September Education Event – 6 Foot Laboratory

RMPCMA September Education Event
6 foot Laboratory
Thursday, September 3rd | Omni Interlocken HOtel & Spa | 1:00 – 6:00pm


Attendee Experience and Safety

Transparency is an integral part of what will make conferences work, and we want to demonstrate this. This idea of developing a socially-distanced conference is new and overwhelming for even the most seasoned of veterans. Below is an outline of our current plan, which represents the latest ideal plan we can enact within the parameters of feasibility and health/safety. We fully anticipate that these plans will change between now and the end of the conference. The rules and requirements are likely to change as the situation evolves. Resources will be added or removed and links to files may change as we constantly adjust to a changing reality. Please continue to monitor this page for the latest information.

Your safety and the safety of our communities is our #1 top priority. The very worst case scenario is that our activities cause an increase in coronavirus transmission. In addition to our personal health, it would be an incredible set-back towards industry recovery. However, we are committed to giving it our very best effort to demonstrate a viable future for live events that will get our industry back to work. We think it can be done safely, with your shared commitment and with the right processes in place. 

We welcome your continued input in our plan. If you have any questions or don’t see something you think should be here, please let us know.

  • All available medical, legal and political resources will be monitored to make decisions regarding this conference and best practices. At a minimum, we will adhere to these guidelines and, as-warranted, employ additional safety measures at our discretion. As a participant, you will be required to comply with these safety measures in order to attend. 
  • Social Distancing measures will be in-place and enforced. You must maintain 6’ between you and others at all times unless it is impossible or dangerous to do so. 
  • Masks are required and they must cover the mouth and nose at all times. 
  • We will provide basic PPE’s (masks, sanitizer, etc.) if you do not have your own. We encourage attendees to bring their own equipment if they prefer. If what you bring is not considered adequate, we will require use of our products. Contact us in advance for specific questions about your PPE’s. 
  • Attendees will be split into smaller groups and those groups will be maintained throughout the conference to minimize contact. 
  • There will be specific unidirectional traffic-flow paths for attendees to follow to maximize social distance compliance. See links below for diagrams. 
  • We will transfer your onsite registration to a virtual registration if you are unable to attend the live event for medical or risk aversion reasons. If you also cannot use the virtual option, we will provide a refund.
  • We request that all attendees take initiative and decide not to come if it might spread the coronavirus or any other illness. 
  • Please Do Not Attend if: 
    • You are in a high-risk group, you are immunocompromised yourself or if you live with someone who is.
    • You are not comfortable with the potentially increased risk of attending an in-person event.
    • You have tested positive for the coronavirus and have not subsequently tested negative or been cleared by a medical professional.
    • You have ANY illness symptoms at all (fever, persistent cough, runny nose, sore throat, allergies, etc.) even if you do not believe they are COVID related. 
    • You believe or know you have been exposed to anyone who tested positive or is presumed positive for the coronavirus within the last 14 days.  
    • If you have not been reasonably adhering to social-distancing and safer at home regulations and recommendations
  • Capacity: 
    • Max capacity of 100 in-person/staff attendees, broken up into 4 equal groups of up to 25 each. 
  • Arrival:
    • We HIGHLY recommend utilizing the hotel’s complimentary self-parking option, although valet is available for $10 for those whose needs require it for accessibility or other critical reasons. Once parked, please proceed to your designated registration location. 
  • Registration
    • Each group will get their own registration station and each experience will be a little different, and will be in a different location to allow for social distancing. Your temperature will be taken when you arrive, and only those with an acceptable temperature will be permitted to proceed. 
  • Groups
    • The attendees will be divided up into 4 relatively equal groups. You will remain with your group the entire time you’re at the conference. We are still working through how groups will be divided up. It may be by arrival time, interest areas, comfortability with social distancing, etc. More to come as we make those decisions. They will likely be made about a week prior to the event. 
  • Opening Session
    • Groups will arrive in staggered order and will be seated in separate parts of the Pavilion, which is a larger covered open-air space. All seating will be appropriately spaced, and may be in a variety of room sets. We will briefly welcome attendees and discuss lessons learned during the planning process. Groups will depart in staggered patterns and follow pre-set paths to the starting breakout rooms.  
    • Traffic Flow – Pavilion to Breakouts:
  • Breakouts
    • We will have 4 breakout topics, each one presented by subject matter experts (SMEs). List of topics and SMEs coming soon! Each room will utilize a different room set for attendees to see/use. There will be 2 similar-sized rooms for each topic, and we will alternate between rooms being used so that the hotel has ample time to clean rooms between groups. Groups will pass through space in a way that they can briefly see what that process looks like. 
    • Traffic Flow – Breakout to Breakout:
  • Closing Session
  • Reception
    • There will be different styles of food and beverage service as well as an ability to move to an outdoor seating area for some attendees if legal and feasible. Grab your spot, a drink, and plan to stay in that same seat until it’s time to head back home!  
  • Hybrid Option: 
    • We believe that every face-to-face conference will have a virtual component moving forward. We will have a hybrid option at a reduced price point. We will have an onsite host/moderator, who will give you a virtual tour of the entire experience. We will also provide on-demand recorded content following the event. This will allow anyone to participate, regardless of health conditions, risk factors, legal restrictions, etc.  
  • Contingency Planning: 
    • If someone shows up and has symptoms, we will direct them to an isolated area and will work with the hotel and local health officials to report and remedy the situation according to current best practices. 
    • If we can’t use the Pavilion (due to inclement weather, or capacity limitations), groups will start in their first breakout rooms after registration and opening/closing sessions will be streamed between the Pavilion and breakout rooms. Reception will take place in final breakout rooms. Groups will still move between breakout rooms as planned. 
    • If we encounter additional restrictions on capacity, we will follow those regulations while maintaining as much of the on-site/live component as possible. Reductions may include the following measures, or others as deemed prudent: 
      • Transferring some in-person registrations to virtual experiences to decrease onsite numbers
      • Groups remaining in one room for the entire experience 
      • No reception
      • Virtual experience for all attendees with streamed presentations from the hotel
      • Fully virtual event with subject matter experts presenting from home as well. 

Here is more information from the Omni about how they are keeping the experience safe for their guests. 

We will monitor these resources, and any others that are actionable, to make our decisions regarding this conference. 

Inside the Laboratory

1:00pm -1:30pm – Registration
1:30pm – 2:00pm – Welcome and Planner Panel
2:00pm – 4:15pm – Laboratory Experience
4:15pm – 5:00pm – Experience Wrap-Up and Personal Branding Makeover with Chris Starkey
5:00pm – 6:00pm – Reception

Please submit any ideas you would like to see brought to life in the laboratory on the registration page!

Laboratory Experience 

Planning the 6 Foot Laboratory 

We went the “Learning by Doing” route, so you don’t have to! The members of our panel all have at least one socially-distanced conference under their belts, and are excited to share secrets to success and opportunities for improvement as our industry redefines future normalcy and creates the roadmap to fruition. Come hear the communities questions answered about what it takes to run a conference in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event Technology

In this environment, it will be important for meeting planners and production companies to plan for virtual/hybrid events. These events will include all the normal equipment and processes of a traditional event and additionally the equipment and processes for a fully virtual event. For this portion of the discussion, the panel will talk about what needs to be considered for managing this type of event. This would include what will be needed from the production company as well as from the facility where the hybrid portion of the event will take place.

Hotel Experience

In this session, we will cover what the hotel arrival and guest room experience looks like in the during/post-COVID world. You’ll hear from experts at The Omni Interlocken about the new realities attendees will face during their hotel stays including a quick trip up the elevators to the guest room. This is part presentation and part Q&A, so please come prepared with your burning questions and we’ll answer them!

Transportation and Traffic Flow

Information you need to know about moving people from one place to another in a post COVID world, including the basic concepts you should be considering, Things that you may not have thought about and most importantly how to get creative with the challenges that lay ahead of you so that your attendees feel safe while not being in a stark environment.

Banquets & Food and Beverage

In this session, we will cover the new realities of Banquets and F&B in the during/post-COVID world. You’ll hear from experts at The Omni Interlocken about what to expect when planning these elements of your socially-distanced conference. This is part presentation and part Q&A, so please come prepared with your burning questions and we’ll answer them!

Experience Wrap Up & Personal Branding Makeover
We will all gather to discuss what we learned in the Laboratory. Chris Starkey will present the “Personal Branding Makeover” which will dive into how you can create more impact with your own personal brand than the company that you may be attached to and how you will create more than 7 streams of income doing so.

Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Carli Balch 
Corporate Catering Sales Manager, Omni
Planning the 6 Foot Laboratory SME

Jessica Honorato 
Director of Rooms, Omni
Hotel Experience SME

Thad Larson
Senior Director, Association Marketing & Events, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Planning the 6 Foot Laboratory SME

Megan Martin
Manager, Partner Events, RingCentral
RMPCMA President, Planning the 6 Foot Laboratory SME 

Gerry McFarland
Director of Sales and Marketing, Omni
Banquets and Food and Beverage SME 

Dawn Montgomery 
Regional Vice President, PSAV
Event Technology SME 

John Moritz
Global Meetings & Events PLanner, Scrum Alliance
Planning the 6 Foot Laboratory SME 

Jeremy Parks
National Sales Director, DMC Services, Destination Diplomat, Imprint Group
Transportation and Traffic Flow SME 

James Rut
Senior IT Event Manager, Cogent
Event Technology SME

Franny Starkey
COO, Imprint Group
Transportation and Traffic Flow SME

Chris Starkey
Partner, Imprint Group
Personal Branding Makeover, Closing Session SME

Dan Stones
CCO, Coalesced Events
Planning the 6 Foot Laboratory SME 

Rebecca SchingelSeptember Education Event – 6 Foot Laboratory