(Bloomberg) -- The Milken Institute Global Conference opened to in-person and virtual attendees, a year after the rescheduled 2020 event was forced to go online by the coronavirus pandemic. The event runs through Oct. 20.

About 2,500 people are participating -- roughly half the number of previous years because of concerns over Covid-19. There is a Covid team walking around, clad in bright pink vests with signs reminding people to wear masks.

Replacing a lost badge will set you back $500. The pandemic is a new theme for several panels during this 2021 conference, which participants have to be fully vaccinated to attend. The whole conference is being streamed online too.

One New York-based private equity executive said he travels to Milken to meet people he doesn’t normally get the chance to see. But this year many canceled, so his networking hopes for the event were low.

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