2022 National Outdoor Recreation Conference 
COVID-19 Protocols

Keeping Everyone safe and well at the Conference

(Many thanks to our friends with the Outdoor Economy Conference for sharing their COVID-19 protocols. We've adapted their protocols for our event)

We are incredibly excited to convene in person this spring at the newly renovated, Marriot Knoxville Downtown, after many months of Zoom-ing, home offices, and working to keep our outdoor recreation places open, accessible, and safe for all during this time. There is no substitute for the power of gathering in person, an opportunity to cultivate the stoke and energy of the outdoor recreation community. With continuing developments on emerging COVID-19 variants, we have a shared responsibility to ensure that everyone is safe, healthy, and comfortable.

We’ve structured our COVID-19 protocols into two parts: the first is what we as organizers and hosts are doing to help create a healthy, safe environment for all. The second part is what all of our attendees are expected to do so that everyone can have a safe

Big picture, we are working diligently and continuously with our Conference partners to ensure the health and safety of all attendees, exhibitors, and staff/team members at the event. We are monitoring and tracking both the virus itself, and updates in COVID-19 protocols both from the CDC and our partners in Knoxville. If guidelines change we will modify our COVID-19 protocols accordingly.

What we're doing as organizers

Providing Ample Space: We will cap the capacity of the conference registration to leave lots of extra room, and we’ll have all of the available meeting space of the hotel venue for our exclusive use. The conference meeting rooms are separated from the main hotel lobby. We are also working with the City of Knoxville to reserve the Festival Lawn of the World’s Fair Park right outside the conference meeting space, so we’ll have 2 acres of lovely lawn space to get our distancing on outdoors.

Screening: Each day at the doors, we’ll have REQUIRED temperature checks (must be under 100° F) and screening questions, with rapid testing nearby.

Ample Notice of Any Changes: The COVID-19 news is pretty dynamic, and we expect that it will remain so. Accordingly, we are tracking regional and national trends and guidance closely. Health and safety of all of you and the community of Knoxville is of paramount importance. If anything shifts, presenting major changes, we will let everyone know ASAP.

Frequent Sanitizing: Our partners at Marriott are committed to our goal of keeping the event as safe as possible, and we’ll work with them to ensure that high-touch surfaces are frequently sanitized, and that attendees have access to hand sanitization. For more information on the Marriott’s “Commitment to Clean”. (

Easy Ways to Communicate Your Social Distancing Needs: Modeling off of our friends at the Big Gear Show, we’ll be utilizing color-coded lanyards so that you can show others how big your distancing bubble needs to be and avoid awkward elbow bump moments.

Attendee Expectations

We respectfully require all of our attendees, including exhibitors and presenters, to meet the following expectations iin order to take part in the 2022 National Outdoor Recreation Conference:

  • Arrive Fully Vaccinated: We are requiring proof of full vaccination from all attendees, including exhibitors and presenters; even with the Delta and Omicron variants, vaccinated people are dramatically less likely to get COVID, and just as importantly, are incredibly unlikely to get seriously ill or require hospitalization. We will accept a picture or scan on your cell phone, photocopy, or original document of your CDC-issued vaccination card. To be fully vaccinated, you must be: 14 days after your second shot of either Moderna or Pfizer OR 14 days after your first shot of Johnson & Johnson.
  • Don’t Attend If You’re Sick: If you are not feeling well, please do not attend the conference and put others at risk of catching whatever you’ve got or feeling as though their safety and wellness is compromised.
  • Bring Your Masks: We’ll have masks and hand sanitizer available, but plan to bring whatever mask fits you well and is most comforable. We are watching CDC and local recommendations/requirements carefully and will notify attendees in advance of the Conference if masks will be required, but please bring some regardless, especially for close-quarters times (like the bus ride to the field workshops!)
  • Follow Temperature Check & Screening requirements, and receive confirmations from attendants before entering the facility each day
  • Respect Others‘ Social Distancing Needs, without judgement (and be respectful of others just in general, please)
  • Sign the Liability Waiver required of everyone attending the conference
  • Take Care of Your Conference Badge! That’s your pass to the conference, and you can’t attend without it

Thank you!

We cannot wait to see everyone in May in Knoxville, and really appreciate you being so understanding and respectful of these rules while you’re at the National Outdoor Recreation Conference. If you have any questions, or if you’ve seen other great practices/protocols you think we should be following, please email Laurel Harkness, at [email protected].