At press time, delegates will be preparing to attend the 2020 Small Market Meetings Conference in French Lick, Indiana, at the historic French Lick Resort. Unlike many other meeting planning gatherings this year, Small Market Meetings will be held in-person, onsite, at the venerable southern Indiana resort.
“Holding in-person meetings right now is not impossible,” said conference partner Charlie Presley, whose Group Travel Family staff manages the annual event. “What it takes is a great venue like we have in the French Lick Resort, and delegates who are willing to commit to practicing safe, sensible meeting procedures. It’s an attitude, really, and we have dozens of delegates coming who share our attitude that face-to-face meetings matter today more than ever.”
The resort successfully managed a similar conference in August for Presley and his partner, Mac Lacy, when 175 delegates gathered in French Lick for the combined Select Traveler/Going On Faith Conference. The French Lick Resort’s attention to safety procedures made the event possible. All hotel guests were given friendly temperature checks daily and issued “all clear” wrist bands for use while in the property. Hand sanitizing stations, spacious seating for meals, and business appointment protocols using eight-foot tables with plexiglass sneeze guards all set delegates’ minds at ease throughout their stays.
French Lick Resort’s vice president of resort operations and sales, Joe Vezzoso, was personally present during most of the conference to oversee all preparations by his staff and to assure that delegates felt well cared for. The end result was a superb three days that allowed many travel industry delegates to gather face-to-face confidently for the first time in six months.
Small Market Meetings Conference partner Herb Sparrow plans to greet many meeting attendees at the airport himself.
“We are going to make sure that every attendee knows how much we appreciate their time and attendance,” he said. “I want to personally welcome them to the Louisville airport and make sure they get on their shuttles safely and comfortably. America’s meetings industry cannot place too much value on hospitality right now. We must all overcome this health crisis and bring our meetings industry back as soon as possible”
That’s an attitude shared across America by meeting planners, meeting attendees, hotel and hospitality employees, convention and visitors bureaus staffs and others who are committed to restoring the country’s travel, hotel and restaurant industries as quickly and as safely as possible.