Q: How will COVID-19 affect the 2022 Regional Gathering?
A: We want to assure you that your RG Committee is committed to the health and well-being of our attendees, speakers and volunteers. We are constantly assessing the evolving COVID-19 situation as it relates to our Regional Gathering and have left ourselves room to craft an appropriate policy at the appropriate time. As the situation changes every day, we remain watchful but are also focused on delivering a first-class RG. As a reminder, when we attend a gathering of 250+ people, we are all personally taking a calculated risk to do so.
- Negative test: As of 7/31, based on the new BA.5 variant and its overwhelmingly quick spread/surge of cases in the surrounding area, we are requiring a photograph of a negative test timestamped within 24 hours of picking up your badge for all attendees (regardless of age/vaccination status). This is a very simple requirement: just perform any rapid test within 24 hours of arrival at Registration, take a photo of your test, and show it to us in your photo gallery as you are picking up your badge. This is easy and inexpensive: rapid antigen tests from the pharmacy cost as little as $10 (and are available on Amazon as well). If you do not have a phone with a camera or prefer to, you are free to get a proctored test and share that printout (that will have a date/timestamp) instead. Do not bring your negative test to registration 😉
- Masking: Fairfax County (home of our RG hotel) does not currently have masking requirements based on Medium community spread, so we are not requiring them. However, we strongly encourage that you mask as a precautionary measure and for the safety of others, and will have a limited supply of masks at Registration if you need one. We encourage you to wear one in cases where social distancing is impossible, so please have one handy. If you develop symptoms or do not feel well, you are asked to do the right thing for fellow attendees, and re-test/stay in your room.
- Sanitation: We are mindful of our duty of care, and have carefully considered the appropriate sanitary measures and hygiene precautions. Our event hotel is also monitoring the situation and we’re working together to put other steps into place to ensure the health and safety of attendees. These include a microphone-disinfecting protocol, the elimination of hug dots, adding more sanitization and disinfecting materials for use in the conference space, and increased spacing in hospitality and speaker rooms where available.
With this decision, we thread the needle between restrictive and reasonable policy. We reserve the right to update our policy to include masking if Fairfax County sees high COVID spread and institutes a mask policy of their own. We have consulted multiple Public Health resources and feel that this policy, along with additional mitigation factors above, will be our best defense.
Q: What are the pricing tiers?
A: $120 full weekend through February 28th, 2022 $140 full weekend thereafter.
Q: What if I just want to come for an hour?
A: You can join for only an hour, but you still need to register for at least the full day you want to attend…. so you might as well enjoy the full day you’re paying for 🙂
Q: What meals are included in the full weekend rates?
A: Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch, and Sunday breakfast.
Q: Will hospitality be open during Saturday night dinner so I can have other foods?
A: Only light hospitality (snacks, etc) will be available.
Q: How are minors handled?
A: We will have a kid’s track (special programming) on Saturday! They must be picked up by their adult by the end of the kid’s track. Minors (under 18) must be accompanied in the RG space (speaker rooms, hospitality, games) by a registered (paid) adult.
Q: Do I have to decide now if I want Saturday night dinner?
A: No, but the number of meals is limited and tickets sell out every year! We’ll let you know when we determine the last date you can place your order for the meal.
Q: If I paid for the full weekend, but didn’t want the dinner, can I still listen to the keynote speaker?
A: Unfortunately no, due to space restrictions, only attendees with tickets to the dinner are eligible to attend the keynote.
Q: Why is the Saturday night dinner a separate purchase?
A: Many members have requested this option. RG budgets are difficult, at best, but we worked to find a way to offer this separate dining option for RG attendees who wanted to enjoy the RG but preferred to have other dinner options on their own.
Q: Will the Saturday night dinner be worth it?
A: We think so! But, then again, worth is all relative. That’s a decision you’ll have to make for yourself. We can tell you that we are working closely with the hotel to provide a quality meal.
Q: Are dinner tickets or registrations refundable?
A: Refunds will be issued if you need to cancel before 6/30/2022 with a 10% fee. Any cancellations after 7/1/2022 will be forfeit, as we’ve already spent your money!
Q: What about my special meal requirements?
A: Hospitality will offer snack options for a variety of dietary choices/needs. Options will be available for omnivores, vegetarians, and those eating gluten-free. Meal options will include items for omnivores and vegetarians (gluten-free is available for the banquet only if requested before August 1, 2022). Attempts to minimize cross contamination will be made, but cannot be assured. We cannot guarantee that any particular dietary need will be met.
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