On Wednesday, PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, sent a message to the Association’s membership addressing the current unrest around the country as well as the ongoing plans for The PPAI Expo 2021 and efforts to not only make it a valuable business experience for attendees, but a safe and comfortable one as well.

“The past few weeks have been heavy for our country and our hearts,” said Bellantone, in the email, “as we learned of the unjustifiable deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and were reminded of far too many others—too many to list here. I want our black communities to know that we stand with you against the systematic barriers and injustice you have endured. We stand ready to listen, learn and take action.”

He noted PPAI’s recently released Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Playbook, a practical guide with actionable steps organizations can take to support social justice efforts fighting for the civil and human rights of all people. And, added that in the coming weeks, PPAI will also provide additional resources and opportunities for members to engage in the conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry.

In his update on Expo 2021, Bellantone also addressed several questions that have been posed about the event, including the value it still brings as a smaller event and the opportunities within its new, two-day schedule.

He also spoke on the importance of health and safety in PPAI’s live-event planning. The Association’s goal is to provide an environment where attendees and exhibitors can be as safe, comfortable and productive as possible. Whether it's through physical distancing, hand-sanitizing stations or temperature-screening stations, PPAI will follow and take the necessary actions recommended at the time, and it is engaging with its partners to make sure all possible and necessary precautions are being taken. PPAI has begun referring to this concept, the idea that it needs to be focused on health as part of its live events, as “Healthpitality.” Healthpitality is the Association’s commitment to make sure that attendee health is a priority and an important part of the planning processes for every live PPAI event from this moment forward.

For Bellantone’s full message, click here.