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The Demand for Outdoor Meeting Spaces and 5 Planner Favorites

27 Jan, 2021 | Posted by 1440 Multiversity

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The introduction of COVID-19 vaccines has elevated public confidence and increased the demand for outdoor spaces among corporate meeting and private event planners. As interest in group offsites and intimate private events awakens, destinations with a variety of outdoor venues are growing in popularity and not just desired for their safety benefits. It turns out there is something about fresh mountain air and the smell of the majestic redwoods that energize screen-fatigued attendees, making meetings more productive, beneficial and enjoyable. "Forest Bathing," or the Japanese medicine of Shinrin-yoku Forest Therapy, is known to be an exercise in mindfulness and contributes to one's positive health and wellbeing. 


Thanks to its easy drive market proximity to Silicon Valley and the Bay Area, in addition to access to three major airports — San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland — the private 75-acre 1440 Multiversity campus located in California's Santa Cruz Mountains is on the radar of meeting planners across the country. As an added benefit, 1440 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit learning destination and each group booking gives back to philanthropic advocacy programs in the community, further attracting responsible corporations that want to give back and provide "meetings with a purpose." Each booking at 1440 feeds a family of four in Santa Cruz County and advances other philanthropic programs such as Healing our Healthcare Heroes which offers scholarships to frontline medical workers.  


Meeting and events at 1440 Multiversity are very different from traditional hotel gatherings. Stay packages are all-inclusive and incorporate the connection of human and environmental health and wellness. Whether a single- or multi-day gathering, accommodations include three daily nourishing meals served in Kitchen Table; morning and afternoon wellness breaks; and a wide-ranging selection of indoor and outdoor signature classes and activities such as guided nature walks, yoga, meditation, improv, lectures, fitness classes and the Healing Arts center. The possibilities for a unique learning event and lasting memories are endless, and the outdoor meeting spaces and environments are vital elements to the overall experience in acting as "human charging stations." 1440 has a large degree of flexibility to accommodate small executive offsites to large leadership training programs. Private cooking classes and family-style dinners are possible in the freestanding Teaching Kitchen or may be served under the stars in the adjacent Joanie's Garden.


Campus locations like the 250-seat Redwood Amphitheater; Redwood Boardroom and Labyrinth; Kitchen Table Terrace and Outlook Patio were popular spaces for attendees pre-pandemic, and 1440 has developed even more outdoor venues in varying capacities to accommodate health and safety measures and social distancing considerations (learn more about our Campus Health & Safety Plan), increasing the number of total outdoor natural venues to more than 20 in addition to its 12 indoor meeting spaces. 


Here are the five most requested outdoor meeting locations on campus — both new options and meeting planner favorites — that your group or event attendees will talk about long after their visit.


Joanie's Garden Table

Joanie's Garden Table

Standard Capacity: 24 | Social Distance Capacity: 6 (12 as couples/duos in the same traveling party)

As the centerpiece of the 1440 "food is medicine" nutrition philosophy, Joanie's Garden brings together fresh seasonal harvests alongside culinary learning opportunities that inspire the meals that are served across campus. Adjacent to the 1440 Teaching Kitchen, Joanie's Garden has welcomed groups for nutrition classes followed by a garden lunch among the tomato vines, wine education dinners under the stars, and even custom Hive Dive classes for groups to learn more about the honeybee population at 1440. A gathering in Joanie's Garden is nothing short of memorable.


The Cathedral

The Cathedral

Standard Capacity: 250 | Social Distance Capacity: 60 (120 as couples/duos in the same traveling party)

Through the wood and across the bridge over Carbonera Creek is the most sacred outdoor meeting venue on campus: The Cathedral, which inspires energy, emotion and introspection in the redwoods. Set beneath the historic Mother Tree — a 250-foot-tall 1,200-year-old California Redwood that anchors 1440 Multiversity in concept and spirit — this large amphitheater-style space with its redwood benches, slate-tile stage and trickling creek will elevate meetings of any size.   Combined with a guided mindfulness exercise led by 1440 staff or a meaningful conversation activity to open guests up to new ideas and concepts, the Cathedral will have a lasting impact on attendees, offering a residual calm to those who have the opportunity to experience it. 


Redwood Terrace, Lawn & Fire Pit

Redwood Terrace, Lawn & Fire Pit

Standard Capacity: 40 | Social Distance Capacity: 10 (20 as couples/duos in the same traveling party)

Tucked behind the Redwood meeting complex, the Redwood Terrace, Lawn & Fire Pit is a private setting that comes with some of the most unique offerings on campus. A slate-tile patio serves as a space for high-top tables; a family-style dining table; or an art or materials station for an interactive outdoor gathering. Stately hand-carved stone benches and a chaise lounge, along with Adirondack chairs, are dressed with cozy blankets and pillows and flank a one-of-a-kind stone fire pit. The adjacent labyrinth beckons contemplation as attendees mindfully travel along its path high above the Cathedral, which is visible down below. Combine these spaces with the indoor Redwood Boardroom for a motivating and productive executive offsite or teambuilding event you are sure to remember.    


The Canopy

The Canopy

Standard Capacity: 150 | Social Distance Capacity: 40 (80 as couples/duos in the same traveling party)
The newest outdoor venue at 1440 Multiversity, the Canopy is set in a wooded clearing surrounded by redwood trees that seemingly touch the sky. This space calls guests to wander the nearby campus trails (it is best to literally hike in and out of this space) or simply sit in contemplation in conversation circles made with log seats repurposed from fallen redwoods to learn and absorb the work that brings them to campus. Spacious and inspirational, the Canopy invites event planners and guests to make it their own. 


Outlook Patio and Crest Deck

Outlook Patio
Outlook Patio

Outlook Patio: Standard Capacity: 100 | Social Distance Capacity: 25 (80 as couples/duos in the same traveling party)

Crest Deck: Standard Capacity: 35 | Social Distance Capacity: 10; 20 as couples/duos in the same traveling party

The half-moon-shaped Outlook Patio is adjacent to the Outlook Building above Common Grounds with a panoramic view of the campus below. This space is ideal for afternoon meetings al fresco, teambuilding events or sunset receptions and after-dark afterglows.  


Perched above the Outlook Patio is Crest Deck, one of the most popular outdoor meeting venues on campus. This 1,100-square-foot two-tiered deck, surrounded by oak and redwood trees, is ideal for a morning yoga practice, a mid-day conversation circle or a late-afternoon classroom-style meeting and mixer. Set off the Crest Loop trail, attendees can continue their journey up the hill and explore the upper campus trails, or travel back down the stairs to quickly access Common Grounds Patio for a coffee or glass of wine by the fire pits.


Offsite meetings at 1440 Multiversity are an ideal opportunity to combine team productivity with an incredible learning opportunity that will continue to energize and motivate long after departing campus. 


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View the 1440 Group Brochure here.  


Learn more about Signature Classes here. 


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