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Facilities &Destinations F & D M e e t i n g H o t e l P r i m e S i t e A w a r ds – P a g e 2 4 BEDROCK COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 152 Madison Ave., Ste. 802, New York, NY 10016


Destinations Planner Guide


For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners

A Modern Renaissance City Today’s Philadelphia is more meetings-ready than ever Page 26

MICE Market Hotspots:

Scotland Page 32

Los Cabos Page 36


Tips to Save on Meetings in 2013

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Convention & Convention & Event Venues Event Venues


Number To Call Number To Call 866.BOOK.SMG 866.BOOK.SMG

for almost anything is either one click or Oneclick. click. One Shopping for almost anything is either one click or One OneCall. Call.SMG. SMG.Shopping Where do you want to show today? one call away. In the world of conventions, exhibitions Where do you want to show today? one call away. In the world of conventions, exhibitions

and special events, how can you effectively shop for and special events, how can you effectively shop for To inquire about any or all SMG-managed convention centers and destinations with only one click To inquire about any or all SMG-managed Convention Centers contact: convention centers andThe destinations with only one click or call? The answer is simple. answer is SMG. With Gregg Caren Convention Centers contact: or call? The in answer is simple. answer is SMG. With exhibition venues the United States,The Canada, and the SVP Strategic Business Development Gregg Caren Caribbean, we can shorten selection process exhibition venues in the thesite United States, Canada, and the (866-266-5764) SVP 1-866-BOOK-SMG Strategic Business Development fromCaribbean, months to days, or even hours.the site selection process gcaren@smgworld.com we can shorten

1-866-BOOK-SMG (866-266-5764) gcaren@smgworld.com

from months to days, or even hours.

Facilities &Destinations 2012-2013

Destinations Planner Guide



For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners

Columns Looking Ahead...................................................................................2 Caffin’s Corner....................................................................................4 Meeting Perspectives Save on Meetings in 2013, by Idan Keren..........................................................6 Planner Perspectives Plan and Think Before You Ink, by Tim Brown....................................................8 Tradeshow Perspectives Get With the Program, by Robert Weber........................................................12


2013 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards Ballot.....................4 Upfront Hotel Watch, Convention Center Watch, Industry Events Watch, CVB Watch, Leading Edge Industry Professionals................... 14-23 Hotel Awards 2012 Facilities & Destinations Meeting Hotel Prime Site Award Winners........................................................................................ 24-25


Hot List Five Top Conference Centers..........................................................41 PhotoView IMEX America 2012..........................................................................42 Cover Spotlight Philadelphia: A Modern Renaissance City........................... 26-31 Hotel Highlights................................................................................29 More Than a Business Address.......................................................31 F&D International Scotland................................................................................ 32-35, 56 Scoping Out Scottish Venues..........................................................34 Construction & Renovations............................................................35 Five More Reasons to Think Scotland.............................................56 Los Cabos................................................................................... 36-40 Hotel Highlights................................................................................38



F&D: Sites & Cities Index..................................................................................................43 Directory ..................................................................................... 43-55 Ad Index............................................................................................52 41


Facilities &Destinations Destinations Planner Guide


F&D: More of a Good Thing


y first publication cycle at Facilities & Destinations has been completed, and it has been quite a ride. The task of coming into a firmly established publishing company and refining its operations was a daunting one. While my previous experience in public accounting taught me a great deal about the financial aspects of publishing, learning and taking charge of the operations of a trade publication was a separate matter. The first question I asked was, with all the meetings industry information that is out there on the Internet, what will make someone not only read, but also return and refer to our magazines? The answer, as simplistic as it sounds, was to give our audience more, to enhance our offerings to the readership and advertisers. Our core publications centered on providing an industry directory, but we needed to provide more than that. So, we increased the quantity and scope of the material we standardized into Facilities & Destinations publications. At the heart of each issue, we now include “Regional Spotlights,” taking a look at key meeting destinations. The “Perspectives” columns — penned by a broad selection of industry professionals — address timely and relevant topics of interest to professional meeting planners. Topping this off are Facilities & Destinations interviews with veterans and newcomers demonstrating leadership in the industry. With the current issue of Facilities & Destinations Planner Guide we look to further build on last year’s accomplishments from an editorial perspective. The Planner Guide commences an increased focus on the MICE markets both on our shores and abroad, accompanied by the re-launch of our Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards. And as it has been quite some time since Facilities & Destinations took a serious look beyond the U.S. marketplace in print, we have broadened our international coverage with a review of meeting opportunities and venues in the United Kingdom and Mexico. While we continue to improve our Website, we concurrently added a year-round online presence with our monthly e-newsletter. Commenced last summer, our “Report” has received praise from planning professionals at tradeshows and conferences. Our December Report e-newsletter noted conditions in the meetings industry were improving, and during January’s PCMA Convening Leaders Conference in Orlando, this trend was confirmed by numerous speakers in a concentrated manner. Be it in the form of improved numbers of hotel room nights booked, or lead time required to reserve meeting space, indications for the trade are positive. We are extremely excited about the opportunity 2013 has in store. The changes detailed above have certainly set the bar high for the staff at Facilities Media Group, and we look forward to rising to the occasion, delivering results in partnership with our readers and sponsors who have helped make this past year a success. – David Korn Chief Operating Officer, Facilities Media Group dkorn@facilitiesonline.com


For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners


Volume 21 No. 3

Chief Operating Officer David Korn Associate Publisher Michael Caffin Contributing Editor Anthony Bilden Creative Direction & Design Scott-Goodman Associates Circulation Manager Winny Cheung Business Operations Nadia Derelieva © Copyright 2013 by Bedrock Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Opinions expressed in by-lined articles and advertising copy are not necessarily those of the publisher. Advertisers are responsible for all costs, damages and claims regarding advertising insertions. Facilities & Destinations is published three times a year by Bedrock Communications, Inc., 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Telephone: (212) 532-4150. Fax: (212) 213-6382. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Bedrock Communications, Inc., 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Printed in U.S.A. Cover ad space is available by contacting a Facilities & Destinations advertising account executive at 212-532-4150 x103.


ON THE COVER With a recently expanded convention center, new hotel projects and an augmented airlift, Philadelphia’s meetings industry is brimming with news. At the same time, the city boasts ties to American history that make it a unique experience for groups. Find out about the “re-imagined” Philadelphia.

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide




PLAN YOUR EVENT WITH ONE OF WASHINGTON, DC’S POWER PLAYERS. Every event you plan is big, no matter what the size. That’s why you should join forces with Events DC. Whether it’s a convention or small meeting, you’ve got to bring the power. To book an event, or for more information, visit eventsdc.com or call 202-249-3000.


Caffin’s o r n e r

Growth: In the Industry and In Our Coverage


sense of optimism pervades the meeting and tradeshow marketplace as we forge into 2013. Though not overwhelming, the increase in shortterm bookings and other group business taking place between cities, convention centers and their industry partners is significant. That positive feeling was in the air at the recent Expo! Expo!, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) Annual Meeting & Exhibition, which took place in Orlando. In talking with meeting planners, CVBs, convention center and hotel representatives, and industry suppliers, I noted that most were upbeat and experiencing increased business at the close of 2012. Our 2012-2013 Facilities & Destinations Planner Guide reflects this growth with new features such as the F&D International section that includes Destination Spotlights on Scotland and Los Cabos. Our domestic coverage remains strong with a Cover Spotlight on Philadelphia, a first-tier city that is among the most representative of a healthy

U.S. meetings industry. Other major players in that industry are highlighted in our 2012 Meeting Hotel Prime Site Awards and Hot List of five top conference centers. Speaking of the issue, if you have not already, this is your last chance to vote for the 2013 F&D Prime Site and Top Destination Awards for convention centers and CVBs, respectively. See the ballot below to cast your vote. Voting for our 2013 awards closes at the end of February, and the 2013 winners will be officially announced in our 2013 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook issue this spring. In the meantime, enjoy this Planner Guide issue, whose pages echo that sense of industry growth and optimism. – Michael Caffin Associate Publisher, Facilities Media Group mcaffin@facilitiesonline.com

Facilities& Destinations

Awards of Excellence B all ot Please consider the following criteria when voting: Attractiveness & Functionality of Meeting Venue Size & Quality of Meeting Space Technological Capabilities Quality of Staff Food & Beverage Options Lighting, Acoustics, & Internet Access Other Meeting/Event Support Services Amenities Recreational Activities Dining & Entertainment Options Lodging Quality Accessibility to Airport Ease of Travel within Destination

Name of Nominee_______________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Check Award You want to nominate the above for: Prime Site

Top Destination

Your Name & Title_______________________________________ Organization____________________________________________ Phone___________________________________________________ Email___________________________________________________ Additional Comments____________________________________ ________________________________________________________ May We Contact You? Yes___ No___

Fill Out Form & Mail, Email or Fax Your Vote:

Facilities & Destinations

152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016 Fax: (212) 213-6382; Email: ballots@facilitiesonline.com


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide



For information about booking your next event, contact our sales team at 1.888.222.3683 or visit us at meetinac.com

The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority is proud to be accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.

Meeting Perspectives Meeting Perspectives Meeting Perspectives Meeting Perspectives Meeting Perspectiv Meeting Perspectives

Save on Meetings in 2013

Fo u r c o s t- r e d ucti on st rat e gie s t h at pre se rve a q ua l i ty e xperie nce for at t e nde e s


By Idan Keren f you haven’t already started planning your events for the rest of 2013, now is the time to do it. Many companies don’t realize how much money they throw away on meetings by not planning in advance. Planning efficiently and ahead of time can make all the difference.

“As meeting planners, we always try to show our value, whether it’s working hard as a team player, staying loyal to your company, or most importantly, saving your company money without compromising the quality of the meeting,” he more you know, the better said Carmit Bar-Esh, vice president of OKT Meeting. negotiator you will be. Meeting “To be successful, we must provide the ultimate event planners need to use the information experience within budget.”

implementing a meeting less time-consuming and more streamlined by having the local knowledge that’s needed to plan a successful event. The CVB can offer some great tips on which hotels to consider for your event depending on your requirements. Always remember, the more you know, the better negotiator you will be. Meeting planners need to use this information to help our clients and employers find the best value for their next meeting.

Lower Your Food and Beverage Costs Is the full breakfast really necessary? In this day and age, business travelers are more health conscious than ever before. Offering a continental breakfast with fresh fruit, yogurts and some pastries will suffice. With a few slight adjustments, meeting planners can really save. Another way to save on food costs is to only offer soft drinks and bottled CVBs provide to help our clients and With meeting planners water if requested, instead of having it available for employers find the best value for scurrying to schedule this anyone to take. Always be sure to have pitchers of year’s events, here are some ice water available. When negotiating, always ask their next meeting.” of our top tips for planning if the hotel has all-inclusive packages that include affordable meetings in the room, food and beverages together. Companies 2013. tend to think this is the more expensive route, but it’s not always the case. Calculate the costs and see for yourself. Choose Your Destination Carefully Some destinations are simply more expensive than others. Be Upfront About Concessions Get more for your money by choosing locations where When you begin your hotel selection process and are the cost of living is not as high as New York City, Miami, putting together the request for proposal (RFP), don’t Paris or London. Austin, Orlando, Amsterdam, Lisbon be shy about asking for all the perks you would like from and Bangkok are all affordable meeting destinations that the get-go. If you don’t, it might hurt you down the road. offer great nightlife, entertainment and food, in addition to The more times you contact the sales manager, the more the generally lower rates you will find at the local business likely they will be reluctant to provide any additional hotels. Another alternative to lower your costs is to organize perks. your meeting within 30 minutes of the city center; just be sure there’s public transportation within walking distance to Idan Keren, CMM, is the Senior Director of OKT Meetings; commute into the city. located in New York and Tel Aviv, Israel. With more than 30 Contact the Local Convention & Visitors Bureau years of experience, OKT Meeting has continuously organized Convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) are not-for-profit successful meetings and events worldwide. For more information, organizations charged with representing a specific destination visit oktmeeting.com or contact Idan Keren by email (idan@ and helping the long-term development of the community okttravel.com). through a travel and tourism strategy. They make planning and



Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Artist Rendering

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Planner Perspectives Planner Perspectives PLanner Perspectives PLanner Perspectives Planner Perspecti Planner Perspectives

Plan and Think Before You Ink

P r o a ct i v e h o t e l c o n t r a ct s re sult in c ost c on tain ment a nd r isk re d uct ion By Tim Brown


he combination of the “Great Recession” and the introduction of the strategic meetings management (SMM) initiative is changing the way business is done. Clearly, in this value-centric environment, senior management increasingly expects meeting planners to improve productivity, cost savings and ROI. Accordingly, there is a renewed focus on hotel contract negotiations, specifically the risk-reduction and cost-containment components. In a nutshell, the riskmitigation process strategically addresses the contract terms, conditions and language that define the obligations by both parties.

is that often, the performance clause language in the hotel contract is different than the attached addendum content, which immediately creates a conflict. Additionally, hoteliers appreciate receiving all contract requirements at one time, so that they can properly respond and make appropriate counteroffers. It is important to collaborate with senior managers, key meeting stakeholders and legal representatives in order to assure that all clauses and components are properly addressed in your custom document.

Tips for Specific Contract Clauses • Include a published rate clause, which assures rate integrity and protects against hotels offering lower rates via travel-discount ncillary fees are on the rise; Websites. Adding to the importance of the try to eliminate or reduce all • Avoid a sliding scale for allowable attrition (“use contract is the current seller’s it or lose it”). Instead, guarantee a percentage of market, a result of the posthotel fees and surcharges via your room block, say 80 percent. Use cumulative, recession increase in demand not “per room night,” attrition calculations. for meetings and limited new the contract.” • For the meeting cancellation clause, use a sliding hotel room inventory. Success scale for damages that is based on lost profit, not in that environment requires a lost revenue. Show the math in the contract, include a contract negotiations plan for each meeting. This includes resell clause, and assign a percentage of the damages to a assessing your leverage based on multiple hotel revenuefuture meeting booked with the same hotelier. management criteria and measuring and reporting results. • Calculate F&B estimate from the RFP agenda and use For planners implementing SMM, a proactive hotel that guarantee, with 20 percent allowable attrition. contract negotiations process is essential and will assure • Include a relocation clause, which ensures hotel added meeting value, cost savings and risk reduction. accountability and reimbursement in the event attendees Custom Hotel Contract are “walked.” The most effective method to add meeting value, generate • Stipulate that the hotel is to provide complimentary cost savings and reduce risk is to create a custom contract meeting and event space based on the percentage template that can be modified for each meeting. Your guarantee of the room block and the F&B guarantee. custom contract (ready for signature) should address all (No sliding-scale fees for that space.) contract components, including value-added concessions, • Stipulate that the hotel is not to alter the contracted hotel fees and surcharges, performance clauses and room block, meeting space or services without written company liability language. approval. • State that over the meeting dates there is to be no If you currently utilize a contract addendum with select construction or renovation that impacts the meeting, performance clauses, you can easily expand it into a Continued on Page 10 complete contract. The challenge with addendums Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide 8



Planner Perspectives Planner Perspectives PLanner Perspectives PLanner Perspectives Planner Perspecti Continued from Page 8

After the Signature including its image, logistics or attendee Once the contract is counter-signed, experience. you can create a risk-reduction/cost• Include a hotel audit clause stating that nclude a published rate containment report. Since the meeting in the event of performance damages, has not yet been fulfilled, you are the hotel is obligated to resell the rooms clause, which assures rate not demonstrating a dollar savings and credit the group. Ask for a hotel integrity and protects against but instead validating and recapping occupancy report, by night. Verify and negotiated clauses and specific language eliminate any rooms under renovation hotels offering lower rates via that mitigate damages and reduce or out of service, and capture any pre- or risk in the event of non-performance post-event rooms. travel-discount Websites.” (combine that with your cost-savings • Ancillary fees are on the rise; try to report breaking down dollar savings by eliminate or reduce all hotel fees and category). surcharges via the contract. • Include a “breach by hotel” clause stating that failure to provide services as agreed renders the hotel liable for direct Although “liquidated” and “mitigated” damages have very different meanings, they are often both included and indirect costs and damages. in the same contract clauses. Liquidated damages are • Stipulate that the group has the option to terminate the a specific dollar amount (in some cases calculated by a contract without obligation in the event that the hotel formula stated in the contract) to be paid to the hotel changes its management company or brand. in the event of non-performance. Damages collected by • Regarding liability clauses, review indemnification, the hotel cannot be excessive or they could be deemed insurance, arbitration, successors and assigns, bankruptcy, a penalty (i.e., requesting more compensation than the etc., with your legal representative. value of the contract). With liquidated damages, the • Include a “force majeure” clause allowing meeting hotel is not obligated to resell rooms and credit the termination without damages for factors out of control group. Mitigated damages are the hotel’s obligation of both parties (acts of God, airline strike, terrorist alerts, to resell sleeping rooms, meeting and event space, and World Health Organization advisories, etc.). contracted services to reduce, or better yet, eliminate damages due the hotel.


Our space will inspire you. 170,000+ sq. ft. of flexible convention space 8,000 seat arena 1,950 seat concert hall 500 seat playhouse

500+ restaurants 7,000+ hotel rooms 10 direct flight cities Central southeast location

Von Braun Center, Big Spring International Park

Contact Leslie Walker at 800.843.0468 or LWalker@huntsville.org.

huntsville.org facebook/huntsvilleCVB 10

Huntsville/Madison County Alabama Convention & Visitors Bureau

Maximize Value, Minimize Risk Hotel contracts can be complicated, but are a must in order to define responsibilities, protect your organization and make mutual obligations perfectly clear. Meetings are big investments, and proactive hotel contract negotiations are essential to maximize value and minimize risk. Our industry is cyclical, but regardless of shifts in the marketplace, when meeting planners carefully evaluate each meeting, understand their leverage and flexibility, and have a negotiation plan, clearly they will add more value to their meetings and bottom line, with measurable risk-reduction and cost-containment results. Tim Brown is CEO of Meeting Sites Resource, a global strategic meeting management solutions organization based in Irvine, CA. Founded in 1993, the company was a recognition recipient of MPI’s Golden Paragon Award. Brown serves on hotel and CVB advisory boards, contributes articles to industry trade publications and speaks at many industry events. He has served as President of two different MPI chapters, has served on MPI’s International Board and is a former Supplier of the Year. For a complimentary copy of his “Hotel Contract Negotiation Strategies,” contact him at tbrown@meetingsites.net. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Lots of Choices One Decision From Mozart to Monster Trucks, basketball to business meetings, the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex has the flexibility to make your next convention or special event one to remember. Our experienced staff will work with you to choose the facilities and services that best fit your objectives. There are lots of options but only one decision – book your next event at the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex. Photo: Steven Schwartz

Rhode Island Convention Center Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

401.456.0200 | meetings@GoProvidence.com | GoProvidence.com Facilities & Destinations 2012-2103 Planner Guide The Dunk and Convention Center are managed by SMG and The Vets by PFM.

radeshow Perspectives Tradeshow PerspectivesPerspectives Tradeshow Perspectives Tradeshow Perspective Tradeshow

Get With the Program

I m pl e m e n t a m a s t e r pol icy f or e xh ibit or l i a bi l i ty i n s urance – in cybe rspace


By Robert Weber

hen you sign venue contracts, you become responsible for everything that happens during your occupancy. You can significantly reduce uncertainty when you require exhibitors to carry liability insurance that includes your organization as an additional insured. But how practical is this given the amount of work and time constraints involved? If you require exhibitors to provide certificates of liability insurance, you know how difficult it is to collect them and how inefficient and time consuming the process can be. Or maybe you do not require certificates because you know the process is costly, siphons talent from more pressing tasks, and is one more last-minute detail that stresses the bond with exhibitors. Either way, you are still subject to liability for the exhibitors’ acts.

created specifically for your tradeshow’s exhibitor insurance. After entering a small amount of companyspecific information on this one-page application, the exhibitor can purchase insurance online with a credit card and download a Certificate of Insurance. Updated user reports are delivered on a regular basis alerting you as to who has purchased insurance. This eliminates the collection of paper certificates of insurance. The old, outdated way of manually collecting individual certificates of insurance and trying to keep track of who has and who hasn’t purchase exhibitor insurance is eliminated.

“A simple way to show exhibitors that you’re concerned about their budget is by providing them with an easy-to-attain, cost-justified, exhibitor liability insurance program supporting your value

In summary, by using an exhibitor liability insurance program, you: • Reduce costs for your exhibitors • Enhance the exhibitors’ experience • Improve your defense against lawsuits • Go green in the process • Fulfill an important function that may not be done at all • Eliminate collection of paper certificates of insurance • Facilitate data integration into the show organizer’s database • Improve workflow and productivity • Provide insurance to foreign exhibitors • Prevent an exhibitor’s loss from becoming the show organizer’s loss

In today’s tough economic climate, you have to proposition.” work a lot harder for space contracts. Factors challenging your ability to sell booth space right now might be marketing budget cuts, spending freezes and concerns about reduced buyer attendance. A It is a simple way for exhibitors to provide their insurance simple way to show exhibitors that you’re concerned about information and an efficient way for show organizers to their budget is by providing them with an easy-to-attain, costreceive it. Nonetheless, there are many factors that go into justified, exhibitor liability insurance program supporting your setting up an exhibitor liability insurance program correctly. value proposition. Only use a company that specializes and has experience in With this approach, one master policy is created for your this type of insurance. Note that there is absolutely no cost tradeshow, through which all your exhibitors can purchase to you, the event organizer. A little information about your their insurance instantly online. Premiums are discounted tradeshow is all that’s needed to create your master policy about 50 percent when compared to purchasing individual and set up the program. exhibitor insurance. The master policy is pre-built with Every aspect of doing business is advancing through technology. the rates and coverage you specify, and with you named as It doesn’t make sense to continue setting up exhibitor insurance additional insured. the old manual way. A link is then either posted on your tradeshow Web site or sent to each exhibitor. When clicked, this link brings the Robert Weber is president and CEO of Rainprotection.net. exhibitor to an interactive Web-based form that has been 12

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


When you book your next meeting at the Austin Convention Center, the movers and shakers are already here. With six entertainment districts and a safe and walkable downtown, it’s easy to enjoy our famous live music. And with more than 200 venues, honkytonks and dance halls, everybody leaves with their toes tapping.

246,000 square feet of column-free space ★ Gigabit+ bandwidth, supports up to 7,000 wireless connections ★ Awarded LEED® Gold Certification First convention center in TX

facebook.com/ AustinConventionCenter

(512) 404-4200 www.austinconventioncenter.com

UpFront Hotel Watch

The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort recently completed a $7.6 million makeover of its 27,054-sq.-ft. Coral Ballroom, located in the resort’s MidPacific Conference Center. The renovations included the replacement of carpeting, wall coverings and chandeliers with a color scheme inspired by the sea elements of oyster and coral, and land elements such as sandalwood. The Coral Ballroom, which is Oahu’s largest-capacity hotel ballroom, can accommodate up to 3,775 people for receptions and 2,600 for banquets. The 2,860-room resort offers 150,000 sq. ft. of function space, including three conference centers and more than 30 breakout rooms. 14

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Top 10 Reasons to Meet in Montego Bay An SMG Managed State-of-the-Art Convention Centre Excellent Airlift to Montego Bay from North America, UK and Europe Tax Deductible Expenses* Luxury Accommodations Duty-free Shopping Centres Entertainment & Music Gourmet Restaurants & Bars Beaches, Golf Courses and Recreation Cultural Sites & Packaged Tours Reliable Transportation System

About MONTEGO BAY CONVENTION CENTRE “Montego Bay Convention Centre, is the first of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean and boasts an Exhibit Hall that is divisible into two halls, accommodating up to 6,000 persons theatre style. Located in the resort area of Rose Hall, its close to over 4,000 luxury accommodations, duty free shopping, restaurants, entertainment, golf courses, beaches, bars and only 15 minutes from the Sangster’s International Airport, making the facility the ideal place to meet or host your next event.” - Dittie F. Guise, General Manager 57,525 sq. ft. Exhibit Hall

9,737 sq. ft. of Meeting Space

43,000 sq. ft. Outdoor Courtyard

18,471 sq. ft. Ballroom

and Terrace with Ocean View.

For more information



facebook.com/mobaycentre twitter.com/mobaycentre

*Applicable to US citizens or corporation.

Montego Bay Convention Centre | Half Moon P.O. Box #4058, Rose Hall, St. James, JAMAICA | T: (876) 622 9330


tch a W r e t n e C n o i Convent

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) – e and the Atlanta Falcons have it Spac f Prime Exhib s Comparison oand Comparable Facilitie announced the framework of a Competitive deal to build a new $1 billion, open-air stadium featuring a retractable roof, expected to open in 2017. The stadium will become part of the threefacility GWCCA campus, which currently includes the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Dome. In addition to serving as the home for the NFL’s Atlanta onvention San Antonio C e th f o n h o si nt ni an Falcons, the new stadium will host n exp uld bump it to The $325 millio e city last fall, co r th ila y m b si d ve ng o ro p another 80-90 events annually, including Center, ap hibit space am ational) t contiguous ex rn es te rg In la r SL fo C : ce ce la large citywide conventions and major p . (Sour n destinations U.S. conventio sporting events. The stadium continues a new phase of development in the heart of Atlanta’s tourism district and convention corridor. Over the next 18 months, more than $250 million in hospitality product will open, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, College Football Hall of Fame and the Atlanta Streetcar.

Dynamic. Diverse. Distinct.

norfolk is a vibrant port city full of fantastic meeting venues, fun things to do and fascinating things to see. With its rich history, great weather, distinctive dining and nightlife, norfolk is the perfect destination for your next meeting. Discover all the details at visitnorfolktoday.com. visitnorfolktoday.com 1-800-368-3097


The Sharonville Convention Center, located in Northern Cincinnati, has partnered with Ovations Food Services following a $26 million renovation that included a 65,000-sq.-ft. expansion. As the SCC’s official food and beverage provider, Ovations has designated Bradley Muchnicki, an award-winning graduate of Pennsylvania Culinary Institute Le Cordon Bleu, as head chef at the center. For more information, visit www.sharonvilleconventioncenter.com. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Convention Center Watch

In October, Toronto’s Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place became the first conference center in Canada to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver Certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Renovated in 2009, Allstream Centre combines state-of-the art technology with environmental responsibility and sustainability. It features the largest ballroom in Toronto, 20 divisible meeting (L-r): Steve C arpe Architectural D nter, President, Enermodal En rooms fully powered by es gineering; Dav the City of Gue ign, NORR Ltd.; Lise Burche id r, FCM Board M Clusiau, Senior Principal lph; Hugh Man ember and Cou sfi renewable energy, natural Place; and Dia nne Young, CEO eld, Vice-Chair of the Board nc of Governors of illor of , Exhibition Plac Exhibition e. light throughout, a rainwater harvesting program, HVAC system and LEDtechnology for all exterior lighting. Visit www. This fall, San Francisco’s Moscone Center allstreamcentre.com for more information. achieved LEED Gold certification, In November, Caesar’s Entertainment received approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for $45 million in financing for the company’s planned 200,000-sq.ft. convention center at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. Located on the southwest side of the property, the convention center project’s design will feature two floors complete with 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting/conference space and large glass windows overlooking the bay. “Atlantic City is under-supplied in its meeting space, and what is missing is a mid-sized conference center that would expand our offerings,” said Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority President Jeff Vasser. “We have a state-of-the-art convention center with 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and great hotel meeting space. This project is another tool in our toolkit to offer planners and drive incremental business to Atlantic City.” 18

making it the first convention center on the West Coast to attain this honor. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “This is now our city’s largest municipally owned green building,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “Receiving LEED Gold on the Moscone Center demonstrates once again that San Francisco is at the center of sustainability and innovation.” Thanks in part to a $56 million renovation, the Moscone Center implemented strategies aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Visit www.moscone.com for more information. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

速 I LOVE NEW YORK logo is a registered trademark/service mark of the NYS Dept. of Economic Development, used with permission.


Industry Events Watch

The IAEE will co-locate its Midyear Meeting with ASAE’s Annual Meeting, to be held Aug. 5-7, 2013 at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. The combined program will include IAEE’s education for exhibition and event organizers as well as ASAE’s tradeshow. The additional value for IAEE attendees includes an opportunity to attend ASAE’s networking events and its exhibition. Likewise, ASAE attendees will be able to take advantage of niche education sessions focused on exhibition management that are currently not offered. “Co-location with our partner organizations provides value back to our

Leading Edge:

Kelly Carr

General Manager Oncenter Syracuse, NY SMG recently selected Kelly Carr as the new general manager of the Oncenter. Hired by SMG in 2004, Carr was most recently the director of sales & marketing for the Albuquerque Convention Center. Before transferring to Albuquerque, Carr was the sales & sports council manager/marketing assistant for the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center. He studied journalism at the University of Utah and was a television sports anchor and radio talk show host in California and Idaho for more than a dozen years before joining SMG. Goals for the Oncenter: My staff and I have several goals including: increasing business activity in all three venues [Editor’s Note: The Oncenter comprises the 7,000-seat War Memorial Arena, the John H. Mulroy Civic Center Theaters, and the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center, with 95,000 sq. ft. of function space.]; working closely with the Syracuse CVB to bring more conventions, meetings and sporting events to our community; and gaining a national reputation as an excellent venue for meeting planners and promoters. Features That Groups Want in a Convention Center: I think everyone is looking for good Wi-Fi coverage and a more turnkey operation. In today’s business environment, it’s very important for the planners and their attendees to be connected, and at the Oncenter we’re pleased to offer complimentary Wi-Fi for our clients. Our meeting rooms are undergoing a renovation that will add that feature, as well as the following: new sound system; automated retractable screens; new lighting system with wall-mounted touch-screen capabilities; wireless touchpad to remotely control lights, screens and sound; and new digital programmable signage outside each meeting room. The project is slated to be completed by the summer of 2013. 20

members. Leaders can assess the state of the exhibitions and events industry and determine how best to maximize their resources and to grow their own events and strengthen the industry overall,” commented IAEE President and CEO David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA. ASAE President and CEO John Graham, CAE, added, “This partnership makes sense. Both ASAE and IAEE seek to grow our key meetings, and our audiences can greatly benefit from both perspectives. The dialogue will undoubtedly open new doors for doing business together and creating long-lasting partnerships.” Memorable Event at the Albuquerque Convention Center: Probably the 2013 and 2015 USA Roller Sports National Championships. I had worked with the regional roller skating people at my first building in Fresno, CA. Through SMG’s involvement with the Association of Chief Executives for Sport (ACES), I was able to get to know Richard Hawkins, the Executive Director of USA Roller Sports. In conjunction with the Albuquerque CVB, we brought Mr. Hawkins and some of his staff in for a site tour and we were able to show them how functional the Albuquerque Convention Center would be for their event. We were able to work out a two-year deal (every other year they hold the event in Lincoln, NE). The event will bring between 13,000-16,000 hotel room nights to the destination in July and August of each year. I will look to continue working with my contacts within the sports industry to enhance the Syracuse CVB’s strong efforts that are already in place. Meeting Group Bookings in 2012 and Going Forward: Association and convention groups were very strong in 2012 as the Oncenter hosted seven conventions consuming room nights in multiple hotel properties. The state association market is very strong for us due to our quality of service, centralized location and affordability. At this point, 2013 will actualize two fewer association conventions due to rotational requirements. However, our sales staff, in conjunction with the Syracuse CVB, just completed a two-day visit to Albany to contact new planners and introduce them to our venue, which we are hopeful will generate new business for 2013. And 2014 is already looking up as the Oncenter is pacing to surpass 2012 numbers. Competition in the Convention Center Marketplace: Competition for business is fierce. Every destination is looking for events. As a convention center we have to look for ways to set ourselves apart from other locations by providing unparalleled customer service and a true spirit of partnership. Every event is our most important event, and we have to convey that every time. Planners/clients are putting their reputations on the line, and it’s up to us at the Oncenter/SMG to make them look good and deliver a flawless convention/meeting. Management Philosophy: I believe in total teamwork and communication between departments. In my opinion a successful event is achieved when both the client and the staff are happy. The Oncenter will be a professional and enjoyable place to do business. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Industry Events Watch

Expo! Expo! IAEE’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, held Dec. 4-6 in Orlando, attracted nearly 2,000 attendees and 255 exhibitors to the Orange County Convention Center. The event kicked off with a full day of education sessions from the nearly 80 sessions offered throughout the meeting. That evening, the Opening Reception was held at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Among the subsequent highlights: •The official passing of the gavel from 2012 IAEE Chair Doreen Biela, CEM, to 2013 IAEE Chairman Jason McGraw, CTS, CAE. •Keynote speakers Eric Ly (LinkedIn co-founder and President of Presdo) and Rick Calvert, CEM (CEO and President of BlogWorld) discussed the integration of technology with the face-to-face value of exhibitions and events. •For the first time, Expo! Expo! was available through a live stream featuring a town hall meeting format, where viewers could experience the show floor and interviews with key industry figures in real time. •The fourth annual Humanity Rocks: A Celebration with a Cause at The Groove at Universal Orlando raised a record-breaking $17,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida. •The Annual Luncheon and Awards Ceremony opened with a warm welcome from Greg Ortale, President and CEO of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. •IAEE President David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, closed the program by sharing his vision for the upcoming year and inviting attendees to return to Expo! Expo! IAEE's Annual Meeting & Exhibition 2013 in Houston. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Leading Edge:

Dean Jones, CMP

Director of Conferences & Events Religious Conference Management Association Indianapolis, IN At press time, Dean Jones was immersed in planning the RCMA Emerge Conference 2013, held in Minneapolis Jan. 28-Feb. 1. He was kind enough to take the time to speak with Facilities & Destinations regarding the conference and trends in the religious meetings segment. What goals did you have to ensure that RCMA continues to deliver a compelling conference? We've worked for the past year to ensure that our members' needs are being met through our conference. We've conducted focus groups, held advisory council sessions and visited personally with many of our members to listen. Our goal was to recreate an event that would provide the perfect blend of meaningful networking connections, quality education — all while building a community in the faith-based event world. The new Emerge conference reflects numerous changes that are the direct result of feedback from our membership. Can you highlight any education sessions in the Emerge Conference that address what you feel are especially timely topics? We've categorized all of our educational sessions into tracks to allow attendees to make better selections. Those that might be most relevant and timely are legal and technical sessions. We've also added a supplier track and are teaching sessions about better understanding this market segment, how to sell to it, gain more ROI, etc. What are the strengths of Minneapolis as a meeting destination, particularly for religious meetings? Despite meeting there in the winter months, it’s a wonderful location with incredibly dedicated people. The Meet Minneapolis team has worked diligently for many months to provide a great experience for our attendees. They have a wonderful convention center, connected to multiple hotels via skywalk. Given that thousands of citizens live in downtown Minneapolis, there's a large number of quality restaurants and shopping available — which is a bonus for our attendees. Minneapolis also has a large community of faith, so they are eager to host us and we've been able to partner with some local organizations to expose our attendees to houses of worship as well as contribute to the community through our Impact Minneapolis service project. How robust was the religious meetings segment in 2012? Do you think 2013 is shaping up to be equally strong, if not more so? Our members’ events represented $5.8 billion in travel/hospitality spend in 2012. That's quite an impressive number in anyone's book, but the fact that it comes from the religious market — which is consistent, loyal and stable — is even more impressive. Given the slight upturn in the economy and the dedication of people of faith to continue to meet, I think 2013 will be an improvement over 2012! 21


Industry Events Watch

ASAE held its 2012 CIO Summit and Technology Conference & Expo, Dec. 4-6, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The event drew 1,179 total participants, the second-highest attendance in its seven-year history. Attendees took part in more than 40 highlevel practical education sessions, a twoday Expo Hall, and the Technology Town Hall Meeting. The ratio of buyers and sellers was 63 percent buyers (association staff) to 37 percent sellers (industry partners), which is a strong ratio. During the CIO Summit, Gartner Research identified the top 10 tech trends for 2013. Of these trends, association CIOs

identified Strategic Big Data, Actionable Analytics, Hybrid IT and the Cloud, and mobile apps and HTML5 as the trends most affecting associations. Altimeter Group Principal Brian Solis, the Opening General Session speaker, stressed that associations need to embrace a world of adaptation and the rise of connected consumers called Generation C. During the Closing General Session, Dachis Group Chief Strategy Officer Dion Hinchcliffe examined how social media is the dominant form of communication and provided examples of how organizations increased their bottom line by using social media tools.

Another Way to Frame Exhibit Space

Meet with a New Perspective ... We know you want ample meeting and hotel space, a convenient location, and a compact, walkable downtown. We’ve got all that and something more. In the Creative Capital, exhibit space becomes more than tradeshow screens and potted plants. Let us inspire you to meet with a new perspective ... in Rhode Island. Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau 401-456-0200 Meetings@GoProvidence.com GoProvidence.com


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

CVB Watch


The Alexandria Convention & Visitors Association (ACVA) recently launched the Alexandria Cares program in partnership with Get Out and Give Back to offer corporate groups the opportunity to include community service projects and events along with their meetings. Get Out and Give Back is a “nonprofit matchmaking” organization that pairs businesses with philanthropic opportunities, thus allowing companies to meet their corporate social responsibility (CSR) objectives. While corporations are charged a fee for the service, the money goes right back into the community. To find out more about the program, visit www.meetalexandriava.com.

Leading Edge:

Gary Dybul

Director of Sales and Marketing Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld Orlando, FL Gary Dybul was promoted to his current position in 2007, having joined the 778-room Renaissance Orlando Resort at SeaWorld in 2006. Dybul joined Marriott in 1991, and served principally in group sales positions. He is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Most Exciting Event: We have begun to “open the doors to our kitchen” and have been doing group receptions in the main kitchen, which also flows to an outdoor deck. The great thing about this venue is it brings our culinary talent into the event to further engage our group customers. They are so proud of what they contribute and their engagement in the kitchen event is off the charts. Customers love this venue and the events we are producing. It offers a fluid reception with several hidden areas to uncover, explore and enjoy. What Meeting Planners Want: They are looking for true partners who understand their needs and their business. They are looking for different, distinctive venues to provide something fresh and innovative. And as they have been and always will be, they are seeking supreme service,

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

an engaging staff along with an exceptional culinary experience. Meeting Industry Forecast: Short-term demand remains strong and we see the next two years continuing to grow in year-over-year pace. Group Sizes: Over the past couple years we have seen the average group size get smaller. We are starting to see this turn and are seeing groups begin to pick up more rooms and, in turn, contract higher numbers in the future. Orlando and the Renaissance Resort: Orlando continues to grow to provide great venues, entertainment and dining. We have an unparalleled property that provides a world of possibilities to each guest we service, from the 10 distinctive restaurants and lounges to the many recreation options we provide. The recent renovations and infused capital has all been in areas that our customers have had input on, and we continue to improve the product and service we offer. In the end our genuine service culture, exceptional culinary team and ability to create memorable experiences is why we are successful and continue to grow what is already one of the country’s most impressive hotels. Customer Service Philosophy: Our customers are partners. We are in this business for the long term, and we need to provide solutions and value for their needs. 23

2012 F&D Meeting Hotel Prime Site Awards


eeting planners for state, regional and smaller associations, as well as small to mid-size corporate and independent groups, have spoken. Based on their votes from award ballots that ran in previous issues of Facilities & Destinations (F&D) and on Facilitiesonline.com, the 62 properties listed below have won 2012 F&D Meeting Hotel Prime Site Awards. Congratulations!

Planners have a wide range of site selection choices, and these small to mid-size meeting hotel venues are doing their best job of trying to stand out in the pack.Voting was based on the following criteria for properties used for group meetings within the past three years: • Attractiveness and functionality • Technological capabilities • Quality of staff and conference planner • Food & beverage/catering • Lighting • Acoustics


• Climate control • Proximity to airport and other transportation • On or off-site lodging • Other support services • Front-desk operations • Setups and breakdowns • Room décor • Quality/size of ballroom • Special packages • Spa • Nearby attractions Look for ballots for our 2013 F&D Meeting Hotel Prime Site Awards in our next two issues, our 2013 F&D SuperBook and our 2013 F&D Mid-Market Review. Winners will be announced in our next Planner Guide issue. For now, kudos to all of the 2012 F&D Meeting Hotel Prime Site Award winners! It is obvious that your staff does a fine job of serving your event clientele, and your community/city should be proud.

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

2012 Facilities & Destinations Meeting Hotel Prime Site Award Winners United States & Puerto Rico

Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix Beau Rivage, Biloxi, MS The Borgata, Atlantic City The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs Caribe Royale, Orlando The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Galena, IL El Conquistador, San Juan, Puerto Rico Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Foxwoods Resort Casino & MGM Grand at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Hotel, National Harbor, MD Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center, Nashville Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Kissimmee, FL Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Grapevine,TX Hilton Anatole, Dallas Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hilton New York Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles Hyatt Regency Denver Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch JW Marriott Indianapolis Keystone Resort & Conference Center, Keystone, CO The Langham, Boston Marriott Boston Cambridge Marriott Crystal City at Reagan National Airport,Washington, DC MGM Grand Detroit Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

New York Marriott Marquis Peabody Orlando Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles, IL Revel, Atlantic City Ritz-Carlton Boston Common Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, Arlington,VA Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ Sheraton Puerto Rico, San Juan Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, Orlando Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL Westin Michigan Avenue, Chicago Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta Westin St. Francis, San Francisco Wynn Las Vegas/Encore, Las Vegas


The Balmorral, Edinburgh, Scotland Camino Real Polanco Mexico City Fairmont St. Andrews, Scotland Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Hilton Quebec Hotel Okura, Amsterdam Hyatt Regency Toronto Iberostar Cancun InterContinental Montreal InterContinental Presidente Mexico City Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Scotland The Savoy, London Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort, Los Cabos Trump Hotel,Toronto Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos


Cover Spotlight

Philadelphia A Modern Renaissance City By Anthony Bilden


ong known as “The City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia is more recently being described as a “Modern Renaissance City.” That tag expresses a new global message that resulted from the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (PHLCVB) 18 months of discussions with more than 200 Philadelphia residents, visitors and students, both domestically and internationally. “We talked to our stakeholders and people who are in

multinational businesses, like Comcast, Urban Outfitters and Aramark, and asked, how do you tell Philadelphia’s story?” says Jack Ferguson, President and CEO of the PHLCVB. The study concluded that Philadelphia is a “modern renaissance city” in the sense that it “celebrates freedom and democracy, values innovation and education, nurtures the creative spirit, appreciates outdoor life and sport, and possesses a vibrant street life — all in an accessible and friendly way.” The “brotherly love” aspect is


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

“With the Pennsylvania Convention Center expansion in 2011 we went up 32 percent in size of groups and attendance. And the


same thing happened again this year, so it’s been very, very healthy.”

indeed still part of the city’s image. Those narratives surely make “Philly” appealing not only to tourists, but also to corporate meeting attendees and conventioneers, especially when combined with the city’s accessibility: It’s within a day’s drive of 40 percent of the U.S. population and boasts an increasingly robust airlift. According to Ferguson, another reason the city should also be on a planner’s list is the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), the nation’s 15th largest convention center. “We have Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

played well in the national meetings arena since the PCC opened in 1993,” he asserts, and thus Philadelphia competes in a first-tier marketplace that includes cities like San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago and Boston. “When you look at the profiles of the conventions and tradeshows that come in, they’re either national or international in scope; we don’t do a lot of state and regional.” In fact, an average of 40 percent of the city’s convention attendees and exhibitors come from outside the U.S. 27

George Benson for PCCA

(Above): The Pennsylvania Convention Center (left), with City Hall in the background. (Right): Jack Ferguson, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The PHLCVB exceeded its 2012 fiscal year booking goal by more than 23,000 hotel room nights. At press time, the CVB had 176 meetings and conventions booked for 2013, starting with the US Lacrosse National Convention on Jan. 11. Those events will consume 517,933 total room nights, generating more than $823 million in economic impact for Philadelphia. And with Center City Philadelphia running at just about 75 percent occupancy year to date, meetings should be planned with as much lead time as possible in order to get the most desirable room block, as with any first-tier city. A major factor in drawing new meetings business to this historic metropolis has been the roughly 2-year-old expansion of the PCC, which resulted in a 62 percent larger facility. “The expansion absolutely helped the city,” remarked Ferguson. “If you look at 2010 as a benchmark, with the expansion in 2011 we went up 32 percent in size of groups and attendance. And the same thing happened again this year, so it’s been very, very healthy. In 2011 we hosted six conventions and tradeshows that we would not have been able to do without expansion, seven in 2012, and in 2013 there are about five. So there are these big groups that we wanted to go after that either outgrew us and couldn’t come, or now we can bring them in but at the same time the building is designed so we can host two groups simultaneously or within days of each other.” One major new convention that the PCC expansion accommodated is Pittcon, which is expected to draw

around 20,000 life sciences professionals. “We couldn’t even consider Philadelphia until they did the expansion as far as logistics,” notes Ronald G. Bargiel, President of Pittcon 2013 (March 17-21). Of course it’s not just added space that makes the PCC appealing. “They’re the first hall to have all electronic signs, which is kind of nice, because our show has not only an exhibit but also a program,” Bargiel says. Pittcon will use the 1,332-room Philadelphia Marriott Downtown as its headquarters hotel, as well as “probably just about every hotel in the downtown area. Our housing block will likely go into Mt. Laurel [NJ].” The nice thing about the Marriott, he says, is that it’s physically connected to the PCC: “Our committee is getting older and many have a lower tolerance for cold.” The hotel itself offers 92,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, and will host Pittcon’s Science Week, which brings in grade school students and their teachers for demonstrations and workshops. The Philadelphia site choice is also a strategic advantage to Pittcon, given the area’s strong life sciences community. “Our exhibitors told us years ago that they want to be in the Northeast because they want to be close to the type of


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

“When an incentive house, whether


it’s Maritz or Carlson or George P industry that we attract,” he says. Local companies inspection and sees the depth and can more easily breadth of our city, they say, ‘This could send their professionals to be really wonderful for groups.’ ” the convention. “It’s not a huge chunk of their budget if they have them just drive in for a day rather than having to fly off to Orlando.” According to the PHLCVB, about 55 percent of all the PCC’s business is related to healthcare and the life sciences, as is about 60 percent of the group hotel business booked independently of a major convention. “When you look from Princeton, NJ down to New Castle, DE, and in the five counties that surround Philadelphia, one in six people are employed in the life sciences. That’s a huge employment number, and so you get a lot of associations in the sciences, particularly healthcare related,” notes Ferguson.

Ferguson. “Major brands are looking at Philly for its potential. And hopefully by the end of 2016 or early ’17, we would see another hotel.” Among the latest hotel developments are the following:

Hotel Highlights

w Late spring or early summer will see the groundbreaking for a hotel project at 1441 Chestnut Street housing two distinct brands: a four-star luxury W hotel and a three-star, extended-stay Element by Westin hotel. The $280 million, LEED-certified property is billed as having a sky lobby, 10,000 sq. ft. of retail shops and a restaurant, an outdoor pool and bar, meeting space, and a spa and fitness center.

Johnson, comes in and does a site

Today Philadelphia not only has a larger convention center to accommodate those groups and other association business, but also a larger hotel room inventory: just under 12,000, compared to 10,700 prior to the PCC expansion. “We would like to see another convention hotel of about 700 rooms within walking distance of the PCC,” says Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

w The four-star, 268-room Hotel Monaco Philadelphia recently opened opposite the Liberty Bell and Independence National Historical Park. The property’s 13,000 sq. ft. of meeting space includes a 3,300-sq.-ft. ballroom. w Now under construction next to the Pennsylvania Convention Center is the Hilton Home2 Suites, slated to open this summer. The 248-room hotel will feature 750 sq. ft. of meeting space and 10,000 sq. ft. for ground-floor retail and restaurants. w A 172-room Courtyard by Marriott is under construction in The Navy Yard in South Center City. Expected to open late this year, the property will offer 2,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, an upscale restaurant and a state-of-the-art fitness center.


Paul Loftland/PHLCVB bklphoto.com/PHLCVB

Anthony Sinagoga/PHLCVB

(Clockwise): Logan Circle at night; the atrium of the Philadelphia Convention Center; the city’s Delaware River waterfront; and Ronald G. Bargiel, President of Pittcon 2013, which will bring thousands of life sciences professionals to Philadelphia in March.

Several mainstay properties complement the Marriott, including: the 757-room Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, located just two blocks from the PCC and featuring 58,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; the 581-room Loews Philadelphia Hotel, located in the first skyscraper ever built in the city and housing 42,000 sq. ft. of meeting space as well as a 15,000-sq.-ft. spa; the 364-room, five-star Four Seasons Philadelphia with 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; the 348-room, waterfront Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing with 24,000 sq. ft. of function space; and the 299-room Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia, located in the historic and recently renovated Girard/Mellon Bank and offering 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. “This past year is a great example of how important the convention center is to our hotels,” said Jim Gratton, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association President, in a 30

statement. “Our hotels rely much more on group business than our competitors, such as Boston and Washington. We are very optimistic about the work of the PHLCVB going into 2013, beating their convention room night booking goal last year.” Part of the PHLCVB’s work is a newly relaunched Web site (www.discoverPHL.com), which will support the organization’s convention sales efforts in 2013 and beyond, as does its Philadelphia Professional Planners Guide.

F ly i n g



The largest airport in the Delaware Valley region and the primary international hub of US Airways, the Philadelphia International Airport is expanding its service, particularly from the West Coast. Virgin America now offers nonstop flights between Philadelphia and Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Alaska Airlines has added nonstop service to Seattle. In addition, JetBlue will be launching nonstop service to Boston in May. As far as structural improvements at the airport, the federal government has approved the addition of a new runway to complement the existing, longest runway, relieving much of the congestion in what is one of the world’s most populated airways. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

A Planner’s Best Friend


ago, and you’re just establishing contacts.” Offering a highly experienced convention he Philadelphia CVB “will be A bureau, Ferguson stresses, is services department, the PHLCVB handles among the most helpful contacts, about 600 meetings annually, including many there to support us during the especially in a large metropolis with small events of 10-50 attendees. “We look at show with the exhibit hall in case a slew of hotels and potential offsite every customer from the standpoint of their meeting venues. “Many corporate potential to be repeat customers. They all have something happens that we don’t planners say, ‘I never use a bureau,’ the ability to be apostles for Philadelphia,” but there are so many good reasons Ferguson says. expect. It’s tough when it’s your to use one. Think of us as the center Pittcon is set to be one of Philadelphia’s of the hub and spokes: we have the repeat clients, returning to the city in group’s first time in a city.” tentacles that reach out into the city, 2019 after the convention this March. The and we know our city better than Philadelphia CVB “has been very helpful and anyone else. So when a planner says, accommodating,” Bargiel says. “They will be ‘I want to do something unique,’ we immediately go into there to support us during the show with the exhibit hall what could make Philadelphia different than any other in case something happens that we don’t expect. It’s tough destination. In short, we’re in the memory business, and when it’s your group’s first time in a city because you can’t nobody wants a bad one.” just ‘copy and paste’ what someone did three or four years in



hile Philadelphia doesn’t immediately come to mind as an incentive destination, the city does have a trove of intriguing sites and cultural venues waiting for attendees to explore during their free time. Once they do, they’ll certainly revise any perceptions of Philadelphia as a place to meet strictly for business, and begin to think of it more holistically as a “modern renaissance city.” The tie with American history is unmatched, given landmarks such as the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center. And the city’s museum collection — including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Franklin Institute, National Museum of American Jewish History and African American Cast in London in 1752, the Liberty Bell is housed on Independence Mall and is a must-see for attendees. Museum in Philadelphia — rivals that of other major U.S. metropolises. Ferguson maintains. “It’s experiential: attendees can walk “The interesting thing is that corporations discover in the most historic square mile in the U.S.” Philadelphia not as a primary incentive destination; they Last year saw the debut of the Barnes Foundation’s look at it as a business address. But when an incentive new campus in Philadelphia, on the Benjamin Franklin house, whether it’s Maritz or Carlson or George P Parkway. Housing one of the world’s largest collections Johnson, comes in and does a site inspection and sees the of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern depth and breadth of our city, they say, ‘This could be really artworks, “the Barnes adds a world-class cultural wonderful for groups,’” observes Jack Ferguson, President sophistication that you used to have to go out to the suburbs and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors to see,” Ferguson says. “That’s huge because it draws on the Bureau. “A perfect example of that is Honda’s national leisure market, both domestic and international, but it also dealers meeting this past year. They had a great time, draws on the meeting attendee market. When they’re not in enjoying the hospitality, dining and cultural experiences.” session in the convention center, they can take advantage And the city’s historical aspect is not just educational, of the Barnes and can even do private events there.”

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Carol Feeley for Independence National Historical Park

More Than a Business Address


Destination Spotlight


iercely guarding their freedom while resisting the Roman Empire’s expansion into the lands north of Britain, the ancient Caledonians proclaimed that they were “the last people on earth, and the last to be free.” That legacy of independence has produced a country with a unique culture and longstanding pride. And while history and tradition abound in Scotland, the nation clearly lives in the present with an eye toward its future – particularly when it comes to business tourism. Business tourism accounted for close to 20 percent of tourism expenditures in Scotland in 2011, and its economic impact was estimated to be worth £878 million (approximately US $1.36 billion) for the same period. Cognizant of the significance of the business sector to the region, VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organization, created a business tourism unit dedicated to marketing its MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences/Conventions, and Exhibitions/Events) offerings across the globe. The unit’s efforts appear to have been successful, as VisitScotland reports that more than 28 percent of all international association conferences held in the United Kingdom have been hosted in Scotland, with Edinburgh and Glasgow second only to London in hosting such events.

Indeed, current investment, encompassing both public and private funding, in the country’s tourism sector was reported to be in the range of £2 billion (over US $3.1 billion). An integral marketing component of VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Unit is its Scotland Means Business (SMB) program, an annual business-to-business event for MICE agents. VisitScotland invited Facilities & Destinations to cover the event, during which many Scotland-based partners of the tourism organization showcased their venues, products and services to potential buyers from around the world. The impressively coordinated event, which took place this year from November 7-8, with workshops held in Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, presented buyers with an opportunity to experience and learn about a plethora of prime venues and destinations from around the country. In the style of speed-dating, buyers were scheduled to meet with multiple venues in 12-minute sessions, maximizing their exposure to the partner organizations throughout the morning into the mid-afternoon.

Scotland is clearly intent on providing a top destination for the commercial tourist trade, and that has not gone unnoticed by investors. Renovations of existing facilities in recent years, coupled with capital spending on new facilities, are a testament to the market’s confidence in Scotland as a tourism destination.

After the core programming was completed, SMB participants were offered an optional tour of historic Edinburgh Castle. Perched atop the center of Edinburgh with stunning views of the city and North Sea, the castle is home to hundreds of years of history as well as the Scottish Crown Jewels. While there, tour participants learned that Historic Scotland, an executive agency of the Scottish government, can enable private meetings and events in the medieval castle as well as numerous other historical sites throughout Scotland.


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Clockwise from left: Swilcan Bridge, as seen from the Old Course Hotel, with Club House of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in background; Aberdeen, with Town House in foreground; children learning about life in the 19th century at Hopetoun House; the Fairmont St. Andrews.

Participants at SMB

From right: Neil Brownlee, Head of Business Tourism, VisitScotland; Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s Minister of Tourism; and Barbara Raff, VisitScotland’s German Press Contact.

The first evening of SMB culminated with a gala dinner, accompanied by traditional Scottish entertainment and dancing at the Ballroom in Edinburgh’s elegant Assembly Rooms. The formal function was conducted in a manner similar to the workshops held earlier in the day. As each course at the dinner was completed, the buyers’ dining partners moved on to another table. Facilities & Destinations compliments the organizers who conceived the “musical-chairs” style of dining, as the method increased contact beyond that which would ordinarily have been achieved at a traditional business dinner. SMB programming continued the following morning in an informal setting. After a brief get-together in one of the Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

conference rooms at the Caledonian, buyers and partners were grouped into teams and dispatched upon an interactive treasure hunt through the streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town neighborhoods, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cleverly masked as a game, the hunt familiarized its players with Edinburgh and its venues. Among the venues we were directed to was The National Museum of Scotland, one of the city’s more stunning structures that also serves as a locale for events. The conference and games concluded with a lunch meeting at the Hub, where team members dined with the partners they were paired with, granting program participants yet another opportunity to discuss potential business. Ancillary to the SMB, the Business Tourism Unit hosted foreign MICE buyers and introduced them to a collection of attractive meeting locations throughout the country. Buyers visited the classical capital of Edinburgh and its cosmopolitan counterpart, Glasgow, choice locations in their own right; both cities also offer an international airport with direct flights to and from the United States via United Airlines and other carriers. In addition, the foreign buyers visited the Gleneagles Hotel, scenic St. Andrews and other locations in between, each graced with a mystique and charm of its own. (See “Scoping Out Scottish Venues,” next page.) Returning home after an intense week visiting Scotland’s numerous offerings to the MICE market, one thought was likely etched in the minds of the participants: Scotland really does mean business. —David Korn 33


From a royal yacht to a resort on the world’s oldest golf course, Scotland’s meeting venues are diverse and memorable. Often, it’s the quaint details and littleknown facts that attendees will remember, such as a manicured garden, a walk with the hotel manager’s Labrador or a famous literary guest of the property. The following locales would make great stops on any planner’s site visit to Scotland.

Luxury Offerings in Edinburgh

The Atholl is a luxury suite hotel located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town. Geared toward smaller groups, each suite has its own state-of-the-art kitchen facilities and extensive and elegant living and dining rooms, personalized 24-hour service, and dining catered by the legendary chef Albert Roux, OBE, and his staff. We were particularly impressed by the culinary staff, which fulfilled a special dietary request upon a moment’s notice. Rocco Forte’s luxury offering in Edinburgh, the Balmoral Hotel, has 188 rooms and suites and 10 conference and banquet suites. In addition to Michelin-starred dining and restaurants, the facility houses an award-winning spa, fully equipped gym and 15-meter pool. Of interest, J. K. Rowling culminated her Harry Potter series in this hotel, and there is a suite bearing her name.

Small Meetings Gems in Glasgow

The Corinthian Club is an elaborate and richly decorated building both inside and out. Once home to a bank and courthouse, the structure, built in 1842, now houses a variety of private bars, dining and event rooms over five levels, complemented by a dedicated events staff and AV equipment. Structurally, we found the ornate ceiling in the Tellers Bar and Brasserie most impressive, with honorary mention to the anatomically shaped chairs in Nosey Parkers bar. Blythswood Square Hotel is a 100-room, awardwinning boutique hotel in central Glasgow that also houses an amazing spa, restaurant, bars and private event areas. The facility is a site worth considering for meetings and conferences for small to mid-sized groups. The building’s history is of interest, themed throughout with memorabilia from the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, a previous owner of the site. Also of note are the extensive use of tweed and the beckoning red lights in the hotel’s front windows.

St. Andrews Resorts

While St. Andrews has achieved renown as golf ’s 34

birthplace, it also boasts numerous historical sites and the third-oldest university in the United Kingdom. St. Andrews is home to a pair of modern five-star resort hotels with luxury amenities as well as meeting facilities that can accommodate groups large and small. The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa is located on the world’s most famous golf course. Recipient of numerous accolades and awards, the resort has 144 bedrooms and suites, the relaxing Kohler Waters Spa and several dining options. It is also walking distance to the West Sands beach and historic St. Andrews. Reportedly, the building has gotten in the way of a golf ball or two in its time. Set atop a cliff on 520 acres overlooking the North Sea, the Fairmont St. Andrews is Scotland’s largest conference resort. Designed with the North American market in mind, its 209 spacious guestrooms, multiple dining options, spa and two championship golf courses accompany 15,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and conference space, including a 6,179-sq.-ft. ballroom that can accommodate up to 650 attendees, a 106-seat auditorium and 10 breakout rooms. There is no shortage of amenities at the Fairmont St. Andrews, and if you miss your dog, you can even schedule a walk with the manager’s Labrador, Smudge.

Castles, Estates & Other Unique Venues

Located between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Stirling Castle played a major role in the Scottish Wars of Independence. Mary Queen of Scots, was crowned here in 1543. Attendees can explore the seven-gun Grand Battery, dating back to the days of the first Jacobite Rising in 1689, as well as 16th century carvings known as the Stirling Heads. The castle’s Great Hall, the country’s largest medieval banquet hall, seats up to 300. The Great Hall Vaults can be used for meetings of up to 50 attendees. In addition, the Chapel Royal and Queen Anne Gardens provide ideal settings for a reception, and guests are granted exclusive use of the castle in the evening. Situated on a 1,000-acre estate, just eight miles from Edinburgh, is Dundas Castle.  The Castle’s Auld (Old) Keep dates to 1416, and its main house was built in 1818. The castle serves as the home of Sir Jack Stewart-Clark and his wife, Lady Lydia, who will welcome meeting groups of up to 180 attendees. Guests will have at their disposal the richly appointed venues in both in the main house and the 15th century keep. The Earl of Hopetoun’s family presently resides in Hopetoun House, and it has been an ancestral home to the family for over three hundred years. The “House” and its grounds are set on 150 acres of lawns and gardens with Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

walking trails. Ballroom space is available for gala dinners, conferences and meetings, and the House has even been known to provide a regal, memorable site for weddings. To appreciate the size of this estate, consider that the structure containing the House’s stables have been converted into meeting space that can accommodate 250 people. Open lawn space can be utilized for concerts and fairs with the stunning architecture of Hopetoun House as a backdrop. Queen Elizabeth reportedly shed a tear when parting ways with her Royal Yacht Britannia. The yacht, now docked in Edinburgh’s harbor, serves as a museum by day and a truly unique meeting venue by night, capable of hosting a dinner

for 176 guests or a cocktail reception for up to 380 people. While commissioned, the ship served both in a diplomatic capacity for the United Kingdom, as well as a vacation venue for the royal family. Of interest, the honeymoon suite of various royals can be viewed when touring the Britannia. For more information on travel to Scotland, visit www.conventionscotland.com/us. Planners can contact Richard Knight, Marketing Manager – North America & Emerging Markets, at +44(0)131 472 2358 or richard.knight@ visitscotland.com; as well as Pam Balakian, Incentive Sales Manager with Development Counsellors International, at (212) 444-7111 or pam.balakian@aboutdci.com.


Assembly Rooms Edinburgh

£9.3 million (~$15 million) of funds were spent to restore this venue, located in the center of Edinburgh. The 18thcentury structure can accommodate groups of up to 400 in its Ballroom and 700 in its Music Hall. Both meeting rooms feature chandeliers dating back to 1787. National Museum of Scotland

The 150-year Royal Museum, Scotland’s most popular visitor attraction, reopened in 2011 after completing a £47 million (~$75 million) facelift. The Museum’s Grand Gallery can host up to 850 people with additional capacity in breakout rooms. Edinburgh International Convention Center (EICC)

£85 million (~$135 million) is being spent to expand the EICC and create Europe’s most technologically advanced meeting and event space. The original convention center edifice, adjacent to the expansion project, has been unaffected by the construction and continues to host worldclass events during the project, which is on target for completion and inauguration of the new facility in spring 2013. The buildings, new and old, will be connected via underground passageways upon completion. Natural lighting will permeate Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

multiple levels of the new structure, which will include a café, 11 breakout rooms of varying sizes, and its main space, the versatile Lennox Suite. The Lennox Suite is an over 17,200-sq.-ft. multipurpose hall featuring a moving floor system that can be configured in numerous ways including flat-floored, tiered for banquet or auditorium seating, as well as arena setup. The main room can also be partitioned to provide space for multiple sessions or functions.


Eight new hotels, including two five-star properties, will add more than 1,000 hotel rooms to the city’s inventory through 2014 in anticipation of the Commonwealth Games. The Hydro

On Glasgow’s River Clyde, a new £125 million (~$198 million), 12,000-seat multipurpose arena is being built adjacent to the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center. The arena will house concerts and events as well as an event venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Our sister publication, Facilities & Event Management, featured this facility in its 2012 Booking Guide issue. Riverside Museum Further along the River Clyde is the recently opened £74 million (~$117 million) Riverside Museum, designed by world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Home to the city’s world-class train and transport collection, the space is also utilizable for events and meetings. Edinburgh International Convention Center

Continued on page 56 35

Destination Spotlight


esidents of Baja California Peninsula call its southernmost point “finisterra,” which is translated as the end of the Earth, or Land’s End. At the site, millennia of crashing waves have forged El Arco (the Arch) from the cliffs that reach out into the ocean. While the geological formation marks the point where land ends, it is also a nexus from which the harmonious contrasts of Los Cabos begin. Swift Pacific Ocean currents continue to meet the more serene waters of the Sea of Cortez around El Arco. Swimming is not recommended on the picturesque whitesanded beach nestled into the cliffs on the Pacific side, which, as a result of the rough waters, has become known

as Divorce Beach. On the flip side, the beach along the calmer Sea of Cortez has become known as Playa de Amore, Lover’s Beach. As one travels along the Corridor between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose de los Cabos, nature presents more contrasts. On one side, there are captivating views of the pristine waters and beaches hugging the shoreline. Whales can be seen offshore during their migration between December and February, seals regularly follow boats through the harbor, and pelicans can be viewed diving to snatch their meal from the water’s wide selection of marine life. Against this backdrop of sand and blue sea, cacti grow wildly and reach out into the dry, mountainous desert.


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

(Above): El Arco (the Arch), formed by the crashing waves at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula, inspired the design of the Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos (far left). (Left): Guests enjoy views of the Sea of Cortez from the infinity pool at the Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos.

Diversity extends beyond Los Cabos’ landscape. San Jose de los Cabos was the location of the region’s original Spanish settlement, and the town’s layout is reminiscent of a sleepy Mexican colonial town. City Hall, the town’s church and its Main Square are situated in the heart of the city. Restaurants and quaint shops line the town’s quiet, narrow streets. Back in Cabo San Lucas, shiploads of tourists teem into the city from luxury liners docked in the harbor. In town, visitors will find a marina surrounded by upscale shops and cafes, as well as a modern shopping mall. There are American fast food restaurants and a nightlife that attracts guests until early morning. One could hardly call Cabo San Lucas lazy or old-fashioned. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

With so much to offer, the Los Cabos region has established itself as a favorite vacation spot with direct flights from tens of cities throughout the United States and Canada. Recognizing the region’s appeal, resort hotels have developed venues that further Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) activity in Los Cabos. Most major resort hotels contain ballrooms and meeting spaces to accommodate midsize groups, while some even boast their own convention centers on site. While home to large conventions for years, Los Cabos made a major move marketing itself as a host for international conventions and expositions this past June, when the region welcomed the Group of Twenty Finance 37

The Cabos International Convention Center (above) hosted the G20 economic summit (right) this past June.

existing regional properties, and new upscale facilities are slated for construction in the years ahead. From the public sector, the government’s commitment to creating an environment conducive to meetings and conventions is clearly evident in its opening of the CCIC this past June. With 72,000 sq. ft. of meeting and function space and the ability to accommodate 5,000 people for meetings and expositions, the CCIC places Los Cabos in a position of strength to attract the MICE market on a global scale. Indeed, the G20 allowed the CCIC and surrounding hotels to showcase their ability to work in unison, accommodating thousands of international dignitaries, members of the press and security personnel in a world-class event, setting the stage for expositions and conventions in years to come.


In conjunction with the relaunch of our Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards, Facilities & Destinations traveled The G20 allowed the to Los Cabos to preview a selection of resort hotels Los Cabos International that feature meeting facilities. The diversity Convention Center and described in our article on surrounding hotels to Los Cabos is extant in the resort arena as well. showcase their ability

Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G20) for its annual economic summit at the Los Cabos International Convention Center’s (CCIC) inaugural event. In addition to the representative countries’ financial officials and delegations, heads of state including U.S. President Barack Obama and People’s Republic of China President Hu Jintao made an appearance. At a press conference at the IMEX Americas to work in unison, Westin Resort & Spa event in Las Vegas this autumn, Mexico Los Cabos Tourism Board Executive Director Eduardo accommodating thousands Greeted by friendly Chaillo presented a rosy outlook for his staff bearing margaritas of international dignitaries, country’s tourism industry. Chaillo reported that upon our arrival to the according to a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers members of the press and facility, we could not help Economic Impact Survey, tourism plays an but be awestruck. It took integral role in Mexico’s economy, representing security personnel in a a moment to recognize, close to 9 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic world-class event. but it was clear that the product. Business tourism accounts for over $18 contemporary architecture billion of the country’s $100 billion of annual of the Westin Resort & Spa tourism revenue, and Mexico is looking to Los Cabos (the Westin) expand its market share. With tax incentives, was inspired by El Arco. From the lush courtyards below, competitive pricing and a temperate climate, Mexico has the hotel symmetrically rises into two wings, allowing been successful in attracting foreign investment to develop one to peer through to the beaches and sea. Leftward, the new hotel properties. In addition, the government is inducing foreign investment with continued improvements nine-story structure seemingly blends into the adjacent mountainside from which the hotel compound was hewn, to regional infrastructure to extend the reach of cities while its companion structure to the right contains a sixthroughout the country into MICE markets. story opening that stretches across most of the building, This fact is not lost on Los Cabos. Major international creating the impression of the region’s arching landmark. hotel groups continue to refurbish and improve their 38

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

One of the central drawing cards for Los Cabos is the sea, and guests at the Westin will not be shortchanged during their stay. Every one of the resort’s 243 rooms has a balcony overlooking the Sea of Cortez, and I enjoyed watching the sun rise each morning from our terrace. Breathtaking views of the sea can also be enjoyed from the Westin’s restaurants and meeting spaces through the archway’s opening. Since rain is an infrequent visitor to Los Cabos – reportedly only 12 days annually during the summer months – outdoor event space is one of the resort’s unique The Sheraton Hacienda del and enduring features. With Mar Golf & Spa Resort recalls a level beach, the oceanfront Colonial Mexican residences, itself can comfortably host a and features touches like a barbecue for small events as stone press that was used well as congresses of up to by native peoples to process 700-800 attendees. The hotel’s the agave plant in making inner courtyard is tiered as it tequila (left). heads down to the beach, and the multiple levels provide for an array of outdoor meeting spouse of an unnamed highvenues. The “Ballroom Under the Stars” ranking diplomat preferred overlooks the sea and can host up to 450 The Sheraton Hacienda dining upon spicy Mexican guests, while the Bugambilias Terrace dishes.) In recent years, the hotel has a fire pit and allows for smaller, del Mar Golf & Spa Resort has also become a favored resort informal events. anchors the 1,800-acre Cabo to host Indian weddings, which With close to 12,000 sq. ft. of indoor traditionally are conducted function space in 15 rooms, the Westin’s del Sol resort development, over days in a grandiose style. meeting space is far from limited to the Consulting with the families which includes two of the outdoors. Its Baja Ballroom can host and learning to prepare Indian 280 banquet-style and 500 for a cocktail region’s finest golf courses, specialties, the catering staff reception. The Cactus Ballroom, half the at the Westin has added a new size of the adjacent Baja Ballroom, can be the Cabo del Sol’s Ocean dimension to the Mexican resort, divided into four breakout spaces and used Course and Desert Course. attracting numerous Indian-style for pre-function or simultaneous events. weddings among the 120-130 Separately, the Bugambilias Ballroom weddings it hosts annually. can be used as one large room that can accommodate 160 participants banquet Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort style or separated into four breakout rooms. While the Westin sports a modern feel, the Sheraton From a culinary perspective, the Westin presents an Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort (the Sheraton) unparalleled experience. Master chefs not only draw upon reaches back in time to inspire guests with a feeling of local flavors, but can satisfy globally diverse palates as Mexico’s past. Spread out like a village across 28 acres, the well. During the G20 Summit, the government of China property’s villas and larger structures are styled similar to bought out the resort, and to accommodate their guests, Colonial Mexican homes and mansions. Flowing fountains the catering staff trained months in advance, learning to add to the traditional feel, Spanish artwork and motifs prepare dishes for the visiting delegation. (Ironically, Pablo decorate the hotel’s central lobby, and a stone press in Gonzalez, sales manager at the Westin, reported that the Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Award for their culinary excellence, and are more than capable of preparing most any dish. A sampling of the hotel’s menus will present choices ranging from burgers at poolside to fine dining on steak or regional seafood, overlooking the Sea of Cortez. During the G20 Summit, the culinary staff rose to the challenge presented when the hotel hosted dignitaries and delegates from multiple nations. Earning their stripes and rising to the challenge, the hotel chefs catered to the representatives of each nation according to their individual tastes, and in the case of Islamic nations such as Turkey, observed dietary requirements and restrictions. Indeed, during our stay, members of our group had specialized dietary requests, and the chefs fastidiously and graciously made arrangements to cater The Sheraton’s Hacienda Ballroom (top) one of Los Cabos’ to the exacting needs of those guests. largest meeting spaces. (Bottom): Some of the Westin’s Golf creates an opportunity to conduct prime meeting areas include the Bugambilias Ballroom (left) business in a relaxed setting — or simply and Baja Boardroom. relax. The Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort anchors the 1,800-acre the style used by the native peoples to process the agave Cabo del Sol resort development, which includes two of plant to make tequila is located just outside the hotel’s the region’s finest 18-hole par-72 golf courses, the Cabo central building. One should not, however, be fooled by del Sol’s Ocean Course and Desert Course. The Ocean the Sheraton’s old-fashioned façade. The hotel’s diverse Course, crafted by Jack Nicklaus, was ranked among Golf selection of 270 rooms and suites contains all the amenities Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses in the World” in 2011. a seasoned business traveler would expect. With seven holes on the Sea With its own convention center on site of Cortez, it is “the best piece and approximately 18,000 sq. ft. of total of golf property I’ve ever Business tourism accounts meeting space, the Hacienda del Mar has seen,” Nicklaus commented. for over $18 billion of the hosted countless events for associations, The Desert Course, designed corporations and government markets. by Tom Weiskopf, features country’s $100 billion of The main Hacienda Ballroom can mountain-style play in a accommodate more than 1,300 attendees, seaside location, with ocean annual tourism revenue, or be subdivided into three function spaces. views from all 18 holes. Rated and Mexico is looking to Renato Mendonca, general manager of sixth in all of México by Golf the Sheraton, relayed to us that when Digest, it ranks second behind expand its market share. large events necessitate booking more only the Ocean Course in the than the hotel’s available guestrooms, Los Cabos region. additional rooms from the inventory Los Cabos is becoming more of the neighboring vacation resort can be tapped. One accessible with direct flights being offered by full-service such instance in which both resorts were bought out and airlines and new discount carriers from airports throughout combined was the G20 Summit, where visiting nations the United States and Canada. Ranked as one of the safest utilized the Sheraton’s facilities while they were housed at areas in Mexico, with English spoken by an estimated the vacation resort. 80 percent of the area’s residents, Los Cabos is especially While able to host multitudes, the Hacienda del Mar welcoming to the visitors from north of the border. With provides guests with a spacious feel. Even when the facility a refund of duty for U.S. corporate visitors, MICE activity finds itself with high occupancy, the resort’s expansive in Los Cabos becomes even more appealing. There are grounds help it maintain a comfortable, unconstrained also several reasons to take a group to Los Cabos’s fine atmosphere. Further, the extensive beachfront hugs the resorts, whether the Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos or hotel’s acreage as well as that of the adjacent golf course the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort. With allowing a sense of seaside privacy. spacious rooms, culinary excellence, pools, pristine beaches The chefs at the Sheraton are recipients of the and luxurious spas, these properties will create a lasting American Academy of Hospitality’s five-star Diamond impression on attendees. —David Korn 40

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Keystone, CO





Williamsburg, VA


Palisades, NY

Winston-Salem, NC

Lis t

Status: Hot Category: Conference Centers FYI: For meeting groups who want to “take care of business” in an environment that is distractionfree and high-tech, yet also offers its own memorable character, a conference center is often the smartest choice. Planners typically benefit from complete meeting packages (CMPs) when they work with these facilities, while attendees benefit from highly skilled onsite support staffs and all the little features that enhance productivity, from ergonomic chairs to tables with non-glare surfaces. The following Hot List of conference centers demonstrates how diverse they can be – historic, universityaffiliated, resort-affiliated – while sharing a devotion to optimizing business meetings.

Executive 1] Babson Conference Center

wellesley, ma www.babson.edu/executive-education/ babson-executive-conference-center Located just 20 minutes from Boston’s Logan International Airport, Babson College is home to one of the country’s finest university-affiliated conference centers, offering 22,500 sq. ft. of meeting space across 37 conference rooms. Groups of up to 275 attendees can take advantage of fully equipped breakout rooms featuring plasma screens, complimentary wireless Internet access and many other technological amenities. The IACC-certified Babson Executive Conference Center also offers 211 guestrooms with premium bedding, two living rooms with fireplaces, and outdoor function space.

] Graylyn 2Conference International Center winston-salem, nc www.graylyn.com Owned and operated by Wake Forest University, Graylyn was built in the 1920s and offers groups a private-estate feel on 55 scenic acres, as well as 25 different teambuilding activities through Graylyn Adventures. The largest meeting space is the Mews Conference Room, renovated last April. Recalling a French Cottage, the Mews offers four breakouts, a private dining room, galleria, hospitality space and a rose garden. Eighty-six guestrooms are available at the IACC-certified Graylyn, whose meeting rooms offer advanced tech features such as portable data carts with multiple Ethernet connections.


Wellesley, MA

Resort & 4] Kingsmill Conference Center

williamsburg, va www.kingsmill.com Overlooking the James River, Kingsmill Resort’s 20,000-sq.-ft. conference center offers 16,000 sq. ft. of meeting space across 16 meeting rooms, a dedicated Conference Concierge, trademark continuous break service, ergonomic seating, soundproofing, the latest AV equipment and other features that contribute to its IACC certification. Last year, Kingsmill completed several renovations and additions including a new two-story restaurant at the marina, a swimming pool complex and a redesigned fitness center and swimming pool.

Dolce Palisades ] Hotel 3Center & Conference Resort & 5] Keystone Conference Center palisades, ny www.dolcepalisades.com Located just 12 miles from the George Washington Bridge and 30 miles from major New York-area airports, Dolce Palisades is a business retreat near the Hudson River Valley. The property’s 48,000 sq. ft. of IACC-approved meeting space includes 20 meeting rooms, 19 breakout rooms, two boardrooms and the 5,082-sq.ft. Watson Ballroom. An Executive Business Institute and three amphitheaters are also onsite. Dolce Palisades houses 206 guestrooms and features wireless Internet access throughout.

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

keystone, co www.keystoneresort.com The largest meeting site in the Colorado Rockies, Keystone Resort & Conference Center offers a total of 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including two ballrooms located on the ground level, and an additional 4,000 sq. ft. of free-standing meeting space on the second level. Small groups can utilize a circular boardroom offering panoramic views. Features include a business center near both ballrooms and WiFi in all meeting rooms and common areas. Attendees can walk to more than 1,200 hotel rooms within the resort.


hotoview Photoview Photoview Photoview P HPhotoview O T O Photoview V I E W Photoview Photoview Photoview Photovi

IME X Am e r i ca 2 0 1 2

Snapshots from IMEX America 2012, October 9-11 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Las Vegas

Mylene Marques (left) and Linda Patterson of the Curacao Tourist Board

Kim DaRoja, Convention Sales Manager, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Marco Evangelista, Director of Sales & Marketing North America, Visit Italy, and Carolyn Sukoff, Managing Partner, Dolce Vita Incentives

John Ehlenfeldt, CMP, Regional Sales Executive, Monterey County (CA) CVB

Neil J. Mullanaphy, CHME, Acting President & CEO, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau

From left: Connie Williams, Director of National Accounts, Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority; Vicki Valencia, National Sales Manager, Grand Sierra Resort, Reno; and Julia Willmott, National Convention Sales Manager, Reno-Sparks CVA

Alexander Kery, Head of Austrian Business and Convention Network, posed with Judith Settele of the Vienna Convention Bureau

Fred Shea, VP, Strategic Partnerships, and Mayte Albaladejo, CMP, Account Executive, Visit Orlando

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Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Listings A-Z Atlantic City CVA................................ 43

The International Centre...................... 49

Austin Convention Center................... 43

Jackson CVB......................................... 49

Boston Convention & Exhibition Center/MCCA................... 43

Montego Bay Convention Centre........ 52

Connecticut Convention Center.......... 43 Cox Convention Center........................ 49 Delta Center.......................................... 49 Events DC............................................. 49 Huntsville CVB..................................... 49

new jersey

Visit Norfolk.......................................... 52 Philadelphia CVB................................. 52 Providence Warwick CVB.................... 52 Rhode Island Convention Center......... 52 Rochester Riverside Convention Center................................ 52


Atlantic City Convention Center

Austin Convention Center

Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 449-7136; (888) 222-3683 Fax: (609) 345-3685 www.atlanticcitynj.com • meetinac.com

Vice President, Convention Sales: Gary Musich Your Northeast Business Address

A year-round destination with all the amenities you expect from a premiere resort; 20,000 first-class hotel rooms (8,000 committable), top entertainment, golf, shopping, world-class dining and 11 casinos. The Atlantic City Convention Center is a bright, modern facility accommodating meetings and expos of all sizes, four contiguous exhibit halls (486,600 sq. ft.); 32,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space; 109,100 total sq. ft meeting space/45 meeting rooms including 29,400-sq.-ft. ballroom; Free WiFi; voice/data communications; green facility – single-roof solar systems, aggressive recycling & energy savings programs. PAGE 5


Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210, (617) 954-2000 massconvention.com Executive Director: James E. Rooney What happens in Boston changes the world Recently awarded the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC) Gold Standard Certification, the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center offers 1,016,100+ sq. ft. of function space, including a 40,020-sq.-ft. ballroom and 82 meeting rooms totaling 160,000 sq. ft. The BCEC’s 516,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space includes a 184,000-sq.-ft. Main Exhibit Hall. Technological features: complimentary Wi-Fi service throughout, industry-leading 80-ft. digital marquee and video wall, 31 informational plasma screens and more. Just two miles from Logan International Airport, the BCEC affords stunning views of the newly developed Boston Waterfront and is surrounded by more than 35,000 guestrooms in area hotels. PAGE 47

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin TX 78701 (512) 404-4200; Fax: (512) 404-4220 www.austinconventioncenter.com Director of Sales: Lisa Kidder Live Music Capital of the World A LEED® Gold certified, technologically advanced convention center. Located near downtown’s famous entertainment districts. Multi-level facility spans six city blocks, features 370,967 sq. ft. meeting/exhibit space, including 5 column-free, contiguous exhibit halls (256,097 sq. ft. of total exhibit space), 7 ballrooms (43,300 sq. ft. is largest) and 54 meeting rooms. Complimentary high-speed, high density wireless services throughout; onsite engineers; proven track record of handling 7,000 simultaneous connections. Pre-function spaces offer downtown views. New walkway connects 3rd and 4th levels. Nearby 6,000 downtown hotel rooms. PAGE 13


Connecticut Convention Center 100 Columbus Boulevard Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 249-6000; Fax: (860) 249-6161 www.ctconventions.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Michelle Hughes

“The Spotlight’s On The NEW Connecticut Convention Center”

The views are stunning, the space is immense, and the ease of booking an event is superior. 205,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit space, dramatic riverfront setting, accessible to 23+ million people within a 2-1/2 hour drive; 19 meeting rooms; 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 180,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and a 140,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 3,200-seat ballroom. Attached to 409room Marriott Hotel; 700 hotel rooms (downtown); 6,500 rooms (within 30 miles). Attractions: The Old State House, Wadsworth Atheneum, Mystic Seaport & Marinelife Aquarium, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mohegan Sun Resort, Essex Valley Railroad. PAGE C3



Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City, NJ 08401, (609) 449-7136; (888) 222-3683 Fax: (609) 345-3685 www.atlanticcitynj.com • www.meetinac.com


ith new resorts, a new marketing campaign and new Tourism District initiatives, Atlantic City, NJ, is your “must do” East Coast destination for meetings, conventions and tradeshows. Largely untouched by superstorm Sandy, Atlantic City’s resorts, Boardwalk and amenities are ready to welcome groups of all sizes. Atlantic City Convention Center The Atlantic City Convention Center remains the centerpiece of the meetings market in Atlantic City. The bright, modern building offers 486,600 sq. ft. of contiguous expo space, easily dividable for multiple functions. The 45 meeting rooms range from 700 to 11,880 sq. ft. and offer voice/data connections throughout. An in-house catering staff can handle everything from a continental breakfast or a box lunch to a gala banquet, and the onsite UPS Business Center can handle all of your shipping, fax services, color or black-and-white printing and many other needs. There’s also free basic Wi-Fi, an in-house audio-video staff, easy load-in and move-out from 29 loading docks and 1,400 onsite parking spaces. It’s a short walk from several of the city’s first-class resorts, and the Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel is linked by a covered bridge. The Atlantic City Alliance has established a $1 million incentive program to attract groups and meetings in 2013. Information is available at http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/!userfiles/pdfs/AC-meetingsincentive.pdf. Accommodating Resorts When it comes to staying in Atlantic City, we’re very accommodating with 20,000 first-class guestrooms (up to 8,000 committable on peak nights), and there’s always something new to see or do. The city’s newest resort, Revel, offers nearly 1,900 first-class guestrooms, a 70,000-sq.-ft. event center and plenty of resort amenities. The former Trump Marina Hotel Casino is now the Golden Nugget, with all-new restaurants, spa, shopping, meeting rooms and guestrooms.


Atlantic City – A “Must Do” Meeting Destination

Atlantic City’s resorts also offer excellent facilities for small and large meetings and conventions. You’ll find boardrooms with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, small and large showrooms and theaters, intimate meeting rooms, breakout rooms, ballrooms and more. Innovative Spaces There are plenty of innovative spaces for receptions and dinners, too. One Atlantic offers a blank canvas to design any kind of special event with ocean and Boardwalk views, while the Atlantic City Aquarium at Gardner’s Basin gives you a unique setting among marine life. The city’s famous nightclubs provide a fun atmosphere with a beat to match in settings ranging from high-tech to inviting poolside terraces, while the city’s many restaurants can provide anything from a family-style to gourmet experience. New Attractions Blend with Old Favorites The Atlantic City Tourism District was created last year, embarking on a five-year plan to enhance the city’s tourism offerings. The Atlantic City Alliance helped further those plans with “Artlantic,” an installation of art parks throughout the city. The Alliance also created “Duality,” a 3-D laser light and sound show projected several times every night on the famous Boardwalk Hall façade, which has received rave reviews. This summer, the city’s first casino, Resorts, will feature a new, $35 million venue with a 400-seat Margaritaville Café, beachside LandShark Bar & Grill and Five O’Clock Somewhere Bar. The famous Steel Pier is phasing in a three-part, $102 million renovation project that will include a museum, 2,000-seat ballroom, new rides, restaurants and nightclubs, plus an enclosure enabling it to stay open nearly year-round. Bass Pro Shops plans to break ground this spring on one of their outdoor sports mega-stores at Tanger Outlets, The Walk. The 70,000-sq.-ft. store is slated to open the end of 2013 or early 2014. Surf schools and surf bars are popular summer activities as well, and shopping is popular year-round in the retail outlets, indoor shopping plazas and shopping piers. Of course, strolling the historic Boardwalk, golf, top entertainment, spas and casino gaming are perennially popular.

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide



Austin Convention Center 500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin TX 78701 • (512) 404-4200/fax: (512) 404-4220 • www.austinconventioncenter.com


winner of the Prime Site Award every year since 1995, the Austin Convention Center, a LEED® Gold-certified building, has emerged as a leader in the convention and meeting industry. A premier facility located in the heart of the capital city’s downtown business district, the Center spans six city blocks with 370,967 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space. The five column-free exhibit halls, totaling 246,097 sq. ft., accommodate 1,289 10’ x 10’ exhibit booths. Seven ballrooms ranging from 3,896 to 43,300 sq. ft. in size and 54 meeting rooms, and show offices totaling over 58,000 sq. ft., complete the four-story convention center. Ample parking is provided in two parking garages with a total capacity of 1,700 spaces.

What’s New •LEED® Gold Certification demonstrates ultimate green building leadership and signifies a model of sustainability that sets the standard in the industry. Austin’s is the first convention center in Texas, among two in the U.S., to achieve the certification. •A new overhead open air skyway connects the 3rd and 4th levels, making movement between Levels 3 and 4 significantly easier.

Technological Features Rated one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the country, this gigabitrated facility moves voice, video and data at over one billion bits per second. The Center’s high-tech capabilities help create the perfect Technology Partner for the annual SXSW international convention. The facility has a proven track record of handling 7,000 simultaneous connections. It offers a variety of in-house services including complimentary Wireless Internet access, redundant high-speed Internet II access, plug and play capabilities, and an onsite technical staff to help with networking needs.

Hotels Austin offers more than 30,000 hotel rooms, with 6,000 located downtown, including the 800-room Hilton Austin adjacent to the convention center. Additional nearby hotels include: Four Seasons Hotel Austin; Courtyard by Marriott; Residence Inn by Marriott; Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown; Radisson Hotel & Suites; Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown; Driskill Hotel; Omni Austin Hotel Downtown; InterContinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel; and the new W Austin.

Austin by Night After conventions and meetings wrap-up each night, attendees may choose to enjoy Austin’s entertainment districts — Second Street, the Warehouse District and famous Sixth Street. The Austin Convention Center is just down the street from the city’s vibrant nightlife, where visitors can also enjoy everything from fine dining in four-star restaurants, to down-home barbecue and authentic Tex-Mex. As the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin echoes with the sound of country, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz and Tejano. On any given evening, one can find live music playing in nearly 200 different venues.

Austin by Day During the day, visitors can enjoy the capital city’s many historical attractions, including the State Capitol, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Texas State History Museum, the Blanton Museum of Art, and many more museums and art galleries. Or, one can experience the beauty of central Texas, captured by downtown’s Lady Bird Lake, bordered by 10 miles of trails enjoyed by runners, walkers and cyclists. Surrounded by three lakes and a network of parks, Austin offers the perfect environment for enjoying the best of nature.

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Fast Facts: Facility •Location: Downtown Austin •Total Area: spans six city blocks •Exhibit Space: 246,097 contiguous sq. ft., column free •Ballrooms: 43,300-sq.-ft. level 4; 23,418-sq.-ft. level 1 •Meeting Space: 54 meeting rooms totaling over 58,000 sq. ft. •Technology: Gigabit-rated facility, wireless Internet access, plugand-play capabilities Austin •Hotels: 6,000 downtown hotel rooms; adjacent 800-room Hilton Austin •Airport: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, eight miles from facility •Nearby Attractions: State Capitol, Sixth Street Entertainment District, Warehouse Entertainment District, University of Texas, LBJ Presidential Library, more than 20 museums including The Texas State History Museum, dozens of art galleries and historical attractions, Lady Bird Lake Contacts •Mark Tester, Director of Austin Convention Center Department •Paul Barnes, ACCD Assistant Director – Sales, Marketing and Events •Lisa Kidder, Director of Sales



Massachusetts Convention Center Authority

415 Summer Street Boston, MA 02210 • (617) 954-2000; Fax: (617) 954-2299 • www.massconvention.com

Welcome to the city of ideas


oston has long been known as a city that brings ideas to life. From science and education to freedom itself, Boston is the birthplace of innovation. And that’s never been truer than now. In our city, anything is possible. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority’s venues are in the heart of Boston, meeting places that reflect that spirit of innovation and imagination. We like to say that experts and international thought leaders don’t need to fly into Boston for your next event – they can take the T. And whatever you envision for your event, big or small, we’re your partner to see it through. Choose either the Hynes Convention Center or the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and your event will take place in two of the world’s best meetings facilities. Both centers earned the rare gold standard from the International Association of Congress Centres (AIPC), making Boston only the fourth city in North America and the 12th worldwide to have been awarded this top standard, the highest certification level a convention facility can achieve under strict AIPC guidelines. We make it our priority to ensure that every detail of your planning process – from attendee outreach to the culinary excellence of our food and beverage partner, Levy Restaurants – exceeds your expectations. And we offer a comprehensive menu of services that will benefit your attendees, including complimentary guest service agents, robust and free Wi-Fi, and at the BCEC, the industry’s first digital marquee and video wall. At the MCCA, the pursuit of excellence through unparalleled service is our entire reason for doing business. It’s our culture. No other city hums with inspiration like Boston. We’re confident the Hynes and BCEC are places where your best ideas can come to life. To us, your success is everything. What’s New in Boston for 2013/14? The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority launched its Top 5 campaign in 2009 with a laser focus on two long-term goals: expanding the number of hotel rooms near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, and expanding the BCEC facility. In 2013/2014, expanding the number of hotel rooms near the BCEC is our prime focus. At this time, the MCCA has purchased land near the BCEC and issued an RFP for two mid-priced hotels on the parcel. Responses are due back to the MCCA in early 2013, with plans to break ground late next year with completion scheduled for 2015. The two mid-priced hotels will total between 400 and 500 rooms on 5.6 acres of land. The hotels are geared to be mid-priced, with room rates and amenities just below standard four-star hotels.


Under the RFP, the MCCA also plans to build and own a surface parking lot to be shared by the two hotels, as well as establish a ground lease structure for the hotels. Developers would be responsible for designing, financing, constructing and owning and operating the facilities. Overall, the project is expected to create 370 construction jobs and 175 permanent jobs. The BCEC has a significant shortage of hotel rooms nearby when compared to its competitors. Encouraging more hotel development around the BCEC has been deemed the most important immediate step to ensure the continued growth and success of the BCEC. In addition, in 2013 the MCCA plans to pursue its need for a large headquarters hotel adjacent to the BCEC. This proposed 1,000- to 1,200room hotel would not only add to the number of hotel rooms in the BCEC’s neighborhood, but would cut costs for events that need to transport attendees staying at the core block of hotels in Boston’s Back Bay. The Most Technologically Advanced Convention Centers in the World The MCCA prides itself in running two of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the world, and this effort continues at full pace next year. In 2012, the MCCA’s board of directors approved a major upgrade to the networks that serve the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, making the two awardwinning facilities among the fastest and most connected convention centers when it comes to Internet access. The upgrade to the Wide Area Network (WAN) at both convention centers will have a 10 gigabit per second capacity, replacing an eight-year-old system that could handle 300 megabits per second. Steve Snyder, Chief Information Officer for the MCCA, said, “The upgrade is like going from a moped to a Formula 1 racer.” “Seamless connectivity, flawless downloads, the ability to stream media quickly and easily – these are and will continue to be what our events and their attendees want, and the hallmark of what makes a convention destination great,” said James E. Rooney, MCCA Executive Director. The MCCA’s new system will be available to clients in the spring of 2013 and will allow the authority the flexibility to expand or contract bandwidth without changing infrastructure, via just a phone call or email. Redundancy has been built into the system throughout, and the system will facilitate the connection to Boston’s closed-circuit television network, or even nearby hotels, allowing attendees the ability to register off-site when they check in. Best of all, the wireless service at both the BCEC and the Hynes will continue to be offered for free. “It’s not a luxury to be connected nowadays,” said Rooney. “It’s a necessity.”

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

You know we do ‘big.’ Let us show you what we can do with ‘small.’

At the MCCA, we believe that excellence lives in the smallest details. No matter the size of your event, we deliver outstanding service, superior technology, and world-class cuisine. All in award-winning venues located in the heart of Boston. We partner with you to create unforgettable experiences – whether you’re hosting a worldwide product launch, a former President, or a corporate banquet. Come discover what we can do for you at MassConvention.com




Facilities & Destinations 2012-2103 Planner Guide



Connecticut Convention Center

100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06106 • (860) 249-6000; Fax: (860) 249-6161 • www.ctconventions.com


n the heart of a vibrant downtown in the midst of a renaissance. In the middle of a historic city at the epicenter of the largest population base in the country. There lies a destination purposefully built for meetings and conventions, neatly tucked within a region renowned for its natural beauty, history and charm. It’s not merely a convention center, but a convention kingdom! The Connecticut Convention Center is the Northeast’s newest, most ideal location for tradeshows, conventions, business meetings or any occasion that demands a dramatic riverfront setting. The Connecticut Convention Center overlooks the beautiful Connecticut River at Adriaen’s Landing, Hartford’s exciting riverfront district. Adriaen’s Landing is home to many new attractions for the Capital City. The anchor of this rapidly developing area is the beautiful 540,000-sq.-ft. Connecticut Convention Center. With over 140,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, a 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, the Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. The venue also features exceptional demographics and highway access at the crossroads of New England, where Interstates 84 and 91 meet. With a prominent visual presence on Hartford’s historic skyline, the Center’s 110foot glass atrium dramatically rises 10 stories above a grand public plaza and a tree-lined riverfront esplanade. The Connecticut Convention Center has been constructed to spare no detail in making every function accommodating. From offering award-winning food and beverage service led by our inhouse executive chef and culinary team, state-of-the-art rigging, wiring and WiFi to flexible spaces, abundant pre-function areas and ample onsite sheltered parking, the facility has taken every facet of hosting an event into consideration. That includes the attached AAA Four Diamond, 409-room, Marriott Hartford Downtown hotel, which offers an additional 13,500 sq. ft. of meeting space.

With first-rate accommodations at numerous hotels (up to 1,600 hotel rooms within Hartford and 6,500 rooms within a 15-mile radius) and unparalleled service, Hartford truly is your kingdom! The expanded Bradley International Airport is conveniently located 15 miles away. Located midway between Boston and New York and easily accessible by rail, bus or car, the Greater Hartford area is a convenient destination for groups. Go green on New England’s first eco-friendly bio-diesel bus, the Star Shuttle, a free, public transportation service for simple access throughout the city. Also offered is the Bradley Flyer, a convenient, economical mode of transportation from the Bradley International Airport to our Capitol City. Other attractions to check out at the Adriaen’s Landing District include a 3-D movie theater and fun, interactive and educational games at the Connecticut Science Center, attached by foot bridge to the Convention Center. The development of the dining and entertainment portion of Adriaen’s Landing is known as Front Street, a nostalgic reference to the bustling riverfront thoroughfare that existed in the late 1800s through the 1950s. With local culture and history around every corner, as well as celebrated attractions for every interest, the Connecticut Convention Center is the ultimate backdrop for mixing business with pleasure. The Mark Twain House & Museum and Harriet Beecher Stowe Center take visitors on a journey back in time. The Hartford Stage and Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts will entertain you, while the Connecticut Whale or UCONN athletics will have you on your feet, cheering. Downtown offers enough shops and boutiques to help you find the perfect souvenir. Afterward, stop by one of the tempting restaurants or cafes that line our city streets. With more than 40 3- and 4-star restaurants offering all types of cuisine, there is definitely a taste to satisfy any appetite! With historic roots, Hartford has a lot of culture and history to offer its visitors … come see all that we have to offer!


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

The Facilities Media Group

B u y e r ’s G u i d e



i c eCenter s Resource Cox Convention Center Yo u r P r o d u c t s & S e r vDelta One Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 602-8500; Fax: (405) 602-8505 www.coxconventioncenter.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Tim Linville

DealCenter, SpanningLLC more than one million sq. ft. and four city blocks, this complex is located

400 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53203 (414) 908-6001; Fax: (414) 908-6010 www.wcd.org Director of Sales & Marketing: Trace Goudreau tgoudreau@wcd.org


421 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 (800) 525-5750; Fax: (212) 202-9638 www.urbanride.net

ake the work out of trade show networking Milwaukee – easy-to-get-to, easy-to-navigate, visitor-friendly meetings destinations known Chief Executive Officer: Jeremy Milikow at theWay-Suite heart of downtown 40 Royal Poinciana 317/#345 Oklahoma City – a city both accommodating and affordfor itsVice hospitality and Mitch beautiful Lake Michigan Senior President: Bornstein, SVP location. The Delta Center, home to the alm Beach, FLable; 33480 multi-purpose venue hosts everything from intimate meetings to major conven- $1.4-million Burke Family Collection of integrated and commissioned art, features 32 meeting 66) 430-3023;tions, Fax: (201) 624-7316 tradeshows, concerts and sporting events. 27 meeting rooms; 25,000-sq.-ft. ‘Leading Provider of Meeting Transportation’ rooms, aGlobal 37,506-sq.-ft. ballroom, 189,695 & sq.Event ft. of total exhibit space; 4,100-seat Milwaukee ww.deal-center.com

ballroom; 100,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, 15,000-seat arena. Free Wi-Fi available;

Internet accessproduct speeds for up trade to oneshow, Gb; 1,400 of Oklahoma 15,000+ hotel rooms he DealCenter is a turnkey conference or expo City’s organizers. Fromshow, arts and to cowboy culture companies and family to fun, Oklahoma ealCenter, LLCacross worksstreet. with trade expoadventure or conference management ovide an online system thatmix enhances the peer-topeer networking at the event Citymeeting offers an eclectic of heritage and hotspots. PAGE r attendees and exhibitors. The DealCenter team also provides on-site management of the 17 hysical DealCenter or meeting area as well as all technical and customer support. Washington DC


The C.W. Allen Events DC 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW,Group, Washington, DCLLC 20001

(202) 249-3000 5130 Cyrus Circle, Birmingham, AL 35242 eventsdc.com Director, Sales: Linda Erickson (205) 263-0555 Fax: (205) 263-0557 www.cwallengroup.com Powerful City – UnforgettableDirector Events of Industry Relations: Jackie Jones righter Ideas… Better Results Events DC, the official™ convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation’s capital. Events DC’s portfolio he C.W. Allen Group is North America’s leading event marketing consultancy delivering of properties includes the Walter E. Washington Convention Center andAcademy™, Carnegie Library at e industry’s leading exhibitor education and training program, Exhibiting ROI-Q hich has consistently proven to greatly increaseCenter exhibitor success/ROI, significantly Mt. Vernon Square. The Convention houses the largesttoballroom in the mid-Atlantic crease exhibitor “retention andoftoandramatically increase sponsorship sales. region at 52,000rates”… sq. ft., part overall 198,000 sq. ft. event of meeting space that includes 77 is the exhibition industry’s leading and fastest growing exhibitor education, training, and full meeting rooms. Total exhibit space is 703,000 sq. ft. across five exhibit halls on two levels. me/full service “consulting” solution and is fully supported by the International Economic Currently there areUniversity, over 4,600 TSEA, hotel rooms within one mile the Convention Center. liance – conceived at Harvard BPA Worldwide and of ECEF. The C.W. Allen The exhibition adjacent 1,175-room Marriott Marquis is set to open in Spring 2014. PAGE oup delivers the industry’s Washington leading network quality, global television productions

n a risk-free and revenue-generating basis. ontario, CAnada

Theatre and 12,700-seat U.S. Cellular Arena. Ballroom equipped with built-in rigging points

UrbanRide is a global provider of ground transportation for meetings & events, and andthe high-amperage power sources, complete Wi-Fi, audio-visual, satellite, video uses top-of-the-line sedans, SUVs, vans, minibuses and motorcoaches. Weconferencprovide and remote network capability that throughout facility. 1,543planners hotel rooms connected ouring clients with IMS, our software enables meeting to better manage PAGE transportation for their meetings,area; conferences, tradeshows by skywalk; 3,359 in downtown 15,000+ inconventions, immediate metro area. & other events. 9 in We work exclusively with meeting & event planners and our customer service is the best the business. UrbanRide is a one-stop solution for meeting & event transportation.


Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau

500 Church Street, Suite One, Huntsville, AL 35801 256.551.2230; 800.843.0468, Fax: 256. 551.2324 huntsville.org, facebook.com/huntsvilleCVB Keppler Speakers ViceN.President of Conventions: Boyington 4350 Fairfax Dr., Suite 700, Yvonne Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 516-4000; Fax: (703) 516-4819 Huntsville, Alabama – Rocket City, USA www.kepplerspeakers.com Huntsville’ new and remodeled as well as major improvements to the Von Senior VP forsSales andnewly Marketing: Johnhotels Truran Braun Center emphasize its dedication to the success of your next meeting. The Von Braun With Keppler Speakers, creating memorable meetings neverrooms; felt so23,184-sq.-ft easy. With Ballroom; over 25 Center (170,000+ sq. ft. meeting/exhibition space, 22 break-out years of experience, weHall; provide you solid, speaker selection 100,800-sq.-ft. Exhibit 1,953-seat Markseasoned C. Smith expertise, Concert Hallmaking ) has completed a $30 stress-free by managing all of the details. Keppler Speakers saves you precious time by million renovation to the 8,000+ seat Propst Arena. It’s surrounded by 700+ hotel rooms; over matching you with speakers who are right on target. From proven performers to dynamic 7,000 citywide. Local attractions include thereal U.S.stories Space &and Rocket Huntsville rising stars, our speakers bring fascinating, a giftCenter, for inspiring audiences. PAGE Botanical Garden and Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail-Hampton Cove. 10


2260 El Cajon Blvd. #474 The International Centre

Diego, CAL4V 92104 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga,San Ontario, Canada 1E8 (619) 546-0621: Fax: (413) 723-7838 (905) 677-6131; (800) 567-1199 www.pothos.us internationalcentre.com President & CEO: Michael Patton, CMM Sales Manager, Trade & Consumer Shows: Sandra Martin Our company ethos is Integrity, Clarity There’s something happening here and Reliability. POTHOS works in a forthright anner that considers transparent communication as the cornerstone to a successful For over years The Centre has been home to many of Canada’s largest lationship with our40guests andInternational travel partners.” and most popular events. With 548,000 sq. ft. of versatile exhibit and conference space, OTHOS, Inc.the is aCentre globally recognized strategic meeting management company and corporate offers an upscale atmosphere, an exceptional culinary experience and a team avel agency that specializes in using cutting-edge technology and resources to compete of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals to ensure the success of your next event. ith much larger companies at a value, offering clients cost savings and efficient personal largestPOTHOS, exhibit hall is specializes 125,500 sq. in ft. the and following the largest3ballroom is 17,068 sq.1.ft.Full A total ent planningThe services. Inc. core competencies: of 63,500 sq.Management; ft. of meeting space meeting rooms. Located three minutes ervice Strategic Meeting 2. Fullincludes Service26 Corporate/VIP Travel Management; 3. from gistics – Freight & People. POTHOS, Inc. isAirport, your ONE for meeting, and logistics. Toronto’ s Pearson International The source International Centre istravel surrounded by chievement of goals and objectives, ROI and ROO are the basis of our strategic approach. PAGE more than 10,000 hotel rooms and a variety of great restaurants and attractions. 7


Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau

111 E. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201 (601) 960-1891; (800) 354-7695 visitjackson.com VP of Sales: Shun Hatten The City with Soul” • “Where Mississippi Meets the World Jackson, Mississippi is a “True South” city that’s just the right size. The new downtown, 330,000-sq.-ft. Jackson Convention Complex offers more than 150,000 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space across 28 meeting rooms. The largest ballroom is 25,000 sq. ft., divisible into five spaces. Total exhibit space of 85,000 sq. ft. includes a 60,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, divisible into two spaces. A 382-seat theater and a 40,000-sq.-ft. sports court are also available. Jackson features 48 hotels and 5,500 sleeping rooms, 2,000 of which are downtown. The Jackson-Evers International Airport is just 10 miles outside of downtown. PAGE 51

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washington, DC

Where history and modern-day amenities meet. eventsdc.com

Events DC 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 249-3000 • www.eventsdc.com


vents DC offers award-winning, state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of customizable venues that host millions of visitors every year. With Events DC, you can choose from several unique locations including the modern Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the historic Carnegie Library, located just across the street from each other in the heart of downtown Washington, DC. Whichever location you choose, Events DC will provide world-class service and capabilities that will accommodate and delight crowds of any size. Walter E. Washington Convention Center The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is an extraordinary 2.3 million-sq.-ft. conventions and meetings facility equipped to handle events of all sizes, from small breakout meetings to events for 500 to 42,000 attendees. As one of the most energy-efficient buildings for its size, the Convention Center includes a range of mixed-use exhibit spaces, breakout rooms and unique spaces featuring breathtaking panoramic views of the DC skyline. The service at the Convention Center is unparalleled. No matter the size of your event, our world-class staff and capabilities will exceed your expectations to make your next event unforgettable. Opened in 2003, the Convention Center features: • Five exhibit halls on two levels, with a total of 703,000 sq. ft. of prime exhibit space • 77 individual meeting rooms totaling 118,000 sq. ft. • 38,000 sq. ft. of registration space 50

• 52,000-sq.-ft. ballroom – the largest in the Mid-Atlantic region • A diverse $4 million public art collection featuring more than 130 artists • Industry-leading sustainable programs • Convenient Metro station access Past events include the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, Presidential Inaugural Balls, the Nuclear Security Summit, the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and the Washington Auto Show. Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square The Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square combines simple elegance and modern amenities to create a versatile space perfect for any event. Located across the street from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, this historic landmark has awe-inspiring architecture, spacious rooms and a 150-seat theater. As a special events venue, the Carnegie Library showcases its versatility by hosting galas, weddings, receptions, holiday parties and press events. The Library includes nine ornate rooms featuring an illuminated floor map of Washington, DC, dramatic staircases and a grand exterior plaza. Additional rooms in the Carnegie Library include: • Literary Hall • McKinley Theatre • Evening Star Boardroom • Noyes Boardroom • Northern Liberties Conference Room • Benjamin Banneker Gallery Book Your Event Today When it comes to hosting your event, Events DC is unmatched as a partner. Let us help make your next event unforgettable. Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau 111 E. Capitol Street, Jackson, MS 39201 (601) 960-1891; (800) 354-7695 • www.visitjackson.com


iscover a fresh setting for your meetings in Jackson, MS, the “True South” city that’s just the right size. Your event will take center stage while your delegates enjoy the rich, local culture. A growing number of meeting planners looking for state-of-the-art facilities find Jackson full of warm hospitality, superb venues and exceptional service. The new, LEED-certified Jackson Convention Complex is a 330,000-sq.-ft. facility offering more than 150,000 sq. ft. of luxurious exhibit and meeting space, together with topnotch catering, service and the very latest in conferencing technology. There are four hotel properties within walking distance of the Center. In addition, Jackson currently offers 48 hotels, many with meeting space, and 5,500 sleeping rooms, 2,000 of which are downtown. Choose from a range of fascinating tours for delegates and organize fun family activities. There is also fine cuisine from chic, southern fusion to fresh Gulf seafood to amazing soul food at every turn. Your favorite national brands are also found among Jackson’s 200 restaurants. Major air carriers are located in the Jackson-Evers International Airport, which is just 10 miles outside of downtown.

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Montego Bay Convention Centre

Rose Hall, 18 Queens Drive Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica, West Indies (876) 622-9330; Fax: (876) 622-9360 www.mobaycentre.com Senior Sales and Marketing Manager: Michelle Parkes A World Class Convention Centre in the Heart of Jamaica A beautiful, lively island, Montego Bay offers a memorable experience for meeting attendees; excellent hotels, inns and guest houses; and great golf, music and a vibrant culture. With an oceanfront location and breathtaking views, the state-of-the-art Montego Bay Convention Centre features 132,000 sq. ft. of meeting, exhibition, ballroom, and plenary space, including: 56,788 sq. ft. of dedicated exhibition space; 18,845-sq.-ft. ballroom; nine meeting rooms; 6,000-seat theater; a large, full-service kitchen PAGE within the facility; and 4,000 nearby hotel rooms. 15


Pennsylvania Convention Center

1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 418-4700; (800) 428-9000; Fax: (215) 418-4861 www.paconvention.com

Vice President of Sales, Marketing & Convention Services: Stephanie Boyd Philadelphia: The Complete Package

Philadelphia is a fusion of old and new, historic and hip, trendy and traditional. Here attendees can find historic landmarks, world-renowned dining options ranging from upscale eateries to the famous Philly cheese-steak, tax-free shopping, fast-action sports and an abundance of arts and culture. The newly expanded PCC, now more than 60 percent larger, features 679,000 sq. ft. total meeting/exhibit space; 79 meeting rooms; a 55,400-sq.-ft. ballroom; 528,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space; WiFi throughout; HD digital signage throughout; and in-house AV services including state-of-the-art sound, lighting and PAGE C4 video options. Rhode Island


232 East Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 (757) 664-6620 / (800) 368-3097; Fax: (757) 622-3663 www.visitnorfolktoday.com Vice President of Sales and Marketing: Donna Allen Located in the heart of the Virginia waterfront, this compact meetings destination features hotels and convention facilities suited for any need. Norfolk has a sparkling waterfront dotted with trendy restaurants, arts districts, museums, attractions and shopping. Getting around is easy with Virginia’s first light rail system, The Tide. The city offers 5,400 rooms and 500,000 sq. feet of total meeting space including Norfolk Waterside Marriott, Sheraton Norfolk Waterside, Norfolk Plaza, Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, the Norfolk Scope and more. Attractions: MacArthur Center Mall, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, Hermitage PAGE Foundation Museum, Norfolk Tides AAA Baseball, and Virginia Zoological Park. 16 Rhode Island

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

144 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 456-0200; Fax: (401) 273-7046 www.GoProvidence.com Vice President of Sales & Services: Kristin McGrath, CDM Providence: The Creative Capital Brimming with history, natural beauty and stunning architecture, Providence offers hotels, great restaurants, and stellar shopping all within blocks of each other. The Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau books meetings, conventions, tradeshows and events of any size, working closely with planners to boost attendance, including targeted e-mail blasts, postcard mailings, Web site/microsite and welcome banners throughout city. The Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex includes RI Convention Center (137,000 sq. ft. of total exhibit space), 13,000-seat Dunkin’ Donuts PAGE Center, and the 1,900-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium. 22 New York

Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex

Rochester Riverside Convention Center

Complex includes Rhode Island Convention Center, 13,000-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 1,900-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium; conveniently located in the heart of downtown Providence. Convention Center: 137,000 sq. ft. total meeting/exhibit space; main exhibit hall: 100,000 contiguous sq. ft.; 23 meeting rooms and pre-function space; 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; accommodates groups 10-5,000; 5,500 hotel rooms in the Greater Providence area, with 2,200 within one mile of Complex. Attractions: Culinary Arts Museum at JWU, Museum of Art at the RI School of Design, Providence Bruins (AHL Affiliate of Boston Bruins), Providence PAGE Performing Arts Center, Providence Place Mall, RI Philharmonic. 11

“Do it better at the Rochester Riverside where you and your event are always the center of our attention!”

One Sabin Street, Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 458-6000; Fax: (401) 458-6500 www.riconvention.com Senior Director of Sales and Marketing: John J. McGinn, CEM

Advertiser Index Atlantic City CVA................................................... 5 Austin Convention Center.................................. 13 Boston Convention & Exhibition Center/MCCA................................... 47 Connecticut Convention Center..............Cover 3 Cox Convention Center...................................... 17 Delta Center........................................................... 9 Events DC............................................................... 3 52

123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14564 (585) 232-7200; Fax: (585) 232-1510 www.rrcc.com Executive Director: Joseph A. Floreano, CFE Convenient upstate N.Y. location, scenic Genesee River setting. 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibition space; 22 meeting rooms; 10,028-sq.-ft. ballroom; 49,275-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 5,000-seat theater; dedicated Internet connection over fiber optics; wireless access throughout facility; 1,100+ hotel rooms in a trio of major hotels connect venue, surrounded by several entertainment districts with restaurants, cafés, pubs, dance clubs, music halls, theaters. Rochester offers planners a compact PAGE convention district and New York State’s only one-stop convention facility. 19

Huntsville CVB...................................................... 10 The International Centre...................................... 7 Jackson CVB......................................................... 51 Montego Bay Convention Centre..................... 15 Visit Norfolk.......................................................... 16 Philadelphia CVB........................................Cover 4 Providence Warwick CVB................................... 22 Rhode Island Convention Center...................... 11 Rochester Riverside Convention Center.......... 19 SMG.............................................................Cover 2 Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide


Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau 123 Park Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73102; (405) 297-8912 / (800) 225-5652 Fax: (405) 297-8888 • www.visitokc.com


here’s an energy right now in Oklahoma City. You can see it in our growing skyline. You can feel it on a Friday night in the Bricktown Entertainment District. You can hear it from some of the rowdiest fans in the NBA cheering on our Oklahoma City Thunder. And when you come here, you can experience it first-hand from some of the friendliest people on earth. It’s the kind of place you want to be. It’s the wow factor that makes you realize you picked the right place to hold your next meeting, conference or convention, and you can’t wait to explore. As one of the most centrally located convention centers in the nation, the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City is at the center of it all. Literally. The center is situated just across the street from three of the seven downtown hotels which combined offer more than 1,400 of Oklahoma City’s nearly 16,000 hotel rooms. Boasting an impressive 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 27,500 sq. ft. of additional convention and pre-convention space, and a 15,000-seat arena, the Cox Convention Center can hosts meeting and convention groups of any size. Not to mention it’s just steps from the thriving Bricktown Entertainment District, packed full Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

of restaurants perfect for a quick lunch or relaxing dinner. And the meetings bar is likely to be set even higher in the future: Oklahoma City voters approved funding to build a new $250-million downtown convention center, the largest of the eight projects approved in the city’s third Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) proposal. MAPS3 will fund the projects through the extension of an existing one-cent sales tax, making the projects debt-free upon completion. With attractions such as the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, there are always new places to discover. And with fine restaurants like Nonna’s Euro-American Ristoranté & Bar, there are treats for the taste buds as well. If you’ve never been to Oklahoma City, you may just be surprised by all we have to offer. And if it’s been a few years since your last visit, we know you’ll be amazed by our progress. Over the past two decades, we’ve transformed our city through more than $5 billion of public and private investment in quality-of-life projects and improvements. We’ve created something special and we can’t wait to show it off. 53

RHODE ISLAND Providence, RI – The Creative Capital

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

144 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903 • Phone: (401) 456-0200; Fax: (401) 273-7046 • www.GoProvidence.com/VIP


rovidence, RI has all of the key ingredients to create a successful meeting – plenty of square footage, convenient hotels and ample amenities. But it’s the city’s stellar restaurants, walkable downtown, and vibrant nightlife that create a memorable meeting. Dubbed the Creative Capital, Providence is known for its worldclass dining, and eclectic arts and culture scene. Travel + Leisure readers recently voted Providence one of America’s Favorite Cities, ranking the city No. 1 in the U.S. for food, drink and restaurants. And as home to the world’s largest culinary educator, Johnson & Wales University, Providence reaps the rewards of having many of the school’s graduates demonstrate their culinary talents in local restaurants. Providence also boasts one of the nation’s leading art schools, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The RISD Museum of Art, a must-see stop for visitors, houses more than 80,000 works ranging from French Impressionist paintings to contemporary multimedia art. The Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex – comprised of the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (Dunk) and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The Vets) – stands in the heart of Providence within steps of hotels and things to see and do. The RICC consists of a 100,000-contiguous-sq.-ft. exhibition hall, a 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 23 meeting rooms, and the Rotunda Room, which provides spectacular views of the city. There are also two adjacent garages with 2,400 parking spaces. The Center is conveniently located within one mile of 2,200 hotel rooms, and a total of 5,500 rooms are available in the Greater Providence area. Convenience and connectivity are key features of the Complex. Ample meeting space, hotel rooms and entertainment options are all within easy reach. At one end, the Convention Center is connected via skybridge to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the area’s premier events arena. At its other end, the RICC is attached to the

564-room Westin Hotel, and Providence Place, a downtown mall offering more than 170 shopping, dining and entertainment options. The 13,000-seat Dunk is home to the AHL Providence Bruins and the Big East Providence College Friars, and hosts sporting events, major concerts, family shows, and tradeshows. The Dunk features 31,000 sq. ft. of arena space, a ceiling height of 90 feet, a 25,000-sq.-ft. concourse, a 12,000-sq.-ft. lobby, two party suites, two loges, five renovated meeting/hospitality rooms and more. The Vets, a 1,900-seat theater, is a historic performing arts venue that boasts flawless acoustics, a breathtaking proscenium stage, and now, following a multi-million dollar renovation, a backstage that will leave performers feeling pampered. The Vets is also available for elegant corporate events, speaking engagements and more. Located between New York City and Boston, Providence is within easy reach by plane, train or car. About 25 percent of the United States’ population lives within 500 miles of the city. The Amtrak train station is located within walking distance of the Complex, and offers rail service throughout the Northeast Corridor. Nearby Warwick, RI features miles of scenic coastline and additional hotel, dining, shopping and entertainment choices. For those flying into Rhode Island, Warwick’s T.F. Green Airport is just 10 minutes from downtown Providence. The airport’s eco-friendly InterLink hub provides passengers with an array of transportation options. Conveniently housing a rental car facility, public transportation options, and rail service to Providence, Boston and beyond, the InterLink offers travelers ease, affordability and accessibility. The award-winning Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau is eager to work with planners to make their next meeting or convention a success. Whether exploring exhibit space at a tradeshow or at a gallery opening, or meeting in or stepping out on a ballroom floor, attendees can meet with a new perspective ... in Rhode Island.


Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

New York New York state’s only one-stop convention facility

Rochester Riverside Convention Center

123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14564

(585) 232-7200 • Fax: (585) 232-1510 • www.rrcc.com


onveniently located in the heart of Rochester, NY, the Rochester Riverside Convention Center enjoys a scenic setting on the Genesee River with outdoor patios and balconies providing wonderful views. It also offers the convenience of enclosed walkway connections to large hotels and parking garages.

Technological Features

Located in a community known around the world for its high-tech expertise, the Rochester Riverside gets high marks for handling all types of technology needs. The Riverside Convention Center has upgraded to a dedicated Internet connection over fiber optics to meet all of the growing number of technical requirements our customers have. This service is available wireless throughout the facility and is scalable from 5 MB o 1 GB.

Other Features

“We routinely offer services not found at most other convention centers,” says Executive Director Joseph A. Floreano, CFE. “One example is our in-house food and beverage operation, including two pastry chefs. In addition, our Riverside Productions and Riverside Catering divisions can even assist groups utilizing space in other places throughout the region. Basically, we are New York State’s only one-stop convention facility.” With Rochester’s 12 colleges and universities, world-famous corporations, and growing number of high-tech firms, there are also plenty of local speakers and other resources available from this combination of educational, business and research expertise. Personalized service and a can-do attitude are additional features that meeting planners really appreciate. According to Dr. Steven E. Schopp, Executive Administrator of the New York State School Music Association, “What I most enjoy about working with the Rochester Riverside Convention Center—aside from a general professionalism that is the rule rather than the exception—is the friendly, positive attitude of staff at every level. These are people I like to work with and that, combined with a firstclass facility, makes the Riverside an outstanding convention venue.”

Hotel Rooms

More than 1,100 rooms in a trio of major hotels connect with the Rochester

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

Riverside Convention Center to create a compact convention district in the center of the city. There is a 362-room Rochester Plaza; 465-room Radisson, which just completed a $6 million renovation of its facility; and a 336-room Hyatt Regency. Delegates also enjoy the convenience of walking between hotels and the Convention Center in minutes using the enclosed skywalk system or scenic riverside walkway.

Pier 45

Experience the eclectic atmosphere of Pier 45. Rochester Riverside’s newest dining experience, located on the city’s spectacular waterfront along the shores of Lake Ontario.You’ll find everything from a light tapasstyle menu to a full dinner service, large-scale gourmet desserts, a fully stocked custom bar and an inviting veranda that accommodates both planned events and impromptu get-togethers.

Nearby Attractions

Several entertainment districts surround the Rochester Riverside with restaurants, cafés, coffee houses, pubs, dance clubs, music halls, theaters and more. Rochester also boasts numerous museums, including the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film, the Susan B. Anthony House and the acclaimed Strong National Museum of Play.

Destination Features

Rochester is the northern gateway to the magnificent Finger Lakes region with its rolling hills, lush valleys and 11 namesake lakes. It is also a region becoming famous for its more than 100 vineyards, excellent wines and numerous “wine trails.” With the recent addition of the New York Wine and Culinary Center in nearby Canandaigua, the wineries and farmer’s markets of the Finger Lakes region offer delegates meeting in Rochester wonderful day trip options for pre- or post-conference enjoyment.

Distance to Airport

The Greater Rochester International Airport — 150 flights daily — is an easy, stress-free, 10-minute drive from the Rochester Riverside Convention Center’s front door.



Continued from page 35

Edinburgh as viewed from Calton Hill

5 MORE REASONS TO THINK SCOTLAND Addressing participants at Scotland Means Business, Neil Brownlee, head of VisitScotland’s Business Tourism team, quipped that Scotland’s image for 2012 was a land of “superheroes, secret agents and red-haired girls.” (Scenes from Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall were set in Scotland, as was the Disney-Pixar animated film Brave.) Scotland has much more than the image depicted in those films and popular preconceptions of kilts, bagpipes and Scotch whisky. With an extensive selection of venues large and small, here are five more reasons that Facilities & Destinations is high on the Lowlands (and Highlands too) for international conventions and conferences.

3. No language barrier

1. Scotland really means business

5. Direct flights

The country has established a Business Tourism Unit to promote Scotland and provide impartial advice on venues and services across the land. Our interaction with numerous members of the Unit has demonstrated that they are an exceptional group of professionals who are focused on ensuring your needs are met. Plus, their service is free of charge.

When considering Europe, navigating a city and its venues can get complicated when you don’t speak the local tongue.

4. Competitive pricing

Comparing Scottish cities to London and its counterparts on the Continent, hotel room rates are significantly less. Further, the Value Added Tax is refunded. Unlike rooms in major U.S. cities that are subject to a non-refundable hotel room surcharge tax, there is effectively no tax for a U.S. corporation or association conducting its meetings in Scotland. With daily nonstop flights from the United States to Glasgow and Edinburgh, time spent traveling to Scotland can be comparable to time spent reaching many domestic locations. Plus, there are no visa requirements for U.S. citizens.

2. World-class facilities

The Edinburgh International Convention Center (EICC) and Glasgow’s Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) both host major international conferences. The SECC offers over 240,000 sq. ft. of function space in five halls, the 3,000seat Clyde Auditorium and a 283-room Crowne Plaza (connected to the Centre). (See Renovations box, page 35, for more on the EICC.) 56

Edinburgh Castle as seen from the Caledonian

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide

you rule.

and tHis is your kingdom. In the heart of a vibrant downtown in the midst of a renaissance. In the middle of a historic city at the epicenter of the largest population base in the country. There lies a destination purposefully built for meetings and conventions, neatly tucked within a region renowned for its natural beauty, history and charm. It’s not merely a convention center, but a convention kingdom. And you are royalty.

Hartford, ConneCtiCut

540,000 sq. feet of space 1600 hotel rooms Retail & dining complex 30 acres of riverfront parks 40 – three and four-star restaurants Interactive science center 250 registered historic sites Within a 2-hour drive of 23 million people Beaches, mountains, casinos, museums, theaters, golf courses...

To explore your kingdom, call 860.249.6000 or visit ctconventions.com

A Modern Renaissance City Philadelphia is the perfect destination for your next meeting or convention. Our modern renaissance city is a mix of old and new, historic and hip, traditional and trendy, all wrapped up in one complete package.


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Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide  

For Association and Corporate Meeting Planners. Annual winter publication with features spotlighting Philadelphia, Scotland and Los Cabos, s...

Facilities & Destinations 2012-2013 Planner Guide  

For Association and Corporate Meeting Planners. Annual winter publication with features spotlighting Philadelphia, Scotland and Los Cabos, s...

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