There has never been a more compelling reason or time to gather and support one another in rebuilding our cities. Stated directly, the future of our districts remains uncertain, and as an industry, there is much we need to explore. I recently attended a training program on conflict and the growing polarization of ideas in our world. A key learning for me was this: to adequately address conflict in a good way versus doing so negatively, people need three to five positive human experiences for every one negative experience. Prolonged hardships like this pandemic have put many of us at a deficit, further calling for the deepening need to come together at the Annual Conference to recharge and replenish our internal reserves.
While we look forward to seeing you in person at IDA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace in Tampa this fall, we recognize the uncertainty of the COVID pandemic. IDA places the highest priority on the health and safety of our members, partners and colleagues. Therefore, the IDA Board of Directors took action to supplement our current event precautions of limited attendance (about 20% occupancy in the session spaces), physical distancing, prepackaged lunches and required masks for all sessions and plenaries to also include the requirement of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival at the event. With 95% of IDA members reporting their intent to be fully vaccinated in our early summer survey, we believe these added requirements demonstrate both leadership and transparency as we safeguard the health and safety of all. I am also extremely proud to confirm that IDA staff is 100% vaccinated and will be observing all posted protocols at the event.
I share this news to confirm we will remain vigilant and continue to deliver clear and transparent updates surrounding the COVID situation. Current event protocols can be accessed on the IDA event website at any time. I thank you for your continued support of IDA and your communities, and I look forward to seeing you this fall when together we can recharge our spirits, support the rebuilding of our communities, and replenish the positive energy we will all need to resolve the challenges ahead.