Sheri Clemmer has become adept at adapting to change.
As the meeting planner for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, she has organized the General Conference sessions since 2005. But, in January 2020, Clemmer watched as the event she had been planning for nine years — the GC session scheduled for June 2020 — was postponed with one executive committee vote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Here we are just months away from the biggest event we do every five years and suddenly we have to start over,” Clemmer said of the session planned for Indianapolis, Ind.
She would need to renegotiate contracts for the 5,000 hotel rooms that would serve the church’s more than 2,700 delegates and their families. Nonprofits and businesses would no longer be invited. Exhibit halls would now be used along with other meeting rooms to accommodate social distancing. Menus needed to be adjusted and more rooms acquired for dining hall seating. Speakers, musicians and more would be cancelled. Programs, ready to be translated in five languages, would need to be retooled.