Convention FAQ’s

GENERAL QUESTIONS
  • Q: Is AGA holding their Annual Convention?
    • A: Yes, AGA is holding their Annual Convention as a Hybrid event. The in-person event will take place at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort on July 27-29. There will also be some Virtual aspects to the AGA Convention. 
  • Q: What is AGA doing to make sure people that attend the convention are safe?
    • A: AGA takes the health and wellbeing of our members very seriously. If you have any concerns about attending, we encourage you to join us virtually. For those attending the convention in-person, AGA will have hand sanitizer and masks available. We will also be taking temperatures before functions and implementing social distancing protocols. No more than 10 people per 300 sq. feet in any one meeting space has been implements.  We have also pared down the schedule to allow for more time in the afternoon with your families.  
  • Q: Will the schedule be the same?
    • A: No. AGA has pared down the schedule to allow for more time in the afternoon with your families.   We will still have quality educational speakers and ample time to network.
  • Q: Did AGA consider moving the convention to another time of year?
    • A: Yes. However, because of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 resurgence, other industry events, schools starting back, and the size of our event, we felt it would be impossible to move this size event to another time of the year.
  • Q: Did AGA consider cancelling the convention for this year?
    • A: Yes, but due to the financial stability of the Association and the ability to hold an event in a safe manner, the decision was made to move forward with an in-person and virtual hybrid event.  All aspects of the association were considered including meeting with the hotel, speakers, entertainers and the Board of Directors to discuss different options.  This hybrid event will allow us to honor the commitments of our sponsors and keep our members safe.   
  • Q: What am I getting for my Sponsorship I have already committed to?
    • A: Please refer to the Sponsorship breakdown page. If you have specific questions about sponsorship, you can email Ellie Taylor at etaylor@alabamagrocers.org
  • Q. Which speakers have recommitted to attend the AGA Convention?
    • A: We are in talks with all of our speakers and the following speakers will be with us this year:
      • Monday Keynote Speaker – Dr. Kevin Elko
      • Tuesday Keynote Speaker – Mr. Brodie Croyle
      • Workforce Training & Retention Seminar – Mr. Ty Yokum who spent 28 years as the Management Consultant for Chick-Fil-A
      • Regulatory Agency Panel
      • Retail Survivor Seminar with Mr. Norman Mayne of Dorothy Lane Markets a successful local grocer from Ohio
  • Q. What will be the entertainment for Monday & Tuesday Night?
    • A: We have touched based with both nights entertainment and are delighted to inform you that both are reconfirmed for our event!
      • Monday Night – Creativity Band
      • Tuesday Night – Comedian Jeanne Robertson
CONVENTION REGISTRATION QUESTIONS
  • Q: What are my options for 2020 registration?
    • A: You have 2 options.  You can fully register for the 2020 Convention to attend the in-person event for $325 a person; or participate virtually via our convention app for $100 per person.
  • Q: What do you get for the $100 Virtual Registration?
    • A: You will get full access to the AGA Convention app. This will include all the contact information for all attendees, both virtual & in-person. Access to speakers’ presentations and the ability to stream the entertainment both nights if you choose.
  • Q: When how will the virtual registration work and when will it be available?
    • A: Everyone registered by July 7th will receive an email with directions on how to access the Convention App. You will need to make sure when registering each attendee that you give us their email address. Only people that have an email address on file with the Association will have access to the app. Once you receive your instructions, you will be able to access the Convention app with you android or apple device if you are attending the convention in person or virtually.
  • Q: Can I be invoiced for the Convention Registration or do I have to pay be Credit Card?
    • A: Due to our limitations this year, you must go online and register and pay by credit card this year to make sure we only register 250 people for the convention.
  • Q: If I already registered for the Convention and still plan on attending, do I need to re-register?
    • A: No. If you registered for the convention and still plan on attending in person, you do not need to do anything. If you are not sure if you have already registered, you can email jbrown@alabamagrocers.org and ask, we will be happy to assist you.
  • Q: How many Fully Registered In-Person Attendees will you be allowing for your convention this year?
    • A: Due to social distancing protocols we will only be allowing 250 fully registered attendees this year.
  • Q: What do I do if I registered already but now am not able to attend?
    • A: You need to email the Association Office at jbrown@alabamagrocers.org. We can convert your registration to a virtual registration.  Any excess funds will apply to 2021 to convention fees or you can donate the excess to the Association.
  • Q. Will AGA still be offering the Retailer Incentive for 2020?
    • A. Due to the limitations on the number of people that can attend the in-person conference this year, we will not be able to provide free registrations this year. We will however hope to be able to provide the retailer incentives next year.
  • Q: Will there still be a children’s program?
    • A: Yes, we have worked with Sandestin and there will still be a children’s program for 2020. The cost will be $200 per child from ages 4-13. Registration will include, Monday breakfast, lunch & night activities and Tuesday breakfast, bingo, lunch & night activities.
  • Q: If I register for the in-person convention and can not come, what is the last day I can get a refund on my registration fee?
    • A: If you cancel your in-person convention registration by 5:00pm on Tuesday, July 7th you can either move part of your funds to the virtual registration, donate the funds to the Association, have your registration funds refunded to your card or transfer your funds to the 2021 convention. You need to email etaylor@alabamagrocers.org by 5:00pm on Tuesday, July 7th to make this cancellation. A $25 processing fee will be charged. All cancellations received after July 7th, will forfeit their refund.
  • Q: If I register for the virtual convention and can not participate, what is the last day I can get a refund on my registration fee?
    • A: Unfortunately, you will not be able to cancel your virtual registration fee. You will be able to access the Convention App up to 7 days after the convention ends and watch the content.
CONVENTION EXHIBITOR QUESTIONS
  • Q: Will there be an exhibit hall this year?
    • A: We have changed the way the exhibits will work this year. With the concerns of people crowding in the hall and the idea of people cooking, this year we have decided to hold 2 days of 1-hour networking opportunities for exhibitors.
  • Q: What will the Networking Hours for Exhibitors look like?
    • A: Immediately following the business session on both Monday & Tuesday from 11 am to Noon, Retailers and wholesalers will go across the hall where there will be 6-foot tables set around the room to allow for networking.   
  • Q: Can we bring product for these Networking Hours?
    • A: Yes, you can bring product, information packets, etc. to give to retailers and wholesalers during these 2 hours for meetings.
  • Q: What if my company is not able to participate or I am not allowed to travel and can not have a booth this year, what will happen to my booth fee I already paid?
    • A: If you can not use your booth fee, please email etaylor@alabamagrocers.org by June 15th and we will be happy to transfer your booth fee to the 2021 Convention or you can utilize it for Convention Registration, Membership Dues, Convention Sponsorship, etc.
  • Q: If I did not sign up for a booth, but really want to participate in the Networking Hour, is it too late?
    • A: Absolutely not! You can sill purchase a booth for $1,250 and be a part of the 2-hour Retailer/Wholesaler Networking Hours. Just email jbrown@alabamagrocers.org by June 15th and let us know you want to participate.
  • Q: If I bought a booth will I be able to register as a Name Tag Only Registration?   
    • A: Unfortunately, due to our limit on people we can have at the convention this year, you will not be able to have a Name Tag Only Registration. Every person attending the convention must register for the event.
  • Q: If I bought multiple booths how do I need to handle the new Networking Hour?
    • A: If you paid for more than one booth or a corner booth, please contact Ellie Taylor at etaylor@alabamagrocers.org.  You will have a couple options for the funds. You can either take the additional funds over $1,250 and apply them to your registration fees, donate them to the Association or apply them to your 2021 Convention fees. We will work with each company separately to accommodate them accordingly.
CONVENTION HOTEL QUESTIONS
  • Q: What is the hotel doing to keep people safe during this time?
    • A: For guest and staff protection, sanitizer pumps, disinfectant spray and wipes will be visible and stocked in our public spaces. Additionally, public areas will be cleaned frequently by Sandestin custodial staff.
  • Q: What about during the meetings?
    • A:  All shared equipment and meeting amenities to be disinfected before and after each use, or be single use if not able to be disinfected. All linen, including underlays, to be replaced after each use. Clean and soiled linens to be transported in sealed single use plastic bags into and out of the meeting rooms. All self-serve buffet style events to be suspended until further notice. All food and beverage items to be individually plated and served by a server. Seating capacities and floor plans to be reviewed on an event by event basis to ensure appropriate physical distancing that follows CDC Guidelines and Walton County guidelines. Groups larger than 250 guests will not be permitted pending approval from the Walton County and Florida Governor Executive orders.
  • Q: What do I do if I already booked a room and now, I cannot attend?
    • A: You need to call the hotel at 800-622-1623 by July 1st and cancel your hotel room.
  • Q: Has the hotel cut-off date been extended?
    • A: Yes! We have worked with the hotel to get our cut-off date extended to July 15th!
  • Q: Are the pools at the hotel open?
    • A: The resort pools located at the Bayside Inn & Beach House Restaurant are currently open and operational. There is not a current maximum occupancy that is put in place. Guests are asked to adhere to social distancing standards to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Additional pools on the property are open but rules and hours are subject to the local home owners association residing over the pool.
  • Q: How is Sandestin handling the Check-In Process Upon Arrival?
    • A:  Guests will be directed to remain in their cars until it is their turn to check in. This will allow a safe maximum amount of guests to check-in at a given time and adhere to social distance standards. For guest and staff protection, the check-in experience will be done with a glass separating the guest and staff. For guest and staff protection, Sandestin Front Desk agents will be wearing masks and gloves.
  • Q: How is Sandestin handling Housekeeping between guests?
    • A:  In additional to our standard practices, the following measures will be taken to protect our guests: Rooms will be ventilated by opening doors and windows during the cleaning and disinfecting process. All remotes, thermostats, light switches, door knobs or handles will be cleaned with a disposable EPA approved disinfection wipe. All linens will be washed at the highest heat setting set by the manufacturer.
  • Q: Is Sandestin offering any special rates for us?
    • A:  Yes! We have worked with Sandestin to renegotiate our 2020 hotel rates. The new rates are as follows:

Room TypeRate for Nights of
7/24 & 7/25
Rate for Nights of
7/26, 7/27 & 7/28
Beachside 2 Bedroom$499$419
Bayside @ Sandestin Guest Room$174$149
Village Studio (King or 2 Queens)$209$172
Village 1 Bedroom $235$187
Village 2 Bedroom$339$262
Grand Studio (King or 2 Queens)$209$172
Grand Sandestin 1 Bedroom$235$187
Grand Sandestin 2 Bedroom$339$262
Grand Sandestin 3 Bedroom$449$322
Due to these discounted rates, Sandestin will not be offering the additional 25% off for 6 or more nights like last year.
  • Q: If I already booked my room will I have to do anything to get the new rate?
    • A:  No. As long as you used our code or went through the AGA website, your rate will be adjusted automatically on June 1st to reflect the new rate. Any deposit you paid for the first night will be credited toward the rest of your stay. 
CONVENTION UPDATE SCHEDULE
  • Sunday, July 26, 2020
    • 3:00 pm – Board of Trustees Meeting (Camellia Ballroom)
    • 5:00 pm – Board of Directors Meeting (Azalea Ballroom)
  • Monday, July 27, 2020
    • 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – Plated Breakfast (Azalea Ballroom)
    • 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 am – Retail Innovation Session (Magnolia A, B, C & Corridor)
    • 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon – Retailer/Wholesaler Network Hour (Magnolia E, F & G)
    • 8:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Registration Desk Open (Magnolia Foyer)
    • 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. – Plated Lunch (Azalea Ballroom)
    • 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Children’s Program (Camellia Ballroom)
    • 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Welcome Dinner (Magnolia Ballroom)
      • Bars Open at 6:30pm
      • Dinner Starts at 7:00pm
      • Silent Auction closes at 9pm
  • Tuesday, July 28, 2020
    • 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. – Plated Breakfast (Azalea Ballroom)
    • 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Registration Desk Open (Magnolia Foyer)
    • 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 am – Retail Innovation Session (Magnolia A, B, C & Corridor)
    • 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon – Retailer/Wholesaler Network Hour (Magnolia E, F & G)
    • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon – Bingo (Camellia Ballroom)
    • 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. – Plated Lunch (Azalea Ballroom)
    • 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Children’s Program (Camellia Ballroom)
    • 7:00 p.m. – Chairman’s Banquet (Magnolia Ballroom)
      • Bars Open at 6:30 pm
      • Dinner Starts at 7:00 pm
      • Celebrity Entertainment Starts at 8:30 pm
CONVENTION SPONSORSHIP RECOGNITION

To see a sheet on exactly what each sponsor level will receive for the 2020 AGA Convention, please click here.