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Meetings Are Back Live! | Interview with John M. Hutar, President & CEO of San Mateo County / Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

December 2021 B-top

By: MPI Northern California Chapter | Dec 6, 2021

December 2021 B-bottom

Below is our interview with John M. Hutar, President & CEO of San Mateo County / Silicon Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

1.     What events and city-wides are on the horizon for your area?

Having our destination recently chosen to hold the SaaStr Annual (tech conference with 5K attendees) demonstrated our ability to execute large scale events in a safe manner.

2.     What challenges is your destination still facing, especially with the rise of Delta and other variants; and the general uncertainty around how things will unfold?

Here’s my “road trip” analogy: The car has been detailed, serviced and filled with fuel. We’ve started our journey to a place called Recovery, but the on-ramp seems to be getting longer and longer. The good news is, no one has lost interest – everyone is still very excited about reaching this place called Recovery

3.     What responses from your Conference Planners & Attendees are you seeing with the recent requirements (i.e., masks, vaccination proofs, negative COVID tests)? Has it been more positive/negative?

Feedback has been extremely POSITIVE – yes, that’s in all caps/large font. Looking back, the mandates that may have initially been perceived as restrictive are now viewed as being smart, appropriate decisions. Our region leads the nation in both low case counts and high vaccination rates – stats that are very much appreciated!

4.     What changes have your destination and/or Hotels made that you’ll continue to implement beyond the restrictions? 

We’re now in a terrific position of putting all of our attention and energy in to engaging with clients and working with our partners to create memorable and exciting experiences.

5.     What is your outlook for 2022 and beyond? How do you think our business has changed given all we’ve learned over the last year and a half?

The biggest lesson learned is that the recovery timeline marches to its own drummer. All indications are that demand will be strong for 2022 and beyond. Two years later, companies, planners and attendees are ready to re-engage in person – and make-up for lost time. We can now see that the on-ramp is getting shorter!

 

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MPI Northern California Chapter

 
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