Event Dates: September 24 27, 2020
Event Location: The Cloister at Sea Island
Meeting Overview, Goals & Objectives:
Annual multi-day event of 60 attendees, event is invite-only Programming includes leadership development, roundtables, recreation, and golf. Event is focused on networking, professional development content, experiencing the host hotel and destination, recreation, and smaller peer to peer discussion groups.
Arrivals & Registration
Mini Seated Networking Receptions
Outdoor Opening Plated Dinner with Entertainment
Breakfast in Restaurant
Opening General Session with Keynote & Leadership Panel
Plated Outdoor Lunch/Box Lunch on Course
Fishing, Shooting, Golf, & Spa Recreation
Dinner with Stations & Entertainment
Roundtable Discussions & Breakfast
Fishing, Shooting, Golf, & Spa Recreation
Stationed Lunch on a Flow
Closing Keynote & "Seated Reception"
Outdoor Stationed Dinner with Entertainment
- Sold out the event at 60 attendees to support distancing in all meeting space.
- Attendees wore masks throughout the duration of the event. Any time they were not eating and drinking, or distanced, masks were worn Sea Island as a property was committed to maintaining the mask mandate in all meeting space for the support and protection of their employees our group complied. We wore masks whenever we were not eating or drinking.
- Converted a printed book to an event app.
- Intentionally utilized outdoor spaces for as many food functions as possible to make guests feel more comfortable.
- Hosted a pre-conference call with all prospective and registered attendees thirty days prior to the event. The call featured presentations from the lead event planners, the main hotel contact, Delta Air Lines, and an open forum for any questions.
- Event registration website linked to safety protocols for the hotel and vendors.
- Overall Meeting Details & Logistics with COVID-19 Modifications.
Logistics & Meeting Details:
- General Session room was set classroom style, 2 per 6x18 table for 60 attendees. We placed a chair on either side of the 6x18 table to maximize space, and to also showcase a new way to distance.
- Seats were pre-assigned by tent card. We provided the attendee gift at each seat instead of sending as room drop.
- The stage was set up to respect distancing of speakers and panelists, i.e., four armchairs were spread six feet apart. In the session with five speakers our moderator facilitated the panel from the floor to the side of the stage to keep everyone distanced. We placed the moderator in front of the table that the panelists had been seated at to keep distance.
- 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 spaces, as well as on food station tables. Floor clings for all food & beverage stations were set in place to keep distance if a line formed.
- The hotel placed ipads with temperature taking technology outside of all session rooms in the prefunction.
- Doors to the session opened thirty minutes early for all session to accommodate arrivals on a flow.
- We verbally walked attendees through every step of the event. For instance, as people arrived, we would ask them to be seated and that beverage service would start once seated. Before breaks in session, we reminded guests to wear masks, and to keep distance while transitioning.
- We provided a mic for Q&A with a mic runner that sanitized the mic in between speakers.
- For group transfers to the golf course we used very large buses for our smaller groups. Operated the vehicles at 25-30% capacity and ran on continuous loops.
- Registration was scheduled on a flow for five hours, for all attendees to register in small groups. We utilized the outdoor patio to provide a better flow and natural air. Hand Sanitizer stations were placed on either side of the registration desk, and an automated temperature check scanner. We also used rope & stanchion, along with floor clings in front of registration desk.
- Attendees picked up their own: name badge with magnet, a custom event Boundless PPE kit (included a logo-ed face mask, hand sanitizer, two temperature strips, bug spray, sunscreen, a phone device sanitization spray, and a touchless tool).
- Attendees were presented the EIC APEX Code of Conduct with a printed agenda, and app download information on the back.
- Maui Jim provided a gifting experience of sunglasses or blue light glasses for all guests. They only serviced one person at a time. Maui Jim rep sanitized all sample pairs in between each guest. This added time in between guests being helped which is why the flow of registration was so helpful.
Food & Beverage
- In order to provide a smaller group to connect with, and in lieu of a traditional networking reception, we separated the group into four smaller groups and hosted seated small receptions for 20 minutes.
- (3) Rooms of 12, and one larger room of (24) placed labels on the back of their nametags with that room name set 72" Rounds of 4.
- On the table was a pre-set appetizer course a long plate with (4) appetizers.
- Drinks were offered tableside.
- Each room had an event host that welcomed the group and asked everyone to be seated and enjoy 20 minutes with their tables before walking them to the opening dinner.
Opening Outdoor Plated Dinner
- 72" rounds were set for four people with pre-assigned seating, we created two sets of place cards, one for them to pick up at the front of the dinner from a six foot, and then numbered tables.
- Everyone was required to be seated, with masks on, before drink orders would be taken.
- On event planner kept the group on a flow, allowing them to go to the registration table in small groups and asked them to maintain distance.
- Provided a live guitarist, but kept volume lower than normal to ensure guests did not have to speaker louder than normal.
- Three courses served and group could stay at their seats for an extended bar package for about a half hour after dinner service.
Breakfast hosted in a restaurant
- Open seating in tables of four. Restaurant opened up their kitchen for an innovated service style. Group walked through a dedicated entrance and walked through attended breakfast stations with plexiglass barriers.
- Group arrived on a flow and walked through the line in small groups with banquet attendants.
- Breakfast was a combination of grab & go items, individually packaged, and stationed hot items that were served to guests.
- Beverage service, including coffee, was all tableside.
- Coffee and beverage stations were fully attended and all included plexiglass.
- All stations were individual items that we served to guests from behind plexiglass barriers.
- We moved the stations down the hallway to a larger pre-function with an outdoor patio to allow the group to spread out and keep them from congregating in one area.
Dinners with Stations
- Event was hosted in a large ballroom, Set 72" rounds of 4 for 60 guests, the final night was beachside with the same set of 72" rounds of 4 for 60 guests.
- Followed the same approach for pre-assigned seating, we created two sets of place cards, one for them to pick up at the front of the dinner from a six foot, and then numbered tables.
- Everyone was required to be seated before drink orders would be taken.
- These events were designed with food stations set in a separate area than where guests were eating. Banquets team served and passed the plates behind the plexiglass.
- We dedicated entrance & exit doors, as well as floor clings to identify spacing.
- We released the group "wedding style" each night in groups of 10-12 guests. We did this through an event planner personally releasing tables, versus announcing tables to elevate the experience as well as to keep from disturbing the group every few minutes with announcements.
Closing Keynote & Cocktails
- The last evening we hosted a "Keynote & Cocktails" session with a keynote speaker. The group was seated in Rounds of 4. We allowed open seating for the session. We pre-set a margarita, water and an individually packaged popcorn at each seat for the guests.
- Group was then transferred via golf carts across the property to an outdoor dinner by the ocean.
- Golfers were given individual golf carts vs. sharing a cart.
- Spa maintained its own set of guidelines which included therapists wearing masks, and asking the same of our guests during their treatment.
- Rifles and rods were sanitized between each group each day, and all boats followed guidelines to clean down inside of the boat.
- Consistency is key. By the second night, our group was conditioned to the way format of the seating, and that drink service only happens table-side once seated. I think it's important for each event to follow similar fashion so they are conditioned to know what to expect.
- We saw better connections and networking by rotating the group through tables of four. We spent diligent time making sure that the groups were not the same throughout the event. We used a cross reference spreadsheet to accomplish this. Crossing the group against one another to ensure they met as many people as possible. This is especially important since we did not have the traditional networking receptions where you can "work the room" and approach as many people.
- When seating groups of four if anyone arrived late or no shows you can end up with smaller tables. We intentionally had a few tables of three to rotate people into as the event got started to ensure no one was seated alone.
- Finding alternatives to that networking reception is the chance to be creative and divide your group into smaller segments, or host a more organized programming.
- We eliminated organized, after-hours gatherings every night.
Partners and Sponsors:
Delta Air Lines
Five Star AV