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Midwinter survey results point to increased confidence

Midwinter survey results point to increased confidence

Most folks at the big reunion in Pasadena felt the environment was safe, promising increased comfort for future events.

Post-event surveys have been part of the BHS headquarters operations for many years. Typically, attendees are asked to rate their overall satisfaction with the event, specific programming, and desirability of the location.

For the 2022 Midwinter Convention in Pasadena, the first major in-person BHS event in nearly two years, the biggest questions naturally focused on safety during a global pandemic.

It’s exciting to report that most guests at Pasadena felt Extremely Safe (42%) or Very Safe (46%), with less than 2% reporting negative concerns.

And the $64,000 question: following the convention, which was held during a national spike in omicron-variant infections, how many people later tested positive for COVID-19? To the limits of the measurement method, the answer is that fewer than 10% of respondents reported a positive test, although of course it’s nearly impossible to verify the specific moment of infection.


Interestingly, although the prompt had been intended mainly as a measure of pandemic concerns, the responses to “How safe did you feel at the event?” forked down several different paths.

  • Some respondents pointed to pandemic protocols:
    • “Everyone was very good about wearing masks and no one complained about it. I think everyone was just happy to be at a convention again!”
    • “Felt that everyone was doing their part to keep their masks on when indoors - and socially distancing when possible.”
  • Others talked about physical safety in unfamiliar surroundings:
    • “There’s wasn’t a time where I felt in fear of being bullied, hurt, or anything like that. I knew I could be myself, sing, and just have a great time.”
    • “There was a lot of solo walking in the area which has a history of being unsafe. I am almost 90 years old and unable to protect myself.”
  • Some discussed concerns over cultural expectations for youth and women:
    • “Although I loved performing and meeting fellow singers, being a majority women group meant that we experienced a lot of discrimination and stereotyping.”
    • “Everyone was just so kind and welcoming that it created a safe environment for me, being someone with no experience in barbershop and never going to a convention before.”

Post-event testing

Although not designed as a comprehensive contact-tracing effort, the post-event COVID responses were very encouraging. In the week following the convention:

  • 82% of respondents reported no COVID symptoms
  • 7.92% reported a positive COVD test

We are pleased with these results, and would like to think that the BHS safety protocols contributed to a good outcome. Continued caution is warranted, especially for vulnerable people, and BHS will continue to keep best practices in the forefront of event planning.