The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce conducted a May survey of those who live in and around Winter Park. Survey participants were asked to rank the importance of safety measures at upcoming live events. Of the more than 500 respondents, only 24 percent listed mask wearing as the most important safety measure, with 51 percent citing physical distancing as most important. This month, the chamber reconducted the same survey, but saw a dramatic change in the results. In July’s survey, 63 percent of the more than 400 respondents cited mask wearing as the most important safety measure for upcoming live events, with physical distancing coming in a distant second at 21 percent.
Winter Park Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert said that the surveys are meant to be a resource to local businesses that are looking to successfully navigate the effects of the pandemic. “Providing data sets is really, really important… The most important predicate for successful change management is preparation, and unfortunately, no one was prepared for the pandemic,” said Gardner Eckbert.
Based on the results of July’s survey, locals also indicated that they are much less likely than they were in May to attend both indoor and outdoor events this calendar year. “What we are trying to do is help businesses understand how deep this is penetrating and how long this may go on, which means that [businesses must] engage in business planning that accommodates for these realities… Businesses that [respond] quickly and with agility are the ones that are going to succeed,” said Gardner Eckbert.