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How SGMP Is Responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The health and well-being of our members, government agencies and the communities we serve is of utmost importance. However, the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented challenges for in-person meetings because of the risk of spreading the virus. As of March 16, SGMP has officially postponed CGMP courses through the CDC's recommended 8 weeks. We are working with our St. Louis partners to determine the best course of action for the 2020 NEC. Updates will be provided as soon as decisions are made. Please check back on this page for updates and for other coronavirus resources. 
Image of a virusLast Updated 3/26/20 4:14PM EST
The health and well-being of our members, government agencies and the communities we serve is of utmost importance. However, the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented challenges for in-person meetings because of the risk of spreading the virus. The Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) National Board, staff and partners are committed to monitoring the latest advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), local health authorities, event venues, partners and our members to plan for a safe way forward.

We have officially postponed our CGMP courses through the CDC's recommended 8 weeks, even though these classes are much smaller than 50 attendees. We are working with our St. Louis partners to determine the best course of action for the 2020 NEC, as the CDC recommends no gatherings of 50 people or more for 8 weeks. Updates will be provided as soon as decisions are made. Please check back on this page for updates. 

We all have a role to play to limit the spread of contagious illnesses like coronavirus. We encourage you to help limit exposure to illnesses by following CDC's disease prevention guidelines.
 
As a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol – and rub your hands for at least 20 seconds with the hand sanitizer. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
We must all be vigilant about our current state of health and we encourage you to observe any travel restrictions from your physician, local health authority or employer. If you become ill or if attending an SGMP event would put your family or workplace at inordinate risk, we urge you to consider not attending. Here's a link to the CDC's Guidelines for Mass Gatherings.

Despite these troubling times, together, we can weather this storm while staying true to our mission to enhance and promote the expertise of government meeting professionals. If you have questions, please contact us at membership@sgmp.org or 703-549-0892. Our SGMP staff are all working remotely, so if you do not reach someone immediately, rest assured your call will be returned. Below you'll find a list of resources for responding to the COVID-19 threat.
 
Sincerely,
 
Michelle A. Milligan, MSW, LMSW, CGMP
National Board President, SGMP

Pamela A. Valenzuela, CAE
Executive Director, SGMP

SGMP News

March 25, 2020 - SGMP's National Capital (NATCAP) chapter has announced they will move their Education Day to the fall. The Spring Soiree will be cancelled. In its place, they will be hosting virtual education sessions in April 7th and April 30th. A virtual Happy Hour will be held May 26th. Check their website for the details. 

March 25, 2020 - SGMP's Texas Lonestar chapter will be taking the Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID) meeting on April 14 virtual. Learn more.

March 25, 2020 - SGMP's Louisiana chapter has cancelled its in-person  Government Meeting Planner Networking Mixer originally scheduled for April 2. The chapter is meeting for a Virtual Happy Hour to check in on each other. See Facebook for the meeting invitation

March 25, 2020 - SGMP's Pacific Northwest chapter has cancelled its April meeting. See more.

March 25, 2020 - SGMP's Old Dominion chapter has postponed its April meeting to the fall. Follow their website for details.

March 25, 2020 - SGMP's Rocky Mountain chapter has cancelled its April meeting. Virtual options to attend meetings are always available to members. See their website.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Golden State chapter is postponing their April 2 chapter meeting until the regular scheduled chapter meeting on May 7. See their website.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Michigan chapter is cancelling April and May face-to-face meetings. The 2020 AEC, originally scheduled for March 18-20, is cancelled. It is scheduled for 2021 in Grand Rapids. Read more.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Florida Capital chapter has cancelled their March meeting. See website.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Northern Lights Minnesota chapter has cancelled its April meeting. See website.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Central Florida chapter is cancelling their April meeting. See their Facebook page for updates.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Greater Oregon chapter is cancelling their April meeting. See their events page.

March 24, 2020 - SGMP's Georgia Peach chapter is cancelling their April meeting. See their website.

March 23, 2020 - SGMP's North Carolina chapter is cancelling their April and June (Education Day) meetings. See notice.

March, 2020 - SGMP's Arizona chapter is cancelling their March in-person meeting.

March 20, 2020 - SGMP National Headquarters has extended the nomination period for the 2020 Sam Gilmer Planner of the Year and Supplier of the Year awards for two additional weeks. The extended deadline is now Friday, April 3, 2020, at 5 pm ET. 

March 15, 2020 - SGMP's Oklahoma chapter has cancelled their April meeting. Follow them on Facebook.
 

Industry News

March 26, 2020 - Global Meetings Industry Day goes virtual hosted by Meetings Mean Business U.S., Canada, and India is trying to break a world record on April 14, 2020. The virtual-only event is open to all meeting professionals. See more.

March 25, 2020 - Global Meetings Industry Day: Virtual Summit on April 14 and hosted by Meeting Planners International is also open to meeting professionals across the globe. Read more.

March 18, 2020 - Global Meetings Industry Day has been postponed. See more.
 

Resources

The following are resources we have curated to help our members as they address the threat of COVID-19 during their work on government meetings. 
 
Government Resources:
 
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Organizes the U.S. response to the coronavirus threat with health updates, prevention and mitigation plans, and guidance for mass gatherings
 
U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs - Offers travel advisories and updates related to coronavirus. 
 
World Health Organization - Global surveillance and guidance to prevent and mitigate coronavirus.  Industry Resources:
 
American Society of Association Executives - curated roundup of coronavirus education and resources.
 
Events Industry Council - Coronavirus-related resources, including webinars such as “Critical insurance and legal considerations for event professionals.”
 
Meetings Mean Business Coalition - Toolkit for coronavirus preparedness and response.
 
U.S. Travel Association - Toolkit for emergency preparedness and response to COVID-19.

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