Conference calls. Zoom meetings. Lots of emails. That’s what corporate planning has largely looked like since the advent of COVID-19. If you and your team are missing the old days when you could meet face-to-face and get things done quickly and efficiently, maybe it’s time to get back to corporate meetings as they used to be. And if you long to be waited on and pampered a bit during the process, that may be possible, too.
The best corporate meeting places make participants feel welcomed and cared for, while allowing for the efficient transaction of business. The COVID-19 crisis has made another element of primary importance: safety. The best venues have spared no effort in learning how to protect their guests while offering the comfort and convenience that their clients are accustomed to. Here are some measures you may see in place at your next offsite meeting or team-building event.
How Food Service Might Be Different
If you have food and beverage service at your meeting, you may notice a different protocol of service. At Pursell Farms, as you enjoy our classic Southern dishes and Creole specialties, you may also notice:
- All servers are wearing masks and gloves.
- If your group has opted for buffet service, attendants will serve the food.
- Other food service options, including plated meals, drop-off catering, and chef stations, are designed for minimal shared contact.
- Silverware is rolled to keep it sanitary, and high-quality disposable napkins are offered instead of ones that must be laundered.
You might not notice other procedures, as they occur behind the scenes, but preparations for food service at Pursell Farms are slightly different, too.
- Items such as tables, chairs, and stations are sanitized before and after each group.
- Table linens are transported in single-use bags and are changed after each event.
What Social Distancing Looks Like at Corporate Meetings
If you have been accustomed to a particular meeting room at a favorite venue, you may notice that you’ve been moved to a larger one. At Pursell Farms, for example, groups that would normally be accommodated in the Theater Room might be moved to the Garden View Room, which is around three times as large. You’ll also notice that seating is more spread out than usual. Also, to minimize shared items, Pursell Farms no longer places pens and paper at each seat for guests’ convenience.
Mask-wearing is another aspect of social distancing. States, county or municipalities may mandate masks, and mask orders may be lifted or reinstated as COVID-19 cases rise and fall. Guests should come prepared to follow the local regulations, whatever they might be. In some cases, the company booking an event may have a company policy requiring masks regardless of the local standards.
Most event locations will have extra disposable masks on hand in case someone is caught unprepared. Generally speaking, however, venue hosts should not be expected to provide masks or to monitor mask usage by their guests. In a similar vein, although they can space seating appropriately, your venue hosts will not enforce social distancing within corporate meeting spaces, as most meetings are considered private.
What to expect when using other amenities
Some of those attending offsite meetings enjoy exploring the area and using any recreational facilities that are available. Sometimes the business booking the meeting will plan something fun. Recreational activities are always good for team building. In some cases, meeting attendees may extend their stay to enjoy all a site offers.
Golf is a popular way of relaxing before or after a meeting, and trying out a course is an excellent reason to stay an extra day. No golfing enthusiast should miss the FarmLinks Golf Course at Pursell Farms. You’ll learn about history as you play, walking paths traveled by Hernando de Soto, by Civil War soldiers, and by the early settlers of Sylacauga, Alabama.
Of course, COVID-19 has forced the closure of some amenities. It’s always a good policy to call and check before you visit. At Pursell Farms, the pool, spa, and shooting grounds are available for guests. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are also available. The fitness center, however, is currently closed. One of the safest and most relaxing activities is always available — a leisurely ramble around the scenic grounds.
Event planning is both an art and a science. The art is evident in tastefully decorated spaces and beautifully landscaped grounds. You’ll also find art in a perfectly plated dish, a well-mixed cocktail, and a luscious dessert. Science is evident in a well-planned meeting space, with cutting-edge technology and all the conveniences. Now science is even more important, as venues devise ways to hold safe meetings and events. At Pursell Farms, we’re skilled both in the art of hospitality and in the science of keeping you safe. We look forward to working with you to plan your next event.