Welcome to the no handshake zone. The Hampton Roads Chamber held its first live event since the pandemic on July 16, 2020 at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Fittingly, this first event honored our small business community with the 2020 Small Business of the Year Awards.
"I felt very safe, very comfortable. It felt so good to be able to be in a room together. You handled every detail down to individual salt and pepper shakers." Martin Joseph of 360 IT was one of the 150 Chamber members and guests who participated.
The Chamber worked with members to create a safe environment for our guests. Top Guard Security provided personnel for temperature scans before entry. Every guest complied with a smile.
Great Bridge International provided paper masks for all in attendance, and MSP Design Group created Chamber branded masks for staff. The Vanguard Distillery and Identify Yourself supplied hand sanitizer for every table.
Southern Bank was the Presenting Sponsor for the event. Regional Director Trent Dudley helped Hampton Roads Chamber President & CEO, Bryan Stephens hand out the awards. “I thought it went great. We were separated by 6 feet at all times. Everyone seemed happy to comply.”
The Chesapeake Conference Center incorporated safety into the table set-ups and food presentation. Each table was set for only three guests instead of the usual ten. Each setting included personal salt and pepper shakers, sweetener, a bottle of water, a covered glass of iced tea. The meals and desserts were pre-set and covered with hard plastic tops. Ryan Lynn, owner of The Dirty Buffalo and the 2019 Small Business of the Year, was on hand to announce the 2020 winner. "Since we work in the food industry, I was noticing everything. I felt safe, no worries at all."
Chamber staff circulated throughout the ballroom to remind guests to stay 6 feet apart and to wear their masks.
Bryan Stephens was pleased with the event. “I have had nothing but great feedback. Everyone is telling me they felt safe. We are ready to get back to the business of events using the COVID-19 safety protocols.”