Are we REALLY gathering in Seattle? Yes, we are.

retreat graphicIf you’ve been waiting for the green light, it’s all systems “go” for Seattle. 

If you’re wondering whether we are moving forward with our in-person retreat in Seattle, the answer is: absolutely. We get the sense that some of you might be wondering if it’s really going to happen, so allow us to clarify some questions! 

Once you register for the ATLIS 2021: Undaunted virtual conference, which takes place April 12-13, you’ll be provided the information to add on the retreat and round out your experience for a nominal additional fee. We’ll be building on the core content offered during the virtual conference with a deeper dive and plenty of time for guided personal contextualizing and strategizing. Join us April 25-28 for a memorable retreat experience. 

Q: Are you going to cancel at the last minute?

A: That is not our intention, and all indicators point to us being able to proceed as planned. How? Because we’ve planned a VIP-style retreat for fewer participants and we’ll be operating well within the 25% capacity limitations set forth by the local authorities. Based on our contracted space, we can have up to 200 people and operate within the boundaries of the occupancy limit.

Q: Why are you planning an in-person event?

A: We understand that not all people will feel comfortable attending an in-person event. That’s okay. But we also hear how desperate professionals in our community are to pull away from the frantic chaos of their day-to-day roles. We know that technology leaders at independent schools haven’t had a moment to breathe in a year. We believe the in-person retreat will give professionals the space they need to reflect and plan, empowering them to move forward with strength and conviction for whatever lies ahead for their school communities. 

Q: Why can’t you “retreat” virtually?

A: We are going to employ stringent safety measures (more on that in a minute), but the primary reason we are planning this retreat as an in-person experience is because technology leaders need respite away from their school environments to regroup and heal. We are going to prioritize the “retreat” part of the experience more so than a typical conference, giving plenty of space to reflect and plan what comes next. We will pamper attendees with healthy food, a dedicated workspace, and expert facilitation to help them focus their planning. 

Q: How many people will be there?

A: According to Seattle regulations, we can have no more than 200 people in the event space, though we are currently planning for fewer than that. 

Q: How will my safety be prioritized?

A: We all know that there is some risk involved with anything that involves being in proximity with other people. ATLIS is partnering with our host property, the Hyatt Regency Seattle, to prioritize your safety and comfort while you are at the retreat. We will conduct daily health screening and temperature checks before you will be allowed to enter the retreat space, and you will be assigned a personal workspace (six-foot table and chair with ample space away from your neighbor) that will be yours alone for the duration of the event. You will also be assigned a meal “pod” in a smaller room with fewer attendees. Masks will be mandatory at all times unless eating, and eating/drinking will only be allowed while you’re seated at your meal pod table. 

Much like your schools, you will see reminders for social distancing, ample hand sanitizing stations, propped-open doors to avoid touch points, and plexi-screens between you and the hotel staff. There will be procedures in place to address any health concerns that happen on-site and we will work closely with local medical professionals to ensure the safety of our attendees.

The hotel will deeply sanitize and spray our general session room every time we move out of it for meals/breaks. Your hotel guest room will be deeply sanitized and empty for a minimum of 48 hours before your arrival, and housekeeping will not enter your room unless requested. All hotel staff is screened at the start of each shift and masks/gloves/PPE is mandatory at all times throughout the property.

All attendees will receive a know-before-you-go guide to outline the precautions that will be in place, and everyone will be required to agree to abide by the standards set forth in order to participate. Those who don’t comply with masking and safety protocols will be asked to leave without a refund. 

Q: What if local restaurants aren’t open and operating? 

A: To keep our attendees safe and well cared for, the retreat includes all meals, including a hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as all-day beverage and snack service. Meals will be provided in a controlled manner that offers you the highest level of protection. But don’t for a second think you’re going to get boxed sandwiches over and over. We’re working on delivering a VIP retreat in many aspects, and this includes hot, nutritious food. And, yes, we will absolutely accommodate your dietary needs to the best of our ability.

Q: Do I have to stay at the hotel? What if I live in the area?

A: Yes, retreat participants are expected to stay at the hotel. This is to minimize movement and limit exposure among the participants and staff. 

Q: What am I supposed to do if my school won’t allow me to travel?

A: This concern is valid, which is why ATLIS planned its core ATLIS 2021: Undaunted content to be delivered virtually April 11-12. You will receive a powerful conference experience even if virtual is your only option this year, and we’ll look forward to seeing you in-person next year in Orlando (May 2-4, 2022). 

Q: Do you have any thoughts about how I can convince my boss that this is a good investment?

A: Perhaps your boss should come too! The ATLIS 2021: Undauntedin-person retreat will be a fantastic opportunity for teams to regroup after all you’ve been through in the past year. There will be plenty of time for guided processing and strategizing for the future. Whether you travel on your own or participate as a team, the facilitators will guide you through contextualizing where you stand now and how to evaluate your technology leadership options moving forward. 

Q: What’s the financial risk for signing up now?

A: Very minimal… so sign up soon before the seats are filled! The hotel will allow you to cancel your room reservation up to 72 hours before your check-in date, and many airlines continue to offer significant flexibility when it comes to booking flights. If for any reason ATLIS is unable to host the in-person retreat, your registration fee for the retreat will be returned in full. 

Q:  Can I register for the retreat without the virtual annual conference? 

A:  No, the retreat is designed to be an add-on experience to the ATLIS 2021: Undaunted experience. The virtual component provides the foundation upon which the deeper dive of the retreat will be built. The retreat is economically priced as a $99 add-on for members and $199 for non-member participants. 

Q: What’s the agenda for the in-person retreat?

A: The schedule is available now and we’re finalizing some other plans for safe networking and pampering experiences in the coming weeks. 

The bottom line is this: We know not everyone will be able to attend in-person this year, but we believe there is significant benefit to our community to holding the event for those who CAN come. It will be a unique experience -- for many of us it’ll be our first venture out of our homes or local communities in a year. But in so many ways, the ATLIS and independent school community remain UNDAUNTED and we wanted to provide you a retreat to recognize how far you’ve come and bolster you for what comes next. We hope you’ll take time to consider your personal situation and, if the scenario works for you, consider joining us. 

And if you can’t come and this whole thing gives you major FOMO, mark your calendars now for what’s sure to be a reunion of epic proportions in Orlando, May 1-4, 2022. We all know how fast a year flies by, so we’ll plan now to see you then!

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