Executive Planning Summary | ALHI Back to Business Experiential Forum 2020
August 18-19, 2020
Omni Dallas Hotel
Meeting Overview, Goals & Objectives:
- Designed as an omnichannel one-day event and showcase for new meeting protocols. Content was driven by subject matter experts sharing how to get back to business. Intentionally designed as a learning lab and showcase for a reimagined meeting landscape.
- 125 in-person attendees, over 500 virtual attendees.
- Limited in-person attendance to 125 attendees as regulated by Dallas County.
- Attendees wore masks throughout the duration of the event. Any time they were not eating and drinking, or distanced, masks were worn.
- Hosted a pre-conference call with all prospective and registered attendees 30 days prior to the event. The call featured presentations from the lead event planners, the main hotel contact, and an open forum for any questions.
- Event registration website linked to safety protocols for the hotel and vendors.
- Registration divided into three separate registration tables by alphabet. Hotel provided plexiglass barriers between the event staff and the attendees.
- Hand sanitizer stations were placed on either side of the registration desk.
- Attendees picked up their own nametags and registration packets. They were presented the EIC APEX Code of Conduct and Photography Release. Sanitized pens were provided to sign the release and then bowls for discarded, used pens were provided.
Meeting Details & Logistics with COVID-19 Modifications
Logistics & Meeting Details:
- General Session room was set classroom style, 1 per 6x18 table for 144 attendees. Intentionally overset to allow for additional spacing for attendees that preferred that.
- Each table included a bottle of water, dry snacks, a sanitized, sealed pack that included a notepad, pen, hand sanitizer, and a blank tent card. We also provided the attendee gift at their seat instead of sending as room amenity.
- Attendees selected a seat upon arrival to the session and wrote their name on the tent card to keep a dedicated seat for the day.
- The stage was set up to respect distancing of speakers and panelists, i.e., two chairs six feet apart. Chairs and side tables were sanitized in between speakers.
- The hotel provided signage throughout the property to remind guests of distancing, mask requirements, elevator capacities, and provided hand sanitizing stations in all public and meeting space.
- To control attendee transitions between sessions we dedicated entrance doors in the back, and exit doors on the sides of the room. The room was divided into four quadrants by colored stickers on the tent cards. Event host released the room by section to limit entire group transitioning at the same time.
- Opened doors 30 minutes early for all sessions to accommodate arrivals on a flow.
- We included three virtual presenters that we broadcast live into the room.
- Used the Slido platform for all questions to presenters, to engage both the in-person and virtual participants, and to minimize mic running for in-person Q&A.
- Event hosted four pre-assigned breakouts. Attendees stayed in the same room speakers rotated from room to room. Podium, laptop, and mic were sanitized in between speakers.
- We designed, in partnership with Soliman Productions, a virtual experience in conjunction with the in-person experience. The two attendee experiences were created as two separate attendee journeys with dedicated, and different run of shows.
- The virtual component was produced and executed by a separate production team than the live production team.
- Virtually: we provided an engaged chat feature with a dedicated virtual host that answered questions, and facilitated the online engagement. In addition, the production team filmed live breaks, breakout setups, tech checks, F&B, and interviews to showcase the onsite experience and create an exclusive virtual perspective.
Food & Beverage Changes
Opening Plated Dinner
- Removed networking reception and butler passed items. All bar service was provided tableside and through a cocktail server.
- 72" rounds were set for four people with pre-assigned seating.
- Pre-set individual desserts that were covered by glass tops.
- Provided a live guitarist, but kept volume lower than normal because of distanced and masked interaction.
- All stations with attendants also included plexiglass barrier.
- Breakfast was a combination of grab & go items, individually packaged, and stationed hot items that were served to guests.
- Released breakfast meal room by table to enter general session.
- Coffee and beverage stations were fully attended.
- All stations were individual items that we served to guests from behind plexiglass barriers.
- Hotel modified a box lunch to be served on a tray, in the general session room. Trays were placed on the individual six-foot tables, included pre-wrapped sandwiches, a mason jar salad, dessert, and chips.
- The lunch service time was only 15 minutes. We decided the week of the event, with the hotel to have the banquet team serve the "box lunches" versus the attendees picking up their own due to time constraints and the number of people in the foyer.
Partners and Sponsors:
Omni Dallas Hotel
Sarah Soliman Daudin, DES
President & CEO
Soliman Productions, Inc.
Ultimate Ventures DMC
Omni Hotels & Resorts