SWE will require proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID test for its in-person WE21 conference. Learn More >
SWE Takes Proactive Stance on Vaccine/COVID-19 Test Policy to Protect WE21 Attendees & Guests
Since March 2020, SWE has followed the public health situation caused by the COVID-19 virus, and subsequent variations, with careful concern. All of our decisions and actions have focused on fulfilling our mission while ensuring the health and safety of our members, staff, event attendees, partners, and families.
It is clear the environment caused by COVID-19 can rapidly evolve and our knowledge of best practices for health and safety measures continues to improve daily.
For its WE21 Annual Conference in Indianapolis, IN held October 21-23, 2021, SWE will be requiring all attendees to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test upon entry. SWE will also require attendees to answer daily health screening questions designed to quickly identify potential COVID-19 symptoms.
SWE believes these public health safety requirements are the best policy to ensure the safety of our WE21 attendees and partners. We are adapting this policy after reviewing the demonstrated success of many events that require vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon entry and noting that COVID-19 variations (including B.1.617 – Delta) can escalate transmission of the virus.
SWE is also pleased to continue to offer an entirely virtual experience for those whose preference is virtual or to avoid these other requirements. Our virtual event in 2020, WE20, was attended by over 18,000 individuals from around the world.
SWE will utilize the Clear Health Pass for management of the COVID-19 screening process and will not collect or retain any health information of its attendees directly. SWE will communicate additional information regarding the logistics of the proof of vaccine and/or negative COVID-19 test in mid-September.
We look forward to seeing our members and partners in-person in Indiapologis or virtually from around the world this October. To register for WE21, click here.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is working together with our Indiana venue partners to execute a safe and healthy event for all attendees.
WE21 is a private, attendance-controlled event. All exhibitors, speakers, and attendees will have a badge credential.
No one is admitted to WE21 without a badge, and SWE will limit badged attendees to the number approved by the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD).
The public is not allowed inside the convention center. Only SWE attendees are allowed inside the facility during the event.
SWE will utilize some entrances/exits each day to assist with crowd control/capacity and maintain social distancing guidelines.
SWE will preregister the maximum badges prior to the show:
- Preregistering the maximum badges prior to the show will guarantee capacity limits will not be exceeded on site.
- Onsite registration for attendees or exhibitors that did not preregister will be available.
Estimate capacity breakdown for the conference:
- 1,000 – Staff Personnel, Volunteers and Vendors.
- 6,500 – Exhibitors.
- 15,000 – Attendees.
- 20 – Media & Press.
- 22,520 – Estimated Total.
***Note that the currently expected attendance will likely be 10,000 – 12,000
SWE will utilize staggered entrance start times on show days to handle the daily capacity limits. Security will manage the daily count to the facility.
ATTENDEES SAFETY GUIDELINES INFORMATION
SWE will communicate safety guidelines and protocols to all event participants, staff, and volunteers prior to their arrival at WE21.
Information and instructions (sourced from the CDC, WHO, and MCPHD – samples below) will be communicated to all participants, in advance of their arrival, and may include, but not be limited to:
- Information concerning COVID-19 symptoms CDC: Know the Symptoms
- Instructions to stay home if sick CDC: Quarantine and Isolation
- Instructions to stay home if part of a vulnerable population group, individuals who are immunocompromised, individuals of all ages with serious underlying medical conditions.
- Instructions concerning social distancing, while attending event.
- Information on how to protect yourself and others. CDC: How to Protect.
- Instructions addressing frequent and regular hand washing and sanitizing.
- Instructions regarding required and proper use of PPE CDC: Facemask Do’s and Don’ts.
All individuals entering the Indiana Convention Center during WE21 Conference, which includes move-in, move-out and show days, will be required to wear a mask or face covering, except when eating or drinking. Speakers will remove their mask during sessions.
All individuals include
- SWE HQ Staff
- All WE21 vendors (decorator, registration, catering)
- Indiana Convention Center personnel
- Any other personnel working in the buildings during the WE21 Conference
SWE is asking all attendees and exhibitors to wear their own face-covering/mask or the one provided by our sponsor. If a face-covering/mask is needed, the mask will be supplied.
- SWE will provide masks for all attendees, exhibitors, temporary staffing, and volunteers.
- Shepard Decorating will provide masks for their personnel.
- Indiana Convention Center will provide masks for their personnel. All individuals within the facility must adhere to SWE Safety Protocol by wearing a face covering or mask.
- Security Service will provide masks for their personnel.
- All WE21 vendors will provide masks for their personnel.
Requirements will be communicated in advance of the Conference, so that attendees are aware of, and agree to, the protocols. Onsite enforcement may include revocation of attendee badge, so no further entrance is permitted.
MANDATORY HEALTH SCREENING FOR ALL
INDIVIDUALS IN THE INDIANA CONVENTION CENTER
SWE has a mandatory daily health screening questioner for all individuals via the mobile app. It is all individual’s responsibility is to provide daily health screening during the Conference for admitting.
Standard health questions include, but are not limited to:
- Have you had contact with anyone that you know has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last fourteen days?
- Have you had a positive-COVID test for active virus in the past 10 days?
- Do you have any of these symptoms that you cannot attribute to another condition?
- Fever or chills.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
- Muscle or body aches.
- Recent onset of loss of taste or smell.
- Sore throat.
- Nausea or vomiting.
• If the person answers no, the individual will be able to proceed to the Conference.
• If the person answers yes, the individual will be escorted to Emergency Medical Technician personnel to a private screening area for further symptom evaluation.
HAND SANITIZER – SPONSORED BY ECOLAB
- Registration staff and registration area will provide all attendees, staff and volunteers an individual-sized hand sanitizer container for their personal use during the day.
- There will be additional permanent and temporary hand sanitizer kiosks placed throughout the buildings.
For more information on additional hand sanitizer kiosk locations please contact Sergio Camargo at sergio.camargo@SWE.org. Hand sanitizers help prevent all individuals from becoming sick and are available to all during Move-in/Move-out and Show Days.
SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES
WE21 Show Management has implemented best practices to increase additional spacing and distancing measures.
- Currently the Marion County Fire Marshall requires events being held in the ICC to utilize 6 feet per person to allow for proper social distancing.
- To provide for a safer environment, SWE is encouraging everyone to plan and apply social distancing within the entire ICC.
- SWE increased the aisles to 20ft to allow for social distancing space in the Career Fair Exhibit Halls A-E.
- SWE will utilize specific entrance and exit locations to ICC.
- A new security plan was formulated to better designate entrances and exits, to allow for a more secured layout to improve crowd control and social distancing.
- SWE will mitigate possible congregation points to ensure the maintenance of social distancing.
- Exhibit booths are ONLY located inside the exhibit hall areas. All booth display build- out structures will need to be approved by Sergio Camargo at sergio.camargo@SWE.org.
- The exhibit hall’s aisles are 20’ wide in Halls A-E (Career Fair), with one-way traffic flow allowing more room for social distancing. Halls F-H aisles are 12’ wide, with one way traffic flow.
- All lobby areas will be utilized, enforcing two-way traffic flow allowing additional space for social distancing.
ICC meeting room space
- Social distancing guidelines outlined by the ICCLOS will be adhered to in all scheduled seminars and conferences.
- Room Setup will be adhered to the ICCLOS capacity.
- Attendees to each session will be limited to the ICCLOS capacity
SWE Social Areas / Events
- Member Center – will adhere to the ICCLOS capacity and social distance guidelines.
- Social Media Lounge – will adhere to the ICCLOS capacity and social distance guidelines.
- Apparel shop – will adhere to the ICCLOS capacity and social distance guidelines.
- Head Shots area – will adhere to the ICCLOS capacity and social distance guidelines.
Additional Seating /Eating Areas
- The extra square footage within the building will allow for additional socially distanced seating and eating areas.
- Meeting Rooms – classroom, theater and reception style set ups with ICCLOS capacity and social distance guidelines.
- Concessions set ups with ICCLOS capacity and social distance guidelines.
- SWE will utilize the current Marion County guidelines for maximum seating capacity.
Floor plans will be available in the mobile app and website in mid-September.
- SWE will utilize abundant venue signage and physical distancing graphics with clear protocols and instructions through the entire facility.
- Registration queuing area.
- Lobby areas.
- Outside all conference rooms.
- Concession food and beverages areas.
- Socially distanced seating and eating areas.
- Personal hygiene guidelines – outside/inside restrooms and concession stand areas.
- One-way aisles inside the exhibit halls.
- Two-way lobby areas.
- All show entrances and exits to ICC.
- Inside the exhibit hall area.
- Loading docks.
- First level meeting rooms.
- Second level meeting rooms.
Example of signage:
- Please practice social distancing
- Masks or Face Coverings Required
- Wash Your Hands Frequently
- Please use hand sanitizer throughout the day
- Safety First – use hand sanitizer stations
- PA Announcements and WE21 Mobile App Texts
- PA announcements, push notifications through the conference App and SMS texts will be in frequent use to remind participants to socially distance and to observe other health and safety requirements. They will also be used to provide any necessary real-time updates.
SWE and ICC will work together to ensure the facility is cleaned and sanitized to meet the Marion County Public Health Department guidelines.
- SWE and ICC are following health guidelines and frequency based on the mandates set forth by the Governor of the State of Indiana, Mayor of Indianapolis, and the Marion County Public Health Department, as well as the best practices established by numerous industry groups, including the International Association of Venue Managers.
- The Facility will operate with best practices through aggressive disinfecting, cleaning, and sanitizing of spaces and surfaces if necessary.
- ICC disinfecting system has been implemented to sanitize between sessions and overnight.
- Touchless faucets and flush valves in all restrooms.
- Permanent hand sanitizer stations are now available throughout building.
- Installed Arm Pulls on all exterior and interior doors to ICCLO.
- Upgraded housekeeping apparel to be more visible to show staff, attendees, and exhibitors that these cleaning measures are being implemented.
- Dedicated building staff to sanitize and disinfect constantly throughout the day.
- All cleaning products used are in accordance with EPA guidelines.
- ADA plates for doors and entryways.
- Restrooms will be maintained and sanitized on a continual basis and on-demand as needed.
- Public areas will be maintained and sanitized on a continual basis on-demand as needed.
- Touchless POS systems throughout the facility.
- 24/7 fresh air circulation into building.
- Ventilation system – hospital grade air filtration.
- ICC has installed MERV 14 air filters in their current HVAC system, which is the highest quality filtration system available for that product and all 100+ air handlers. The air is exchanged two-to-three times per hour, essentially every 20 minutes as it is brought in from the outside of the facility to each unit, dispersed through the area and exchanged out of the facility again. As exhibit hall ceilings are 35’ high, and depending on the outdoor temperatures, and what is set up in the space that would interact with the air flow, this will be monitored by the facilities department to control the output.
- ICCLOS is in the process of pursuing the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation – the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities.
Centerplate – Food & Beverage
- All Centerplate staff will adhere to the public safety guidelines put in place regarding health screenings, required masks and gloves, and increased hand washing practices, as well as implementing safety on all concession stands and food areas.
- Modified food and beverage services:
- Adaptable menus and served in closed containers.
- Replacing bulk condiments with single serve packets.
- Eliminating any/all refills (food or beverage).
- Lids on all beverages before service.
- Increased availability of grab-and-go items.
- Modified catering/buffet services.
- Placement of hand sanitizer in all service areas and in front of served buffet areas.
SWE, ICC, AND MARION COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT – COVID 19 RISK ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE MITIGATION EVENT PLAN
- PPE for all staff members
- All cleaning products used are in accordance with EPA guidelines
- Safety shields/sneeze guards installed on all concession stands and food areas
- Recommended contactless transactions with guests
- Touchless POS system throughout the facility Shepard (Show Decorator)
- Shepard offers additional and nightly cleaning services to all WE21 exhibitors.
- Housekeeping personnel will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing all tables after each use prior to new guests entering.
- Housekeeping personnel will utilize table signage stating “table has been sanitized” after each use, cleaning, and sanitization.
- Security will utilize two-way radios for safeguarding the compliance to all Marion County Public Health Department guidelines and protocols.
Areas of enforcement and compliance:
- Roaming security guards.
- SWE Health Ambassadors Face covering/Mask enforcement team.
- Security supervisors.
SWE will work closely with the Marion County Public Health Department. If any modifications are needed, SWE will make the necessary adjustments to create the safest environment possible for the conference.