A year ago, MBI staff was in “full-on” Winter Conference mode. At the time, we were busy putting together marketing materials and strategies on how best to communicate to the membership the importance for everyone to be involved in the construction industry’s signature event. When all was said and done, the work and preparations culminated with one of our most highly attended and regarded annual meetings.
Fast forward to today. Once again, we are in “full-on” Winter Conference mode. Though things are a little… make that totally different than in years past.
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear – MBI is holding its Annual Winter Conference. The MBI Board and professional staff believe that our industry is resilient, has remained essential, and has withstood the impacts of COVID by embracing best practices to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are holding true to this approach to ensure that this show will go on!
That said, this year’s conference will look much different than from years past.
For starters, what traditionally has been one big, all-inclusive Winter Conference, has now been split up in to two separate events.
The first big changes are location. The Safety Day Conference is at the Holiday Inn – Airport in Des Moines on January 25th and the Annual Winter Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines on February 22nd through the 24th. These programs will not be held at Prairie Meadows Events and Conference Center in Altoona as originally intended. This is due to Prairie Meadows temporarily closing its conference facilities – though we can all rest easy knowing the casino is still operational (please, note the sarcasm.)
Without question, health and safety are a priority for all involved – this includes member-attendees, speakers, MBI professionals and facility support staff. If we all take the necessary precautions, follow all protocols, and use common sense, together we can make this a great and safe program.
Please know that MBI is structuring all sessions to be in larger rooms, but with strict capacity limits. There will be big rooms with fewer people. For instance, classrooms that normally can handle 120 attendees, will now be limited to 40. Masks will be required for all attendees.
Starting on Day #1 of the Annual Winter Conference – Monday, February 22, 2021 – MBI will host an educational session that focuses on designer / contractor collaboration. We have enlisted the expertise of FMI to guide attendees through a program that creates high performing architect-contractor teams. MBI is actively marketing this program to those in the design community so that we have a good mix of attendees from both the constructors’ perspective, as well as the design community. Following this program, MBI will host the Annual Construction Industry Reception.
The second (Tuesday) and third (Wednesday) days of the program consist of the membership meeting; morning and afternoon educational sessions; the Workforce Awards Breakfast; the Masters Award Luncheon; and the Build Iowa Dinner.
Traditionally, the final day of the annual conference was reserved solely for all things related to safety. This year, however, we have moved the safety education and training sessions to an entirely different date and location – Monday, January 25th, Holiday Inn – Airport in Des Moines. The plan is still to have a wide array of safety-related programs and classes, all while still holding this conference with proper COVID procedures in mind. Similar to the annual meeting, there will be larger rooms with fewer people – this ensures proper spacing. There will be masks worn at all times and not surprisingly, an ample supply of hand sanitizer.
We have heard it time and time again that we are in unprecedented times. Which is true. However, please know that our plan to hold an Annual Winter Conference and a Safety Day is centered around keeping everyone safe and healthy, while still striving to showcase the signature event that brings our entire industry together. We urge you to give consideration for you and others within your firm to attend the upcoming Safety Day Conference on January 25th, as well as the MBI Annual Winter Conference that runs from February 22 through the 24th.