MEET Kansas asked meeting planners and venue/service suppliers around the Sunflower state what initiatives they are taking to facilitate safe, in-person meetings and events. Below are just a few companies that are taking small actions to reinvigorate the industry.
“The city of Lawrence is open and ready for events. Attendees and guests venture to Lawrence for the University of Kansas, various basketball attractions such as the Jayhawk Experience, the original rules of basketball, arts, historical, and cultural attractions, foodie scene, and breweries.
In order to create a safer meeting environment, eXplore Lawrence has invested in various products to support our planners. Branded PPE items and social distancing stickers/arrows are easily made available to meeting organizers. Planners can also rent, handheld temperature readers, web cams for hybrid meetings, and pop-up banners with safety reminders. Local businesses are participating in the Lawrence Promise meaning these businesses have promised to follow all federal, state, and local public health mandates. eXplore Lawrence created a map of those participating in addition to giving businesses a window cling to display in their window to stand out to guests. As protocols change, visitors can be assured that the most up to date information can be found on the Covid 19 Dashboard within the eXplore Lawrence website at unmistakablylawrence.com.
eXplore Lawrence looks forward to welcoming you and your attendees for their next safe event!”
Kendra Brayfield, eXplore Lawrence
We have begun having small in-person meetings when meeting space is available that can provide appropriate social distancing. Sundstrom, in particular, has been amazing in their support. They work as a partner and proactively suggest ways to make meetings work.
We are ready to connect in person but not at the expense of anyone’s safety. Safety is one of MKCs key core values. Our advice to planners is to be flexible and creative. You can fight the environment that COVID-19 has created or roll with it. And support venues that take the same approach and that make safety a priority.”
Carol Farrow, MKC
The J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center
“The J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center in Lindsborg is open for business and we have already held several In-Person meetings in the past few weeks. We put safety first and foremost.
The maximum gathering size in McPherson County is currently set at 45 persons. The Banquet Hall of the Sundstrom can easily accommodate this number while maintaining the recommended 6-foot social distance. Extra staff is brought in to serve any buffet style meal behind sneeze guards, or you can choose from many plated meal options. Conference center staff is split into groups, with client safety in mind. One set of staff handles dirty dishes, and the others focuses on service to the guests. Our staff always wears gloves and masks.
Local caterers have been very accommodating during this time, creating different options for boxed lunches that meet many companies’ guidelines for food service during their meetings. Several tasty options allow groups to have more choices if they are coming back to the Sundstrom several times over the course of the year.
Although these times have been challenging, COVID has given the Sundstrom a new path to follow for being able to hold hybrid meetings and other events. I am open to giving tours of the Sundstrom in person and virtually if people would like to see what the Sundstrom has to offer!”
Elizabeth Spencer, J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center
Farm Bureau Financial Services
We started hosting meetings for the Quarterback Club again this past October, and we are hoping to host more. Our meetings have lasted 45 minutes to an hour, with speakers, who are coaches, talking about past and upcoming games.
The Sundstrom Conference Center took care of our food and beverage set up well. To meet safely, our advice to planners is to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and only allow so many people to attend.”
Don Bengtson, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Lindsborg