December 8, 2021

COVID-19 Impact: San Francisco sees fewer large-scale conventions amid fears about Delta variant

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Issues over the COVID-19 Delta variant have already impacted attendance at a number of upcoming conventions scheduled at San Francisco’s Moscone Middle subsequent month.

“It’s caused some cancellations of individual attendees, some people are still nervous about traveling,” mentioned Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of SF Journey. “Our borders aren’t open for discretionary travel right now, so a lot of our international delegates can’t come into the U.S.”

The primary main conference returning to the Moscone Middle is a bunch of dentists scheduled in two weeks.

“But we don’t know what their attendance is at this point,” mentioned D’Alessandro. “A lot of these event planners are playing it by ear.”

In a typical 12 months, the Moscone Middle hosts round 40 conventions starting from 10,000 to 80,000 attendees. This 12 months solely eight have been scheduled and it is nonetheless unclear if they are going to be in-person or what the vary of attendance will likely be. A number of organizers have indicated they could go digital however are ready for up to date registration numbers earlier than making a choice.

“It definitely has been a constant, where are we at? What is safe? What is the right thing to do?” mentioned Alexa Baggio, CEO of Perks, an organization that helps employers plan occasions and supply companies to workers.

Baggio says considerations over the Delta variant have resulted in a heightened demand for hybrid conventions which can be partially digital with fewer individuals.

VIDEO: Proof of vaccination or damaging COVID take a look at to be required at indoor occasions in California

“I think a few months ago it was Zoom fatigue and now they’re looking at hybrid convention models and interesting solutions to keep people engaged,” mentioned Baggio.

Kelly Powers, the director of the Resort Council of San Francisco, says a handful of corporations are already pushing again lodge conferences and conferences till the town’s transmission price drops down. Powers added lodge occupancy charges in San Francisco are presently round 30%, whereas a typical 12 months it is often round 80 to 85%.

“We’re seeing the impacts,” mentioned Kurt Niver, restaurant supervisor of Tadich Grill in San Francisco. “People have called me and cancelled reservations because they were concerned about coming into the restaurant with the new variant being around.”

Niver says enterprise has already began to drop up to now two weeks.

“We were hoping these conventions would’ve helped us,” he mentioned. “Rather than get back to the full swing, I think we’re going to see a plateau for a little while.”

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