table to table.

The results of the PWWIOP 2020 Conference were amazing! Everyone enjoyed themselves and the venue staff were amazing and the luncheon was delicious. The speakers and vendors brought their A game and the guests received excellent education and content and a problem-solving panel discussion at the end.

I spent a week of pure adrenaline walking by faith and not by sight knowing that God would protect us. I gave it all to Him and replaced doubt and fear with faith and confidence. No one said our road and journey in this life would be easy. But in all things God will provide. As the elders in my home church used to say, “He will take care of you.” Use common sense follow the instructions from CDC and Dr. Fauci and use wisdom and due diligence. Psalm 91”10-12

#WeddingWeds March 11, 2020 At Your Service Events Planner LLC wants to assure you that we’re on top of safeguards and updates from medical professionals about the Coronavirus COVID-19. We proactively discuss with our clients how you can protect yourself and your guests and what options you may have to postpone or reschedule an event or trip. Be aware of travel restrictions and warnings from CDC and WHO. The best protection is be knowledgeable and take precautions.
1. Use Hand sanitizer
2. Wash hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds
3. If you’re sick stay home 4. Don’t shake hands
5. Touch your face as little as possible
6. Use tissues and throw them away when you cough or sneeze 🤧
7. Keep a distance 5 ft minimum when in public and away from large crowds
8. Some people wear masks if they’re in a large crowd. If you have respiratory problems you should continue to wear masks.
9. If you’re elderly stay home more as it affects the elderly more aggressively

We’re doing our best to inform and protect our clients guests vendors colleagues and speakers. God bless!”