Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and the “Shelter in Place” order that was issued by the Governor of California back in March, all conferences that were scheduled at the Monterey Conference Center have been canceled through August of this year. As the saying goes “we’re all dressed up with no place to go” so the idea of our beautiful, newly renovated, Conference Center sitting idle for the next 6 months was too much to bear.
Like many businesses during this pandemic we were looking at how to pivot and find a way to use this incredible asset to bring value to our community during this crisis. With all the focus on COVID 19, we felt what better use of our building than to provide a venue for educating and training our community on the COVID 19 protocols.
Working in collaboration with the City of Monterey, the Monterey Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Monterey County Hospitality Association and the Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce we decide to create a “living laboratory” that would serve as an example of the proper protocols for meetings and conventions. Every room was reconfigured to show examples of a meeting, tradeshow or banquet always keeping in mind the social distancing guidelines.
With the Monterey Conference Center strategically located in the heart of downtown, it offers easy access and prime visibility to not only educate and train but also to communicate our message about COVID 19 safety precautions. In addition to reconfiguring the meeting space, we have placed extensive signage both inside and outside the Conference Center with the 3 key messages about reducing the spread of COVID 19, stay 6 feet apart, wear a mask and wash your hands.
We have been collaborating with the Monterey County Hospitality Association to develop training curriculum and an event schedule that we hope to use once we receive approval to begin using our space as a “classroom” for in person training, specifically focused on COVID 19 health and safety. Safety is our top priority and we are proud to take a leadership role in educating our community and hospitality partners.