BeerNow is still on for August 7 – 8 in Austin as scheduled.
We at Zephyr Conferences have three steps we take to determine if we will run a conference during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can We Legally Operate the Event?
We are subject to state, county, and city ordinances regarding conferences. The restrictions that apply to us are generally whether hotels are open and whether group gatherings are allowed. Hotels in Texas are considered essential businesses for housing overnight guests and are open. However, under the current Texas orders, non-essential group gatherings are banned and, thus, Beer Now is not legally able to operate. Because this is changing rapidly, we will continue to monitor the situation to see when this changes and whether such a change gives our attendees, speakers, and sponsors time to participate in the conference.
Can We Safely Operate the Event?
Once we are legally allowed to operate a conference in Austin, we also need to be confident we can safely conduct it. We have created a page of Safety Procedures for our conferences to guide us and assure you. For Beer Now specifically, if we are able to hold the event this year we will very likely limit attendance so we can increases social distancing spacing in our main conference room.
Do Our Attendees, Speakers, and Sponsors Wish to Attend?
Ultimately, the decision on whether we run a conference rests with you. To date, we have had only one sponsor, two speakers, and no attendees withdraw. The sponsor postponed to 2021 for economic reasons due to the current recession. That shows amazing support. In addition, we checked with attendees in our Alumni Group on Facebook and the comments were overly supportive in running the event this year.
Cancel or Postpone
As such, we are reasonably confident we will be able to run Beer Now in 2020 and are just monitoring state and city rules. If we do have to cancel or postpone the conference, we will consider the option of moving it to the fall. This could be especially appealing with the cancellation of the GABF. If we postpone to the fall or 2021, the event will stay in Austin.