The optimum solution for a safe event is to do a hotel buyout and create your own COVID “bubble.”
While resort buyouts have been an emerging trend for many years, the idea of a controlled “bubble” setting is more appealing than ever. As the meeting industry continues to forge a new way forward during the recovery from the pandemic, a buyout can add an extra layer of privacy, comfort, and safety for planners and attendees alike.
When organizing a buyout of a property, planners should keep several things in mind, including how they can leverage the opportunity to provide a fully-customized experience for attendees, and ways to help keep the event within budget restrictions:
Consider the Location
One of the best ways to ensure complete privacy with a buyout is select a venue that has a team with experience in these types of events. It is also important to choose a location that is set up to be able to restrict access to outside traffic. For example, here at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, we have hosted political figures and dignitaries from around the world. Our distinctive location with a mile-long entry way on one side and the Choptank River on the other, allows complete privacy for buyouts with several checkpoints and monitoring areas for security detail.
Customization Leads to Creativity
I recommend leveraging this opportunity to fully customize the experience for guests. Not only can planners decorate and customize the property as they see fit, they can use the space as their canvas for various networking, interactive activities, or immersive welcome experiences. Additionally, by having access to the entire resort, groups have the flexibility to change their meeting program at any time. For example, if a group is in a breakout session for a strategy meeting and reach a roadblock, they can take their meeting outdoors or poolside to change up the setting and encourage different types of creative thinking and brainstorming.
Buyouts Don’t Have to Break the Bank
Although buyouts typically cost more than a traditional event, they don’t have to break the bank, especially right now. In fact, many destinations are providing special incentives and rates for “bubble” and buyout opportunities into 2022. I recommend that planners work closely with their venue’s sales team to find need periods throughout the year or host the event during the property’s shoulder or off-peak seasons. Also, planners can typically ensure more affordable options when they host events between Sundays and Wednesdays rather than weekends.
Cari Ruppert is the Director of Sales, Marketing and Events at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. She has more than 20 years working in the events and hospitality industry and has helped to plan countless memorable meeting experiences throughout her tenure.