When Convene spoke to Score CEO Bradley Metrock earlier this month about the Voice of Healthcare Summit, an in-person event Score was planning for August in Boston, he said he would be announcing a change in venue this week.
The voice technology and AI event — requiring COVOD-19 attendee testing among other safety protocols — had originally been planned for Harvard University’s Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, which remains closed until Labor Day due to the pandemic. Voice of Healthcare Summit will now take place at The Boston Winery. In addition, the fourth annual edition of the conference will be held one day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 5, instead of two.
Designed to host up to 200 attendees, the event is intended to be a trend-setter as far as protocols for in-person meetings.
The change in environment — from an Ivy League university campus to a winery — is intentional, Metrock said. “The new location is about cultivating the right atmosphere,” he said. “It’s been a heavy year so far for a lot of people, and we want an event that’s light, refreshing, and fun. A winery seemed like a natural choice.”
Metrock has not ruled out implementing Covid-19 testing for attendees and said he will be complying with the guidance from the CDC and federal government. “We will likely be evaluating whether to provide COVID-19 testing all the way up to the event window,” he says. “We know we can source it and price it in to the conference, but the question is how attendees will react. So far, there is not the warm response to testing availability that one might expect. It’s been the opposite. Sponsors and exhibitors are mixed; many have no real opinion.”
When planning protocols for the event originally, he said the tests would cost Score approximately $40 to $45 per attendee per test. The Boston Winery is not insisting on any of the event’s planned protocols — “Our usage of them will be up to us,” Metrock said.
Metrock has hosted a series of meetings on voice activation in different industry sectors since 2016, around the time of the launch of Amazon’s Alexa device. He has several more planned for other industries in 2020.
Paul Bergeron is a freelance reporter who covers the meeting planning industry. He can be reached at [email protected].