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Facilities BEDROCK COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 152 Madison Ave., Ste. 802, New York, NY 10016

2015 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards 51


& Destinations



For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals

Philadelphia Prepares to Host Democratic National Convention

Orlando’s RecordSetting YeaR


San Jose Welcomes QuickBooks Connect 38



George Aguel

Strategies for Religious Groups to Stay Within Budget 153

Visit Orlando’s President and Chief Executive Officer Small-Market

Destinations 78

Congratulations To Our 2015 Prime Site Winners Albuquerque Convention Center (Albuquerque, NM)

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center (Long Beach, CA)

Baton Rouge River Center (Baton Rouge, LA)

McCormick Place (Chicago, IL)

Branson Convention Center (Branson, MO)

Meadowlands Exposition Center (Secaucus, NJ)

Broward County Convention Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Mobile Convention Center (Mobile, AL)

Century Center (South Bend, IN)

Montego Bay Convention Centre (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Cleveland Convention Center (Cleveland, OH)

NRG Center (Houston, TX)

Cobo Center (Detroit, MI)

The Oncenter/Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center (Syracuse, NY)

Colorado Convention Center (Denver, CO)

Palm Springs Convention Center (Palm Springs, CA)

Cox Convention Center (Oklahoma City, OK)

Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA)

David L. Lawrence Convention Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

Puerto Rico Convention Center (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Global Center for Health Innovation (Cleveland, OH)

Rhode Island Convention Center (Providence, RI)

Greater Columbus Convention Center (Columbus, OH)

SeaGate Convention Centre (Toledo, OH)

Irving Convention Center (Irving, TX)

Shreveport Convention Center (Shreveport, LA)

Jackson Convention Complex (Jackson, MS)

Sioux Falls Convention Center (Sioux Falls, SD)

Kansas Expocentre (Topeka, KS)

Wildwoods Convention Center (Wildwood, NJ)

Knoxville Convention Center (Knoxville, TN)

Wilmington Convention Center (Wilmington, NC)

To inquire about SMG managed facilities call 1.866.BOOK.SMG or visit smgworld.com

Albuquerque Convention Center

Century Center

Cox Convention Center

Jackson Convention Complex

Meadowlands Exposition Center

Palm Springs Convention Center

Baton Rouge River Center

Branson Convention Center

Cleveland Convention Center

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Kansas Expocentre

Mobile Convention Center

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Shreveport Convention Center

Cobo Center

Global Center for Health Innovation

Colorado Convention Center

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Knoxville Convention Center

Montego Bay Convention Centre

Puerto Rico Convention Center

Sioux Falls Convention Center

Broward County Convention Center

Irving Convention Center

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

McCormick Place

NRG Center

The Oncenter/Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center

Rhode Island Convention Center

SeaGate Convention Centre

Wildwoods Convention Center

Wilmington Convention Center

CONTENTS 2015 Awards of Excellence Prime Site & Top Destination Winners...................................... 51 2015 Awards of Excellence Ballot.................................................. 27 ELITE Awards Ballot........................................................................ 36 2015 Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards Ballot............................. 41 Upfront.......................................................................................10-26 Industry Watch, Resort Watch, Cruise Watch Leading Edge: Gregg Mervis, Matthew Voreyer, Christine Duffy Columns Looking Ahead................................................................................. 4 Viewpoint.......................................................................................... 4 Religious Meetings Keeping the Price Right by Rachel Eble.............................................................................. 153 Healthcare Meetings High-Tech CME by Jason Heathcote...................................................................... 155 Photoviews RCMA Emerge Conference 2015.................................................... 6 ASAE Springtime Expo 2015........................................................... 8 Case Study Top Speakers Target QuickBooks Connect’s First Audience...... 38 Destination Spotlights Orlando........................................................................................... 42 Orlando World Center Marriott................................................ 48 Philadelphia.................................................................................... 64 Las Vegas: Caesars Entertainment................................................ 71 Henderson....................................................................................... 74 Arizona: Tanque Verde Dude Ranch........................................... 148 F&D International IBEROSTAR Playa Mita................................................................. 145 Small-Market Review Midwest........................................................................................... 78 Directory: F&D Sites & Cities ........................................................ 80 A-Z Index......................................................................................... 79 Ad Index........................................................................................ 157 Hot List Theme Park Hotels....................................................................... 156


Facilities & Destinations SUPERBOOK


For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals


Volume 23 No. 1

Chief Operating Officer David Korn Associate Publisher Michael Caffin Editorial Director George Seli Contributing Editors Anthony Bilden Debi Lander Rosa Laufer Creative Direction & Design Scott-Goodman Associates Circulation Manager Winny Cheung Business Operations Nadia Derelieva Š Copyright 2015 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 four 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.

ON THE COVER F&D salutes Orlando on hosting 62 million visitors last year, making it the most-visited city in the country. The proactive team at Visit Orlando, led by President and CEO George Aguel, deserves part of the credit for the achievement. Not only is the CVB a powerful marketing force; it is also a great partner for meeting planners.

Facilities & Destinations 2015 SUPERBOOK




Hesitant on havana


hortly after President Obama changed course on the country’s Cuba policy, we wondered if this would mean a new Caribbean destination would arise for the U.S. meetings industry. Spanish hoteliers such as Iberostar and Melia might have a headstart on eventually drawing U.S. MICE events to the island. Those companies were invited to build tourist hotels during recent decades to give a boost via foreign tourism to the Cuban economy, crippled by the embargo instituted to suffocate the Marxistbacked Castro revolution. With the withdrawal of U.S. trade and investment, development on Cuba came to a virtual standstill. The prospect of visiting a world where time stopped presents a sense of intrigue that might attract both leisure and business tourism. Indeed, the IAEE recently sent us an email inquiring if we had any interest in joining a mission to Cuba. Personally, I would be curious to visit since I love history and Cuba has plenty of sites to see. Writers for The New York Times’ and Wall Street Journal’s travel sections have described Ernest Hemingway’s home, vintage automobiles and architecture, giving me and countless readers a chance to peer behind a once forbidden curtain. As alluring as Cuba sounds, were I a meeting planner, I would approach doing business there with a sense of hesitance. Politics may have eased many of the restrictions on travel and trade, and even taken the country off the list of official state




e often focus on the positive news that meeting destinations have to share, such as Orlando’s record-setting visitation last year or Philadelphia’s being selected to host the Democratic National Convention — both highlighted in this issue. But even cities with successful tourism and meeting industries sometimes experience setbacks, and Baltimore has been a case in point. As a result of the highly publicized riots that took place in the city this April, not only has the community suffered, but also its meetings industry. Both the Door and Hardware Institute and the American Heart Association canceled meetings that would have taken place during this turbulent time. “We know we have a short-term perception problem, and we know we’re losing business in the short term,” said Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore, in a recent video presentation. But there is positive news to share in light of this unfortunate situation. The first is Baltimore’s sheer dedication to overcoming the problem, an effort spearheaded by the CVB. “We’re dealing with a lot of meeting planners now who are calling us saying, ‘We’re bringing our event there the next 30-60-90 days, and we want to make sure the right messaging is out there for our attendees.’ So we’re working with those organizations to make sure they have the right data for their attendees so they can make informed decisions about coming here,” said Noonan. The CVB is also working with numerous local civic organizations to


sponsors of terrorism. But only until last month, people professing religious belief were not allowed to be members of the government. As recently as 2012, the U.S. State Department cited global security concerns posed by the country, and the Cuban government’s internal policies are still described as repressive by multiple human rights groups. While stimulating economic growth will eventually help the struggling Cuban populace — one of the goals cited by President Obama — there are other ways to help that cannot be achieved by waving a political magic wand. Cuba needs to demonstrate a commitment to joining the global war on terrorism, promoting personal freedoms for its citizenry and correcting human rights violations. Until Cuba can demonstrably develop a solid track record of ameliorating the concerns cited above, we would encourage planners seeking a unique Caribbean experience to look no further than Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands (for seamless travel not requiring visas or passports) or one of the numerous islands that once flew or continue to fly the flags of Europe’s colonial powers. If signs of improvement cannot be measured, doing business with the country will probably provide minimal gain to the masses and strengthen those in power. So, excuse us for not joining in the popular media’s enchantment with the idea of heading to Havana. In the interim, we think Cuba should be approached with caution. – David Korn Chief Operating Officer, Facilities Media Group dkorn@facilitiesonline.com

ensure that “No. 1, anybody that comes through here is going to be safe, and No. 2, how can we get back to the job at hand, promoting this great city long term?” he added. “This has hurt our city’s reputation. We need to work as a community. We have a great leader in our mayor, we have great councilmembers that support us, [as well as] corporate leaders … and church groups that love this city and want to promote this city. And I know that because of that team effort, we’re going to get there.” Also encouraging is the support the city has received from the national meeting and tourism industry. “We’ve heard from meeting planners across the country, we’ve heard from CVBs, community and association leaders, saying, ‘We’re proud of that city, we love that city, we’re going to be back … keep your chin up, keep fighting. You’ll be back sooner than you think,’” Noonan related in early May. “We’ve had two meeting planners call and say they want to book their meetings here in 2017 and 2018; that’s really inspirational.” Visit Baltimore continues to display an admirable resolve in mending its tourism industry after major incidents of civic unrest. I encourage our readers to show their support for one of America’s great cities in any way they can. It should also be noted that the CVB’s efforts are a testament to their levelheadedness under stress, a quality that all planners value in a convention host.

– George Seli Editorial Director, Facilities Media Group gseli@facilitiesonline.com

Facilities & Destinations 2015 SUPERBOOK

KENDRA A. COOK Cobo Center Event Manager


A shining star! It was like Kendra was holding my hand across the phone. LISA COX MICHIGAN EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATION


Welcome to a place where you can be part of something. Where a city and center are transforming. A place where you can actually feel good about a meeting. Where people go out of their way for you because that’s what we do. Because here, you matter. What matters to you? Value? Service? Sustainability? Knowing there’s another person on the end of the phone, holding your hand? We get it. We have reinvented this city and center for you. COBOCENTER.COM



managed facility


Emerge 2015 Snapshots of the Religious Conference Management Association’s annual meeting, held Jan. 27-29 in Birmingham, AL

Tony Cooper (center), Executive Director of Jimmie Hall Mission, accepts RCMA’s donation for Jessie’s Place, the women and children’s shelter of the Jimmie Hale Mission ministries. Dean Jones (left), RCMA Director of Conferences & Events, and RCMA President and CEO Dr. Harry Schmidt (right) present the donation.

RCMA President and CEO Dr. Harry Schmidt addresses the delegates.

Jim Smither, President of the Greater Quintavious Johnson, who appeared Birmingham Convention & Visitors on America’s Got Talent, performs during one of the general sessions. Bureau, welcomes attendees.

Dean Jones, RCMA Director of Conferences & Events, presents an RCMA donation to Sozo Children, a nonprofit organization that aims to build children’s homes across the globe. Suzanne Owens, Executive Director of Sozo Children, accepts the donation.

Attendees visited the Alabama Theatre, built in 1927, on one of the sightseeing tours of Birmingham.

Photos courtesy of Brayden Heath

Travel Portland’s exhibit booth won Best of Show.


An Emerge attendee helps at the Impact Birmingham Service Project.

Melvin Tennant, CAE, RCMA Board Chair and President of Meet Minneapolis, speaks at the conference. Facilities & Destinations 2015 SuperBook

MAKE IT AN ORIGINAL Who says meetings have to be ordinary? We can help you inspire and delight. Start with our virtual event planning tool. Large or small, together we’ll make it one of a kind. Walter E. Washington Convention Center: - 77 customizable meeting rooms - 703,000 square feet of exhibit space - Plenty of room for imagination


Bring Your Imagination


ASAE Springtime Expo 2015 ASAE’s Springtime Expo took place April 8-9 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC

Mark Adams (left), Director of Sales, Georgia World Congress Center; and Jeff Hewitt, Senior Vice President, Sales and Services, Visit Savannah

Lisa Edens, Senior Sales Manager, Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau

Ileana Garcia (left), Director of Sales & Marketing, Miami Beach Convention Center; and Amy Oleksak, Director of Sales, Mass Mutual Center

Nathan Kittrell, Sales Manager, VisitGreenvilleSC

Josh Hoce, National Accounts Manager, Visit Jacksonville and the Beaches

Alan Sims, Vice President of Sales and Services, Little Rock CVB

(L-r): Tim Quinn, The Westin Memphis Beale Street; Donna Neel Pope, The Peabody Memphis; and AndrĂŠ P. Walker, Memphis CVB 8

Jason Fulvi (left), Executive Vice President, Visit Pittsburgh; and Cleo Battle, Executive Vice President, Louisville CVB

Mark Krumback, Associate Director of Sales, Eldorado Hotel & Spa; and Jenny Citron, Area Sales Manager, Drury Hotels Facilities & Destinations 2015 SuperBook

Business as unusual. B


The Inland NW Ale Trail features 27 Local & Regional Craft Breweries

Whitewater Rafting



Inspired Culinary Artisans, Including James Beard Recognized Chefs

Numerous Downtown Tasting Rooms in the Cork District



Outstanding Shopping from Boutique to Big Box

1,100+ Connected Rooms & 3,200+ Rooms Within 8 Blocks E


Riverfront Park

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars Spokane Convention Center

Spokane, Washington. More than meeting expectations. Spokane runs circles around typical meeting destinations. Start with two hotels connected to our expanded Convention Center: the DoubleTree by Hilton and the new Davenport Grand Autograph Collection Hotel. That’s more than 1,100 connected rooms, with 3,200 more within just eight blocks—many offering meeting facilities for groups. Or, opt for unique venues ranging from clifftop vineyards to historic mansions. And don’t forget our newly expanded Convention Center itself, with 500,000 square feet of inspiring outdoor spaces, indoor meeting rooms and other innovative touches, just steps away from downtown, dining, night spots, outdoor adventure and so much more. Guess it’s time to circle Spokane for your next meeting or event.




UpFront Industry Watch Last month saw the debut of the 257-room Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago, the brand's first property to open worldwide. Located in walking distance of Millennium Park, the hotel offers 2,513 sq. ft. of meeting space. The College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center’s renovation was completed last month. The Maryland property now features 206 renovated guestrooms, as well as the new 6,700-sq.-ft. Potomac Ballroom and renovated 8,200-sq.-ft. Chesapeake Ballroom as part of its 40,000 sq. ft. of function space. The Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel has completed a $27 million renovation of its 520 guestrooms and lobby. The hotel offers 34,867 sq. ft. of function space. The Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center opened last month in Tysons, VA. Located 15 miles from both Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald 10

Hosting MPI next year is Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center, opening this August with 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced this month that it has selected Atlantic City, NJ, as the destination for its 2016 World Education Congress (WEC). The conference will be held June 11-14, 2016, at the new Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center. It will be the first time MPI has hosted a conference in Atlantic City, and the first time in the State of New Jersey. The WEC attracts more than 2,000 attendees including corporate, third party and association planners, suppliers, students and industry faculty. “We look forward to hosting our World Education Congress in Atlantic City next year,” said Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of MPI. “When selecting venues for MPI events, we look for destinations that provide great infrastructure, world-class facilities and memorable experiences. Having grown up spending my summers on the Jersey Shore, I am excited for the opportunity to showcase this unique and beautiful destination to our community.” “We are thrilled to be partnering with Caesars Entertainment in hosting MPI’s 2016 WEC,” said Jim Wood, President and CEO of Meet AC. “This is a strategic direction for Meet AC and for Atlantic City as we continue to diversify our mix of business. Showcasing Atlantic City to over 1,000 meeting planners and over 2,000 total attendees will definitely help us grow the meetings and conventions market.” Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook

2016 Proud Host of

The Republican National Convention


Forget rush hour. Happy hour is all around you, starting at our new 600-room Hilton, right next to the Cleveland Convention Center. Coming in 2016! clevelandconventions.com #ThisisCLE

Managed by


Industry Watch

Reagan National Airport, the 300-room property houses more than 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including the 7,000-sq.-ft. Regency Ballroom. The DoubleTree by Hilton Largo/Washington DC, a multimillion-dollar upgrade of a Radisson-branded property, is expected to be completed this month. Located near FedEx Field, the DoubleTree offers 184 rooms and 3,700 sq. ft. of function space. Starwood’s Aloft brand is expanding in New York City. The 128-room Aloft Manhattan Downtown – Financial District opens June 25; Aloft Manhattan Midtown opens December 2015 and Aloft New York Midtown opens December 2017. By fall of this year, the 963room Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront will have completely renovated its guestrooms and corridors. The hotel will also feature a new, state-of-the-art rooftop fitness center, updated rooftop pool and a redesigned Regency Club Lounge. The Hyatt offers 110,000 sq. ft. of function space. 12

Leading Edge: Gregg Mervis President and CEO Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau Akron, the seat of Summit County, OH, boasts a growing meetings infrastructure these days. A Hilton Garden Inn opened last October, a Courtyard by Marriott opens this October, and the John S. Knight Center has introduced The View, a new scenic outdoor venue. Complementing all of these developments is a dynamic Akron-Canton Airport that has added flights by Southwest and Allegiant airlines and is expanding parking to accommodate demand. Born and raised in the city, Gregg Mervis sees many more developments on the horizon for Akron that will benefit meeting groups. He began with the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1995 as Director of Sales, and for the last three years has served as President and CEO. What new initiatives during your tenure thus far as President and CEO are you most proud of? The two things that I am most pleased with in that time period are the rebranding campaign for the CVB and the DEFY Convention, which invites and engages our local stakeholders and people of influence to assist us in soliciting organizations that they’re involved with professionally or personally to host their meeting or convention in Greater Akron and Summit County. In 2014 when the campaign was launched, we had 26 bookings that came out of it. Based on those significant results we launched DEFY Convention 2.0 this year during National Tourism Week. Is the goal to ensure all these stakeholders are on the same page? Yes. One, that they know each other; two, that they know what one another does; three, that they call on one another; and four, they have an appreciation for the economic vitality that we as an industry represent in this community. We [the tourism industry] are a robust economic driver in the community that represents $1.1 billion in expenditures and 16,000 jobs. How is business trending at the John S. Knight Center? Business is trending up with the number of events that we have, and the key takeaway is that we’re trending up as far as the number of attendees per event. So when times were down planners would book for 500 and come in with 380, for example; now we’re seeing them book for 500 and come in with over 600. What do you feel distinguishes Akron among small-market destinations? There is a significant amount of high-end, high-quality, unique restaurants and attractions that, for a community this size, I would argue is unsurpassed. What new developments can planners expect in the city over the long term? I think you’re going to see additional connectivity to Cuyahoga Valley National Park as far as the ability to rent a bike downtown and ride into the park; continued technological advances at the convention center; increased transportation services within the community; and additional lift at the airport. I think all these things are going to tie into a better, more robust and more efficient experience. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook


Industry Watch

The Westin Dallas Downtown is set to open in December as part of the redevelopment of the “One Main Place” mixed-use complex on Main and Elm Streets. The 323-room hotel will house over 27,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Expected to open early next year, the Hilton West Palm Beach will bring 400 guestrooms adjacent to Florida’s Palm Beach County Convention Center. The roughly $110 million hotel will have two ballrooms, eight conference rooms, a 225-seat restaurant, fitness center and more. The Westin Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, is slated to open in June 2016. Located in walking distance to the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, the 118-room hotel will offer 4,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Austin, TX, is seeing significant upscale hotel development. The 194-room Granduca Austin, a Mediterranean-style luxury hotel in Austin, TX, is expected to open in October, and the 1,066-room Fairmont Continued on page 18


On April 21, the Anaheim Convention Center (ACC) and the City of Anaheim hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the seventh expansion to the LEEDcertified ACC. City officials, construction partners and ACC and Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau representatives spoke on the local economic impact of the convention center. Annual tax revenue from the expansion is projected to be more than $9 million, and the facility will support more than 2,000 new jobs annually. More than 10 newly added groups have already booked the space, including Keller Williams, American Heart Association and the American Wind Energy Association. The ACC’s new building will be two levels and include 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit columnfree space, a 10,000-sq.-ft. balcony, 1,350 parking spaces, a new main entrance on Katella Avenue, a climate-controlled pedestrian bridge connecting to the existing facility, new loading docks and an improved vehicular entrance.

(L-r): Tom Morton, Executive Director, Convention, Sports and Entertainment; Paul Emery, Interim City Manager, City of Anaheim; Lucille Kring, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Anaheim; Kris Murray, Council Member, City of Anaheim; Ernesto Medrano, Council Representative, Los Angeles/ Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council; Jordan Brandman, Council Member, City of Anaheim; Gail E. Eastman, former Council Member, City of Anaheim; Jay Burress, President and CEO, AOCVCB; Natalie Meeks, Public Works Director, City of Anaheim; and Gary Birdsall, Vice President, Turner Construction Company.

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook

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UpFront Industry Watch U.S. Travel Association members visited the White House on April 29 for a meeting with senior Obama Administration officials on how international trade policies affect various business sectors, including travel. The officials included Ambassador Robert Holleyman, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Greg Nelson, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the National Economic Council; Jeffrey Zients, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy; and Kelly Craighead, Executive Director of the National Travel and Tourism Office. Among the pivotal measures under consideration in both Chambers of Congress is the Trade Promotion Authority agreement, which would boost free trade negotiations. U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow notes that sound trade agreements helped to generate $222 billion in travel exports in 2014 alone. Also that year, travel accounted for one out of every nine new U.S. export dollars. Jack Ferguson, President and CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, was among the participants of the meeting. See page 64 for news on Philadelphia's meetings industry.

Leading Edge: Matthew Voreyer General Manager Sacramento Convention Center Complex A 29-year hospitality industry veteran, Matthew Voreyer started in his new position as General Manager of the Sacramento Convention Center Complex on April 4. Voreyer has been with the Complex since 1999, serving as Director of Sales & Marketing and subsequently promoted to Deputy General Manager in 2006. He previously worked in the hotel industry for Hyatt Hotels Corporation for 14 years. As General Manager of the Complex, Voreyer oversees the operations of the Sacramento Convention Center, the Memorial Auditorium and the Community Center Theater. What do you see as the strengths of Sacramento Convention Center? The Convention Center is centrally located downtown, in proximity not only to first-class hotels but also to a variety of restaurants, shops, art galleries, farmers’ markets and the Capitol grounds, where attendees can jog and do other 16

(L-r): Phillip Brown, Executive Director, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority; Kevin Langston, Deputy Commissioner for Tourism, Georgia Department of Economic Development; Fred Dixon, President and CEO, NYC & Company; Patricia Rojas, U.S. Travel Association Vice President for Government Affairs; Julie Chase, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau; Alfredo Gonzalez, Vice President of International Sales and Global Development, VISIT FLORIDA; Jack Ferguson, President and CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau; Todd Davidson, CEO, Travel Oregon; and Mary Motsenbocker, President, International Tourism Marketing.

activities. In addition, a number of convention groups use our Community Center Theater for general sessions, and the Memorial Auditorium works well for receptions, galas and banquets. If there is a particular Theater event, such as a Broadway series, opera, ballet or a concert at the Auditorium, they can take advantage of it either pre, post or during the event. Are there any new initiatives at the facility that would interest planners? Given the drought conditions in California, we’re looking at a number of ways to improve water reduction and conservation. For example, we’re using recycled water from banquet service to water the plants around the Complex. We’re also starting our own herb garden that Classique Catering will use for various dishes we serve to our clients. What distinguishes your operation from a service perspective? We allow our staff to take the initiative upon themselves in serving customers. Some of our employees have been here since 1974, and others since we expanded in ’96. And our executive chef with Classique, Michael Hagerty, has been here over 32 years, starting in our kitchen and working his way up the ranks. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook


Resort Watch

Continued from page 14

Austin is scheduled to break ground Nov. 3. The 1,012room JW Marriott Austin opened on Feb. 13 with over 112,000 sq. ft. of function space. Two smaller hotel properties are being developed in Philadelphia, PA: The Study at University City will offer 212 guestrooms and 7,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, and the 140-room AC Hotel, a Madrid-based brand, is expected to open in 2018. For more Philadelphia hotel projects, see page 64. 18

The Sky Suites at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas debuted the Sky Pool this month. Set in a secluded environment with a private guest entrance, the pool area includes 125 single and 15 double chaise lounge chairs, five daybeds and eight cabanas. –

Four Points by Sheraton Las Vegas East Flamingo, the Four Points brand’s first in the city, opened last month. Located minutes from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas Strip, the 129-room hotel houses 1,625 sq. ft. of meeting space. Full-service dining at JP’s Bar and Grill, a heated rooftop pool and a fitness center are also available. Guests will enjoy all of the brand’s popular amenities, including fast and free WiFi and complimentary bottled water.

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook

EXPLORE COLORADO SPRINGS SUBMIT AN RFP AT: VisitCOS.com/meet or Call 800.888.4748 x 132



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spires on the USAFA Cadet Chapel

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UpFront Resort Watch Located in Hamilton, Bermuda, the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel is debuting Phase Two of its $90 million renovation. The project includes new harbor side restaurant by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson; renovation of guestrooms and suites in the Gazebo wing of the hotel; re-imagining of the hotel's extensive grounds; and a new lobby bar and restaurant. Marriott International has acquired Canada’s Delta Hotels and Resorts brand and management and franchise business from Delta Hotels Limited Partnership. The transaction increases Marriott’s distribution in Canada to more than 120 hotels and 27,000 rooms, making Marriott the largest full-service hotel company in Canada. The 226-room DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago – Vitacura has opened in Santiago, Chile’s thriving Vitacura business district. The hotel’s 15,668 sq. ft. of meeting space includes 10 meeting rooms equipped with the latest AV technology. 20

The Hilton San Luis Potosi opened this month in Mexico. Located 15 miles from the airport, the 123room hotel features a hacienda-style exterior and 9,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor meeting space, including a nearly 7,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, and outdoor function space that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests (pictured above). “Mexico continues to play a leading role in our Latin America expansion plans,” said Tom Potter, Senior Vice President, Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, Hilton Worldwide. “Projects like these are a perfect complement to our existing portfolio of more than 30 hotels in Mexico, and position us for further growth throughout the country and region.” For a review of the IBEROSTAR Playa Mita, a relatively new resort on Mexico’s west coast, see p. 145. The Sheraton Cozumel Resort is slated to open in early 2018 on an island in the Yucatan Peninsula, with sweeping views of the Caribbean. The 120-room resort will offer 8,500 sq. ft. of meeting space, two pools, three restaurants a Shine Spa. Located approximately 10 miles from the city center, the resort will be accessible to the Cozumel Airport as well as the ferry port that provides access to Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya. The new opening will increase the Sheraton brand’s portfolio to six hotels in Mexico. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook

247,052 square feet of column-free space

Cutting edge technology Customized network solutions Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout

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 250 venues, honky-tonks and dance halls, everybody leaves with their toes tapping.

[512] 404-4200 www.austinconventioncenter.com

More than 250 live music venues nightly

Awarded LEEDÂŽ Gold Certification First convention center in TX

UpFront Resort Watch

Chase Field - Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks

5-MINUTE WALK At the Phoenix Convention Center in Downtown

Last month, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort completed a six-month, $21 million renovation of its 17-story Diamond Head Tower. The top-to-bottom transformation included the refurbishment of all 380 guestrooms and suites. In addition, the corridors now feature new carpeting, energy-efficient LED lighting and Hawaii-inspired artwork. Lobby improvements include new furnishings and rugs selected in natural tones and textures to blend in with the surrounding landscape. The resort offers 150,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor function space.

Phoenix, your group is minutes away from a great game or world-class event. So book today and watch your event take a big step in the right direction.


800-282-4842 | 22

Hilton Worldwide plans to open its first Hilton Garden Inn on the island of Oahu in early 2016. The 623-guestroom Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach will be a redevelopment of the former OHANA Waikiki West, a 1970s-era property. Apart from renovations to guestrooms and public spaces, the project will add a full-service restaurant and lounge, a graband-go market, a state-of-the-art fitness center and poolside family suites. The hotel will also feature an enhanced pool deck complete with a bar and grill and poolside cabanas. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook


Cruise Watch

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection debuted its latest ship, the S.S. Maria Theresa, in March. With opulent interiors inspired by 18th-century Baroque castles (right), the vessel’s features include a sweeping marble staircase, antique mirrors, a Venetian Murano glass chandelier and a 10-ft.-high, original oil-on-canvas painting of the ruler of the Habsburg Empire, Maria Theresa. Other amenities include the 10-seat Lipizzan Cinema, fitness center, swimming pool and Serenity River Spa. The S.S. Maria Theresa offers 64 staterooms, 10 suites and one Royal Suite. Uniworld ships are available for group charters. Seabourn celebrated an important milestone last month with the cutting of the first steel for Seabourn Encore, the line’s new ship launching in late 2016. The luxury vessel will have a capacity of 600 guests (based on double occupancy) and each suite will feature a private veranda. Pictured at the commemorative ceremony at Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard are (l-r): Vitor Alves, Newbuild Project Manager, Seabourn; Cyril Tatar, Vice President of Newbuild and Technical Operations, Seabourn; Adam D. Tihany, Designer for Seabourn Encore, Tihany Design; Marnie Tihany, Director of Business Development, Tihany Design; Richard Meadows, Seabourn President; Antonio Quintano, Director of Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard; James Moore, Corporate Shipbuilding Project Manager, Carnival; Christopher Prelog, Vice President of Hotel Operations, Seabourn; Marco Lunardi, Fincantieri's Project Manager of Seabourn Encore; and Ernesto Palmas, Corporate Shipbuilding Manager, Carnival. 24

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook

The New Javits Center A New York icon. Reconstructed. Reimagined.

With a new glass façade, a new green roof and a new, column-free exhibition hall, the Javits Center has undergone a state-of-the-art renovation that has transformed the facility into a world-class convention center. Located on Manhattan’s West Side, we can accommodate trade shows, conventions and special events of any size -- for any occasion. With 840,000 square feet of flexible exhibition space on four levels, the Javits Center can be divided into Photo right © David Sundberg / Esto. Other photography © Chris Cooper

10 self-contained halls, and our 160,000 square feet of meeting space can be used for a variety of events. Let our dedicated sales managers assist you with planning your next event.

(212) 216-2335 sales@javitscenter.com javitscenter.com

UpFront Cruise Watch Leading Edge: Christine Duffy President Carnival Cruise Line Formerly President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Christine Duffy was named President of Carnival Cruise Line in December 2014 and started in the position Feb. 1. A travel industry veteran of 30 years, Duffy serves on the board of the U.S. Travel Association, the advisory board for Starwood Hotels and the Board of Directors for Visit Florida. As President, will you be pursuing any initiatives at the company specific to the group market? Groups are an important part of our overall business, and although I’ve only been in the job for a few months, we are looking at ways that we can not only grow our group business but enhance the overall experience for those groups that sail with us. I recently returned from the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage full-ship charter on Carnival Breeze and saw firsthand what a unique and exceptional experience a full-ship charter can provide. We have a terrific team here at Carnival when it comes to booking large groups and charters, and I'm looking forward to

working with them in enhancing this part of our operations. How is the company's group business trending? Group business overall is doing well with many different types of groups booking with us, from full-ship music and dance charters to multigenerational family reunions, affinity groups, corporate meeting and incentive groups and more. How would you distinguish Carnival's value proposition for event planners? While today's ships offer a wide range of onboard features and amenities, the flexibility, affordability and wide range of cruise choices, itineraries and durations we offer at Carnival definitely gives us an advantage. What kind of impact on the industry are you looking forward to making in your new role? Although I was familiar with Carnival in my role at CLIA, during the months that I've been on the job here at Carnival, I’ve come to truly appreciate our team’s dedication in living up to our mission statement of delivering fun, memorable experiences at a great value. . . . I truly believe that Carnival is the best value in travel, and together we’ll work hard in getting this message out to current and prospective vacationers and group clients.

For more information about the Kansas City Convention Center, please call 816-513-5000 or visit www.kcconvention.com


Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 SuperBook

Please consider the following criteria when voting: TM Attractiveness & Functionality of Meeting Venue SizeB&al Quality l o tof 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

Facilities & Destinations

Awards of Excellence

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 Name of&Nominee______________________________________________ Dining Entertainment Options Lodging Quality _______________________________________________________________ Accessibility to Airport Check want to nominate Ease Award of TravelYou within Destination

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Exceptional Venues for


Worldwide Leader in Convention Center Management


Global Spectrum focuses on establishing a lasting partnership with our venue owners and event organizers. When you book with Global Spectrum you can be assured of the same personalized service, innovative ideas and solutions, and professional staff at each and every venue.

Global Spectrum Convention Centers WEST REGION


• Arizona, Glendale, University of Phoenix Stadium Exhibit Hall • British Columbia, Penticton, Penticton Trade & Convention Center • Colorado, Pueblo, Pueblo Convention Center • New Mexico, Clovis, Clovis Civic Center • New Mexico, Las Cruces, Las Cruces Convention Center • Utah, Provo, Utah Valley Convention Center • Washington, Everett, Edward D. Hansen Conference Center

• Maine, Bangor, Cross Insurance Center • Massachusetts, Springfield, MassMutual Center • New Jersey, Atlantic City, Atlantic City Convention Center • New York, Niagara Falls, Conference Center Niagara Falls • Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kovalchick Convention & Athletic Complex, Indiana University of Pennsylvania


• Florida, Miami Beach, Miami Beach Convention Center • Florida, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Convention Center • Kentucky, Owensboro, Owensboro Convention Center • North Carolina, Durham, Durham Convention Center • North Carolina, Fayetteville, Crown Complex • Oklahoma, Enid, Enid Event Center • Texas, Corpus Christi, Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center • Texas, Corpus Christi (Robstown), Richard M. Borchard Exhibition Complex • Virginia, Richmond, Greater Richmond Convention Center • Virginia, Roanoke, Berglund Center

• Iowa, Des Moines, Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center • Iowa, Des Moines, Hy-Vee Hall • Kansas, Overland Park, Overland Park Convention Center • Missouri, St. Charles, Saint Charles Convention Center • Ohio, Cincinnati, Duke Energy Convention Center • Ohio, Cleveland, Gerald H. Gordon Conference Pavilion, Cleveland State University


Book With Us Today! ®

Personalized. Innovative. Professional.

Call 888.456.2599 or email nationalsales@global-spectrum.com global-spectrum.com

Book With Us Today! Call 888.456.2599 or email nationalsales@global-spectrum.com

Duke Energy

Convention Center Cincinnati, OH

Exhibit Hall: 195,000 sq. ft. Ballroom: 40,000 sq. ft. & 17,500 sq. ft. Breakouts: 30 Total Meeting Space: 96,600 sq. ft. Hotel Rooms: 3,500 walkable Downtown: Located in heart of downtown Cincinnati, the Duke Energy Convention Center brings Midwestern hospitality to life in the Center of a vibrant City core full of shopping, restaurants, culture and big league attractions. “Not only has the Global Spectrum team delivered, they have succeeded in developing a relationship where we feel our input, suggestions and expertise are valued.� Wanda Bowling, Director, Meeting & Convention Planner, Western Southern Financial Group



MassMutual Center Convention Center & Arena Springfield, MA

Exhibit Hall: 40,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom: 15,000 sq. ft. Breakouts: 8 Total Meeting Space: 24,000 sq. ft. Arena Seating: 8,000 Hotel Rooms: 900 walk-able

Ideally located at the gateway of New England, Springfield, Massachusetts is situated in the center of it all. To help reach more attendees, Springfield is at the crossroads of two major interstate highways and Bradley International Airport, is just 20 minutes from the MassMutual Center. Before, during and after events, attendees have unlimited opportunities to discover a rich array of historical sites, cultural attractions and entertainment choices.

massmutualcenter.com Personalized. Innovative. Professional.

Book With Us Today! Call 888.456.2599 or email nationalsales@global-spectrum.com

Miami Beach

Convention Center Miami Beach, FL

Exhibit Hall: 502,000 sq. ft Ballroom: 75,500 sq. ft. encompasses four separate spaces Breakouts: 70 Meeting Space: 127,000 sq. ft. Hotel Rooms: 3,000 walk-able Airport: Miami International is #1 in US for International Freight and #2 for International Passengers

LOCATION...LOCATION...LOCATION Spanning four city blocks of palm tree lined streets and located in the heart of the electrifying and historic South Beach/Art Deco District, the Miami Beach Convention Center is truly an event planner’s paradise. With white sandy beaches and warm ocean waters just a few blocks away, terrific Lincoln Road shopping, award-winning restaurants and an exciting nightlife scene, Miami Beach is the choice for your next meeting, convention or trade show!



Iowa Events Center Des Moines, IA Exhibit Hall: 150,000 sq. ft. Ballroom: 28,800 sq. ft. Breakouts: 37 Total Meeting Space: 226,000 sq. ft. Pre-function space : 60,300 sq ft. Arena: 16,980 seats New space opened January 2012

“You’re all so responsive and accommodating to our request and ideas during the pre-planning and event day, but more importantly you anticipate those small details that result in a very special experience for our guests and our staff. It is always a great pleasure to work with you and we look forward to next year’s dinner and other events in between.” Mary Bontrager, Greater Des Moines Partnership

Personalized. Innovative. Professional.

Book With Us Today! Call 888.456.2599 or email nationalsales@global-spectrum.com




Convention Center Owensboro, KY

Exhibit Hall: 45,000 sq. ft. Ballroom: Two 13,000 sq. ft. Total Meeting Space: 92,000 sq. ft. (includes both ballrooms) Breakouts: 14 Hotel Rooms: 270 rooms located within one block. Over 1,100 within five mile radius

Western Kentucky’s newest, premier meeting space - the Owensboro Convention Center - is a fullservice meeting facility nestled in vibrant Daviess County, Kentucky, overlooking the scenic Ohio River in historic downtown Owensboro. The multi-purpose center boasts 92,000 sq. ft. of meeting space consisting of a 44,000+ sq. ft. exhibition hall, and 48,000+ sq. ft. of additional ballroom and meeting space. The new events center opened in January 2014.

owensborocenter.com Personalized. Innovative. Professional.

Book With Us Today! Call 888.456.2599 or email nationalsales@global-spectrum.com

Saint Charles Convention Center St. Charles, MO Exhibit Hall: 35,700 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom: 16,200 sq. ft. Breakouts: 17 Total Rentable Space: 85,000 sq. ft. Attached Hotel: 296 rooms Parking: 1,200 complimentary “Our 1249 attendees agree that the St. Charles Convention Center (SCCC) was a fabulous place to meet and we received tremendous accolades. This proves that when committed and experienced staff join forces, and are supported by their executives, a meeting planner can accomplish great things for their group. The convenient way your facility is laid out and the seamless connection with Embassy Suites was the reason we chose SCCC. However, your service and your people are the reasons we’d return again and again.” Meeting Planner – Pioneer Network


Durham Convention Center Durham, NC

Palm Beach County Convention Center West Palm Beach, FL

Grand Ballroom: 14,000 sq. ft.

Exhibit Hall: 100,000 sq. ft.

Jr. Ballroom: 11,000 sq. ft.

Ballroom: 22,000 sq. ft.

(divisible into 8 sections)

Breakouts: 19

Board Rooms: 2

Total Meeting Space: 21,000 sq. ft.

Meeting Rooms: 4

Hotel Rooms: 3,000 in a three mile radius

Newly Renovated

Opening Spring 2016

Airport: Palm Beach International and Ft. Lauderdale International

New Kitchen & Culinary Program

“We’ve had so many compliments about the Academy, and we have you to thank. You were wonderfully professional and never made me feel like my questions or requests were silly, redundant, or bothersome. Thank you so much for everything. I plan to recommend the DCC to colleagues. Please share our appreciation with the wonderful DCC staff – everyone from servers to tech people were just top notch.”


New Hilton Hotel at the Convention Center

Duke Engage, Kathy Sikes, Senior Assistant Director for Student Programs and Outreach

Conveniently located in downtown West Palm Beach, just minutes from I-95, Florida’s Turnpike and Palm Beach International Airport, the Palm Beach County Convention Center is in the center of it all. Nearby attractions include CityPlace, a $600 million shopping, dining and entertainment complex; the nationally acclaimed Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts; Palm Beach’s famous Worth Avenue; South Florida’s beautiful beaches; and a wide variety of dining options - ranging from casual waterfront to sophisticated chic.




Facilities & Destinations’

E l i te A w ar d s A meeting industry professional’s job is multifaceted. To truly shine, it takes a broad skill set, the kind of network that only comes with many years of experience, and oftentimes industry-specific advanced education. CVB executives must thoroughly know their cities and the latest marketing techniques, while convention center and hotel executives must work to maintain industryleading products and convey their value proposition to meeting planners. On top of these “musts,” some professionals even find time to contribute to their field by participating in

meeting industry associations, giving talks, writing articles in trade publications and more. Facilities & Destinations honors our industry’s overachievers with the new ELITE Awards. We encourage our readers to make nominations for CVB Executive of the Year, Convention Center Executive of the Year and Meeting Hotel Executive of the Year. Who among your colleagues and business partners is making an especially strong contribution to today’s vibrant meetings industry?

NOMINATION FORM CVB Executive of the Year

Nominated By:

1. Name:_____________________________________________

Name, Title:___________________________________________



2. Name:_____________________________________________




Convention Center Executive of the Year

May we contact you?  Yes____ No____

1. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________ 2. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________

Meeting Hotel Executive of the Year 1. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________ 2. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________

Please Fill Out Form & Mail Your Vote To:

Facilities & Destinations ELITE Awards

152 Madison Avenue, Suite #802 New York, NY 10016 Or Fax to: (212) 213-6382 Or email ballots@facilitiesonline.com

d l o s y d a e r l a I was pace. And s e h t e on h t w e r h t l l i t s y e th . e e r f r o f n i . view e n i h s n e su h t e b t Mus

With easy-to-get-to destinations, unbeatable hospitality, diverse venues, and year-round value, nobody takes meetings more seriously than we do.


Tools of Engagement

In Conversation With . . .

Helen Brosnan

Corp Comm Event Producer, Intuit

Top speakers target QuickBooks Connect’s first audience By George Seli


ountain View, CA-based Intuit held its inaugural QuickBooks Connect last October at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center (SJCC), drawing an attendance of 4,000 that included small-business owners, entrepreneurs, accounting professionals and developers. “We brought the four different audiences together,” says Helen Brosnan, who managed the production team and worked with the executive producer for the event. “The main goals of the conference were to educate, inspire and connect.” Highlights included QuickBooks expert talks, training, hands-on workshops, networking and numerous high-profile speakers. Among them were celebrities such as Arianna Huffington, Martha Stewart and Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and leading entrepreneurs such as Debbie Sterling, Founder and CEO, GoldieBlox; Charles Best, Founder and CEO, DonorsChoose.org; and Kevin Cleary, CEO, Clif Bar & Company. The messages of these strategically chosen speakers resonated with attendees, ensuring that the first QuickBooks Connect would have them looking forward to the second installment this November, also at the SJCC.


hat overall themes did the celebrity speakers touch on? vercoming obstacles, as well as balancing your life and not letting all of your energy go to your business, sacrificing family and personal life 38

for it. And our feedback was that it was very refreshing to have the conference be all about “me,” instead of all about “you,” meaning Intuit.


ow did you determine the topics you wanted addressed? ur content team really worked on researching what are the pain points of small business and entrepreneurs, focusing on where they have their challenges. And so we came up with the topics first and then went out and found speakers whose success stories were built on those areas.


id the speakers “research” Intuit’s audience? ll of the speakers asked for the demographics, including where the attendees were coming from, what type of small-business products they use and so on. Every single one of them did their homework on who the audience was.


an you give examples of some of the more engaging talks? riana Huffington, a legendary voice of journalism, talked about not building your business [at the expense of being] stressed, sleep deprived and neglecting your family. There were parts of her speech where she said not to walk down the street texting on your way to Starbucks; instead look up and smile at people, connect with the person in the coffee shop. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

(Above): Bill Rancic, well-known entrepreneur from The Apprentice, holds a signing for his book, You’re Hired. (Below): One of the unique informal gathering spaces created at the San Jose Convention Center.


Don’t read your email an Jose, the heart before you go to sleep; of Silicon Valley, is a of them spent a lot of time walking through the turn it off and be present convention center talking with our attendees, for the other things in great place to bring instead of just coming in and leaving through your life. It was funny to people in to inspire some private entrance. And then we had book watch the audience kind signings for Martha Stewart, Bill Rancic and them in the smallof shaking their heads Ariana Huffington. about the frustrations business arena.” they go through being hy was San Jose selected as the “on” 24 hours a day. host city? We also have small-business owners that have eyond just giving attendees powerhouse speakers generated a big impact in the industry in the last to inspire them, we also wanted to host the event year going up against big business. So Debbie in the backyard of incubation for innovation. And San Sterling, Founder & CEO, GoldieBlox [a producer of Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley, is a great place to toys, games and entertainment for girls, designed to bring people in to inspire them in the small-business develop an early interest in engineering] talked about where you take a simple entrepreneurial idea of yours arena. very seriously and then your colleagues tell you that ow did the SJCC help to make the event you’re never going to be able to be successful going more engaging? up against a company like Mattel, for example. hey helped us find the space to be very creative id the speakers remark on their experience at and inspiring. So when our attendees stepped the conference? in it did not look like an exhibit hall whatsoever. We transformed it into what we referred to as Main Street, e got some good feedback from the presenters which had the look and feel of Small Town USA. on the overall look and feel of the show. Many



Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook




Martha Stewart (above, left) and Earvin “Magic” Johnson (right) were among the celebrity speakers at the conference.

And the stage area did not have 4,000 chairs set theater style; instead there were lounge chairs, some highboys and traditional theater seating. So we kind of mixed it up.


hat input on the program did Team San Jose have? hat can attendees ur feedback from eam San Jose was a great partner and expect from the attendees was that it was second QuickBooks collaborator with us. For instance, not having the space to do sit-down very refreshing to have the Connect in terms of meals for 4,000 people, they helped us speakers? conference be all about get really creative with several food e have to step up our stations, and we dressed up many areas ‘me,’ instead of all about game; how do we take farmers-market style. They were great in ‘you,’ meaning Intuit.” it to the next “wow”? I’m understanding our attitude to service the sure there will be speakers small business and use small-business that are of the same level vendors, so they actually obtained their of fame on topics that are maybe a little harder to talk produce and supplies for all of the catering from local about, but which everybody wants to. We use a group of small growers and farmers markets, and that was very 100 accountants, which we call our “VIP accountants,” attractive to us. They also have a very good program as a sounding board for some of our ideas for the called Own the City that really helped us create conference. We don’t have any of our speaker contacts the local buzz for the event, with city busses, street in place yet, but when we do we share them with that banners, airport kiosks and taxi toppers and taxicab group first so they feel very special. doors featuring QuickBooks Connect promotions.




Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Facilities & Destinations


2015 Prime Site Meeting Hotel Awards Ballot VOTE for the top hotels, resorts and conference centers your group has used for its meetings in the last three years. Please base your vote(s) on the following criteria:

• Acoustics • Climate control • Proximity to airport and other transportation • Onsite or offsite lodging • Other support services • Front-desk operations • Setups and breakdowns • Attractiveness and functionality • Room décor • Technological capabilities • Quality of staff and conference planner • Quality/size of ballroom • Special packages • Teambuilding • Spa • Food & beverage/catering • Nearby attractions • Lighting Name of nominee_______________________________________________________________________ Name of nominee_______________________________________________________________________ Name of nominee_______________________________________________________________________ Check the award you want to nominate the above for: Meeting Hotel/Resort

Conference Center

Your name and 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 2015 Superbook


on location


The “magic” behind the USA’s most-visited city is a dynamic hospitality industry


agic is a theme that resonates reports, the new rail system throughout Orlando. Clearly will “carry as many people Disney’s Magic Kingdom set as one lane of Interstate the tone for all that followed, 4 during rush hours,” and including the naming of the likely take more commutcity’s NBA franchise and The ers off the roads in the years Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The magic exahead as plans to connect tends into the economic forum as well, which has the system to the airport seen the Central Florida city transform itself into progress. Possibly more a tourism mecca whose visitation numbers have exciting to convention goers is the project under overtaken New York City. Earlier this year, Visit design by American Maglev, which will construct Orlando announced that it welcomed a privately financed magnetic-levitation monorail 62 million visitors in 2014, surpassing its train with stops at the airport and along Internaprevious record of 59 million visitors set in 2013. tional Drive, including the convention center. The Indeed, foreign carriers now ferry passengers line is slated to be operational by 2017, and will from Europe, South America and the definitely be appreciated as United Arab Emirates to Orlando, the thoroughfare will see much “What planners which continues to fortify its position more traffic due to the recent as a family-friendly location. opening of the Orlando Eye desire is retention” and nearby attractions. of their event and Visit Orlando reported another the message they record set in 2014: Bed-tax collecOpportunities for planners to tions hit more than $200 million for conduct events both inside and are delivering. the first time in Orange County. With outside the exhibition halls – Robby Briley Event Consultant, Disney 32 million room nights sold, Orange and conference spaces also Event Group County’s Comptroller Martha Haynie continue to expand. In the advised her constituents, “Be nice to Fall 2014 issue of Facilities tourists, because they are being very nice to us.” & Destinations, we looked at the dining and Regarding the record figures, George Aguel, Visit entertainment options of Pointe Orlando, near Orlando’s President and Chief Executive Officer, the convention center. Last year another venue stated that “This historic milestone is the latest commenced operations, the 330,000-sq.-ft. testament to Orlando’s leadership in tourism.” Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The Center, which instantly transformed the Infrastructure improvements to meet the growing city’s cultural landscape with a variety of perfornumber of visitors are in the works. The SunRail, mances ranging from Broadway plays to symwhich commenced operations last year, is hoped phonies and opera, also offers event space for to reduce rush hour traffic. According to published dinners and receptions.


Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

(Clockwise from left): Downtown Disney, Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World Resort, and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld.

The F&D Prime Site Award-winning Orange County Convention Center continues to stay contemporary with the progress of its five-year capital improvement program, scheduled for completion in 2017. Renovations to its West Building include upgrades to the decor, carpet and doors. The Convention Center also reports that space in Hall F will be converted into a 50,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and four boardrooms, and some of its meeting rooms will become “signature rooms” with new flooring, ceilings and a scenic outdoor mezzanine deck. HYATT REGENCY ORLANDO

Properties around the Convention Center also report upgrades and improvements. In a meeting this winter with Hyatt Regency Orlando’s Nate Hardesty, Director of Sales and Marketing, he revealed plans for a number of changes at the 1,639-room property, which houses 315,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Key items mentioned included a plan to “brighten the old tower,” upgrading the lighting in the original structure’s guestrooms. The Hyatt has also augmented its food and beverage offerings. The pool-level, wine country-themed Napa restaurant transitioned earlier this year to Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

become Urban Tide, offering diners “a modern twist on local Florida seafood.” In addition, a new kosher kitchen for events and meetings was inaugurated this April for a group’s weeklong stay to celebrate the Passover holiday. “As Hyatt Hotels’ largest meetings property, we’re constantly evaluating how we can best accommodate our many diverse groups during their stay,” said Hardesty. Marketing Manager Megan Licata noted that the hotel’s event manager was sending “‘Passover Tips of the Day’ to our entire team, so we can all learn and create a seamless experience for our guests.” Planners of large events will also note that the Hyatt’s Orlando 3000 partnership with the Hilton Orlando continues, creating an opportunity to utilize the hotels’ joint 490,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. ROSEN HOTELS & Resorts

On the heels of Hyatt’s announcement this winter came similar news from Rosen Hotels & Resorts. To fill what he called a “current void in the Orlando meetings and convention industry, 43

(Clockwise from left): Loews Royal Pacific Resort, The Leaky Cauldron at Universal Orlando Resort’s Diagon Alley, and a rendering of the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, opening in 2016.


particularly in the convention center area,” The AAA Five Diamond Four Seasons Resort Harris Rosen, President and COO of Rosen Orlando at Walt Disney Resort opened last Hotels & Resorts, announced the planned estabAugust with 443 guestrooms located minutes lishment of a kosher kitchen in the Rosen Plaza from the Magic Kingdom and Epcot parks. Set hotel. Slated to open this fall, the kitchen will proon 26.5 acres, the resort is vide catering for groups and home to an 18-hole Tomindividuals at all seven of The Orange County Fazio-designed golf course, Rosen’s Orlando area hotels. and close to 38,000 sq.

Convention Center continues to stay contemporary with the progress of its five-year capital improvement program, scheduled for completion in 2017.

In addition to the food and beverage enhancements, capital improvements continue at two of Rosen’s major meeting properties, Rosen Plaza and Rosen Shingle Creek. Renovation of Rosen Plaza’s 832 guestrooms and suites follows the recent redesign of the hotel’s former Backstage Nightclub. The space was transformed into Club 39, and now extends outside to a poolside bar. The space, available for private events, is touted by the hotel as the “closest indoor/outdoor venue to Orange County Convention Center.” Rosen Shingle Creek’s public areas and its 1,501 guestrooms and suites will also be upgraded this spring. 44

ft. of meeting space that includes a 14,000-sq.-ft. ballroom.

Spread out over 500 acres, the 582-room Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes borders Shingle Creek and boasts 70,000 sq. ft. of outdoor meeting space. Renovations completed early this year included the hotel’s 50,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting space. Also part of the project was the renovation of the affiliated 1,000-room JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes’ 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. Another meeting space improvement was the expansion of the Waldorf Astoria Orlando’s outdoor meeting space. The 498-room property’s new

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook


Grande Lakes Orlando

This is never the same destination twice. When it comes to meetings and events, Orlando always over delivers.

The area around The Orange County Convention Center is home to some exciting new changes. The convention center itself has begun an incredible $187 million improvement project. And just steps away you’ll find I-Drive 360, a new dining and entertainment complex with a host of exciting activities that your attendees can look forward to after the day’s events. From a growing collection of hotels & resorts to trendsetting entertainment and unforgettable one-of-a-kind experiences. There’s more to meetings and events in Orlando. Visit us at OrlandoMeeting.com.

Estrada at a launch party for the property in March, she readily pointed out that LEGO crosses the generational divide. Much of the fanfare that surrounded the inauguration of the LEGO Star Wars Miniland exhibition in its California theme park, said Estrada, came from adults. WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT


With Star Wars now officially under Disney’s umbrella and the highly anticipated return of the series to theaters this winter, one can only imagine what might be in store at the parks in conjunction with the film’s release. In May and June, Disney Parks in Orlando are holding Star Wars Weekends, packed with an array of Star Warsthemed entertainment options, including shows, celebrity appearances and character motorcade parades. Guests at Disney-affiliated properties such as the F&D Prime Site Award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort can avail themselves of the “Extra Magic Hours” providing early entry to Disney theme parks.

While exploring the park, some other spaces appeared ideal for special events. In particular, we were impressed with the Wild Arctic area, where groups of up to 200 could meet surrounded by beluga whales and walruses.

From an events perspective, the creative team at Disney Event Group can work their magic to realize most any idea a planner has. “What planners desire is retention” of their event and the message they are delivering, said Robby Briley, Event Consultant at the Disney Event Group. During a meeting at the Event Group’s offices near Walt Disney World, F&D was given a behind-the-scenes look at the Group, which can provide everything meeting and event related “under one roof.” Pre- and post-event communication, venues and menus, color schemes and floral themes, logo creation and digital animation are just some of the services offered to create an event that attendees will remember. A team of professional planners, creative media technicians, film and video producers, and artists and graphic designers offers a wealth of resources in conjunction with Disney Parks.



Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food at Universal CityWalk,.

tent-covered Central Park Ballroom and covered Central Park Gardens added more than 14,000 sq. ft. to the property’s 42,000 sq. ft. of function space. Visit Orlando’s Manager of Global Convention Communications, Jennifer Juergens, brought us to SeaWorld to see some of the spots in the park where groups can convene. While the park has options for groups of all sizes, including buyouts of the entire park, she highlighted Ports of Call, a 12,000-sq.-ft. indoor ballroom and banquet facility. Juergens, who has a unique perspective on event spaces in the Orlando, lauded the food and beverage team at the venue. For larger events, Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin provides a themed, indoor/outdoor space with opportunities for groups to view over 250 penguins above and below the water.

This spring, the Orlando area will also welcome LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s hotel. With 152 themed rooms, the hotel is just steps away from the theme park. Although primarily geared toward children, the property promises a memorable experience for groups of all ages. When we met LEGOLAND’s Media Relations Manager Julie 46

When we last looked at Loews’ properties at Universal Orlando Resort (in the F&D 20132014 Planner Guide), the roster included the luxurious Portofino Bay Hotel, as well as the Hard Rock Hotel and Royal Pacific Resort. New to Loews’ lineup is the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which we visited earlier this year. We were

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

Loews properties. Among those parks is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which has created a worldwide phenomenon. Dedicated fans of the books and films continue to make pilgrimages to Universal Orlando for a flavor of the fictional world. Within the parks, there are many opportunities to customize themed meetings, such as the New York and San Francisco sets, or Mo’s Tavern in The Simpsons’ Springfield, where attendees can sample Duff’s beer or visit a KwikE-Mart for donuts. One of the city’s newest attractions is the Orlando Eye, a 400-ft. observation wheel.

impressed by its retro-motif, reminiscent of the 1950s and ‘60s. A bowling alley, classic cars parked outside the main entrance, and a Jack LaLannethemed fitness center all add to the feel. Although the 1,800-room property has no formal meeting space, guests can take shuttles from the hotel to meeting spaces in sister properties. In the near future, the property will be in reach of much of the meeting space in the Universal Orlando hotels area, providing planners with an option for more moderately priced lodging. Cabana Bay Beach Resort is situated directly across the street from the Caribbean-themed Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, scheduled to open next year with 115,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Sapphire Falls will also be connected via walkway to the Loews Royal Pacific Resort and its 85,000 (this fall, to be expanded to 131,000) sq. ft. of meeting space. Early admission to Universal Orlando theme parks is available to guests of the associated Visit Orlando www.visitorlando.com Orange County Convention Center www.occc.net LEGOLAND Florida Resort florida.legoland.com Universal Orlando Resort www.universalorlando.com Universal Orlando Meetings & Events www.uomeetingsandevents.com Walt Disney World Resort disneyworld.disney.go.com 47 Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

Fictional London is represented as well in conjunction with last year’s opening of the Diagon Alley attraction, where park guests can board the Hogwarts Express from train platform 9¾ in a recreation of King’s Cross Station. Diagon Alley has proven to be quite popular, and its streets and shops could create the setting for a unique meeting or group event. The sights, sounds and tastes of the fictional universe can be taken in at both of the theme parks, where groups can reserve private dining space and enjoy not only traditional fare, but also sample pumpkin juice or Butterbeer, the fictional drink brought to life within the parks. While much of Orlando is centered around magic and fantasy, ample opportunities to conduct meetings in a more traditional setting exist. Whether or not one is a fan of the various characters or series, one cannot help but be amazed by the city’s ability to continue to grow and attract tourism, both leisure and business. A glass should be raised to salute the achievements of the city. You can choose to fill that glass with a fine wine from one of the city’s choice restaurants or a frosty mug of Butterbeer. —DK

Disney Meetings www.disneymeetings.com SeaWorld seaworldparks.com/en/seaworld-orlando Four Seasons Resort Orlando www.fourseasons.com/orlando Hyatt Regency Orlando www.orlando.regency.hyatt.com Hilton Orlando www.thehiltonorlando.com JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes jw-marriott.grandelakes.com

Loews Royal Pacific Resort www.loewshotels.com/royal-pacific-resort Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/ Orlando/Default.htm Rosen Hotels & Resorts www.rosenhotels.com Waldorf Astoria Orlando www.waldorfastoriaorlando.com Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort www.swandolphin.com 47 Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

on location

Orlando World Center Marriott At the Center of It All By Deborah Shapiro


ocated just 10 miles from the Orlando International Airport, two miles from Walt Disney World Resort, five miles from SeaWorld and seven miles from Universal Studios, the Orlando World Center Marriott is a prime location for groups looking to capitalize on what the city has to offer. Yet this convention hotel is much more than a great vantage point, and has a wealth of resources that allow planners to keep their entire event onsite if they so choose. Having completed a multi-million dollar renovation in 2013, the Orlando World Center Marriott now boasts more than 2,000 guest-


rooms and suites, over 450,000 sq. ft. of function space and 10 onsite restaurants. Every component of the Orlando World Center Marriott is designed to support either large conventions or small breakouts. Expansive entryways include five different registration areas and clustered seating and desk zones accommodating impromptu meetings or portable offices. “It is a Marriott goal to create private spaces in public places,� says Director of Sales & Marketing Gary Dybul. These areas allow attendees to hold their own breakout meetings even if the event organizer has used all the designated Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

meeting space, he explains. (See F&D’s interview with Dybul in the 2012-2013 Planner Guide.) The convention area is set off from the main hotel to afford groups privacy from the hotel’s other guests. Yet the majority of those guests are corporate meeting attendees, creating a more business-oriented atmosphere The resort offers both expansive function spaces and pool areas. at the Orlando World Center Marriott compared to other theme park area hotels. Four large ballrooms comprise the main convention area, with 92 meeting rooms in total. Each ballroom has its own dedicated loading dock and kitchen spaces, and each is wired throughout the floors and ceilings for easy hookups. The largest ballroom, at 100,000 sq. ft., has water pumped throughout the floor to allow for cooking, washing or water work displays anywhere. The hall connecting the convention area to the main hotel is called the “Hall of Cities” and consists of 18 convenient breakout rooms. The Orlando World Center Marriott also houses smaller ballrooms and separate “hotelwithin-a-hotel” areas so there is no limit to the modular space combinations. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2015 superbook

“It is a Marriott goal to create private spaces in public places.”

—Gary Dybul Director of Sales & Marketing

A Florida meeting would not be complete without an outdoor gathering, and organizations can host up to 4,000 guests at the Orlando World Center Marriott’s newly renovated pool area and event lawn. Entertainment can even be stationed on balcony terraces overlooking the lawn. The multiple outdoor pools include a separate family fun zone with three slides and a water tower. Event attendees and families can also rejuvenate with the onsite spa and fitness center. On the dining front, groups can experience “farm to fork” cuisine at the award-winning Siro Urban Italian Kitchen, one of the Orlando World Center Marriott’s newest restaurants. Like every other onsite restaurant, Siro is equipped with a private dining room. Other eateries include Mikado Japanese Steakhouse, High Velocity Sports Bar & Restaurant and Hawk’s Landing Steakhouse & Grille. The latter restaurant is named after Hawk’s Landing Golf Club, spread over 220 acres at the resort. With a multitude of meeting, dining and recreational options onsite, the Orlando World Center Marriott is a prime example of a “self contained” resort where groups never have to venture off property. But they very well might, given that the resort happens to be located in the world’s “Theme Park Capital.” 49

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2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence T op C ities R eady to P artner W ith S trong E xhibition I ndustry


ne of the meetings and events industry’s largest segments is the exhibition industry, whose performance is regularly tracked by CEIR (The Center for Exhibition Industry Research). The latest data released by the organization shows the business-to-business exhibition industry posting a year-on-year gain of 4.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015. The increase is the highest since the second quarter of 2007. CEIR reports that the year-on-year gain was spread across all 14 sectors, especially Building, Construction, Home & Repair and Government. “We are very encouraged to see that the exhibition industry is continuing its upward climb,” said CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM, in a statement. “While industry growth has been moderate, the strong performance of Q1 is certainly offering positive indicators for the near future. After two challenging recessions, it’s wonderful to see this kind of performance despite the impact of [severe weather on the East Coast this winter].” The gains made by the exhibition industry are not the only signs of encouragement, however. On the supplier side, numerous cities and convention centers are upgrading their meetings infrastructure to accommodate the needs of 51


group clients. Facilities & Destinations is pleased to see several of our Awards of Excellence winners among those suppliers. To give just a few examples: The Prime Site Award-winning Palm Beach County Convention Center will soon be supported by a new 400-room Hilton hotel. Top Destination Award-winning Cleveland will offer 19 downtown hotels by 2016. Top Destination Award-winning Las Vegas is developing its $2.3 billion Global Business District. And the Prime Site Award-winning Anaheim Convention Center is working on its seventh expansion (see page 14, this issue). The Prime Site and Top Destination Awards are based on nominations by our readers. As clients of these meeting hosts, our readers are attuned to many of their desirable features, including accessibility, marketability, high-tech meeting spaces, customer service, entertainment options and much more. Ballots for the Awards of Excellence are available in F&D’s quarterly print publication, including the SuperBook, Summer, Fall and Winter issues, and at Facilitiesonline. com. Ballots are received throughout the year, and the list of award winners appears in the F&D SuperBook. The Prime Site Award is given out in three categories: Convention Centers, Conference Centers, and Hotels & Resorts. The Top Destination Award is given to CVBs or similar entities that promote meeting destinations. Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI Wildwoods Convention Center, Wildwood, NJ

The Atlantic City Convention Center is surrounded by 20,000 guestrooms and offers four contiguous exhibit halls totalling 486,600 sq. ft. (page 84).


Prime Site Award Winners Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls, NY Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA The Javits Center, New York, NY Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Rochester, NY MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, NJ Oncenter/Nicolas J. Pirro Convention Center, Syracuse, NY 52

Top Destination Award Winners Atlantic City CVA, Atlantic City, NJ Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau, Hartford, CT Greater Boston CVB, Boston, MA Philadelphia CVB, Philadelphia, PA Visit Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA Providence/Warwick CVB, Providence, RI


Prime Site Award Winners Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD Chesapeake Convention Center, Chesapeake, VA

Events DC welcomes planners to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, connected to the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis (page 89). Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

Greater Akron, Ohio, is home to the region’s most convenient and affordable facilities for conventions, banquets and special events. Easily accessible from the interstate, turnpike and two

Northeast Ohio’s Top Meeting Points

AkronCVB_FullPg_SmMktMtgs_Dec13.indd 1

airports, Summit County features 13 full-service hotels with more than 5,400 guest rooms, plus a remarkable range of impressive gathering spaces, including the John S. Knight Convention Center. Call 800.245.4254 today to plan your next event with a member of our destination sales team. For more information, visit akron.travel.


/ S U M M I T

Convention & Visitors Bureau

800.245.4254 / akron.travel

10/31/2013 3:51:48 PM

2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

The Virginia Beach Convention Center is a LEED-certified facility with a 150,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall and 31,000-sq.ft. ballroom among its function spaces (page 90).

Greater Richmond Convention Center, Richmond, VA Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Ocean City, MD Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, VA Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

Durham Convention Center, Durham, NC Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA Jackson Convention Complex, Jackson, MS Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville, TN Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL New Orleans Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL Owensboro Convention Center, Owensboro, KY Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach, FL

Top Destination Award Winners Events DC, Washington, DC Visit Norfolk, Norfolk, VA Ocean City CVB, Ocean City, MD Virginia Beach CVB, Virginia Beach, VA


Prime Site Award WinnerS Baton Rouge River Center, Baton Rouge, LA Birmingham-Jefferson County Convention Center, Birmingham, AL 54

Alabama’s largest convention facility is the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, with over 220,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space (page 96).

Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Visit Knoxville, Knoxville, TN Visit Savannah, Savannah, GA


The Savannah International Trade and Convention Center is the meetings centerpiece of this charming destination with 14,000 hotel rooms citywide (page 104).

Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA Shreveport Convention Center, Shreveport, LA Vicksburg Convention Center, Vicksburg, MS Wilmington Convention Center, Wilmington, NC Top Destination Award Winners Chattanooga Area CVB, Chattanooga, TN Greater Ft. Lauderdale CVB, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Jackson CVB, Jackson, MS Little Rock CVB, Little Rock, AR Louisville CVB, Louisville, KY Mississippi Gulf Coast CVB, Biloxi, MS Nashville CVB, Nashville, TN New Orleans CVB, New Orleans, LA 56

Prime Site Award Winners Branson Convention Center, Branson, MO Bridge View Center, Ottumwa, IA Century Center, South Bend, IN Cleveland Convention Center/Global Center for Health Innovation, Cleveland, OH Cobo Center, Detroit, MI Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH Dodge City Convention Center, Dodge City, KS Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, OH Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN Iowa Events Center, Des Moines, IA

The new Cleveland Convention Center is welcoming groups to this developing city, host to the Republican National Convention in 2016 (page 110). Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

Pick.le n. (pi-kəl):

1. a difficult situation 2. an article of food that has been preserved in vinegar 3. an event requiring a dynamic location… like NOW!

Pittsburgh is that dynamic location!

Need a meeting site fast without being gouged? Don’t know where to turn? Then you are in a pickle! The David L. Lawrence Convention Center can help with our CMP (customized meeting packaging). We know there is more to a meeting than space so let us know your needs; we’ll customize a package for you. Contact Debbie at 412.325.6174 or dsmucker@pittsburghcc.com to resolve your pickle.

1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15222 | www.greenfirst.us | www.pittsburghcc.com 313,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit spacE | 31,600 sq. ft. ballroom | 53 mEEting rooms

2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Top Destination Award Winners Akron/Summit CVB, Akron, OH Destination Cleveland, Cleveland, OH Greater Des Moines CVB, Des Moines, IA Meet Minneapolis/Greater Minneapolis CVA, Minneapolis, MN Visit Detroit/Metro Detroit CVB, Detroit, MI Visit Indy, Indianapolis, IN Visit Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI

West The Racine Civic Centre by Lake Michigan features the 1,556-seat Historic Memorial Hall and 17,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (page 116).

Kansas City Convention Center, Kansas City, MO Kansas Expocentre, Topeka, KS McCormick Place, Chicago, IL Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN Monona Terrace Convention Center, Madison, WI Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, KS Racine Civic Centre, Racine, WI RiverCenter, Davenport, IA Saint Charles Convention Center, Saint Charles, MO Sanford Center/George W. Neilson Convention Center, Bemidji, MN SeaGate Convention Centre, Toledo, OH Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, SD Swiftel Center, Brookings, SD Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee, WI 58

Prime Site Award Winners Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, NM Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Austin offers groups approximately 6,000 downtown hotel rooms surrounding the LEED Gold-certified Austin Convention Center (page 129). Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

The Los Angeles Convention Center is Gold LEED EBcertified and houses 867,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (page 129).

Fairplex, Pomona, CA Fort Worth Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, HI Irving Convention Center, Irving, TX Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Long Beach, CA Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA NRG Center, Houston, TX Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR

The Baltimore Convention Center . . . “The Center Of It All�


Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

New Stadium

2015 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick, WA Top Destination Award Winners Amarillo CVC/Chamber of Commerce, Amarillo, TX Anaheim/Orange County VCB, Anaheim, CA Austin CVB, Austin, TX Boise CVB, Boise, ID Colorado Springs CVB, Colorado Springs, CO Fort Worth CVB, Fort Worth, TX Greater Houston CVB, Houston, TX Greater Phoenix CVB, Phoenix, AZ Las Vegas CVA, Las Vegas, NV Oklahoma City CVB, Oklahoma City, OK Pasadena CVB, Pasadena, CA Sacramento CVB, Sacramento, CA San Antonio CVB, San Antonio, TX Seattle CVB, Seattle, WA Visit Denver, Denver, CO Visit Spokane, Spokane, WA Visit Tucson, Tucson, AZ


The Montego Bay Convention Centre features an oceanfront location and 132,000 sq. ft. of function space (page 142).


Prime Site Award Winners Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, Jamaica Puerto Rico Convention Center, San Juan, PR Top Destination Award Winners Puerto Rico Convention Bureau, San Juan, PR


Prime Site Award Winners Palais des congres de Montreal, Quebec Quebec City Convention Centre, Quebec Shaw Centre, Ottawa, Ontario

Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

on location

Philadelphia Taking the national and international spotlight as a convention host By George Seli

Rittenhouse Square is one of the city’s most popular hubs. 64

Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook


ogistical convenience may not be the most glamorous feature that a city can offer meeting groups, but it carries an undeniable weight in site selection. When planners consider Philadelphia, they not only see a city rich in meeting facilities, history and cultural diversity, they also see a certain practicality for their attendees. “One of the main reasons we choose Philadelphia is that we can have 10,000 hotel room nights and not have to take the shuttle” to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, says Geoff VanDeusen, Director of Events at National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), based in Kansas City, MS. “My peak night is 2,900 rooms, so I can have all those rooms in walking distance, within a fourblock radius.” Philadelphia hosted the NSCAA Convention in 2015 and 2014 (as well as several years previously), and will do so again in 2018, 2021 and 2025.

While the NSCAA is more or less a “regular” in the city, the Democratic National Convention definitely is not. The last time Philadelphia hosted this major political gathering was 1948, and it was announced on Feb. 12 that the DNC would be returning to the city in July 2016, in lieu of four other possible sites: Columbus, OH; Brooklyn, NY; Birmingham, AL; and Phoenix, AZ. One of the factors behind the choice was that “we have a really compact hotel package” around the Wells Fargo Center and Convention Center, notes Julie Coker Graham, Executive Vice President of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), “which is going to make it very easy for the delegates to move around the city.” That logistical convenience helped Philadelphia edge out Brooklyn, where many delegates would have to commute from hotels in Manhattan to the Barclays Center in the borough. A second factor was Philadelphia’s proven track record as host of the Republican National Convention in 2000.


Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook


“It was one of their better conventions, so the DNC Committee knew that we’ve done [a similar event of this magnitude] and can do it again,” adds Graham, who by 2016 will replace Jack Ferguson as President of the CVB. The DNC is expected to bring in about 50,000 people. There is certainly a buzz in Philadelphia these days as local organizations, including the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Visit Philadelphia and the Independence Visitor Center, prepare to host the convention they played a role in drawing. “Right now we’re putting together committees, and once they’re formed we’ll start assigning tasks,” Graham explains. “We’re keeping the hotels informed of the progress that we’re 66

JPG Photography

The Pennsylvania Convention Center emphasizes the use of natural light (below).

Tim Haggerty (left), VP of Sales, and Stefan Merkl (above), Senior International Tourism Sales Manager, are among the PHLCVB’s new hires.

making and what they can expect, so they can firm up the hotel blocks that are being offered for the DNC. And then we’re also working with the offsite venues, such as our museums, and making sure they have an opportunity to host various events throughout the convention.” The buzz is also due to the booking of another Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook

Paul Loftland

Dillworth Plaza, on the west side of City Hall, presents groups with a new option for outdoor functions.

major convention, slated for meetings business Sept. 22-25 of this year. The as a result of host“The CVB does a World Meeting of Families’ ing these high-profile great job of helping first U.S. gathering will take conventions. “We have place at the Pennsylvania an opportunity to to attract my Convention Center, bringing put Philadelphia on a attendees through 10,000-15,000 delegates from national and internamarketing, and 150 nations. This milestone will tional stage,” Graham making them feel be followed by Pope Francis’ points out. “The media visit that weekend (his first coverage that will come welcome U.S. appearance), including a along with both of in the city.” Sunday mass on the Benjamin these events will bode – Geoff VanDeusen Franklin Parkway for an exwell for the awareness Director of Events, National Soccer Coaches Association of America pected 1.5 million to two million of Philadelphia, and all people. Needless to say, security the great things that will be crucial to that event, we already know about and the city’s police department is partnering with our city will be reported out on a daily basis bestate police, Homeland Security, the Secret Service, fore, during and after the convention.” In addition, the FBI, the Swiss Guard from the Vatican and the decision-makers from a variety of industries will atWorld Meeting’s own Director of Security. tend both the DNC and World Meeting. “Hopefully those folks will return from their visit and say, ‘We The combined economic impact of the DNC and should look at Philadelphia for our next conference World Meeting will be massive, with estimates at or board of directors meeting,’” Graham says. over $400 million. But Philadelphia also stands to experience a long-term boost in its tourism and But even without having hosted these events, Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook


and now those groups are starting to come back,” Graham says. “For example, the National Black MBA Association had actually canceled with us in 2014, but they rebooked with us for 2017 once they learned that SMG was now the facility operator [as of Dec. 1, 2013] and that we had made changes to our labor structure. It would be much more cost effective and customer friendly for them.” Two labor groups — Carpenters Local 8 and Teamsters Local 107 — elected not to sign the CSA, but the four other unions “crossed the line and did the work of the other two. It’s a testament to will of the other four who knew what needed to get done,” said Lorenz Hassenstein, General Manager of the Convention Center, in a press meeting in Philadelphia that F&D staff attended. A representative of one of those four unions, I.A.T.S.E.8, who participated in the meeting commented, “The four trades were at the point where we wanted to see this building work. We want it to be a pleasant building to work in, that’s our goal.” In a statement, Hassenstein noted a 17 percent rate reduction since the CSA was established, as well as more efficiency. “We have not missed a single labor call since May, and it has consistently taken fewer hours by fewer workers to accomplish Philadelphia’s meetings industry is doing quite the same scope of work compared to prior years. well. Between May and December 2014, the city The sense of camaraderie among the unions booked nearly 580,000 room nights for future makes it a better place for their members to work years, “which is unprecedented,” says Graham. and results in a much-improved experience for International attendance is also increasing, and customers and exhibitors,” he said. Unions also the PHLCVB has hired a new Senior International benefit from customer feedback provided by an Tourism Sales Manager, Stefan Merkl, who will be SMG research group, he added. responsible for promoting the city in the emerging Asian and Middle Eastern markets. Merkl VanDeusen, who sits on the PHLCVB’s Customer previously managed the sales and marketing Advisory Board, says his group has “absolutely” efforts of San Francisco-based sightseeing opera- experienced an improvement at the Pennsylvania tor Red and White Fleet. Convention Center under SMG management. “It’s been a great change I have noticed going NEW CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AGREEMENT from January 2014 to ‘15. We were one of the first May 2014 was indeed a turning point for Philashows with SMG, and I think that they really took delphia’s convention business. At that point, four time to get to know the shows that were returnunions working at the Pennsylvania Convening, get to know the planners and take advice tion Center signed a new Customer Satisfaction from the Customer Advisory Board,” he relates. Agreement (CSA), and since then, 28 new major “The communication process had been one of the conventions have been booked. “Several groups most frustrating experiences I’ve had in 18 years, had said that due to the labor [situation] in the and in 2015 it was light years different. I felt that past they would not come back to Philadelphia, in our past conventions, it’s always been ‘No, you PHLCVB Executive Vice President Julie Coker Graham and Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority President and CEO John J. McNichol sign the documents to bring the Democratic National Convention to the city.


Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook

Paul Loftland

Independence Hall

can’t do that’ and in 2015 it was ‘Yes, you can do that, and let me help you.’ And we were able to have a significant savings to the budget, because SMG helped find those solutions.” While the NSCAA primarily uses the Convention Center’s original building, the expansion in 2011 “has given us some opportunities to expand in the future, and that is definitely our trend,” says VanDeusen. “Between 2010 and ‘15 we’ve grown to almost 2,500 room nights. So it gives us an opportunity to add another exhibition hall, more meeting space and so on.” The LEED Gold-certified facility has continued making mechanical, lighting and signage upgrades since the expansion, and a major goal has been to improve the original building so that no “dividing line” is apparent with the new spaces, noted Stephen Shepper, Director of Facilities for SMG at the Convention Center, who also participated in the press meeting. And over the next few months an aesthetic improvement will be made, as 1,500 artworks by Pennsylvania artists are being installed in the facility, adding local character. Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook


Reading Terminal Market, a tenant of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, was established in 1892. More than 80 merchants collectively offer nearly every type of cuisine, from Asian to Amish. But Philadelphia’s food culture extends well beyond this bastion, with more than 300 outdoor cafés. Excellent eateries our staff experienced firsthand include Stephen Starr’s Parc, offering a Parisian bistro experience; McGillin’s Olde Ale House, established in 1860 and the oldest continuously operating Irish pub in the city; and Top Chef Kevin Sbraga’s Juniper Commons, serving American fare in a 1980s-themed setting. The city is experiencing a restaurant boom that is proportionate to its growing population, including a fast-growing Millennial segment. In fact, Forbes’ Under 30 Summit was held in Philadelphia last October and will return this October, bringing more than 2,000 young entrepreneurs. Philadelphia’s shopping scene is also burgeoning with the ongoing development of East Market, which will include 107,000 sq. ft. of new retail with 69

make a donation to Just a Drop, an international frontage on Market Street, as well as shops and restaurants on Ludlow Street. Located in proximity water aid charity. to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and City Other hotel developments include a new 199-room Hall, East Market will also include a new parking Kimpton hotel with 14,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, garage for 201 cars and a promenade. “We have opening in 2016 or 2017 along the Benjamin Franklearned that they are going to allow convention lin Parkway; a new 178-room Aloft hotel to open in groups to rent out that space in the evening for the Liberty Title & Trust Building; and a new 149events,” Graham says. Groups can also look forroom SLS International to open across from the ward to very striking event space at the Comcast Kimmel Center. Innovation and Technology Center, opening in 2017 with a PHLCVB ON THE MOVE New venues such as East top-floor restaurant some 900 Apart from Graham’s forthfeet up (the City Hall ObservaMarket and the Comcast coming promotion to Presition Deck is 500 feet above the Innovation and Technology dent and the hiring of Merkl ground). The existing 58-story Center will provide a as Senior International Comcast Center is one of the Tourism Sales Manager, the nation’s tallest LEED-certified modern complement to PHLCVB will also benefit buildings. New venues such as Philadelphia’s well-known from the recent appointment East Market and the Comcast cultural and historical of Tim Haggerty to Vice PresInnovation and Technology ident of Sales. Haggerty will attractions, such as Center will provide a modern assist in managing the daycomplement to Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and the to-day operations of both the well-known historical and Philadelphia Art Museum. citywide convention sales and cultural attractions, including hotel convention sales team. Independence Hall, the A 27-year veteran of Marriott National Constitution Center, the Philadelphia Hotels, Haggerty most recently worked as the Art Museum, National Museum of Jewish HisDirector of Sales and Marketing at the Philadeltory and African American Museum. phia Marriott Downtown. RADISSON BLU’S REDESIGN

F&D staff were pleased to stay at the Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel (one of the brand’s four U.S. properties) during our visit to Philadelphia. The 301-room hotel, situated in the Rittenhouse Square district, originally opened in 1926 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Yet the hotel appears thoroughly modern, having completed a $20 million, comprehensive renovation in November 2013 and a redesign of its 17,000 sq. ft. of meeting space this February. The hotel is also on the leading edge in terms of its group services, having launched a “Brain Box” as part of its Experience Meetings program. At a press breakfast, GM Jean-Marc Jalbert noted that “Our corporate guests have really embraced this program.” Presented at IMEX 2013, the concept includes a “think tank” environment with flexible furnishings, the latest AV technology, and “brain food,” featuring lean proteins and seasonal produce. Also of note, the Radisson allows guests the option to forego housekeeping and have the hotel 70

While SMG has taken much of the spotlight in Philadelphia’s meetings industry due to the improvements it has made at the Convention Center, VanDeusen feels that the CVB “deserves as much credit as SMG does for many of the changes that are going on. They’ve really been a conduit between the unions and the Center and the hotels.” And the organization’s customer service, from his perspective, is far ranging. “The CVB does a great job of helping to attract my attendees through marketing, and making them feel welcome in the city,” VanDeusen says. “They also assist in negotiating with the Center, contracting with hotels and transportation entities, and coordinating our site visits.” The World Meeting of Families and DNC are of course much larger and more complex conventions than the NSCAA’s meeting, but VanDeusen’s personal experience with Philadelphia’s facilities and group services gives him confidence that the city is up to the challenge. “If there’s any city that can pull that off, it’s Philadelphia. There’s no doubt in my mind.” Facilities & DESTINATIONs 2015 Superbook

Caesars Entertainment Means Meetings Business in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace

By Michael Caffin


s a longtime business traveler to Las Vegas — more than 40 visits over the past 23 years — I can say that throughout all the developments in the local hotel industry, Caesars Palace remains one of the properties with the strongest name recognition. But Caesars Entertainment’s reputation in Las Vegas is built on much more than its flagship property, and meeting planners in particular benefit from the diversity and quality of the company’s offerings. From the newly remodeled and renovated LINQ Hotel & Casino to legendary Las Vegas properties like the Flamingo and Bally’s, Caesars Entertainment offers planners myriad choices in the city. What is more, planners can mix and match properties and venues under a single contract. Facilities & destinations 2015 SuperBook

Recently, Caesars Entertainment’s seasoned and committed nationwide meetings team scored a major coup when Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced that it had selected Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City’s Waterfront Conference Center, a new Caesars Entertainment property, as the host venue for its 2016 World Education Congress, June 11-14. For details, see page 10 in this issue, and look for more coverage of the newest and largest hotel–convention center complex from Baltimore to Boston in our cover story on Atlantic City in the 2015 F&D Summer issue. But back to Las Vegas, where Caesars Entertainment’s options for meeting groups continue to evolve. Recently celebrating its one-year anniversary is The LINQ Promenade, which has breathed new life into the Strip with a variety of restaurants, retail outlets and non-gaming entertainment 71

Recently celebrating its one-year anniversary is The LINQ Promenade, which has breathed new life into the Strip. (Right): Caesars Palace offers numerous outdoor spaces for attendees to congregate. (Facing page): The High Roller and prefunction space at the Caesars Palace’s Emperors Ballroom.

options, many of which provide thousands of square feet of unique meeting venues. (For an overview, see the 2014 F&D Summer issue, page 8.) Highlighting The LINQ Promenade is the High Roller, the world’s tallest observation wheel. Standing 550 feet tall with more than 2,000 LED lights (with changing colors and patterns that can be branded for special events), the High Roller features 28 spherical glass-enclosed cabins. Each cabin can hold up to 40 people, totaling 1,120 at full capacity. Groups can rent one or more cabins, up to the entire wheel, for their private use. Cabins can even accommodate a bartender with a roll-on bar. This March, the attraction was presented with the very first Las Vegas Strip Icon Award on behalf of the Clark County Commission. After the ride, the event can continue in the High Roller Wheel House event space which features a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the wheel while giving guests an inside look at the behind-the-scenes mechanics. The High Roller’s LED display customization can be coordinated with The Vortex at The LINQ’s Strip-facing entrance, a stunning architectural element and nearly 20,000-sq.-ft. outdoor event space that just opened. The Vortex is embedded with LED lights that can be timed to create a visual masterpiece, and is conveniently connected to The LINQ Hotel & Casino. 72

Here is an update on some of Caesars Entertainment’s key Las Vegas properties: BALLY’S LAS VEGAS HOTEL AND CASINO

Centrally located at the famous Four Corners of The Las Vegas Strip, Bally’s offers 175,000 sq. ft. of versatile meeting space and the support of an experienced team. The 2,814-room hotel’s Pacific and Las Vegas Ballrooms will undergo extensive renovations this year. CAESARS PALACE LAS VEGAS HOTEL AND CASINO

Almost as famous as Las Vegas itself, Caesars Palace features 3,960 guestrooms and suites, including the brand-new 181-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and the Forbes Star Award-winning The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace. Caesars Palace’s 300,000 sq. ft. of meeting space features several large ballrooms, and is comfortably set apart from the casino area, but within easy reach of the guestrooms. The 51,000-sq.-ft., pillarless Octavius and Forum Ballrooms can each accommodate as many as 5,555 guests and can be reconfigured into a maximum of 25 separate breakout rooms. At 36,260 sq. ft., the Augustus Ballroom is a superb setting for the grandest affairs with countless configuration possibilities. And the 28,592-sq.-ft. Palace Ballroom features an expansive pre-function area, service hallways on three sides and direct access to freight elevators. Facilities & destinations 2015 SuperBook

The LINQ Hotel & Casino’s all-new meeting space, renovated LINQ Theater and The Vortex outdoor deck opened this spring.

Overall, Caesars Palace offers 25 diverse dining options including celebrity chefbranded restaurants by Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Nobu Matsuhisa and Guy Savoy, the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, a five-acre Garden of the Gods pool oasis and the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa. The Forum Shops at Caesars has more than 160 boutiques and restaurants, and the 4,300-seat Colosseum features world-class entertainers such as Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Shania Twain, Elton John, Mariah Carey, Jerry Seinfeld and many more. FLAMINGO LAS VEGAS HOTEL AND CASINO

Flamingo’s 73,000-sq.-ft. Corporate Convention Center and Executive Conference Center offer style and exceptional flexibility to accommodate large or small meetings. Convenient and inviting seating areas outside many of the meeting rooms offer a distinctive touch and are perfect for pre-function conversation or meeting breaks. The 3,460-room Flamingo offers dozens of versatile event spaces ranging from 500 sq. ft. to well over 20,000. THE LINQ HOTEL & CASINO

The LINQ Hotel & Casino just completed major renovations, including the rebranding of the property, newly remodeled guestrooms, and significant updates to the casino floor, hotel lobby Facilities & destinations 2015 SuperBook

and lobby bar. The hotel’s all-new meeting space opened on May 1, and the newly renovated LINQ Theater and The Vortex outdoor deck, one of the most unique meeting venues on the Strip, opened on June 1. The LINQ Hotel offers 1,244 guestrooms and a total of 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. PARIS LAS VEGAS HOTEL AND CASINO

The property’s 140,000 sq. ft. of meeting space is highlighted by one of the largest pillarless ballrooms in Las Vegas, the 85,204-sq.-ft. Paris Ballroom, which accommodates groups of up to 8,520 and is divisible into nine distinctive meeting rooms. Modeled after the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, the Paris Foyer offers an additional 15,670 sq. ft. of pre-function space. Paris Las Vegas houses 2,916 guestrooms. PLANET HOLLYWOOD LAS VEGAS RESORT & CASINO

Planners looking for a trendy and stylish property and the celebrity treatment for their attendees need look no further than Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, which has 2,496 rooms and suites, exceptional amenities and state-of-the-art meeting facilities. Planet Hollywood provides 88,000 sq. ft. of flexible, functional meeting space ideal for groups of up to 4,400 — ranging from intimate boardrooms to the expansive Celebrity Ballroom. 73

on location


A meetings enclave removed from the glitz of the Strip


his winter, Facilities & Destinations staff took a respite from the cold spell in the Northeast to attend a pair of industry tradeshows in Las Vegas, giving us an opportunity to visit nearby Henderson, NV. The city clearly does not compete with Las Vegas in terms of lodging and meeting space capacities: Henderson’s prime resort properties offer more than 4,000 rooms in total. But these hotels do have significant meeting space, and their size makes them optimal for buyouts, creating an event-centric environment. That’s something “you cannot do on the Strip!” noted Michael Pramshafer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. Nestled in the desert hills and bordering the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the manmade Lake Las Vegas, with approximately 10 miles of shoreline. Development around the lake includes two branded properties — the Westin and the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. A mere 20 minutes from Las Vegas, the two hotels provide a great option for planners for a multitude of reasons. During a number of our meetings with local representatives, they highlighted the easy access from McCarran International Airport. Edward Kirby, the National Sales Manager for Destination Henderson, pointed out that the new Galleria Drive access road “shaved 15 minutes off the trip from the airport” to Lake Las Vegas. Michael Gasta, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Hilton, explained that the area’s logistical convenience is a draw for groups, who avoid the heavy traffic en route to Strip hotels and thus maximize their time at the meeting.

Seclusion for Groups

Arriving at the Westin in the early evening, our staff immediately noted the serenity of the quiet 74

desert surroundings. This seclusion is an asset for planners, since it guarantees little distraction for attendees during the daytime. Moreover, neither of the Lake Las Vegas properties features gaming, which also supports attendees’ focus on the meeting. The Westin exhibits a Moroccan motif, replete with palm trees and a desert-inspired color scheme. With 493 rooms and an array of suites overlooking the lake, the hotel offers function spaces designed to take advantage of the year-round arid climate. These include spacious poolside event areas and two venues that overlook the lake: the Lotus Court (5,800 sq. ft.) and Andalusian Garden

(which houses a 2,200-sq.ft. gazebo). Many of the Westin’s traditional meeting spaces — including the high-ceilinged 21,000+ sq. ft. Casablanca ballroom, as well as a number of its smaller meeting rooms — open onto adjacent lawns and terraces, providing a synthesis of indoor and outdoor space. Facilities & Destinations 2015 SuperBook

Henderson (left) is highlighted by top-tier resorts such as Green Valley Ranch (above) and the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa (below).

“Due to the resort setting [at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas] and the proximity of Las Vegas, we probably had a higher number of members’ guests attend than ever before.” – Gordon Moore Treasurer, American Association of Police Polygraphists

Facilities & Destinations 2015 SuperBook


Last October, Irvine, CA-based Visioneering Studios held its 10-Year Anniversary Celebration at the Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. “We are a design/ build company and have worked on many churches in the Las Vegas area. Part of our celebration was to visit some of our projects, and let employees see, in person, the work we have done and the lives we have touched through our contribution to the community,” explains Jan Gordon, Operations Manager. “We did not want to be on the Strip, and the location of The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa suited our needs perfectly.” Apart from the Westin’s location, Gordon was pleased with the “amazing professionalism of the employees who work at the property; it was their kindness, their attention to detail, and their heart.” The staff were quite resourceful, she indicates, and “never flinched when I requested a last-minute change or addition,” such as relocating events and room changes.

Outdoor activities abound in Henderson, from watersports (above, left) to a relaxing stroll through the Florentine Gardens at the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa (above and right).

lake. The hotel recently underwent a multi-million dollar enhancement that included replacement of the carpeting throughout the property. Mattresses, refrigerators and bathroom marble were replaced in all 354 guestrooms and suites.

Approaching the resort area from the main road one will pass the Village at Lake Las Vegas. Designed to look like a European village, its stone streets are lined with numerous options for dining and shopping. Built on an incline, the Both the Westin and Hilton village extends downward “We did not want to be on the have access to nearby Jack toward the waterfront. Open Nicklaus Signature golf Strip, and the location of The plazas lead to a marina where visitors can partake in exhiWestin Lake Las Vegas Resort & courses designed by the game’s most accomplished bitions such as auto shows, Spa suited our needs perfectly.” players, fine dining options, concerts on a floating stage, as – Jan Gordon large pools as well as state-ofwell as recreational activities Operations Manager, Visioneering Studios the-art spa facilities, bicycle on the lake. Opening into the rental and fishing. On the lake village is the symmetrically as well as in the nearby Lake Mead area, activities landscaped Florentine Gardens of the Hilton Lake can be coordinated for teambuilding or recreation. Las Vegas Resort & Spa. The gardens contain While guests may not have a reason to leave the 20,000 of the property’s 55,000 sq. ft. of outdoor meeting space, and can be used independently of or property, shuttles run at regular intervals to and from the Strip. in conjunction with the hotel’s Garden Level meeting spaces. “Due to the resort setting and proximity of the city The Hilton’s architecture is reminiscent of Mediter- of Las Vegas,” says Gordon Moore, Treasurer, who planned the annual conference for the American ranean coastal cities such as Livorno or Portofino, Association of Police Polygraphists at the Hilton last Italy, with multi-toned, adjoining buildings overfall, “we probably had a higher number of members’ looking the seashore. The property houses close to guests attend than ever before.” Moore praised the 40,000 sq. ft. of stately function spaces, including boardrooms, ballrooms with lofty ceilings, spacious hotel’s pristine setting, as well as its staff and food and beverage service for making their “annual conference courtyards and pre-function space, and a wedding one of the best if not the best . . . in 37 years.” chapel built on a structure that extends over the 76

Facilities & Destinations 2015 SuperBook

Green Valley Ranch “is a gorgeous place, 15 minutes from the Strip, but it feels worlds away.” – Mary Wilkinson Marketing Director, American Physical Therapy Association

The Hilton Lake Las Vegas’ ample pool area.

Another jewel in Henderson’s crown is Station Casinos’ 495-room luxury resort, Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino. The property is located minutes from the airport, and boasts 65,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including a dedicated 40,000-sq.-ft. conference center. Mary Wilkinson, Marketing Director, Sports Physical Therapy Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, arranged an event for the organization at the resort, citing the ambience as one of the reasons for the site choice. “This is a gorgeous place, 15 minutes from the Strip, but it feels worlds away,” she comments. “It’s obviously a very special facility.” While the hotel does feature gaming, she noted that attendees “appreciated that it was not necessary to pass through the casino to move in and out of the conference area.” During our visit, we were fortunate to get a firsthand look at the flexibility of both the conference center space — where a pharmaceutical industry tradeshow occupied the nearly 6,600-sq.-ft. La Serena space — and the Grand Ballroom. The latter space (17,000+ sq. ft. with a 24-ft.-high ceiling) was originally designed as part of an entertainment venue, but with ample dimensions for modern lighting and AV equipment, the stage can exceed its original intended use, serving as dais for gala dinners or a backdrop with a rear-projection screen. Wilkinson lauded the hotel’s food and beverage team, noting that “Every breakfast, break and cockFacilities & Destinations 2015 SuperBook

tail party got rave reviews.” She also noted attendee satisfaction with all the amenities on and off site, including “great restaurants, access to shopping, shuttle services to the Strip and airport, WiFi access and a fitness center for our health-focused attendees.” The property has an array of dining options and well-stocked bars. Of note to planners would be Hank’s Fine Steaks and Martinis, an upscale steakhouse that includes a small area for private events. Nongaming entertainment options include an onsite Regal Cinema, and the District, an outdoor mall containing shops and eateries within walking distance of the hotel. THE ‘BOOZE’ DISTRICT

A fun place F&D staff had an opportunity to visit in Henderson was the city’s Artisan Booze District. Numerous microbreweries, distilleries and a winemaker create their own beers, spirits and wines onsite, and welcome groups to enjoy their products. The district is also home to Nevada’s first distillery — the Las Vegas Distillery. Legislation had to be passed to license the distillery, where workshops to demonstrate the science behind creating spirits are offered to groups. Also in the district is Grape Expectations, where groups can produce their own wines. From selecting and crushing grapes to produce wine, the process can takes months, but the activity is both educational and entertaining. Locals do return at a later date to retrieve and bottle the wine they produced. Although our staff is not obliged to return to Henderson to bottle any wine, the brief taste of the city we had this winter was a potent one. —DK 77

Small-Market Review



taying within budget is easier for planners who work with smallmarket cities, many of which offer quality meeting facilities, lodging and attractions. F&D will be keeping readers up to date on site choices and destination news with regular installments of our SmallMarket Review, covering various regions of the country.

Champaign, IL


The University of Illinois Quad

Champaign County offers meeting planners over 3,750 hotel rooms and over 240,000 sq. ft. of meeting spaces. With modern hotels and conference centers, unique venues, and the University of Illinois in its backyard, Champaign County is the ideal location for events and is a hot spot for arts, culture, sports, entertainment, dining and nightlife. Visit Champaign County offers meeting planners Savor the Flavor, a tasteful tour of the finest beverages and treats Champaign has to offer. New in Downtown Champaign is the 145-room Hyatt Place with 3,200 sq.

ft. of meeting space. On the University of Illinois campus, the TownePlace Suites by Marriott will be opening in July of 2015. The Home2 by Hilton will be the first of its kind opening in the Midwest. The hotel, currently under construction, is set to open in late fall of 2015.

Eagan, MN

eaganmn.com Eagan is conveniently located on Interstates 35E and 494, just five minutes from Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport, and 15 minutes from both downtown Minneapolis– Saint Paul. While in Eagan, groups can enjoy Caponi Art Park and Twin Cities Premium Outlets, and Mall of America and Minnesota

The Eagan Community Center

Zoo are five minutes away. All 15 (soon to be 16) Eagan hotels offer free parking, and most offer free shuttle service to and from MSP Airport. In Eagan, groups also enjoy saving given the low lodging tax of just 3 percent. Meeting venues include the elegant Oaks

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Room at the Eagan Community Center, Royal Cliff Conference Center, Lost Spur Golf & Event Center, Lebanon Hills Visitors Center and The Lodge on the Lake.

Effingham, IL

visiteffinghamil.com Effingham is home to 18 hotels, over 65 restau-

The Firefly Grill, a modern roadhouse, welcomes groups.

rants, great attractions and more than 10 meeting facilities, ranging from the 20,000-sq.-ft. Thelma Keller Convention Center to meeting space at Tuscan Hills Winery, which can accommodate up to 100 attendees. Attractions include the historic Dr. Charles M. Wright House, Effingham Performance Center, Heartland Classics, Legacy Harley-Davidson and the Monastery Museum. The City of Effingham CVB offers promotional assistance, customized group tour itineraries, VIP gifts and welcome bags for the group with discount coupons and more.

Joplin, MO

www.visitjoplinmo.com Located on Historic Route 66 at the crossroads of I-44 and I-49, Joplin is a convenient location for hosting The Amelie Event meetings. Center in downtown Joplin offers Joplin a Convention & Trade Center with 30,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, complemented by 23 hotels with over 2,000 rooms, as well as unique offsite meeting spaces. More than 200 restaurants are on hand, and groups can explore attractions such as Country Caboose, a railroad museum; George Washington Carver National Monument; Grand Falls; Hideout Harley Davidson; Schifferdecker Golf Course; Joplin Museum Complex; and Heartland Opera Theatre. The Joplin CVB can arrange a site visit of the city’s lodging and meeting spaces, and works with groups from beginning to end to make their time in Joplin memorable.

LafayetteWest Lafayette, IN

homeofpurdue.com Lafayette-West Lafayette is centrally located, just an Continued on page 160


Sites & Cities Directory A-Z by Region Northeast Connecticut Convention Center........... 80 David L. Lawrence Convention Centre............................... 80 The Javits Center.................................... 80 Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center............................... 80 MassMutual Center................................ 80 Meadowlands Exposition Center.......... 80 Meet AC.................................................. 84 Rhode Island Convention Center.......... 84 Philadelphia CVB/Pennsylvania Convention Center............................... 84 Wildwoods Convention Center............. 84 Mid-Atlantic

Baltimore Convention Center................ 89 Chesapeake Convention Center........... 89 Events DC................................................ 89 Visit Norfolk............................................. 89 Ocean City CVB/Roland Powell Convention Center............................... 90 Greater Richmond Convention Center............................... 90 Virginia Beach CVB................................. 90 Southeast

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex........................... 96 The Classic Center.................................. 96 Durham Convention Center.................. 96 Georgia World Congress Center.......... 96 Little Rock CVB....................................... 96 Miami Beach Convention Center.......... 96 Mobile Convention Center.................. 100 New Orleans Morial Convention Center............................. 100 Orange County Convention Center.... 100 Visit Orlando......................................... 100 Owensboro Convention Center.......... 104 Palm Beach County Convention Center............................. 104 Visit Savannah....................................... 104 Sun Life Stadium................................... 104 Vicksburg Convention Center............. 104 Wilmington Convention Center.......... 104 Midwest

Akron/Summit CVB/ John S. Knight Center........................ 110 Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Bridgeview Center................................ 110 Century Center..................................... 110 Cleveland Convention Center/Global Center for Health Innovation.......................... 110 Cobo Center......................................... 110 Greater Columbus Convention Center............................. 110 Destination Cleveland.......................... 114 Greater Des Moines CVB..................... 114 Dodge City Convention Center/United Wireless Arena........... 114 Duke Energy Convention Center........ 114 Indiana Convention Center................. 114 Iowa Events Center............................... 114 Kansas City Convention Center........... 114 Monona Terrace Convention Center.. 116 Racine Civic Centre.............................. 116 RiverCenter........................................... 116 Saint Charles Convention Center........ 116 George W. Neilson Convention Center/ Sanford Center.................................... 116 Swiftel Center........................................ 116 West

Austin Convention Center................... 129 Colorado Springs CVB......................... 129 Cox Convention Center....................... 129 Los Angeles Convention Center......... 129 Oregon Convention Center................. 129 Palm Springs Convention Center........ 129 Pasadena CVB....................................... 134 Phoenix Convention Center................ 134 Sacramento Convention Center.......... 134 San Jose Convention Center............... 134 Team San Jose...................................... 134 Three Rivers Convention Center......... 134 Visit Spokane......................................... 134 Spokane Convention Center............... 134 Canada/Caribbean

Calgary TELUS Convention Center............................. 142 International Centre............................. 142 Meet Puerto Rico.................................. 142 Montego Bay Convention Centre....... 142 Puerto Rico Convention Center.......... 142 Shaw Centre.......................................... 142 79


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 Northeast

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/140,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 3,200-seat ballroom; attached to 409-room Marriott Hotel; 700 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 23


David L. Lawrence Convention Center 1000 Ft. Duquesne Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (412) 325-6174; Fax: (412) 565-6104 www.pittsburghcc.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Debbie Smucker Built Green. Working Green. Every Day!

In downtown Pittsburgh’s cultural district, within steps of theaters, cinemas, galleries, restaurants and 2,500 hotel rooms, just across the bridge from PNC Park & Heinz Field, the environmentally smart, SMG-managed, 1.5 million-sq.-ft. facility features 313,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 37 loading docks, 53 meeting rooms, a 31,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, two 250-seat theaters. The building’s dynamic architectural design offers breathtaking views, open terraces, suspended roof structure. Technology: 1Gb circuit with DS3 backup, fiber optic backbone network, multi-mode fiber, CAT6 (copper) cabling, video conferencing, wireless Internet access. PAGE 57

New York

Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center

123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14564 (585) 232-7200; Fax: (585) 232-1510 www.rrcc.com Executive Director: James D. Brown “Do it better at the Rochester Riverside where you and your event are always the center of our attention!” 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 to the venue, surrounded by entertainment districts with restaurants, cafés, pubs, dance clubs, music halls, theaters. Rochester offers planners a compact conPAGE vention district and New York State’s only one-stop convention facility. C3 massachuseTts

MassMutual Center

1277 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 787-6610; Fax: (413) 787-6645 www.massmutualcenter.com Director of Sales: Monique Messier At the Center of it All, is the Center for it All Standing in the heart of Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley, the MassMutual Center is the region’s most diverse meeting and special event venue. The facility boasts over 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including a 40,000-sq.-ft. flexible exhibit hall, nine fully functional meeting rooms totaling 24,500 sq. ft., a 15,000-sq.-ft. elegant ballroom, eight breakout rooms, spacious pre-function areas, an 8,000-seat arena and a theater that accommodates 3,600 attendees. The MassMutual Center is steps away from 900 hotel rooms. Nearby attractions include Yankee Candle Village, Six Flags New England, The Springfield PAGE Museums and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 30 80

new York

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 655 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001 (212) 216-2000; Fax: (212) 216-2588 www.javitscenter.com

SVP Sales & Marketing: Doreen Guerin Marketplace for the World

New York City is the cultural, finance, fashion, publishing and entertainment capital of the world with 28,000 restaurants and 100,000+ hotel rooms citywide. The Javits Convention Center’s glass-enclosed structure, located in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, stretches five city blocks and divisible into 10 self-contained halls. The addition of a column-free exhibit hall increases the total gross square footage of exhibition space to 840,000 on four levels; 160,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; 40 permanent, 53 multi-purpose meeting rooms. WiFi service is available throughout building. PAGE 25

New Jersey

Meadowlands Exposition Center

355 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 07094 (201) 330-7773; (800) 400-3976; Fax: (201) 330-1172 www.mecexpo.com

Regional General Manager: Robin Cuneo Everything you need, exactly where you want it. Your cost effective alternative to NYC

With an outstanding location five miles outside Manhattan, the Meadowlands Exposition Center is accessible to public transportation and major highways and only minutes from Newark Liberty Airport. 61,000 sq. ft. of continuous exhibition space; five seminar rooms. 65,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibition space, including five meeting rooms; theater seating: 6,000. Internet, Wifi, and all audio/visual needs; onsite decorator. Catering for up to 5,000. 1,500+ hotel rooms. Free parking. Attractions: MetLife Stadium, IZOD Center, Meadowlands Racetrack, PAGE Secaucus Outlet Center, 25+ restaurants, 16 movie screens, health club. 87 Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Northeast / Connecticut

Connecticut Convention Center


he Connecticut Convention Center is the Northeast’s most ideal location for tradeshows, conventions, business meetings or any occasion that demands a dramatic riverfront setting. Overlooking the Connecticut River, the Center is situated in the heart of downtown Hartford’s exciting riverfront district, Adriaen’s Landing — a rapidly expanding district home to new restaurants and attractions. In addition to sweeping views of the river, a 110-foot glass atrium dramatically rises 10 stories above a grand public plaza and a tree-lined riverfront esplanade, earning the Connecticut Convention Center a prominent place in Hartford’s historic skyline. The Center’s award-winning event planning and in-house catering teams combine with spectacular function space to create an atmosphere conducive to making every event unforgettable. Every facet of hosting an event has been taken into consideration – from state-of-the-art rigging, wiring and Wi-Fi, to flexible spaces, abundant pre-function areas and ample onsite sheltered parking. Plus, the attached AAA Four Diamond, 409-room Marriott Hartford Downtown hotel, with an additional 13,500 sq. ft. of meeting space, ensures all of your event’s needs are met. This year marks the Connecticut Convention Center’s 10th anniversary! Not only is the facility celebrating a decade of exceptional events, but it’s also getting a new look this summer. With all new carpet and furnishings, the staff is excited for the next 10 years of exceeding your expectations.

Meeting Space

With over 140,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space (divisible into two halls), a 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom (divisible into three rooms), 14 meeting rooms totaling 25,000 sq. ft. and two executive boardrooms, the 540,000 sq. ft. Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston.


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 has it! Hartford offers a variety of full-service hotel brands including the AAA Four Diamond Hartford Marriott Downtown, the Radisson Hotel Hartford, the Hilton Hartford, Homewood Suites, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn.

Airport and Transportation

If you’re flying, the newly expanded Bradley International Airport is only 15 miles from Hartford and serves 300 national and international flights daily, including direct flights to Dallas, Denver and Las Vegas. The Bradley Flyer provides a convenient, economical mode of transportation between Bradley International Airport and the Capitol City. Once in the city, the free Dash Shuttle is the most convenient way to experience downtown. If you’re driving, the Connecticut Convention Center features exceptional highway access at the crossroads of New England, where interstates 84 and 91 meet.

Dining and F&B

The Connecticut Convention Center is proud to provide its own exclusive, in-house catering services — something very few convention centers can offer you directly. We work with you to help you coordinate memorable food and beverage experiences with highprofile corporate events, conventions, or ethnic and themed events.

Across from the Convention Center: New Front Street District • Spotlight Theatres • Infinity Music Hall • The Capital Grille • Ted’s Montana Grill • Nixs Hartford • Bear’s Smokehouse • Arch Street Tavern

100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06106 • (860) 249-6000 • ctconventions.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Northeast / New York

JoSEPH A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center

Complementing the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center is The Penthouse (below), serviced exclusively by Riverside Catering. The Penthouse is located on the top floor of an 11-story midcentury modern building on the corner of East End Avenue and Main Street, offering expansive views of Downtown Rochester and placing a planner’s event in the heart of it all. The venue provides great access to the East End, business district and future Midtown sites.


ochester 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. 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. Rochester Riverside’s newest dining experience is the eclectic Pier 45, located on the city’s spectacular waterfront along the shores of Lake Ontario. Groups will find everything from a light tapas-style 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. Conveniently located in the heart of the city is the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, with a scenic setting on the Genesee River featuring outdoor patios and balconies. The Greater Rochester International Airport — 150 flights daily — is just a 10-minute drive from the Convention Center’s front door. Complimentary airport transportation provided by all major hotels.

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 its customers have. This service is available wireless throughout the facility and is scalable from 50MB Burst able to 200 MB. The Center features an in-house food and beverage operation, including a Pastry Chef. In addition, the Riverside Productions and Riverside Catering divisions can even assist groups utilizing space in other places throughout the region. Basically, the Center is New York State’s only one-stop convention facility. More than 1,100 rooms in a trio of major hotels connect with the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester 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 has 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.

123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14564 • (585) 232-7200; Fax: (585) 232-1510 • www.rrcc.com 82

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Northeast / New York

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

Venue: This state-of-the-art metropolitan structure combines soaring steel and glass, cutting-edge technology and efficient services to make the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center the premier venue for meetings and events. Flexibility is a major benefit, as floor-to-ceiling acoustical dividing walls can create up to 10 individual halls, which in turn can accommodate 150 to 5,000 attendees. Various event spaces such as the 15-story Crystal Palace and the River Pavilion provide stunning views that have served as backdrops for 80 major annual tradeshows and conventions, as well as 70 special events every year. A total of 102 meeting rooms round out the convention center’s ability to handle any type of event.

Marketplace for the World

Location: Stretching five city blocks, the Javits Center is located on Manhattan’s West Side with Times Square, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center and the Theater District just minutes away and within walking distance. The extension of the 7 Subway will be completed in the coming months and connect the Javits Center to all major transportation hubs in New York City. With three major airports, world-class rail terminals in proximity and more than 100,000 hotel rooms in the NY metropolitan area, the Javits Center is an ideal venue to host an event. Recent Improvements: The Javits Center’s $465 million renovation and expansion project is near completion. A column-free, 110,000-sq.-ft. structure known as Javits Center North was to the inventory. Among the improvements are a new roof, painting the interior structural space frame, new high-energy efficient rooftop mechanical units, replacement of the curtain wall with new low-e glass, and replacement and upgrade of the main building’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing, lighting and life-safety systems. This is in addition to a 6.75-acre green roof that will be the largest of its kind in the Northeast. The renovation will reduce the facility’s annual energy efficiency by 26 percent, ultimately allowing it to achieve LEED Silver status. Javits is also entering the final phases of installing a cutting-edge and high-density WiFi network and an enhanced bandwidth wired (fiber and Cat 6) infrastructure to support interactive multimedia applications and a compelling menu of telecommunication services. Staff: The Javits Center is much more than a versatile space. With more than 3,000 skilled professionals, ranging from event solutions managers and in-house service managers to carpenters, cleaners, electricians and teamsters, the staff strives to make every event a success by raising service standards to a new level. Together, the convention center’s staff works closely with you during every stage of the event — from planning to the grand finale. Meetings and Events: 102 total meeting rooms. The Special Events Hall seats up to 3,200 for meetings and up to 1,700 for banquets. Banquets and Receptions: The Crystal Palace (65,000 gross sq. ft.), River Pavilion (45,000 gross sq. ft.), Special Events Hall (30,000 gross sq. ft.), Javits Center North (80,000 gross sq. ft.). Onsite kitchens are equipped to prepare up to 10,000 meals simultaneously. Registration Area: 65,000 sq. ft., accented with terrazzo floors and soaring glass ceilings. Food Services: Centerplate, Javits’ exclusive caterer, is one of the largest hospitality companies in the world with more than 140 venues in North America alone. At the Javits Center, Centerplate offers a range of cuisines at varying price points for meetings — large or small — conferences, banquets, receptions and tradeshows. There are also three permanent and several mobile food kiosks as well as a full-service Starbucks outlet located on the concourse level (next to Super Shuttle). Business Center: FedEx Office, located on the concourse level, is open during show hours and most move-in and move-out days. American Express Open® Business Lounge: Located on the 4E terrace on the south side of the Crystal Palace, the lounge offers American Express Open® card members and those who apply for the card onsite business amenities, such as free WiFi, refreshments, computers and comfortable seating. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Vital Facts Total Exhibition Space: 840,000 gross sq. ft. Total Meeting Space: 28,050 gross sq. ft. permanent; 132,000 gross sq. ft. flexible.

655 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001 (212) 216-2335 javitscenter.com 83

new jersey

Rhode Island

Atlantic City Convention Center

Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex

1 Convention Boulevard, 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 premier 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 a 29,400-sq.-ft. ballroom; free WiFi; voice/data communications; green facility – single-roof solar systems, and aggressive recycling and energy-savings programs. PAGE 17


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


new jersey

Pennsylvania Convention Center

1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 418-4700 www.meetphl.com Senior Vice President, Convention Division: Julie Coker The Complete Package The LEED-certified Pennsylvania Convention Center features one million sq. ft. of saleable space, the ability to host two major tradeshows simultaneously, 82 meeting rooms, 528,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, two ballrooms (including the 55,408-sq.-ft. Terrace Ballroom) and a Grand Hall housed in the historic Reading Railroad train shed. More than 9,000 hotel rooms are within a 15-minute walk of the center, whose North Broad Street entrance connects to the Avenue of the Arts and Museum Mile. Nearby are the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin PAGE Museum, Franklin Institute and other major cultural institutions. C4

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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 Performing Arts Center, Providence Place Mall, RI Philharmonic.

Wildwoods Convention Center

4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260 (800) 992-9732; (609) 846-2656 www.WildwoodsNJ.com Director of Sales & Entertainment: John Lynch Where Special Events Happen Offering 260,000 sq. ft. of flexible function space, the Wildwoods Convention Center is adjacent to the shops, eateries and amusement rides of Wildwoods boardwalk and five miles of free beaches. More than 8,000 hotel rooms are located within minutes Whether it’s 5 miles of powdery • Modern amenities of the center, and onsite parking is available for more than 700 vehicles. Groups of white beaches outside — the East • State-of-the-art comm 100-10,000 have at their Coast’s disposal alargest 75,000-sq.-ft. hall with fiberFREEexhibit beaches, or a translucent services glass roof, a 6,600-sq.-ft.260,000 outdoor deck and 11feet loading bays. Catering is provided by square of flexibly • Catering/concession se Delaware North Companies, a global leader inmeeting/event hospitality and food services. accommodating The local area is home tospace a variety of sports and nightclubs. inside, thebars Wildwoods Convention Center offers plenty of room for groups to roam!

wildwoods convention center

anything’s possible.

To schedule your next event, call us at 800-992-9732

Facilities & Destinations



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Make Our World Your World! The Facilities Media Group Facilities & Destinations Facilities & Event Management Facilitiesonline.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Northeast / New Jersey

Meet AC


eet AC is a nonprofit sales organization tasked with expanding the meeting, convention and group market of Atlantic City, NJ. Meet AC, a tourism economic development agency, focuses on three primary objectives: sales, marketing and services. The Atlantic City Convention Center provides 486,600 contiguous sq. ft. of exhibit space, as well as 45 meeting rooms, ample pre-function space and all the amenities groups would expect, including free Wi-Fi, an onsite audiovisual provider, food service for everything from snack bars to banquets, media, and an onsite business center. Historic Boardwalk Hall, formerly known as Atlantic City Convention Hall, is Atlantic City’s first convention center and an iconic landmark to Atlantic City that was built in 1929. Home of the Miss America Pageant, it played host to the city’s growing convention industry. Boardwalk Hall has hosted an amazing list of dazzling entertainers and knockout sporting events throughout its 85-year history. When in town for a convention, make it a point to tour the pipe organ in historic Boardwalk Hall that is a national historic landmark built in the late 1920s. Atlantic City is made up of 15,630 first-class hotel rooms that will provide the perfect accommodations for your attendees’ complete comfort and relaxation. Atlantic City’s casino resorts offer full resort amenities that range from an adult to a family-friendly atmosphere. The hotel and casino properties include meeting facilities and a surplus of unique event venues. Atlantic City offers round-the-clock fun and excitement after the work and meetings are through. Year round, day or night, whatever you are looking for in a destination, Atlantic City’s got it. Atlantic City features five miles of scenic beach and Boardwalk that attendees can enjoy at any time of the year. Take a stroll on the famous historic Boardwalk, bask in the glowing sun and take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Millions of visitors stroll, ride a bicycle or tour the Boardwalk on the famous rolling chairs. While in town, try your luck on the table games or slot machines at any of the city’s eight casinos. You can unwind and dine with plentiful dining options all customized to fit your convention delegates’ taste buds with brand-name eateries and celebrity chefs. A hot spot at Resorts Casino Hotel and on the Atlantic City Boardwalk is the innovative Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville entertainment complex, which appeals to visitors yearning for an island adventure.

Meet Space , Meet Style , Meet AC

1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (609) 449-2000 meetinac.com

The Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore is at a high with comedians, concerts and shows that will have attendees laughing and singing all night long. Shopaholics can shop till they drop at the tax-free Tanger Outlets The Walk, with over 100 retail stores that won’t disappoint with incredible deals. Tanger Outlets is just steps from the convention center. Atlantic City is 60 miles from Philadelphia, 125 miles from New York and 175 miles from Washington, DC. Any way you look at it, Atlantic City guarantees fast-paced excitement and non-stop, year-round activities. Meet AC will be happy to help you locate the right space, assist with attendance building and housing, provide temporary staff and help with all the details, including spouse activities, transportation service, media and much more. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Northeast / new Jersey

meadowlands exposition center


ith great facilities, nearby sports, plenty of shopping, low hotel rates and the Big Apple only minutes away — why wouldn’t you meet here? Almost any size or any type of group will find the perfect accommodations and hospitality at the SMG-managed Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. The Meadowlands is only minutes from New York City, the Capital of the World; and it is in relative proximity to three major international airports. Then there are five major hotels within walking distance of the facility with fabulous room rates that are about one third less than New York City’s rates. Finally, rounding out its appeal are a stadium, an arena and even a racetrack three miles away as well as movie theaters and dozens of restaurants. Located in the Harmon Meadow Complex of the Secaucus community, the Meadowlands Expo Center also offers great demographics and it maintains a group-friendly facility with liberal work regulations. This cuts red tape, has added value on planning budgets, and allows planners to hand-carry merchandise and set up their own displays. Technological Capabilities: Technological capabilities at the Center include T1, ISDN, Internet and satellite uplink support. Teleconferencing and simulcasting to other locations are also available. And, on the exhibit floor, the electricity is “flown from the air.” Also of note is a newly designed website that informs the public about upcoming events at the center. This website features the latest technology, allowing the user to access a virtual tour of the facility and gain more specifics about the building, services and the surrounding area. Professional Service: Onsite is a professional staff to work one-on-one with planners with special needs and budgets. Plus, there are event coordinators, in-house decorators and other support personnel to make any event flawless. For food and beverage, the Meadowlands has also renovated and restructured its operations to better suit the individual needs of each event held at the facility. There are three food concession stands, all of which also have been recently renovated. Hotel Partners: Five national chain hotels are within walking distance of the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Together they total approximately 1,000 guestrooms, and there are another 1,500 rooms in the nearby area. Some of the major properties include: Holiday Inn, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hyatt and Courtyard by Marriott. Things to See & Do: During free time, meeting attendees can enjoy some 40 restaurants and a wide range of shopping opportunities — including the Secaucus Outlet Center with over 100 shops and the equally popular Jersey Gardens Mega Mall. More than that, the Meadowlands is three miles from New MetLife Stadium, IZOD Center and the Meadowlands Racetrack; and who would miss out on a short trip to the Big Apple, only minutes away? All in all, this is one of few facilities in the country that has the world’s greatest city at its feet. Transportation: Part of the Meadowlands’ attraction to meeting planners is that it can be easily reached by three international airports: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark International Airport. And, only 12 minutes from the facility is the Teterboro Jetport. For driving enthusiasts, Newark is also in proximity to major interstates including the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Also, both the New York and New Jersey transit system schedule stops right at the door.


Vital Stats For groups that range from 5,000 at a banquet to a tradeshow with almost 400 exhibit booths, the Meadowlands Exposition Center offers: • 61,000 sq. ft. of contiguous, dedicated exhibit space with 20-ft. ceilings • Accommodations for 336 large exhibit booths or 392 standard booths • Two drive-in doors and four loading docks on street level for easy access • Seating for up to 6,000 attendees, concert or theater-style • Catering for up to 5,000 people • Large, all-purpose lobby for registration, receptions or additional exhibit space • 6,000 free parking spaces • Five carpeted meeting rooms totaling 3,578 sq. ft.

355 Plaza Drive Secaucus, NJ (201) 330-7773 mecexpo.com

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


1-888-400-EXPO (3976)


355 Plaza Drive Secaucus, NJ 07094 • 201-330-7773 • sales@mecexpo.com








 61, 000 s q. ft . of c ont iguous , obst r uct ion -f r ee exhibit s pac e  20- f oot high c eilings  3, 128 s q. f t. of divis ible s em inar r oom s wit h air walls  Two dr iv e- in doors wit h f our loading doc ks  110/ 220/ 480 elect r ic power , f lown fr om t he air for v er s at ility  Wir eles s inter net, t elephone, wat er and c om pr es s ed air Capac ity f or: 392 8x 10’ boot hs 336 10x 10’ boot hs 6, 000 s eats t heatr e st y le 5, 000 s eats s port ev ent s t y le 3, 500 s eats banquet s ty le

A flexible floor plan solution for all of your event needs


The Meadowlands Exposition Center offers one of the most complete and convenient facility packages in the northeast region. By offering the drawing power of the Metropolitan area, your event, exhibitors and attendees can all take advantage by booking your event at an affordable price.





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Northeast / Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA Here For The Making of Great Meetings


ost a record-breaking meeting or convention in Philadelphia, Travel Magazine’s Top Hotel City in 2014. With world-class restaurants, more than 11,000 hotel rooms ranging from concept boutiques to world-renowned brands, extraordinary attractions and great shopping, Philadelphia is a modern renaissance city rich in history, culture, innovation and vibrant neighborhoods full of character. The list of all Philadelphia has to offer within a compact, walkable downtown is as long as its history. The birthplace of America, Philadelphia is a visionary city with an entrepreneurial spirit. Between its historic blocks and skyscrapers, a modern Renaissance is taking place. The city’s eclectic and impressive dining scene has garnered global attention from Iron Chefs, Top Chefs, and James Beard award-winners, while festivals like The Roots Picnic, Wawa Welcome America, and Jay-Z’s Made in America amplify its appeal. From renowned cultural institutions, including the Barnes Foundation and Philadelphia Museum of Art, to its extensive public art collection including more than 3,600 murals, there’s more to discover in Philadelphia than cheesesteaks! Add in one of the country’s premier facilities, the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and an award-winning team at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and it’s easy to see why so many regard Philadelphia as the perfect location for a tradeshow or convention. Planning and facilitating your event in Philadelphia will be a breeze with the PHLCVB’s three congresses, PHLSports, PHLLife and PHLDiversity, there to help planners increase attendance and grow sponsorship opportunities. Each Congress works seamlessly with the PHLCVB and Convention Center staffs to provide access to industry experts, and connect conventions with offsite networks, venues and regional attractions. The PHLCVB also assists with services like customized microsites, interactive floor plans, targeted e-marketing campaigns, local PR assistance and delegate discounts to raise attendance without raising expenses. Exhibit Facilities The expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center, now managed by SMG, is the 14th largest in the nation and has the capacity to host larger tradeshows or two conventions simultaneously. The expanded center features one million sq. ft. of saleable space and the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast — 528,000 sq. ft. The Convention Center also boasts the largest ballroom on the East Coast — 55,408 sq. ft., and 79 meeting rooms and a soaring Grand Hall that lives in a historic train shed.


In May 2014, the Pennsylvania Convention Center and four trade labor unions signed a new agreement that modernizes the Center’s work rules and provides expanded exhibitor rights, giving convention groups more independence and flexibility and creating a more efficient show floor. Exhibitors may now set up and tear down within 600 sq. ft. of their booth, something which previously could not be done at the building. They can also look forward to unloading personally owned vehicles using their own equipment, including dollies, luggage carriers, non-hydraulic carts, and two-to-four wheel hand trucks. Since these changes were implemented in May, the National Association of Black MBAs (NBMBAA), the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have all signed on to take their meetings to Philadelphia, citing the improved work rules and expanded exhibitor rights. Getting There Philadelphia’s central location, within a day’s drive of 40 percent of the U.S. population, makes getting there easy and affordable. Amtrak’s 30th Street Station is one of the busiest hubs in the nation and Philadelphia International Airport is serviced by 30 airlines providing flights to 124 domestic cities and 38 international destinations. For more information on booking your next meeting in Philadelphia, contact: Julie Coker Graham, Executive Vice President Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau P: (215) 636-4470 Email: juliec@discoverPHL.com www.MeetPHL.com Stephanie Boyd, Director, Sales & Marketing & Convention Services Pennsylvania Convention Center P: (215) 418-4759 sboyd@paconvention.com www.paconvention.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Baltimore Convention Center

1 West Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21201 (410) 649-7000; Fax: (410) 649-7008 www.bccenter.org Director of Sales and Marketing: Stacey Knoppel The Center of It All The Baltimore Convention Center offers 300,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibition space, approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (50 rooms) and a multifunctional 36,672-sq.ft. ballroom. The BCC is committed to waste reduction and diversion, energy conservation, water quality and consumption, and air quality. Its 27,000-sq.-ft. outdoor terrace, complete with a working herb garden, is suitable for receptions. Partners include Centerplate (catering), Projection Presentation (audiovisual), MC Dean, The Inc. (telecommunications) and Center . . . Baltimore Convention PAGE Edlen (utility services). “The Center Of It All”

The Mid-Atlantic



Chesapeake Conference Center

900 Greenbrier Circle, Chesapeake, VA 23320 (757) 382-2500 www.chesapeakeconference.com Executive Director: Troy Thorn It All Happens Here Located 15 minutes from Norfolk International Airport, the Chesapeake Conference Center is an elegant multipurpose entertainment, conference and banquet facility housing 37,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including the 20,000-sq.-ft. Ward Ballroom, two promenades totaling 14,000 sq. ft., and 10-plus meeting rooms. Sales and service specialists help planners design, coordinate and execute events, from meal planning to décor to entertainment. Tech features include 22 high-speed ports throughout and free WiFi. Within walking distance are 650 moderately priced hotel rooms. The Center is located in the Greenbrier Corridor PAGE of Chesapeake, offering many shopping and dining options within one mile. 91

washington, DC

Events DC

801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 249-3311 www.eventsdc.com salesinfo@eventsdc.com Events DC: Powerful City | Unforgettable Events The Walter E. Washington Convention Center offers five exhibit halls totalling 703,000 sq. ft., 198,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space with a total of 77 breakout rooms, and the largest ballroom in the region. The facility is connected by an underground pedestrian walkway to the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis, which offers 105,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (83 meeting rooms), five retail and restaurants spaces, and LEED Silver Certification. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is also the first convention center in the country to launch a mobile ordering platform. Other tech features include complimentary Wi-Fi availPAGE able in common spaces and digital signage throughout the building.





Known for its 144 miles of shoreline, Norfolk provides an exceptional experience in the conference room and beyond. Opening in 2017, Hilton Norfolk the Main will feature 300 exquisite guestrooms, 32 meeting rooms and 42,770 square feet of flexible space.

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. ft. 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. 89

Book your meeting at visitnorfolktoday.com/meet.

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

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook



Mid-Atlantic / maryland

Baltimore Convention Center


ake a look at the Baltimore Convention Center — the premier location in the Mid-Atlantic region for organizations wishing to host conventions, meetings, banquets and other activities. With 300,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibition space, approximately 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (50 rooms) and a multifunctional 36,672-sq.-ft. ballroom, the Center is able to host a variety of events, large and small. The Baltimore Convention Center is committed to building, implementing and expanding on an innovative environmental management system that sustains the needs of the Center’s daily operations; meets the standards of the City of Baltimore’s sustainability efforts; and serves to educate and benefit staff, industry partners and clientele on the importance of the reduction of its carbon footprint. The cornerstones of the Center’s environmental policy are: Waste Reduction and Diversion, Energy Conservation, Water Quality and Consumption, and Air Quality. The Center also places emphasis on responsible procurement processes, continuing education and involvement with the community.


Discover the Center’s 27,000-sq.-ft. outdoor terrace, complete with a working herb garden and green roof canopy made of drought-resistant, native vegetation. The terrace also doubles as a space for receptions or networking with colleagues. Experience the perfect combination of advanced technologies and professional services, each successfully executed and delivered by the Center’s dedicated team, including its partners: Centerplate (catering), Projection Presentation (audio-visual), MC Dean, Inc. (telecommunications) and Edlen (utility services). The Center brings together all of the essential elements needed to execute a successful event.



Greater Richmond Convention Center

Roland E. Powell Convention Center 4001 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842 (800) 626-2326; Fax: (410) 289-0058 www.ococean.com Director of Sales & Marketing: R. Frederick Wise, CHAE

Ocean City, Maryland offers some of the world’s best golf courses, a free beach, seasonal festivals, and fishing. Its contemporary convention center has expanded to 214,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibition space with 25 meeting rooms including two executive boardrooms; a 45,000-sq.-ft. Main Exhibit Hall (76,000 sq. ft. total exhibit space); and a 30,000-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom with 35-ft. ceilings and panoramic bay-views. Offers wireless Internet and 1,000+ free parking spaces. Ocean City Information & Welcome Center onsite; catering and beverage services; 9,500 hotel rooms and 29,000 rentable condos. PAGE Located 28 miles from Salisbury-Ocean City Airport. 92

The #1 News & Information Source for Booking Agents, Promoters, Talent Buyers & Special Event Planners

1 West Pratt Street Baltimore, MD 21201 (410) 649-7000 www.bccenter.org

403 North Third Street, Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 783-7335 www.richmondcenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Linné DiIorio Where Virginia Meets the World The Greater Richmond Convention Center is Virginia’s largest meeting and exhibition facility. The contemporary facility features 178,159 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, a 30,550-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom, 50,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space and a 258-seat, auditorium-style lecture hall. Wireless Internet access is available throughout facility and webcasting options are available. There are 650 hotel rooms adjacent to the center with thousands more nearby. The Historic Richmond Region encompasses more than 400 years of American heritage. Virginia

Virginia Beach CVB

2101 Parks Avenue, Suite 500, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 (757) 385-4700; (800) 700-7702; Fax: (757) 437-4747 www.VisitVirginiaBeach.com/meetings Recognized for its great value and commitment to hospitality, Virginia Beach is centrally located on the East Coast, just 20 minutes from Norfolk International Airport and Amtrak, with more than 10,000 hotel rooms citywide and 7,000 rooms within three miles of the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Planners have endless options for fresh seafood and dining, downtown shopping, entertainment and unique offsite venues including Oceanfront, Chesapeake Bay and Town Center areas of the destination. The LEED-certified Virginia Beach Convention Center features a 150,000-sq.-ft., column-free exhibit hall, 31,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 29,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and over 2,200 free parking spaces. PAGE 95


Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

I t A l l H appens H e r e !

Versatile 39,000 Square Feet Of Function Space Just 15 Minutes From Norfolk International Airport And Two Minutes From Interstate 64 Ample Free Parking A Variety Of Delicious Meal Options, Including Concessions, Tailored to Meet Your Needs State Of The Art Audio Visual Equipment & High Speed Dedicated Internet Free Wifi Friendly And Highly Skilled Staff To Assist With Planning, Coordination And Execution For Any Type Of Event

900 Greenbrier Circle, Chesapeake, VA 23320 757.382.2500 • chesapeakeconference.com

Mid-Atlantic / MARYLAND

Roland E. Powell Convention Center EVERYTHING’S BETTER AT THE BEACH!


specially when that beach is in Ocean City, Maryland. Ocean City, MD is “The East Coast’s Number One Family Resort,” with waves of activities and events. With 10 miles of white sand and waves, a three-mile boardwalk, nightlife, 17 championship golf courses, restaurants, shopping and more, there’s no end to the fun when the meetings are over. And in addition to our great beach, Ocean City’s Roland E. Powell Convention Center is getting even better. The center recently added 14,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, as well as renovated and expanded the Grand Ballroom by 18,000 sq. ft. Twenty-five meeting rooms give you more options for your next conference, as well as beautiful panoramic bay-views.

The center also features onsite food and beverage service along with full-service catering by Centerplate, a veteran convention staff, free WiFi service throughout the center, and free parking for more than 1,000 cars and buses. Ocean City offers business travelers a choice of accommodations, including 9,500 hotel rooms and more than 29,000 rentable condos; of these, 4,850 are year-round committable rooms.

4001 Coastal Highway Ocean City, MD 21842 (800) 626-2326 www.ococean.com

Every season offers a reason to make your next meeting a vacation. So plan your next convention in Ocean City, where you’ll find everything you want — whether you’re in meetings or on the beach. For more information, contact the Ocean City Convention Center’s sales team at (410) 289-2800 or (800) OC-OCEAN or visit ococean.com.

GO FROM BOARDROOM TO BOARDWALK. Ocean City, MD's Roland E. Powell Convention Center is the perfect site for your conference or convention and now offers even more options for your next event. • 214,000 sq. feet of flexible space

• Beautiful panoramic bay views

• Newly renovated ballroom and expanded exhibit space

• Full-service catering with customizable menus

• 25 meeting rooms

• Waterfront promenade and outdoor terrace, perfect for receptions

• New 1,200-seat performing arts center coming Winter 2015

Ocean City, MD is just a short drive from most major East Coast cities and offers a variety of accommodations, including 9,500 hotel rooms and 25,000 rentable condos. And after your event is over, be sure to enjoy OC's 10 miles of free beach, threemile boardwalk, 17 championship golf courses, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and more!


OCMDCONVENTIONCENTER.COM OCO-2014-18737 Facilities_&_Destinations_2013_7x4.75.indd 1


1-800-OC-OCEAN 3/24/14 11:41 AM

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Mid-Atlantic / washington, DC

Events DC


he Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an extraordinary 2.3 million-sq.-ft. conventions and meetings facility, is equipped to handle events of all sizes, from small groups and breakout meetings to events for 500 to 42,000 attendees. One of the most energy-efficient buildings for its size, the Convention Center includes a range of mixed-use exhibit spaces, 198,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space with a total of 77 breakout rooms and the largest ballroom in the region. Total exhibit space is 703,000 sq. ft. Whatever the size of the event, the service of the Convention Center staff is unparalleled. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is also the first convention center in the country to launch a mobile ordering platform. At large shows, the wait time for concessions is often lengthy. The Dasdak mobile ordering platform eliminates this wait by facilitating the delivery of concessions directly to the exhibitor at their booth within minutes, providing them with what they want when they want it. This mobile technology enhances revenue for exhibitors and show managers. Exhibitors are now able to remain in their booths and gain critical time with customers, whereas show managers are now able to generate additional revenue through mobile engagement, providing a virtual mobile show before the event, and the sale of ad banners that run on the platform. Hotels supporting the Convention Center include the 897-room Grand Hyatt, 807-room Renaissance/Washington, D.C., 772-room JW Marriott, 836-room Hyatt Regency/Capitol Hill, 459-room Marriott at Metro Center and 228-room Hampton Inn. The largest property is the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, which offers 105,000 sq. ft. of meeting space across 83 meeting rooms, and five retail and restaurants spaces. The LEED Silvercertified hotel is a game changer for Events DC since it opened

in 2014, as there has been an increase in citywide bookings starting in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Nearly two million room nights have been booked since the property opened through 2020. Fiscal year 2017 will likely be the best year Events DC has ever had on the books. Some of the conventions include the Society for Human Resource Management (38,400 room nights) and OTAKON, the Japanese and East Asian anime and culture convention, which will bring approximately 23,000 attendees to Washington, DC and generate $25 million in annual revenue. Over the last year, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Marriott Marquis Washington have teamed up to provide an advantageous feature to hotel guests and event attendees alike. An underground pedestrian walkway now connects both locations, allowing attendees staying at the hotel to have direct Convention Center access via the connector. Events DC has also installed four escalators to help hotel guests and convention visitors get to their destination quickly and efficiently.

801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001 • (202) 249-3311 • www.eventsdc.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Mid-Atlantic / virginia

Virginia Beach CVB


irginia Beach provides the perfect balance of coastal charm for meetings of any size and budget. From the Atlantic Ocean to Chesapeake Bay, to the vibrant downtown feel of Town Center, Virginia Beach has numerous facilities that are ideal for meeting groups looking for comfort, state-of-the-art amenities and even teambuilding adventures, creating an ideal and distinct vibe for every meeting. The destination boasts a variety of exclusive meeting locations, including the first convention center in the country to achieve LEED® Gold certification for existing buildings, the Hilton Garden Inn Oceanfront and recently opened Brock Environmental Center. Combine this with more than 10,000 hotel rooms city-wide, and you have excellent options for meetings. Minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean lies the Virginia Beach Convention Center, a facility that continues to elevate the industry standard for its focus on sustainability and affordable elegance. The LEED® Goldcertified facility features more than 500,000 sq. ft. of space, including a 150,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, over 29,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and a 31,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, all of which are column-free. At the oceanfront, visitors will also find the new Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, featuring 167 all-oceanfront rooms, including 24 suites and 12 executive suites. Supported by two oceanfront restaurants and 5,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, the new hotel, situated on the iconic Virginia Beach boardwalk, provides an array of cutting-edge amenities and features. For those feeling nautical or just wanting an oceanic view, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers a distinctive space that provides sea-life accompaniment to any type of meeting. From an intimate, sit-down dinner for 20 overlooking the salt marsh to a cocktail reception amid sea turtles and sharks for 2,000 attendees, the Virginia Aquarium offers an idyllic ocean backdrop. Additionally, perfect for teambuilding activities and adventure beyond the boardroom, the Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium is an outdoor, aerial adventure park unlike any other. Featuring multiple ziplines and ropes challenge courses that vary in difficulty, the park is the first of its kind in the state of Virginia. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more with an advanced reservation. Other thrill-seeking group activities include iFly Virginia Beach, the city’s first indoor skydiving complex. Located in the heart of the oceanfront resort area, the $49 million project includes an

iFly wind tunnel that provides a safe and protected way for individuals to experience the thrill of a free-falling skydive. Just a short drive away, on the scenic Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center is the most energy-efficient, environmentally smart building in Virginia Beach. With its solar panels, wind turbines, geothermal wells, natural landscaping and more, the center is an international model for energy and water efficiency. The center features a large conference room for meetings, discussions and collaboration set against a stunning natural wonder. Meeting planners will find that in addition to Virginia Beach’s distinct offerings, it’s the experienced and enthusiastic staff at the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau that delivers on the destination’s wellknown exceptional service. Planners can get acquainted with the staff via the “Meet the Team” feature on the Virginia Beach Meetings website, which offers bios that showcase the dynamic group of people who create memorable Virginia Beach meetings and events. To further the destination’s focus on sustainability, the Virginia Beach CVB’s giveback program, “One Beach, One World,” offers groups the opportunity to be matched with a local or international charity or with nonprofit organizations seeking voluntary support, broadening the reach for groups wanting to help others. To learn more about Virginia Beach’s meeting and event offerings, explore facilities or submit an RFP, go to www.VisitVirginiaBeach.com/ Meetings or call (800) 700-7702.

2101 Parks Avenue, Suite 500, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 • (757) 385-4700; (800) 700-7702 • VisitVirginiaBeach.com/meetings 94

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

With our team behind you, better practice your strut. Bring it to the Beach!



Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex

2100 Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard North Birmingham, AL 35203 (205) 458-8400; Fax: (205) 458-8438 www.bjcc.org Director of Sales and Marketing: Susette Hunter Alabama’s largest convention facility, one of the best values in the South, offers 220,000+ sq. ft. of exhibition space, over 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 90 meeting rooms, a 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 18,000-seat arena, 2,800-seat concert hall and The Forum, a 10-story tower featuring high-tech meeting rooms. A 3,800-sq.-ft. broadcast studio offers live TV and satellite uplink capabilities. There are 1,051 onsite hotel rooms. Attractions: Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, award-winning Robert Trent Jones Golf courses. PAGE




The Classic Center

300 North Thomas Street, Athens, GA 30601 (706) 208-0900 www.classiccenter.com Director of Sales: Maureen Baker Be Impressed The Classic Center convention center and performing arts theater in vibrant downtown Athens completed its $24 million expansion in February 2013. The expansion doubled the size of the center’s exhibit hall to 56,000 sq. ft. and included construction of a new 8,000-sq.-ft. atrium. The center can now accommodate groups of up to 6,000. Overall function space of 110,590 sq. ft. includes a 55,610-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall and a 17,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The theater seats 2,100. With 2,443 hotel rooms citywide, Atlanta is home to the Georgia Museum of Art, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 55 restaurants, and 40 PAGE taverns and nightclubs. 97

north carolina


Durham Convention Center

301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701 (919) 956-9404 www.durhamconventioncenter.com General Manager: Jennifer Noble Downtown Durham’s Premier Meeting & Event Destination The Durham Convention Center offers 35,000 sq. ft. of flexible space to accommodate from 5-1,500 meeting attendees. The venue houses a 14,500-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom, a 1,800-seat theater and eight meeting rooms that can be converted into 17. The Durham Convention Center is located steps away from the Carolina Theater and near the Durham Performing Arts Center, a nationally respected arts center. Attendees can enjoy unique restaurants, shopping, art galleries, museums or a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. A 189-room Marriott is available for groups, and a PAGE 125-room 21C hotel and 53-room Durham Hotel are opening soon. 35


Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

426 West Markham, Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 370-3224; Fax: (501) 374-2255 www.littlerock.com VP Marketing and Communications: John Mayner A capital city with a national airport, Little Rock offers non-stop or one-stop service from most of the U.S. and many international cities, as well as more than 9,000 hotel rooms citywide. Its Statehouse Convention Center Ballroom offers nearly 83,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and the 18,362-sq.-ft. Wally Allen Ballroom. The downtown River Market entertainment district is adjacent to the Convention Center. What is more, Little Rock CVB’s Convention Services department has recently teamed-up with Marketing and Communications to assist meeting planners with attendance stimulation through PAGE customized, technologically cutting-edge strategies. 101 96

Georgia World Congress Center

285 Andrew Young International Boulevard NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 223-4200 www.gwcc.com Director of Sales: Mark Adams The Complex that Makes Event Planning Simple The Georgia World Congress Center, the fourth-largest convention complex in North America, features 1.4 million sq. ft. of prime exhibit space, 12 exhibit halls, 104 meeting rooms, three auditoriums and two grand ballrooms, including the 1,744-seat Sidney Marcus Auditorium and 33,000-sq.-ft. Thomas Murphy Ballroom. New, state-of-the-art digital signage is available at the GWCC, which is adjacent to the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park. The campus is also in proximity to the CNN Center, PAGE Philips Arena, the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola. 61


Miami Beach Convention Center

1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 14303 (305) 673-7311; Fax: (305) 673-7435 www.MiamiBeachConvention.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Ileana Garcia Spanning four city blocks of palm tree-lined streets and located in the heart of the electrifying and historic South Beach/Art Deco District, the Miami Beach Convention Center is truly an event planner’s paradise. With white sandy beaches just a few blocks away, terrific Lincoln Road shopping, awardwinning restaurants and an exciting nightlife scene, the Convention Center is the choice for your next meeting, convention or tradeshow. Function space includes 502,000 sq. ft. of total exhibit space split into four halls, a 21,252-sq.-ft. ballroom, 70 breakout rooms and a 430-seat theater. The Convention Center is surrounded by 3,000 walkable PAGE hotel rooms and is just 11 miles from Miami International Airport. 31

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Anything but conventional Convention center hosting groups of up to 6,000

Walking distance to hotels, New arena hosting sporting events for restaurants & shops up to 2,000 fans

2,100 seat performing arts theatre hosting concerts, Broadway shows & more!

// In the heart of downtown Athens, Georgia //

300 N. Thomas sT. • aTheNs, Ga • ClassiCCeNTer.Com • 706.208.0900

Southeast / alabamA

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex


he Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex is Alabama’s foremost convention, meeting and entertainment center. Events and meetings of all types can be accommodated in its Arena, Concert Hall, Theater, Exhibition Halls and Ballroom. The complex embraces a beautiful central piazza used for outdoor events. The Exhibition Halls cover 220,000+ sq. ft. for major tradeshows and exhibitions. For smaller shows, this space can be divided into seven different configurations. The Complex offers full catering service for any size group, ranging from casual box lunches to elaborate cocktail receptions and formal dinners. With the new Uptown Entertainment District, the complex also includes six restaurants with cuisines ranging from fine dining to Southern cooking, plus a premium coffee shop with full-service bar. Two skywalks and an interior corridor stretching over 1,000 ft. connect the BJCC Exhibition Halls, Meeting Rooms and Arena with the adjacent 757-room Sheraton Birmingham Hotel. Connected to the Sheraton via skywalk is the all-new Westin Birmingham Hotel with an additional 294 rooms, bringing total onsite accommodations to 1,051 rooms.

The BJCC offers videoconferencing, satellite, teleconferencing, in-house Ethernet for event use, microwave and satellite connectivity, wireless access to an exhibitor network and a fully staffed, broadcastquality studio with pre- and post-production capabilities. Total Exhibition Space = 220,000+ sq. ft. with 20-30-ft. ceilings Number of Meeting Rooms = 90 • Largest Ballroom = 25,000 sq. ft. • Banquet Seating Capacity • 8,800 seats Event Space • 2,800-seat Concert Hall • 1,000-seat Theater • 18,000-seat Arena

2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 458-8400 • www.bjcc.org 98

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex 205.458.8400 | www.bjcc.org

220,000 Exhibition Space | 90 Meeting Rooms Now Open! UpTown Entertainment District | www.uptownbham.com

Southeast / Georgia

Georgia World Congress Center Georgia World Congress Center Campus Continues Growth

Downtown Atlanta is one of the region’s most vibrant areas. In this epicenter, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s sprawling 200-acre campus continues to be a catalyst for new developments in entertainment, sports and commerce. The newest of these developments include the College Football Hall of Fame, the New Stadium Project and a proposed campus hotel. Opting, in 2009, to move from South Bend, IN, the National Football Foundation has found a new home in the heart of downtown Atlanta. The new location opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014 and takes fans through an interactive experience in the 94,256-sq.-ft. facility, including 50,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and a 45-yard indoor football field. The new Hall of Fame is located at the former “Green Parking Lot” of the Georgia World Congress Center. Along with the excitement of the new College Football Hall of Fame, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority together with the Atlanta Falcons broke ground on a new retractable roof stadium (above) to be built on the Georgia World Congress Center campus. The new stadium is scheduled to open in early 2017, and will serve as the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the new Atlanta Major League Soccer team in addition to other sports, convention and entertainment events. The groundbreaking took place May 18, 2014. For more information on the New Stadium Project, log onto gwcc.com and click “Stadium Development” for a comprehensive timeline and photos of construction progress. During the New Stadium Project (NSP) negotiations, a site was preserved for a potential hotel (above, right) on the GWCCA campus. Combining feedback from campus partners, meeting planners, conventioneers and hotel consultants, the Georgia World Congress Center is moving forward with a plan to build a new headquarter hotel on the northwest corner of campus. The Georgia World Congress Center campus continues to grow, develop and innovate to ensure the success of all events that choose Atlanta.


Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center

One South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602 (251) 208-2001 www.mobileconventions.com Director Sales & Marketing: Cheryl Ann Gee Service, Style, Success Winner of numerous architectural awards, the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center takes full advantage of its waterfront setting with outdoor terraces, riverwalks and expansive riverfront windows affording panoramic views from pre-function areas. The facility offers 319,000 sq. ft. of function space, including a 100,000-sq.-ft. Main Exhibit Hall, 15,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 18 breakout rooms. Mobile Bay is home to numerous unique attractions such as USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park, the Gulf Coast PAGE Exploreum, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Civil War Trail and more. 102 Florida

Orange County Convention Center

West Concourse – 9800 International Drive, South Concourse – 9899 International Drive, North Concourse – 9400 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 685-9800, (800) 345-9845; Fax: (407) 685-9876 www.occc.net Director of Sales: Rodney Gutierrez, CMP The Center of Hospitality, where it’s all about your experience The second largest convention center in the nation, the award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) offers seven million total sq. ft. of meeting space, including 2.1 million sq. ft. of total exhibition space, 74 meeting rooms/235 breakout meeting rooms and the 62,182-sq.-ft. Valencia Room (largest ballroom). Additionally, the OCCC boasts a 2,643-seat theater, a 160-seat lecture hall and state-of-the-art techPAGE nology. Directly connected by pedestrian bridge to 5,000 luxury guestrooms. 105 100

285 Andrew Young International Boulevard NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 223-4200 www.gwcc.com


New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 19107 (504) 582-3023 • www.mccno.com Director of Sales: Keith Levey Any Meeting, Any Size Located within walking distance of the Warehouse/Arts District and the historic French Quarter, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center houses 140 meeting rooms located directly above 1.1 million sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, a 4,000-seat conference auditorium/theater, two ballrooms, three restaurants and a VIP dining suite. The new, 60,300-sq.-ft., column-free Great Hall offers 25,400 sq. ft. of pre-function space. Additional features of The Great Hall include the 4,660-sq.-ft. Rivergate Room, complete with a 4,400-sq.-ft. rooftop terrace and indoor balcony, and a 5,700-sq.-ft. Mosaic Room. PAGE The Louis Armstrong International Airport is just 14 miles away. 13 Florida

Visit Orlando

6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32821 (407) 541-4270; Fax: (407) 370-5014 OrlandoMeeting.com Senior Vice President Convention Sales & Services: Fred Shea Orlando offers more than 100 attractions, from unique outdoor experiences such as hot air ballooning, ziplining, and exotic race-car driving to its world-renowned theme parks including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida and SeaWorld Orlando. The city also boasts the second-largest convention center in the United States, offering 2.1 million sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meeting space and more than 116,000 hotel rooms in 450 hotels and resorts across the destination. The Convention Center is connected by covered walkway bridges to four first-class convention hotels including the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Hilton Orlando, Rosen Center, and Rosen Plaza and a PAGE total of 16,668 sleeping rooms within a two-mile radius. 45

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Southeast / arkansas

Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau Little Rock – Destination with a Southern Accent


ver the past 10 years, Little Rock has undergone a tremendous renewal. As Arkansas’ capital city, it is home to numerous attractions that are enjoyed by tourists and meeting-goers alike. Recently honored by Southern Business & Development magazine as one of 10 “Great Southern Downtowns,” Little Rock continues to garner national and international acclaim for its quality of life, tourism amenities and economic climate. A catalyst for the city’s recent success has been the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, opened November 2004, propelling Little Rock as a true tourist and meetings destination. This “Decade of Progress” has produced new attractions, award-winning restaurants and entertainment venues and a number of new hotels and meeting spaces. Little Rock’s Statehouse Convention Center, with its 220,000 sq. ft. of public, meeting and exhibit space, provides meeting-goers state-of-the-art amenities, scenic Arkansas River views and proximity to downtown’s River Market Entertainment District. Connected to the Statehouse Convention Center, the Little Rock Marriott, the state’s only full-service Marriott, recently completed a $16 million top-to-bottom renovation that provides a sleek, urban, contemporary feel. Arkansas’ premier performing arts facility, the Robinson Center, is currently undergoing a $70 million re-imagining and expansion that will provide significant improvements to its performance hall, lobby and back-of-house amenities. One of the most dramatic additions will be a new conference center overlooking the Arkansas River. The ballroom will accommodate up to 500 people for a seated banquet, with flexible meeting space on an upper level. It is slated to re-open fall 2016. Little Rock is a city on the move, and renowned for its charming hospitality, history and culture. Groups are invited to discover the pleasant surprise of Little Rock, and to learn why “Meetings Are Better With a Southern Accent.sm” For more information, visit www.littlerock.com or follow Little Rock at www.facebook.com/experienceLR and www.twitter.com/littlerockCVB.

101 South Spring Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 376-4781 (800) 844-4781 www.littlerock.com

Like seeing the city’s beautifully illuminated bridges for the first time, our meeting in Little Rock will never be forgotten. The elegant reception hosted within the Clinton Library’s inspiring spaces. Exchanging smiles and greetings while the River Rail Trolley carried us to an evening’s diversion. Filling the Statehouse Convention Center with applause. Our meeting here felt different — and such a pleasant surprise. All centered around the personal attention and charming hospitality of Little Rock.



Junction Bridge > To see more, go to LittleRockMeetings.com PHOTO: PAUL BARROW

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Southeast / alabama

Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center


he Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center anchors a lively downtown offering worldclass accommodations, lush parks and squares, retail shops, restaurants, museums and art galleries. The 300,000-sq.-ft. Center offers 18 meeting rooms, two ballrooms, and two exhibit halls totaling 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. Winner of numerous architectural awards, the Center takes full advantage of its superb waterfront setting with terraces and riverwalks, while the prefunction area’s expansive windows afford magnificent views of passing ships on the Mobile River.

One S. Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602 (251) 208-2100 mobileconventions.com

The Center has also mastered the requirements of accessibility, flexibility and liberally placed amenities to accommodate a variety of conventions, meetings, trade and consumer shows. From service-corridor access to conveniently located registration lobbies, the state-of-the-art facility offers all services necessary to ensure the success of every event. Within walking distance are six hotels that offer more than 1,100 sleeping rooms, including the AAA Four Diamond, 363-room Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, which is connected via SkyWalk to the Convention Center. Accommodations include reasonably priced hotel chains, a historic inn, a bed & breakfast and a modern high-rise. Three regional airports service the Mobile Bay area: Mobile Regional Airport, Pensacola Regional Airport and Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. All three airports are within driving distance of the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Mobile Bay is home to numerous one-of-a-kind attractions for guests to discover, including Alabama’s top-rated USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park and the Gulf Coast Exploreum and IMAX Theater. The beautiful Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Alligator Alley, 5 Rivers: Delta Resource Center, Hank Aaron Stadium, Civil War Trail, Oakleigh Historic District and several museums are also favorites of visitors. In addition, the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf Coast opened last fall. Attendees can now enjoy more than 90 exhibits dedicated to the Gulf Coast’s rich maritime traditions. Guests can also play on several award-winning golf courses. 102

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Southeast / Louisiana

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center


n award-winning city steeped in culture, culinary excellence and centuries-old architecture, New Orleans hosts events that are unlike any other. Exquisite and unique venues as well as unmatched Southern hospitality are just a few of the reasons. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) is the sixth largest and one of the most technologically advanced convention facilities in the country. Following completion of a recent $52 million renovation, MCCNO offers 1.1 million sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, more than 140 different meetings spaces, two exquisite ballrooms and customizable auditorium space. The new, elegant Great Hall boasts 60,000 sq. ft. with four divisible spaces, 25,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space, interior and exterior balconies as well as a large outdoor pedestrian thoroughfare and grand entrance. State-of-the-art, energy-efficient lighting systems can create nearly endless color combinations to transform any event. The grand entrance overlooks a high-definition, customizable video display board welcoming each guest. An exciting transformation is taking place that will revitalize the Convention Center District. New entertainment, dining, arts and cultural opportunities will enhance the experience for visitors attending conventions, embarking on a cruise, or attending an event or festival. The Convention Center District Development project will be situated on 47 acres of mixed-use development and feature: • A four-star headquarters hotel; • A multimodal transportation hub for shuttles and taxis; • A pedestrian park along Convention Center Boulevard with rerouted traffic patterns for better, safer flow of traffic; • Improved lighting and streetscape for shops, hotels, restaurants, museums and galleries. • Shopping options not currently offered in the region; • New fine and casual dining options; • Direct access to the river with outdoor entertainment and gathering places.

Completion of the project will be aimed to coincide with the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018. With more than 1,400 restaurants in the city, attendees never have to travel far for a good meal. With Centerplate, MCCNO’s culinary partner, they don’t even have to leave the show floor. Centerplate is committed to providing the essence of the New Orleans food experience through three onsite restaurants featuring live local music and menus of iconic Louisiana dishes by award-winning chef Donald Link. After tradeshow hours have ended, MCCNO is just a stone’s throw from the newly renovated Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk. Enjoy views of the Mississippi River and get the latest deal at the nation’s first downtown outlet mall. As a consistent Top 10 host of the largest number of conventions and tradeshows annually, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is an expert in hosting groups of all sizes and industries. The Crescent City, The Big Easy, a sportsman’s paradise — whatever you call New Orleans, call it your next meeting destination.

Food & Beverage Services

One of New Orleans’s most enticing attributes is its unique dining experiences, and the Center lives up to that expectation, providing a wide range of culinary options to satisfy the most discerning customers. In addition to the customary service on the exhibit floor, several exclusive dining options are available, including the breathtakingly elegant Ma Maison.

Business Center

Located in Lobby F, the UPS Store at the Convention Center is selfservice or full-service, depending on the customer’s needs. Remote business centers can be set up at event registration areas. Hours are tailored to meet the needs of show managers and attendees. A wide range of supplies and services including shipping, high-volume copying, faxing, badge chains, etc., are available.

900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 19107 • (504) 582-3023 • www.mccno.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook




Owensboro Convention Center

Palm Beach County Convention Center

501 West 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42301 (270) 687-8800; Fax: (270) 687-8959 www.owensborocenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Laura A. Alexander The Owensboro Convention Center is a new, state-of-the-art, multipurpose meeting facility located on the banks of the Ohio River. The facility boasts 92,000 sq. ft. of usable space consisting of a 44,000-plussq.-ft. exhibition hall, and over 48,000 sq. ft. of additional ballroom and meeting spaces. The center will also feature a large outside space that overlooks the Ohio River. There are 270 rooms located within one block and more than 1,100 rooms within a five-mile radius. Attendees can explore the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art and Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens. PAGE 34


650 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 366-3000; (561) 366-3030 www.pbconventioncenter.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Maria Walker Conveniently located in downtown West Palm Beach, just minutes from I-95, Florida’s Turnpike and Palm Beach International Airport, the Palm Beach County Convention Center houses a 100,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, 22,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 21,000 sq. ft. of flexible breakout space divisible into 19 rooms. An award-winning culinary department presents the finest F&B service. High-tech features include a 5MB Internet connection, 52-in. LCD screens and exhibit-floor fiber optic connections. Nearby attractions include CityPlace, a $600 million shopping, dining and entertainment complex; the nationally acclaimed PAGE Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts; and Worth Avenue. 35 Florida

Visit Savannah

101 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401 (877) SAVANNAH; (912) 644-6424; Fax: (912) 644-6499 www.SavannahMeetings.com www.SavannahVisit.com VP Business Development & Services: Jeff Hewitt Savannah is a convention city capable of hosting large, high-level meetings, conventions and special events. Welcome to Savannah, est. 1733, waiting to charm you with tree-filled squares and perfectly preserved historic buildings. Savannah has the capacity to accommodate large groups in its convention, exhibit and meeting facilities, the largest being the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. Total event space: 330,000 sq. ft.; exhibit space: 100,000 sq. ft.; ballroom: 25,000 sq. ft.; pre-function space: 6,600 sq. ft.; meetings rooms: 13; 14,000 hotel rooms citywide. PAGE

Sun Life Stadium

347 Don Shula Drive, Miami, FL 33056 (305) 943-6316 www.sunlifestadium.com Special Events Manager: Cara Cambria Make Your Event as Legendary as Our Venue Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins and spectacular events, offers 24,000 sq. ft. of prime meeting space (up to four meeting rooms) and more than 100,000 sq. ft. of total exhibit space including a 48,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall. Six hundred theater seats can be accommodated in each of the four meeting spaces; audiovisual and WiFi available. Sun Life Stadium is equidistant from Miami International Airport and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Recent events include a Monster Truck Show, Jazz In The Gardens Festival and the SunCon Trade Show.



Facilities &Destinations


Meetings/Tradeshows/Exhibitions/ Convention Centers/CVBs/Hotels/ Resorts/Conference Centers

Vicksburg Convention Center

1600 Mulberry Street, Vicksburg, MS 39183 (601) 630-2929 www.vicksburgccevents.com Sales and Marketing Manager: Julie Ford Going Beyond Your Expectations! Located in a scenic Mississippi River city, the Vicksburg Convention Center offers over 50,000 sq. ft. of function space, including 25,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space (17,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall), a 2,400-seat theater and 10 breakout rooms. The entire facility is equipped with WiFi and all meeting rooms have audiovisual equipment preset. Surrounding the center are 2,526 hotel rooms. Attendees can visit Vicksburg National Military Park, numerous casinos, the historic downtown, Outlet Mall and antebellum homes. Outdoor recreation and outstanding southern PAGE cuisine are highlights of Vicksburg. 108


Wilmington Convention Center

THE FACILITIES MEDIA GROUP Essential Planning Tools 104

515 Nutt Street, Wilmington, NC 28401 (910) 251-5101 www.businessmadecasual.com Sales & Marketing Manager: Holland Soucy Business Made Casual At 107,000 sq. ft. of total space, Wilmington Convention Center is the largest convention venue on the North Carolina coast. Opened in 2010, the LEED-certified Center regularly hosts state and regional conventions, social events and banquets catered by SAVOR. Facilities include a 30,000-sq.-ft. Exhibit Hall, 12,000-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom plus 15,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space, a 12,000-sq.-ft. event lawn and 5,784 sq. ft. of meeting space. Local attractions include The Battleship North Carolina, the Henrietta III Paddleboat, and Wilmington Water Tours, PAGE complementing more than 200 downtown shops and 40 restaurants. 109

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Orlando ‘s

Orange County Convention Center


The Orange County Convention Center in Orlando has embarked on the largest renovation project in its history: an ongoing Capital Improvement Plan.


The OCCC currently links to all of its neighboring hotels via a network of four pedestrian bridges. The design for a fifth pedestrian bridge, spanning International Drive between the West Building’s Central Lobby Level III and the sidewalk in front of the Hyatt Regency Orlando, is complete. The finish date of this new overhead walkway is estimated for 2017.

FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS Get a first look at www.occc.net/cip OrangeCounty ConventionCenter @OCCC


Due for completion in August 2015, the West Building’s Hall F will transform into the Tangerine Ballroom, a stunning 50,000 square foot multipurpose space.


Fittingly-named the Sunburst Room and Terrace, renovated meeting room W340 will add a new outdoor terrace space which will overlook the facility’s lush, Florida-style landscaping.

Call the Sales Department at 1-800-345-9845

Southeast / Florida

Visit Orlando

Orlando’s Growing WOW Factor


ith a wide variety of resorts, famous attractions and new dining and entertainment complexes cropping up, there’s always something new happening in Orlando. For meeting groups looking for that wow factor, this is the place to be. From a plethora of enhancements to the world-renowned Orange County Convention Center and expansions at its many meeting hotels to its growing foodie scene and exciting new attractions, it’s no wonder Orlando is one of the top meeting and convention destinations in the world. As the country’s most-visited destination, Orlando is also a top pick among meeting attendees probably because there is so much to do and see after the meeting. Its newest dining and entertainment complex, I-Drive 360, located on International Drive in the heart of the convention district, is getting all kinds of national attention these days. And it’s easy to see why. The massive 400-ft.-tall observation wheel, The Orlando Eye, is the largest in the eastern United States! So get ready to board your flight and sip a glass of champagne while taking in incredible views of central Florida on this heart-stopping 20-minute ride to the top of the world. Disembark right next to the entrance of Madame Tussauds and the SeaLife Aquarium for a tour — or have a private party at either of these phenomenal venues. Want a bite? Yard House is also in the I-Drive 360 complex as well as Tin Roof: A Live Music Joint, Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit (with Flamenco dancers), Ben & Jerry’s and soon, a host of other restaurants and shops, which will open in waves. This great new complex offers groups several new one-of-a-kind private event experiences from exclusive champagne flights and cocktails with the stars, to a full courtyard buyout. Just down the road, Pointe Orlando on International Drive opened three new outlets — the Minus 5 Ice Bar, which is entirely made of ice; Blue Martini, Florida’s premier happy hour bar; and RA Sushi, featuring distinctive Japanese fusion cuisine. Other restaurants in Pointe Orlando (all can be used for a private dine-around/block party for groups) include Tommy Bahama, Cuba Libre and The Pub, all with spectacular food and cocktails.

Much of the news that came out of Orlando last year was surrounding the opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios Florida. The new Diagon Alley connects by train to Hogsmeade, where groups can host a private event accommodating up to 1,500 guests. Afterwards, groups can continue the excitment at Universal CityWalk and dine at one of a host of great restaurants like Emeril’s or The Cowfish, or take in the Blue Man Group show. Another significant enhancement is taking place at the iconic Downtown Disney at the Walt Disney World Resort, which is undergoing a major transformation. Disney Springs, its new name, will expand from 75 to more than 150 dining and entertainment venues oriented around a series of bubbling natural springs. The expansion will open in phases, with completion expected in 2016. Chef Masaharu Morimoto, known from his appearances on Iron Chef America, is opening Morimoto Asia, a one-of-akind dining experience in the heart of Disney Springs, in summer of 2015, and the new Boathouse Restaurant recently opened. The Amphicars (a boat that looks like a car) experience is offered as a 20-minute ride-along boating adventure, piloted by a trained captain who narrates the history of the Amphicar and points out landmarks at the ongoing Disney Springs conversion from Downtown Disney. Orlando is constantly reinventing itself to offer something new and exciting each time you visit. So if you haven’t been to Orlando lately, you’re in for some big surprises. From a growing collection of hotels and resorts to innovative meeting spaces to trendsetting entertainment, there’s no better time to bring your group to Orlando. Discover more at OrlandoMeeting.com and sign up for the monthly What’s New Webinar to stay up to date on all that’s going on in Orlando.

6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32821-8043 • (407) 541-4270 • OrlandoMeeting.com 106

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Southeast / Georgia

Visit Savannah

Savannah Meetings Boost Attendance


eet in Savannah for a one-of-a-kind experience that mixes historic architecture, cultural attractions, coastal cuisine and scenic beauty with successful conventions, meetings and special events. Savannah’s eclectic sophistication will enthrall your attendees, and 22 park-like, moss-draped squares placed throughout the historic downtown will make them feel relaxed and focused. Elegant accommodations within blocks of abundant meeting venues make gatherings in Savannah a step above the rest. Select Savannah as your host city and your event attendance is sure to increase. The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, situated on the Savannah River, offers a modern, spacious venue for your next meeting, convention or special event. With a total of 330,000 sq. ft., the facility offers 100,000 sq. ft. of prime exhibit space and 50,000 sq. ft. of flexible space. Up to 21 breakout rooms are in the space, including 13 meeting rooms, four executive boardrooms, a 25,000-sq.ft. grand ballroom and a state-of-the-art auditorium. A 45 ft.-by-30 ft. hanger door allows large equipment and aviation-oriented tradeshows to be displayed in the center’s exhibit hall. Additional meeting facilities located throughout downtown Savannah include the Coastal Georgia Center and the Savannah Civic Center. There are a variety of convention hotels throughout Savannah including The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa (403 rooms), Savannah Marriott Riverfront (383 rooms), Hyatt Regency Savannah (347 rooms) and the Hilton Savannah Desoto (246 rooms). Nearly 5,000 rooms are available at various hotels in the Historic Meetings District and more than 15,000 total hotel rooms in the greater Savannah area. All hotels and meeting spaces in the Historic Meetings District are located within walking distance to numerous high-style boutiques, galleries, restaurants and more. Located just 15 minutes from downtown, the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is one of the busiest in the Southeast. With

more than 45 daily nonstop flights via Allegiant, American, Delta, JetBlue, Silver, Sun Country, United and US Airways from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas/ Ft. Worth, Houston, Minneapolis, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and more, it’s easier to get to the city than ever before. The low-cost CAT shuttle and DOT shuttle are available for quicker travel, including a direct route from the airport to downtown. Once you’re here, there are several ways to get around, with many visitors preferring to explore pedestrian-friendly Savannah by foot. With more than 45 cultural attractions, Savannah draws meeting attendees craving a diverse experience. Trolley, Segway and walking tours covering history, hauntings, architecture and food will fill down time with excitement and entertainment. Meeting attendees also are sure to enjoy Savannah’s palate-pleasing, coastal cuisine and farm-to-table fare served at restaurants throughout the city. As your host city, Savannah will work closely with the local hospitality industry and business community to meet and exceed your requirements. Southern hospitality combined with the array of services found in Savannah will help you create an expertly executed event for any size group. The city’s hospitality community looks forward to welcoming you! To plan your meeting in Savannah today, contact Jeff Hewitt at (912) 644-6416 or at JHewitt@VisitSavannah.com.

101 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401 • (877) SAVANNAH; (912) 644-6424 • SavannahMeetings.com; SavannahVisit.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook



Meet in Vicksburg!

Call our sales team today 866.822.6338 vicksburgevents.com


John S. Knight Center

77 East Mill Street, Akron, OH 44308 (330) 374-8900 / (800) 245-4254; Fax: (330) 374-8971 www.johnsknightcenter.org VP of Sales: Dirk Breiding The Center of All America® City

Akron – set among the rolling hills of the Old Connecticut Western Reserve and along the shores of the Ohio and Erie Canalway. The John S. Knight Center is downtown Akron’s showcase for great events. State-of-the-art video conferencing and streaming systems, onsite skilled support/service staff, full-service catering; 16 meeting rooms; 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 30,000-sq.-ft. exhibition hall (41,000 sq. ft. total exhibit space); 12,000 sq. ft. of banquet space; an additional 12,600 sq. ft. of meeting space; 22,000-sq.-ft. lobby, highlighted by distinctive glass rotunda and spiral staircase. 5,400 hotel rooms county-wide. PAGE

The midwest



Bridge View Center

102 Church Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501 (641) 684-7000 www.bridgeviewcenter.com Executive Director: Scott Hallgren Where Great Events Create Lifetime Experiences Located along the banks of the Des Moines River, the 92,000-sq.-ft. Bridge View Center features a 30,000-sq.-ft. multi-purpose exposition hall, five breakout rooms totaling 7,000 sq. ft. and a 665-seat theater. Bridge View Center offers pipe, drape, tables, skirts and linens for up to 120 tradeshow booths; plentiful free, onsite parking; and a riverfront plaza just outside the atrium-style lobby. Approximately 500 convention/guest hotel rooms are available. Located just across the river lies downtown Ottumwa with a variety of quality hotel accommodations. Nearby attractions include the Beach Ottumwa, America Gothic House, PAGE Wapello County Museum, Antique Air Museum and Wapello County Trails. 111



Century Center South Bend

Cleveland Convention Center

120 South St. Joseph Street, South Bend, IN 46601 (574) 235-9711 www.centurycenter.org Director of Sales & Marketing: Crista Tompson Unique Architecture. Exceptional Experiences. The Century Center, built on the banks of the West Race canal, overlooks the St. Joseph River and is attached to the 11-acre Island Pavilion, completed in May 2013, as well as the 292-room DoubleTree by Hilton, renovated in 2013. The Century Center features over 75,000 sq. ft. of convention space, including a 25,000-sq.-ft. Convention Hall that can be split into two smaller halls, 41,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 700-seat theater, 16,640-sq.-ft. ballroom and 18 meeting rooms. The 12,000-sq.-ft. Discovery Ballroom can be separated into two equal halls. Free basic WiFi available. Main entrance renovated in 2013, lighting PAGE retrofit completed in 2013 and carpet replacement completed in 2014.

1 St. Clair Avenue, NE, Cleveland, OH 44144 (216) 928-1600; Fax: (216) 920-1451 www.clevelandconventions.com meetings@clevelandconventions.com

The brand new, SMG-managed Cleveland Convention Center offers 35 meeting rooms, a 32,200-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and 225,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. By 2016, downtown will offer 5,000 guestrooms. Included in the mix are the recently opened Westin Cleveland Downtown and the 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown (opening June 2016), featuring direct access to the convention center. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is only a 20-minute transit or cab ride from downtown. Cleveland boasts a flourishing culinary and nightlife scene, as well as the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other points of interest include University Circle, Cleveland PAGE Museum of Art, Severance Hall, PlayhouseSquare and the Warehouse District. 11




Cobo Center

2 ohio

Greater Columbus Convention Center

1 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 877-8777; Fax: (313) 877-8577 www.cobocenter.com Director of Sales: Greg DeSandy

400 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215 (614) 827-2500; (800) 626-0241; Fax: (614) 827-2659 www.columbusconventions.com Senior Director of Sales: Sherry Chambers, CMP, CTA

Overlooking the Detroit River and our international neighbor, the CoboOTHER Center’s elegant The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center is located within a day’s drive and CITIES CAN TOUT GREAT VIEWS CENTER AND RESTAURANTS LIKE US. SPECTACULAR banquet rooms and over 100 meeting rooms totalCOBO 200,000 sq. ft., accommodating from hour’s flight of the majority of the nation’s population. The GCCC houses four contiguous BALLROOMS AND MEETING SPACE. WIFI Greatness comes FOOD COURTS. BUT WHAT THIS TOWNhalls (336,000 sq. ft. contiguous, 410,000 sq. ft. within facility), 65 meeting rooms 25 to 2,500 attendees. The Center is physically linked to all downtownANDDetroit hotels exhibit from within. AND THIS CENTER HAVE, IS CHARACTER. and entertainment districts by the Detroit People Mover, an elevated railway system, and three ballrooms, including the 74,000-sq.-ft. Battelle Grand, the largest multipurpose AND THAT COMES FROM WITHIN. THE NEW COBO CENTER THAT’S WHAT with MAKES a US DIFFERENT. and a station on the third floor. The Grand Ballroom is723,000 40,000 sq. ft., dividable ballroom in Ohio. Connected by enclosed walkway to five hotels; about 26,000 hotel rooms We are not done yet – sq. ft. of $279 Million Renovation Space.rigging points, color-proretractable wall. Features 40-foot ceiling height with Exhibit built-in citywide; dozens of restaurants, bars, theaters, galleries, sports and concert venues in walkSO, WHAT WE WANT TO SAY IS THANK YOU. is nearly complete and More robust technology, FOR BELIEVING IN THE ABILITY OF ANdistance. The 800-space Goodale Garage is under construction and will open in February with it lotsspace of with Free WiFi and ballroom. grammable LEDs and 21,000 sq. ft. ofbrings meeting below the Cobo Center ing head-turning additions: enough connectivity for ENTIRE CITY TO TURN AROUND. The new 40,000 sq. ft. this 30,000year. simultaneous is completing Phase 3 of its $279 million renovation 2016. A $125 million expansion and renovation will begin late 2015 and will conclude Grand Riverview users. PAGE PAGE Ballroom with floor Spectacular Outdoor in 2017, adding 30,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. 5 119 to ceiling views of the Video Walls – 3X as large 1 Rendering of Cobo Center Riverside Entrance (now open) 2 South Atrium Renovation 3 Outdoor Video Walls 4 Shinola City Clock



Detroit River and over 50,000 sq. ft. of flex space. An Outdoor Event Plaza facing the downtown skyline, connected to a terrace overlooking the river.

as billboards. An In-house Broadcast Studio with a soundstage and satellite uplink to distribute your meeting content to stakeholders.


Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

“Where great events create lifetime experiences!”

Theater 

665 Seats

2 star dressing rooms, choral dressing room and green room.

30 line fly rail with 1500 lbs. max.

ETC Express 24/28 lighting console.

Expo Hall/Arena 

Capacity 2,500

30,000 sq. ft.

32 ft. high ceilings

Newly expanded overhead door 23 ft. wide x 14 ft. high Bridge View Center provides all catering and concession needs with their onsite kitchen. Wireless internet is available throughout the building. The facility is managed by VenuWorks, a full-service facility management company with over 50 venues across the country.

102 Church Street Ottumwa, Iowa 52501 Phone: 641.684.7000 Fax: 641.684.6305 www.bridgeviewcenter.com

Century Center Convention Center Unique Architecture. Exceptional Experiences.


ď §


75,000 Square Feet of Flexible and Unique Meeting Spaces

Connected to the 291-room DoubleTree by Hilton Located in the heart of downtown South Bend



Midwest / OHIO

Destination Cleveland


classic American city that will host the Republican National Convention next year, Cleveland welcomes meeting groups to a new, SMG-managed convention center with 35 meeting rooms, a 32,200-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and 225,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. The city’s hotel infrastructure is also seeing upgrades: By 2016 planners will be able to choose from 19 downtown hotels with nearly 5,000 guestrooms. Aloft Cleveland Downtown opened in 2013, Kimpton Hotel Downtown Cleveland will open this fall, a 600-room Hilton convention center hotel will open in June 2016 (construction image right), the 180room Drury Hotel Downtown Cleveland will open next year, and the 206-room Le Meridien Cleveland will debut in 2017. The Cleveland Convention Center is surrounded by the Warehouse District and East Fourth Entertainment District, both featuring retail, restaurant and nightlife venues. The city is known for a diversity of attractions such as the one-of-a-kind Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, Great Lakes Science Center, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Cleveland Aquarium, Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Metroparks, Westside Market and the Hard Rock Rocksino. On the sports side, the city is home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and teams including the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians and Cleveland Cavaliers. On the cultural side, groups can experience the Cleveland Museum of Art, Playhouse Square, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Orchestra and Western Reserve Historical Society. Getting around Cleveland is now easier with the downtown’s new wayfinding system. Wayfinding signs feature ‘heads-up’ mapping,

which indicates the landmarks and attractions directly in front of the pedestrian and within a five-minute walking radius. In addition, the $32 million project to renovate the Public Square in Downtown Cleveland is expected to be complete in time for the Republican National Convention in July 2016. The development, adding to the walkability and pedestrian-friendliness of Cleveland’s Downtown, will include the narrowing of Downtown’s Superior Avenue so it can be closed on a regular basis to merge the square for concerts, movies, farmers markets and other events.

334 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 • (800) 321-1001; (216) 621-5967 • www.thisiscleveland.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Global Spectrum focuses on establishing a lasting partnership with our venue owners and event organizers. When you book with Global Spectrum you can be assured of OHIO the same personalized service, innovative ideas and solutions, and professional Destination Cleveland staff at each and every venue.


334 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 (800) 321-1001; Fax: (216) 621-5967 www.thisiscleveland.com meetingsales@destinationcle.org Global


Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau

400 Locust Street, Suite 265, Des Moines, IA 50309

(800) 451-2625 Spectrum Convention Centers www.catchdesmoines.com

Director of Sales: Margie Marble REGION EAST REGION Cleveland isWEST known for numerous attractions, • Arizona, Glendale, University of Phoenix Stadium Exhibit Hall • Maine, Bangor, Cross Insurance Center including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, GreaterCenter Des Moines is an affordable, accessible destination offering state-of-the-art facili• British Columbia, Penticton, Penticton Trade & Convention Center • Massachusetts, Springfield, MassMutual • Colorado, Pueblo, Convention CenterCleveland Museum of Natural • New Jersey, Atlantic City including Convention the Center Cleveland Museum of Art,Pueblo Playhouse Square, History andCity, theAtlanticties, Iowa Events Center and 417-room Des Moines Marriott Downtown. Mexico, Clovis, Clovis Civic Center • New York, Niagara Falls, Conference Center Niagara Falls Pro Football•• New Hall of Fame. There are currently 3,829 hotel rooms citywide, with upcoming The Center houses 226,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 150,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall, New Mexico, Las Cruces, Las Cruces Convention Center • Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kovalchick Convention & Athletic Complex, Indiana University • Utah, Provo,the Utah161-room Valley Convention Center properties including Kimpton Hotel Downtown Cleveland (fall 2015), a 600-of Pennsylvania 28,800-sq.-ft. ballroom and 37 meeting rooms. Construction will begin in fall 2015 on a • Washington, Everett, Edward D. Hansen Conference Center room Convention Center hotel (2016), the 180-room Drury Hotel Downtown Cleveland (2016) 450-room convention hotel. Major local attractions include the Court District (entertainment SOUTH REGION • Florida, Miami Beach, Convention Center MIDWEST REGIONCleveland (2017). Near the Cleveland Convention and the 280-room Le Meridien Center isMiami Beach venues; farmers’ market), Prairie Meadows, Adventureland Park, Iowa Hall of Pride, Greater • Florida, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County Convention Center • Iowa, Des Moines, Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center the Warehouse District and East Fourth Entertainment District, each featuring local Des Moines Botanical Garden, Blank ParkDes Zoo,Moines, Science IA Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome • Kentucky, Owensboro, Owensboro Convention Center • Iowa, Des Moines, Hy-Vee Hall PAGE • North Carolina, Durham, DurhamTheater Convention retail, restaurants and nightlife. andCenter Des Moines Performing Arts. • Kansas, Overland Park, Overland Park Convention Center 113

Iowa Events Center

• Missouri, St. Charles, Saint Charles Convention Center • Ohio, Cincinnati, Duke Energy Convention Center • Ohio, Cleveland, Gerald H. Gordon Conference Pavilion, KansasCleveland State University

Dodge City Convention Center / United Wireless Arena

• North Carolina, Fayetteville, Crown Complex • Oklahoma, Enid, Enid Event Center • Texas, Corpus Christi, Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center OHIO • Texas, Corpus Christi (Robstown), Richard M. Borchard Exhibition Complex • Virginia, Richmond, Greater Richmond Convention Center • Virginia, Roanoke, Berglund Center

Exhibit Hall: 150,000 sq. ft. Ballroom: 28,800 sq. ft. Breakouts: 37

Duke Energy Convention Center Total Meeting Space: 226,000 sq. ft.

525 Elm Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 Pre-function space : 60,300 sq ft. (513) 419-7300; Fax: (513) 419-7327 Arena: 16,980 seats 4100 West Comanche, Dodge City, KS 67801 Book With Us Today! www.duke-energycenter.com (620) 371-7390 ® New space opened January 2012 Call 888.456.2599 or email Director of Sales & Marketing: Justin Markle www.unitedwirelessarena.com nationalsales@global-spectrum.com Executive Director: Rick Reno global-spectrum.com The Global Spectrum-managed Duke Energy Convention Center is located in the We’re Entertaining the Southwest at United Wireless Arena and Conference Center heart of Downtown Cincinnati, and can beaccommodating easily accessedtofrom I-71, I-74 and “You’re all so responsive and our request and ideas during the Built in one of the Wild West’s most historic areas, the United Wireless Arena and pre-planning and event day, but more importantly anticipate Personalized. Innovative. Professional. I-75. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is just 10you minutes away.those small details that result in a very special experience for our guests and our staff. It is Conference Center is a $40.3 million multipurpose facility that offers a 6,800-sq.-ft. Featuring over 750,000 ft. ofpleasure exhibit,tomeeting andyou entertainment thetoDuke always asq. great work with and we lookspace, forward next year’s ballroom, 23,800 sq. ft. of exhibit space, eight breakout rooms and a 4,000-seat arena. dinner and is other events between.” Energy Convention Center flanked byinmore than $2 billion in new infrastructure, The Conference Center is equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual and WiFi. Nearby Mary Bontrager, including the new Fountain Square entertainment district andGreater more than 3,000 Des Moines Partnership attractions include the adjacent Boot Hill Casino, Horse Thief Reservoir, Dodge City hotel rooms within three blocks of the Center. Catering by Ovations; audiovisual by Raceway Park, Legends Park, Historic Santa Fe Depot and Dinner Theater, Santa Prestige AV & Creative Services. Onsite Green Team dedicated to sustainPAGE PAGE Fe National Historic Trail Ruts and the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame. ability initiatives. 120 29 IOWA


Indiana Convention Center

Iowa Events Center

The Indiana Convention Center is surrounded by 7,100 hotel rooms by major brands such as Marriott, Westin, Hyatt, Hilton and Conrad. The walkable downtown is in proximity to more than 200 restaurants and clubs, as well as such points of interest as the State Capitol, Union Station, Circle Centre Mall, Victory Field and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. A recent $275 million expansion of the Center nearly doubled its size to offer 566,600 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space in 11 halls, as well as 71 meeting rooms, 49 loading docks and three ballrooms. Connected to the center is Lucas Oil Stadium, offering an PAGE additional 183,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 12 meeting rooms.

The Iowa Events Center combines three venues: Wells Fargo Arena, Hy-Vee Hall and Community Personalized. Innovative. Professional. Choice Credit Union. The 14,400-sq.-ft. Hy-Vee Hall Meeting Room Level can be divided into a minimum of three spaces, and a maximum of eight individual meeting rooms. Level 1 also has 7,300 sq. ft. of pre-function space. Level 2 consists of 150,000 sq. ft. of continuous exhibition space (divisible into three) and 16,400 sq. ft. of pre-function space. The Community Choice Credit Union’s meeting room level (Level 3) consists of 27,975 sq. ft. of space broken into 21 separate meeting rooms, directly accessible to the Skywalk. Level 4 is home to Iowa’s largest ballroom at 28,730 sq. ft., with 13,400 sq. ft. of PAGE pre-function space. Catering by Ovations.

730 Third Street, Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 564-8000; Fax: (515) 564-8001 www.iowaeventscenter.com

100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225 (317) 262-3400 www.ICCLOS.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Linda Addaman




Facilities &Destinations


Meetings/Tradeshows/Exhibitions/ Convention Centers/CVBs/Hotels/ Resorts/Conference Centers



Kansas City Convention Center 301 West 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105 (800) 821-7060; Fax: (816) 513-5001 www.kcconvention.com Director of Sales: Gemma Zook

An energetic city forged by a rich history, Kansas City has a central location, is highly affordable and is brimming with eclectic cuisine, swinging jazz, one-of-a-kind museums, a thriving arts scene and fantastic shopping. 1 million-sq.-ft. Kansas City Convention Center accommodates everything from mid-sized meetings to citywide conventions – 388,800-sq.-ft. column-free exhibit space, 142,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 46,484-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art Grand Ballroom, 48 meeting rooms. Arena houses 7,316 permanent seats, 2,405 seats on risers plus capacity for 1,000 theater-style on main floor. 946 guestrooms PAGE nearby; 3,500 downtown hotel rooms; 26,000 citywide. 26 Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Midwest / OHIO

Cleveland Convention Center

Fancy Meeting You Here!

Changing the Conversation for Meetings and Conventions

Easy Access When You’re on the Move

From small executive meetings to large-scale conventions, the new Cleveland Convention Center has become a top destination for event planners. With 350,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, a technological infrastructure and LEED Gold certification, the Cleveland Convention Center is changing the conversation about how meetings should be done. Cleveland has even been selected to host the 2016 Republican National Convention for more than 50,000 attendees and worldwide media.

As one of the region’s most walkable cities, Cleveland keeps your people moving. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to downtown is only 20 minutes . . . downtown to uptown by transit, 15 minutes . . . walking to entertainment, five minutes. The convention center is also attached to the new 600-room Hilton Hotel for comfort year round. Downtown hotels range from boutique to luxury, offering 5,000 rooms within walking distance of the convention center.

Unconventional Space, Perfect Fit

Cleveland Mixes Business with Pleasure

Located in a vibrant downtown on the shore of Lake Erie, the new Cleveland Convention Center offers 225,000 gross sq. ft. of Class A exhibit space divisible into three exhibition halls, 35 meeting rooms, an expansive truck loading dock, and a 32,000-sq.-ft., column-free ballroom. To keep inspiration firing at your event, the Cleveland Convention Center sets new standards for technology infrastructure with data, voice and video systems capable of transmission speeds of 1 billion bits per second. Teleconferencing and WiFi capabilities are built into every room, with digital signage just outside. Enjoy best-in-class service from SMG, the nation’s largest and most experienced convention center and facility management firm. To support the center’s state-of-the-art technologies, an in-house engineering department and experienced audiovisual technicians are always on hand to help you execute your events, large or small. You’ll see the convention center’s green mission woven throughout its operations, from its LEED Gold certification for building design to the organic foods used. Whether you need a cocktail reception in the spacious, glassenclosed Atrium or a multi-course dinner in the expansive Grand Ballroom, the convention center offers a variety of menus for every occasion with foods from local Ohio farms.

Every great meeting has that getaway attendees talk about afterwards. Stroll over to casual dining and live entertainment on East 4th Street where your foodies will enjoy restaurants by celebrity chefs like Michael Symon and James Beard award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer. Enjoy a night of worldclass theater at Playhouse Square, the largest performing arts center outside of New York City. Try your luck at Horseshoe Casino with more than 1,600 slots and nearly 100 tables of the hottest games around. Get your cheer on at sporting venues like the Quicken Loans Arena, First Energy Stadium and Progressive Field. Or grab a cold one at one of many nearby breweries. The city is nationally ranked for craft brews — recently honored as #1 among America’s best beer cities in Condé Nast Traveler. Entertainment isn’t limited to the nightlife. Pristine golf courses are perfect places to talk business while letting off steam. Visitors can try a scenic skyline dinner cruise, kayaking or freshwater fishing in Lake Erie. And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offers new music vibes and exhibits every month. This fascinating city, freshly revitalized, and its impressive new convention center both welcome planners to book their events at an unconventional convention center. Cleveland has both the space and experience guaranteed to make your event a success. To start planning, contact the staff at meetings@clevelandconventions.com.

300 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114 • (216) 928-1600 • www.clevelandconventions.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Midwest wisconsin

Monona Terrace Convention Center

One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 261-4100; Fax: (608) 261-4049 Sales/Event Services Manager: Laura Cornell, CMP www.mononaterrace.com Where business and inspiration meet. Located in heart of Madison’s vibrant downtown on the shore of Lake Monona. Frank Lloyd Wright-designed, spectacular five-level structure features public promenades, meeting rooms with striking lake views, extensive rooftop gardens and the attached 240-room Hilton Madison (1,000+ rooms within walking distance); 250,000 sq. ft., including 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit space; 23 meeting rooms; 40,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 5,540-sq.-ft., 320-seat Lecture Hall; 14,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. 68,000 sq. ft. of rooftop gardens available for events. Wireless access throughout – Internet 2 access; business center, gift shop, PAGE art/exhibit area and expansive areas for registration/information needs. 123


Racine Civic Centre

5 Fifth Street, Racine, WI 53403 (262) 636-9229; Fax: (262) 636-9290 racinecc.com Executive Director: Rik Edgar Lake Michigan’s Best Kept Secret Features Historic Memorial Hall (1,556-seat auditorium), 17,000 sq. ft. of meeting space comprising seven other rooms on three levels: Aquamarine Room – 3,000 sq. ft., Crystal Room – 1,290 sq. ft, Diamond Auditorium – 8,400 sq. ft. (sits 1,350 theater style), Sapphire Hall – 2,400 sq. ft, Topaz Room – 1,290 sq. ft., Ruby Red Room – 4,900 sq. ft., and Festival Hall (seats 1,800/15,700 sq. ft., including 1,050-sq.-ft. Conference Room). Five-acre Lakefront Festival Park hosts up to 12,000. Racine population: 130,425. Milwaukee metropolitan area population: 1,773,519, PAGE which rounds out the north side of Chicagoland, population 9.7 million+. 124 Minnesota


RiverCenter/Adler Theatre

136 East Third Street, Davenport, IA 52801 (563) 326-8500; Fax: (563) 326-8505 www.riverctr.com Director of Sales: Kaye Tilton, CMP . . . The Center of Exceptional Events. Experience the light and industrial feel of the RiverCenter and the appeal of the historic Art Deco Adler Theatre. 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space includes 12 meeting rooms, a 33,400-sq.-ft. ballroom, 46,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, executive boardroom, and a 2,400-seat theater. State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment; entire facility wireless ready. Personalized event coordination, in-house catering. 351 hotel rooms attached via sky-walk. Davenport is part of the The Quad Cities, an affordable Midwest destination. Attractions include River Music Experience, Figge Art Museum, Bucktown Center for the Arts. PAGE 125 The #1 News & Information Source for Booking Agents, Promoters, Talent Buyers & Special Event Planners

Sanford Center

1111 Event Center Drive NE, Bemidji, MN 56601 (218) 441-4001 www.thesanfordcenter.net Convention Sales Manager: Kristi Anderson It IS the Region’s PREMIER Event Space! Founded in 2010, the Sanford Center is a 185,000-sq.-ft., 5,000-seat multipurpose facility located in Bemidji, northern Minnesota’s hub of social, cultural and recreational events. Its George W. Neilson Conference Center houses a 10,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and four Lakeview Rooms spanning 4,000 sq. ft. with panoramic views of Lake Bemidji’s south shoreline. The Sanford Center offers groups an in-house Event Design group and in-house AV rigging equipment. A connected 121-unit Country Inn & Suites opened April 2014. Nearby attractions include the Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox roadside statues, headwaters of PAGE the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park, and Lake Bemidji State Park. 127


St. Charles Convention Center

One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303 (636) 669-3000; Toll Free (877) 896-7222; Fax: (636) 669-3001 www.stcharlesconventioncenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Bill Nicely The St. Charles Convention Center is an exceptional venue for your next successful event. The facility’s 154,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space encompasses a Grand Ballroom, Junior Ballroom and 17 breakout rooms. Total exhibit space of 76,533 sq. ft. includes a 27,600-sq.-ft. Exhibit Hall that expands to 35,700 sq. ft. A new wireless network can simultaneously accommodate over 2,000 devices. The Center is attached to a 296-room Embassy Suites; 578 hotel rooms are within walking distance and 1,422 within five minutes. Local attractions include Historic Main Street shopping and dining, Anheuser Busch PAGE Brewery, Six Flags Amusement Park, Ameristar Casino and Hollywood Casino. 126

south dakota

Swiftel Center

824 32nd Avenue, Brookings, SD 57006 (605) 692-7539 www.swiftelcenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Jenny Hammrich Midwest Hospitality at Its Best The Swiftel Center has established itself as one of South Dakota’s premier event centers for meetings and entertainment. Over 40,000 sq. ft. of function space includes a 30,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, a 7,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and six breakout rooms. In-house catering service available. Surrounding the center are 567 hotel rooms. Nearby attractions include South Dakota State University Division 1 Athletics, Children’s Museum of South Dakota, South Dakota Ag Heritage Museum and South Dakota Art Museum. PAGE 128


Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


COBO CENTER Greatness comes from within. THE NEW COBO CENTER We are not done yet – $279 Million Renovation is nearly complete and brings with it lots of head-turning additions: The new 40,000 sq. ft. Grand Riverview Ballroom with floor to ceiling views of the Detroit River and over 50,000 sq. ft. of flex space. An Outdoor Event Plaza facing the downtown skyline, connected to a terrace overlooking the river.

723,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Space. More robust technology, with Free WiFi and enough connectivity for 30,000 simultaneous users. Spectacular Outdoor Video Walls – 3X as large as billboards. An In-house Broadcast Studio with a soundstage and satellite uplink to distribute your meeting content to stakeholders.


Voted Best Sports City in the U.S. by USA Today, Detroit is home to the Lions, Tigers and Red Wings – all a short walk from Cobo. The Red Wings will move to a new arena and event center in The District Detroit.


managed facility



1 Rendering of Cobo Center Riverside Entrance (now open) 2 South Atrium Renovation 3 Outdoor Video Walls



4 Shinola City Clock



Our Riverfront – which of course is right outside Cobo – has just been voted one of the Best 10 Riverfronts in the Country by USA today.

Retail is popping, including the first Midwest Boutique for John Varvatos just a few blocks away and Shinola and Willys in Midtown, just a short ride up the soon to open M-1 RAIL Streetcar. (2016)

cobocenter.com | Downtown Detroit

Over 30 new restaurants and bars have opened within walking distance and no more than a 5-minute ride away.

Midwest / ohio

Greater Columbus Convention Center


he SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) is strategically located in the center of the country, Ohio, ColumbUS, and within a one-hour flight or a day’s drive of the majority of the nation’s population. Set in a vibrant entertainment district, the 1.7 million-sq.-ft. facility is one of the busiest in North America. It is the proud recipient of multiple Prime Site Awards and other accolades, and has become the venue of choice for clients from across the street and around the world. Owned and developed by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, the GCCC will embark on a full-scale exterior and interior renovation later in 2015 that will significantly enhance the guest experience upon completion in 2017. As part of the expansion, 30,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 10,000 sq. ft. of two-level meeting space will be added. The venue currently offers 410,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 65 meeting rooms and 114,000 sq. ft. of ballroom space, including the magnificent 74,000-sq.-ft. Battelle Grand, known as the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio, which includes five different configurations, 24,000 sq. ft. on the mezzanine, floor-to-ceiling windows and a signature LED-ceiling lighting system capable of projecting thousands of different color combinations to augment the event décor. The Grand Ballroom measures 25,000 sq. ft., while the Terrace Ballroom offers 15,000 sq. ft. of space. The four contiguous exhibit halls encompass 336,000 sq. ft. with dozens of loading docks and an exhibitor-friendly environment augmenting the move-in experience. Centerplate is the new exclusive caterer, with the popular Food Court & Shops being the home of quick-service food establishments, unique shops and exhibitor service providers. Parking garages and surface lots now feature new ticketing systems to enable faster, smoother transactions, especially upon exiting. The GCCC offers 3,370 parking spaces. Construction of the eight-level Goodale Garage to replace a former 192-space surface lot will offer 800 spaces near the facility’s north entrance and bring onsite parking

spaces to more than 4,000. The venue is connected by enclosed walkway to the Hyatt Regency, Drury Inn, The Lofts, Crowne Plaza and Hilton hotels. The Greater Columbus Convention Center is just minutes from Port Columbus International Airport and nestled across from the Short North Arts District, home of the monthly Gallery Hop and annual HighBall. Just west of the facility is the Arena District, which includes Nationwide Arena — the host of a variety of internationally known performers and the Columbus Blue Jackets National Hockey League team — as well as an array of restaurants, live music venues and Huntington Park, where the Columbus Clippers Triple A baseball team plays. The convention center offers free WiFi in meeting rooms and public spaces and a variety of amenities ranging from Scooterbug rentals to SegAway Tours of Columbus and the Columbus Welcome Center and mobile concierge stations staffed by friendly Certified Tourism Ambassadors (CTAs) within the building. Columbus is the first community to be designated an Experience Dedicated™ Destination (EDD) by The EXPERIENCE Institute. Guests can complete a quick five-question survey about their visit to the city or scan the Quick Response Code (QR Code). The Certified Tourism Ambassador (CTA) program enhances both customer-service skills and provides a wealth of information regarding the city’s history, attractions and amenities to share with guests. Digital meeting room and exhibit hall show office signage, new public bicycle racks, a CoGo bicycle-sharing program station near the facility, a business center operated by GCCC staff, mobile-device charging stations and complimentary mobile applications developed for Android, iPhone and iPad devices are available. All meeting room tables are now dressed with complimentary tablecloths, while meeting rooms and ballrooms now feature hotel-quality solid wood doors that operate in conjunction with a magnetic lock system. The Greater Columbus Convention Center already welcomes 2.5 million guests throughout the year, and with the facility expansion and complete renovation to commence later this year, the staff is excited about the future in ColumbUS!

400 North High Street Columbus, OH 43215 • (614) 827-2500 • www.columbusconventions.com 118

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

MidWest / indiana

Indiana Convention Center


ith $3 billion in new tourism-related infrastructure, Indianapolis offers a world-class destination for major conventions, meetings and events. Its centerpiece is the Indiana Convention Center (ICC), which recently underwent a $275 million expansion that nearly doubled its size to 566,600 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space in 11 halls. Also available are 71 meeting rooms, three ballrooms and 49 loading docks. Connected to the ICC is Lucas Oil Stadium, offering an additional 183,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 12 meeting rooms, a retractable roof, and seating for 63,000. Whether your event is a reception, a convention or a tradeshow, the ICC is the ideal venue for an unforgettable experience. The ICC is located in the heart of downtown, and over half of the city’s nearly 7,100 hotel rooms are within six blocks of the facility, many connected by climate-controlled walkways. The city’s hotel portfolio includes upscale brands such as Marriott, Westin, Hyatt, Hilton and Conrad, with the largest property being the 1,005-room JW Marriott Indianapolis with 104,227 sq. ft. of meeting space. A short walk from any of the downtown hotels is White River State Park, where attendees can spend their free time. Indianapolis’ walkable downtown is accessible to more than 200 restaurants and clubs. Also in proximity are the State Capitol, Union Station, Circle Centre Mall, Victory Field, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and, of course, Lucas Oil Stadium, home field for the Indianapolis Colts and site of the 2012 Super Bowl. “The Racing Capital of the World” is also home to the 101-year-old Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its Hall of Fame Museum, both National Historic Landmarks. Basketball is another traditional sport here, and the legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse is the site of the 1954 “Milan Miracle” that inspired the basketball film Hoosiers. Two downtown landmarks, Monument Circle and Indiana War Memorial Plaza, are among America’s great urban spaces, and the iconic Soldiers and Sailors Monument houses the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum.

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Indianapolis offers a worldclass destination for major conventions, meetings and events

100 South Capitol Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46225 (317) 262-3400 www.ICCLOS.com





ith a creative energy all its own, Kansas City is anything but business as usual. It’s a convention destination where friendly people, affordable prices and a central location are a given. Where creativity can be found around every corner. A place with a spirited personality and a genuine heart that’s a breath of fresh air. We’d like you to meet Kansas City. To friends, it’s just KC.

Great meetings happen at the Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities. The eight-square-block convention and special events facility can accommodate every need with 388,800 sq. ft. of column-free exhibit space on one floor; 48 state-of-the-art meeting rooms; a 2,400-seat fine arts theater; an arena that seats more than 10,700 people and a unique outdoor festival plaza. And not only is it all in one location, the complex is connected to major downtown hotels and parking by skywalks and underground walkways.

301 West 13th Street, Suite 100 Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 513-5000 kcconvention.com

Encompassing more than 800,000 sq. ft., the Kansas City Convention & Entertainment Facilities can serve all your meeting needs under one roof. One of America’s largest green ballrooms — the 46,484-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom — is certified LEED Silver, boasting waterless plumbing, energy-efficient heating and cooling, and one of the most sophisticated lighting systems in the world. That’s enough to make other cities turn green with envy.

The Grand Ballroom • One of the nation’s largest eco-friendly ballrooms at 46,484 sq. ft. • Features one of the most sophisticated lighting systems in the world.


Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

MidWest / wisconsin

monona terrace convention center

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state re an And ser vice r -of-th d be turn atin e -a v . gs r t era E xperien a s h te ce M c i on on gh a aT e


Let the mome you away…ntum c and arr ba y With one visit, you’ll k ck so many gro now w hy ups ag cho Master fully craf t o ai s e d fo et od o Robust,

Madison, Wisconsin: An Inspiring Place for Smart Meetings.


adison, Wisconsin, combines exceptional facilities with the intellectual and emotional capital needed for meeting success. Home to the renowned University of Wisconsin– Madison, the vision of Frank Lloyd Wright, the insight of Aldo Leopold and a majestic Capitol built upon an isthmus alive with cultural arts, engaging intellectual pursuits and a wealth of recreational opportunities, Madison is the place for smart meetings. Monona Terrace, a crown jewel of Madison’s cultural isthmus, is the first convention center in the nation to be LEED-EBcertified at the Silver Level by the U.S. Green Building Council. To earn its Silver certification, the Convention Center invested in initiatives to increase recycling rates, utilize green cleaning products, and adopt clean energy use and conservation. The facility purchases 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Monona Terrace has become a symbol of sustainability for the community of Madison and an inspiration to all those who choose to visit the city. Accommodations: More than 8,000 hotel rooms are available to groups in Madison, with 1,000 rooms within walking distance of the Monona Terrace® Convention Center. Accommodation styles run the gamut from first-class convention hotels, such as the 240room Hilton Madison (the headquarters hotel for the convention center), to limited-service hotels and budget-conscious lodging. Bed and breakfasts are another attractive choice in Madison, and several provide services and amenities appropriate for executive attendees. Convention Facilities: The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace® Convention Center is a touchstone for both the Madison community and groups coming to the city. Sweeping lines and vast, arched windows typify the structure, which offers dramatic surroundings for groups. In total, Monona Terrace Convention Center offers 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibition space. Highlights of the center include: • 37,200-sq.-ft. Exhibition Hall that accommodates 212, 10 ft.-by-10 ft. booths. • 13,524-sq.-ft. Madison Ballroom, divisible by four • 7,000-sq.-ft. Grand Terrace • 68,000 sq. ft. of rooftop gardens may also be reserved for events.

One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 441-3942 • mononaterrace.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


blog.mononaterrace.com ©2014 Monona Terrace


(262) 636-9229 www.civiccentreracine.com


 Located on Lake Michigan in Racine, WI  Access to 10 million patron within 100 miles  Three great venues to choose from: • Festival Hall: 15,700 sq. ft., seats 1,200 • Festival Park: Lakefront venue with 8,000 GA capacity • Memorial Hall: 2,100 GA seating capacity

F&D_SCCC Ad 4.2014.pdf 1 5/1/2015 10:26:05 AM






















For more info contact: Kristi Anderson, Convention Sales Manager 218.441.4013 • KAnderson@TheSanfordCenter.net

1111 Event Center Dr. NE, Bemidji, MN 56601218.441.4000 | www.TheSanfordCenter.net


READY. SET. WOW. MIDWEST HOSPITALITY AT ITS BEST. receptions. banquets. meetings. conferences. conventions. concerts. events. BROOKINGS, SD







Austin Convention Center

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. of meeting/exhibit space, including five column-free, contiguous exhibit halls (256,097 sq. ft. of total exhibit space), seven 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 PAGE walkway connects 3rd and 4th levels. Near 6,000 downtown hotel rooms.

The west



Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau

515 South Cascade Avenue, Suite 1300, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (800) 888-4748, ext. 132; (719) 685-7632 www.visitcos.com Director of Convention Sales: Kathy Reak Elevate Your Opportunities Choose Colorado Springs as your meeting location and enlist the help of the awardwinning staff of the Colorado Springs CVB to ease the planning process. They offer an extensive range of complimentary services. Whether it’s customized site visits, teambuilding ideas or distributing RFPs, they are here for you. Start planning your next event in this unrivaled mountain metropolis. Colorado Springs offers 14,000 guestrooms, PAGE 5,000 convention guestrooms and 400,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. 19 california


Los Angeles Convention Center

Cox Convention Center

One Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 (405) 602-8500; Fax: (405) 602-8505 www.coxconventioncenter.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Tim Linville Spanning more than one million sq. ft. and four city blocks, this complex is located at the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, a city both accommodating and affordable. Multipurpose venue hosts everything from intimate meetings to major conventions, tradeshows, concerts and sporting events. 27 meeting rooms; 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 100,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall; 15,000-seat arena. Free WiFi available; Internet access speeds up to one Gb; 1,400 of Oklahoma City’s 15,000+ hotel rooms are across the street. From arts and adventure to cowboy culture and family fun, Oklahoma City offers an eclectic mix of heritage and hotspots. PAGE 133


Oregon Convention Center

777 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard, Portland, OR 97232 (503) 235-7575 www.oregoncc.org Deputy Director: Matt Pizzuti, CMP Eight miles of light rail from Portland International Airport, the LEED Platinum-certified Oregon Convention Center is ideal for conventions, tradeshows, auctions and banquets. Located in beautiful and lively downtown Portland, it is a favorite destination for many groups because of its world-class amenities, culinary excellence, leadership in sustainability and award-winning customer service. The OCC offers two grand ballrooms, 50 meeting rooms, 255,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, in-house AV support and other high-tech services, and superior concession and catering offerings. A full-time staff of more than 110 professionals can handle events of 10 to 10,000 attendees. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 (213) 741-1151; Fax: (213) 765-4440 lacclink.com Vice President, Sales & Marketing: Ellen Schwartz Committed to Excellence The Los Angeles Convention Center attracts millions of visitors annually and is renowned internationally as a prime site for conventions, tradeshows and exhibitions. Located in the cultural, business, and entertainment mecca of Downtown Los Angeles, the LACC is a Gold LEED-EB facility that offers multifunctional event space, advanced technological functionality and first-class service. The LACC houses 867,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, including 64 meeting rooms; the 346,890-sq.-ft. South Hall and 210,685-sq.-ft. West Hall; and a 299-seat theater. Neighboring the LACC is downtown L.A.’s sports and entertainment district, PAGE L.A. LIVE. 3


Palm Springs Convention Center

227 North Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 325-6611 www.palmspringscc.com Director of Sales: Rick Leson Like No Place Else Located just 1.5 miles from the Palm Springs International Airport, the Palm Springs Convention Center is walking distance to 1,600 hotel rooms and just blocks away from the Heart of Downtown and historic Palm Canyon Drive. The PSCC offers 120,000 sq. ft. of carpeted exhibit space, a 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 21 breakouts and a lobby with panoramic mountain views. Outdoor function spaces include a 20,000-sq.-ft. Event Lawn and the adjacent Jackie Lee Houston Plaza. High-speed wireless Internet access is available throughout the facility, and Savoury’s Full Service Catering serves both onsite and offsite events. The PSCC is attached to the 410-room Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel. 129

The west / texas

Austin Convention Center


he capital of Texas offers meeting groups 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, groups 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. After conventions and meetings wrap-up each night, attendees may choose to enjoy Austin’s entertainment districts – Second Street, the Warehouse District and the 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, attendees can find live music playing in nearly 250 different venues. Austin offers more than 30,000 hotel rooms, with 6,500 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 and Hyatt Place Downtown Austin. The 1,012-room JW Marriott opened in February 2015, and the 326-room Westin Austin Downtown opens in 2016.

A 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 369,132 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space. The five, column-free exhibit halls, totaling 247,052 sq. ft., accommodate 1,289 10 ft.-by-10 ft. exhibit booths. Seven ballrooms ranging from 3,896 sq. ft. to 40,510 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. Rated one of the most technologically advanced convention centers in the country, this gigabit-rated 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. 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.

500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701 • (512) 404-4200; Fax: (512) 404-4220 www.austinconventioncenter.com 130

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

The west / colorado

Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau

An Inspired Rocky Mountain Meeting


he challenge of picking the perfect event destination, activities and venues can be overwhelming. Colorado Springs, CO, creates meeting perfection with unrivaled scenic backdrops during breaks, refreshing mountain air before or after the keynote presentation and more than 55 attractions and activities to discover pre- or post-conference. The award-winning staff can help provide a smooth, turnkey execution. Colorado Springs is easily accessible. Located just 11 miles from downtown, the Colorado Springs Airport has nonstop and one-stop service options from domestic and international destinations worldwide. The region is also a short and scenic 70-mile drive south of the Denver International Airport. Home to the U.S. Olympic Committee, Olympic Training Center, U.S. Air Force Academy and ProRodeo Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs is the ideal location for exceptional performance, creating a higher ground for attendees to refresh, discover and network. The magnificent views and a 6,035-ft. elevation might also have something to do with it. Recreation is as easily found as the endless blue skies and days of sunshine. Set against the Rocky Mountains, the city is protected from harsh weather. This means mild winters and a comfortable, year-round climate. It’s not rare to see light jackets in the summer and shorts in the winter. Horseback riding in North Cheyenne Cañon, open-air jeep tours, or hiking popular trails like Seven Bridges, Palmer Loop and the Manitou Incline are all opportunities to connect with the prominent splendor of the area. Take advantage of unique teambuilding activities like Glen Eyrie Castle’s ropes course, racing around the track with the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving at Pikes Peak International Raceway, Segway tours across the Royal Gorge Bridge or battling the rapids of the nearby Arkansas River. Itinerary building is a cinch with so many things to see and do. If satisfying your taste buds is on the agenda, grab some authentic Colorado cuisine with a walking food and history tour of Downtown or delicious buffalo burger. Sample the sudsy concoctions at one of the local microbreweries like Great Storm Brewing or Pikes Peak Brewery. Unique shopping and dining abound in the historic and charming shopping districts of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. As you’re seeking the perfect property for overnight stays, breakout sessions or an offsite reception, the region has exclusive options. Lodging ranges from popular brands like Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham to truly Colorado choices like Gold King Mountain Inn or Woodland Country Lodge. Home to 14,500 guestrooms, the area can certainly accommodate. Gems such as Ghost Town Museum, Patty Jewett Clubhouse, Norris-Penrose Event Center and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo all showcase some of the region’s 450,000+ sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. The destination is an economical choice, and the CVB is your single resource for peace of mind. Whether it’s customized site visits, building suggested itineraries or distributing RFPs, they are here for you. Elevate your opportunities and start planning your next event in this unrivaled mountain metropolis at VisitCOS.com/meet.

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

515 South Cascade Avenue, Suite 1300 Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (800) 888-4748, ext. 132 (719) 685-7632 visitcos.com 131

The west / oklahoma

Cox Convention Center The Cox Convention Center houses 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 21 meeting rooms, a 15,000-seat arena and a 6,500-seat theater, all connected by a skybridge to the 258-room Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel (66,000 sq. ft. of meeting space). The downtown area is only about 20 minutes from Will Rogers Airport, a streamlined facility that is easy to get in and out of. Oklahoma City offers 1,600 convention center district hotel rooms (16,000 overall), affordable rates, a hospitable atmosphere and cultural highlights such as the Exhibit C art gallery, displaying the works of Chickasaw artists. Other cultural highlights include the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.


klahoma City is investing $250 million in a new downtown convention center of approximately 470,000 sq. ft. (with about 235,000 sq. ft. of sellable space), replacing the Cox Convention Center by the end of the decade. The new facility is a continuation of the city’s resurgence that includes the nearby Bricktown entertainment district, home to canal-side restaurants, clubs and attractions. In addition, the expanding Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River provides exciting activities for attendees and their families. Since 1993, Oklahoma City has seen more than $5 billion of public and private investment in quality-of-life projects and improvements throughout the city.

Just west of the Cox Convention Center is the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. The Gardens underwent a $38 million transformation in April 2011, and now includes a restaurant, interactive water features, a new children’s garden, dog release area, grand event lawn and more. Attendees can also explore a variety of intriguing neighborhoods in Oklahoma City, including the Plaza District, with art galleries and specialty shops; Stockyards City, showcasing Oklahoma’s Western heritage; the Adventure District, home to the Science Museum Oklahoma, Oklahoma City Zoo and Remington Park Racing Casino; and the Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River, offering rowing, kayaking, cycling, ziplining, running and fitness activities. In addition, the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau is a boon to planners, offering complete convention servicing and support through a computerized housing bureau and registration technology.

1 Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 • (405) 602-8500; Fax: (405) 602-8505 • coxconventioncenter.com 132

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


The Cox Convention Center is steps away from the vibrant Bricktown district, featuring a variety of canal-side restaurants, clubs, sports and music venues, plus nearby museums and attractions.





of meeting space.

1 Myriad Gardens

of exhibit hall space.

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

15K seat arena.

Phone (405) 602-8500

The west California


Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

Phoenix Convention Center & Venues

300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (800) 307-7977; Fax: (626) 795-9656 VisitPasadena.com Senior Director of Sales & Marketing: Jeanne O’Grady Pasadena offers groups year-long warm weather, five-star accommodations, endless shopping and entertainment options, and more restaurants per capita than New York City. There are 2,500 guestrooms citywide, more than 1,200 of which are within walking distance of the Pasadena Convention Center. The expanded Pasadena Convention Center features a 55,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall (expandable to 80,000 sq. ft.), 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 29 meeting rooms, 3,000-seat Civic Auditorium and 22,000-sq.-ft. outdoor plaza. Major local attractions include the Historic Rose Bowl Stadium, Pasadena Playhouse (California State Theatre), Norton Simon Museum and Pacific Asia Museum. california

100 North Third Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (602) 262-6225; (800) 282-4842 www.PhoenixConventionCenter.com Director of Sales: Debbi Foshee A Whole New Angle on Meetings and Events The award-winning Phoenix Convention Center is within walking distance of shopping, entertainment, sports and theater venues, and just 15 minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport. More than 2,500 guestrooms are within walking distance of the facility, including 1,000 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown and more than 1,200 at the newly renovated Hyatt Regency. The PCC boasts nearly 900,000 sq. ft. of function space, including 312,500 sq. ft. of continuous exhibition hall space, three ballrooms (46,000, 45,000 PAGE and 28,000 sq. ft.), and a 21,000-sq.-ft. Executive Conference Center. 22 California

Sacramento Convention Center

San Jose Convention Center

1030 15th Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 808-5291; Fax: (916) 808-7687 www.sacramentoconventioncenter.com Small-town friendly with big-city amenities, Sacramento hosts 6+ million visitors annually. Located in the heart of downtown, the Sacramento Convention Center features 31 meeting rooms; two 10,000-sq.-ft. registration/pre-function areas; Exhibit Hall – 134,000 sq. ft. contiguous space/divisible into five separate areas; 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom (1,500 banquet-style/2,500 theater style), divisible into 10 meeting rooms. Activity Building is a fully carpeted, 11,200-sq.ft. facility with 12 meeting rooms, connected by concourse to the exhibit hall. 4,000-seat Memorial Auditorium; 2,452-seat Community Center Theater. 2,000 hotels within walking distance; 10,000 citywide. Classique Catering; Wolfgang Pucks Express. Attractions: PAGE world-class shopping, golf, Historic District, Nimbus Winery Mall, Sacramento Zoo. 139

150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113 (800) SAN-JOSE sanjosemeetings.com Director of Sales: Mark McMinn Innovation Starts Here The San Jose McEnery Convention Center recently debuted its $130 million makeover and an additional 169,957 sq. ft. of flexible ballroom and meeting space with a hip, modern design and state-of-the-art technology – bringing the new grand total to 550,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, including a 143,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall, a 35,194-sq.-ft. ballroom and 43 meeting rooms. A 15,588-seat theater (Hall 1-3) is also available. The Convention Center’s revamped lobby features sit steps where convention attendees can plug in and network between sessions; a new networking lounge; more breakout rooms; and additional PAGE flexible meeting spaces. Free WiFi is now available throughout the Center. 15



Team San Jose

Three Rivers Convention Center

Why do 98 percent of convention planners and tradeshow executives declare that San Jose is great for meetings and tradeshows? Three words: Ease of booking! Yep, unlike other destinations, San Jose has a unique model where with one phone call a planner can be connected and check availability for the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and over 8,000 hotel rooms — 850 rooms are connected to the convention center and another 2,000+ within a block. On top of the stellar hotel package, San Jose’s compact, campus-like downtown allows conventions to truly own the city. San Jose can be booked with the ease of a big-box hotel property — saving event planners time, energy and resources, so they can focus on the success of the meeting. PAGE

The Three Rivers Convention Center offers 75,000 sq. ft. of space with a sleek, modern design and a color palette that invokes the natural beauty of the region. The Great Hall offers 21,000 sq. ft. of meeting or exhibit space, divisible into four rooms, and accommodates up to 2,100 attendees. Also available are eight breakout rooms and a 14,000-sq.-ft. foyer. The Three Rivers Convention Center is a showcase for leading-edge technology designed to support the telecommunications and audiovisual needs of every event. A state-of-the-art, high-speed network provides wireless voice and data services throughout the facility. There are 700 hotel guestrooms PAGE within a half-mile.

7016 West Grandridge Boulevard, Kennewick, WA 99336 (509) 737-3700 www.threeriversconventioncenter.com Director of Sales: Heather Breymeyer

408 Almaden Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95110 (800) SAN-JOSE sanjose.org Director of Sales: Mark McMinn





Visit Spokane

Spokane Convention Center

Spokane, Washington’s second-biggest city, is leading the way with a just-expanded convention center and an additional 1,100 guestrooms. Spokane Convention Center has completed a 92,000-sq.-ft. expansion, which includes a skybridge connecting to the brand new (open June 2015) Davenport Grand Hotel (a Marriott Autograph Hotel). The Center houses 500,000 sq. ft. of overall meeting space across 40 meeting rooms; the main exhibit hall is 120,000 sq. ft. Major local attractions include Riverfront Park, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) and Sculpture Walk. The Convention Center District features dozens of restaurants, shopping, traveling PAGE Broadway shows, Centennial Trail and Spokane Falls and Riverfront Park.

The Spokane Convention Center campus sits along the banks of the Spokane River and affords views of the 100-acre Riverfront Park and direct access to the Centennial Trail. The Center completed its $55 million expansion project last December and now offers more than 120,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 40 meeting rooms, three ballrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Silver LEED-certified facility also houses the 270-seat Conference Theatre and is adjacent to the INB Performing Arts Center, which has a 2,700-seat auditorium. The Spokane Convention Center’s Roof Deck is ideal for a stand-up reception for PAGE 500 attendees.

801 W. Riverside Ave., Ste. 301 (509) 624-1341; Fax: (509) 623-1297 www.visitspokane.com VP Sales & Services: Keith Backsen

334 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201 (509) 279-7000; Fax: (509) 279-7050 www.spokanecenter.com Sales Manager: Kay Riplinger




Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

The west / California

Los Angeles Convention Center


he Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) attracts millions of visitors annually and is renowned internationally as a prime site for conventions, tradeshows and exhibitions. The AEG Facilities-managed venue offers clients multifunctional event space, advanced technological functionality and first-class service. “Our commitment to excellence is evident by the services we provide and the caliber of events we help our clients produce. Events hosted at the LACC can expect elevated service standards coupled with a stellar location in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world,” commented Brad Gessner, Senior Vice President of AEG Facilities and General Manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Multifunction Event Space

With over 860,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, the LACC is the ideal backdrop to host incredible events; the Center offers 720,000 sq. ft. of exhibit hall space, 64 column-free meeting rooms totaling 147,000 sq. ft., and a newly renovated 299-seat theater. The Center regularly accommodates a wide array of events, ranging from the LA Auto Show to equestrian competitions to volleyball tournaments to professional examinations. In order to enhance facility functionality and aesthetics, the Los Angeles City Council has approved $10 million in short-term enhancements; for instance, a new energy-efficient “cool roof” will be installed on South Hall and Concourse Hall to protect the building while reducing energy consumption. A large-scale expansion and modernization plan is also currently under way.

Environmental Initiatives

The LACC strives to reduce its environmental impact while providing a positive experience to clients and guests. The Center also works to educate clients, guests and staff about environmental issues and encourages them to engage in sustainable practices. The LACC regularly participates in large-scale, global environmental events such as Earth Hour and Earth Day. “The LACC is committed to taking advantage of its position in the community to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire others to take action. We invest heavily in sustainable products, technology and practices to reduce negative environmental impact; for example, in April

2015 we partnered with a local organization to reuse thousands of gallons of water from the SCVA Volleyball Competition,” added Gessner. The facility’s commitment to environmental stewardship has been recognized by numerous organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Green Building Council. The LACC is honored to be a LEED-EB Gold certified facility.

First-Class Service

The LACC team specializes in creating successful events that exceed clients’ expectations. In order to achieve this, the facility partners with industry experts to provide clients and guests with superior services. Taste of L.A. by Levy Restaurants is the LACC’s signature and exclusive dining experience. Taste of L.A. is committed to sourcing local products, using the freshest ingredients available, and preparing exquisite meals to deliver heartfelt joy to guests. Offering concessions, catering, portable options, food truck alleys, exhibit booth service, customized staff meal options and so much more, Taste of L.A. delivers excellent food inspired by the City of Angels. Smart City is the exclusive, in-house telecommunications provider and offers clients and attendees unparalleled expertise and service. The LACC also offers a full-service business center powered by Los Angeles-based Image Quest Plus.


Experience the L.A. Difference; discover the allure of cosmopolitan L.A., where culture, history and innovation fuse to provide clients and guests with an unparalleled experience. Conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Convention Center is minutes from nearby airports such as LAX and Bob Hope Airport and is easily accessible by car and public transportation. The Center is also only a short walk away from many downtown L.A. hotels. A perfect blend of historical charm and modernity, this desirable location offers first-class accommodations and attractions, complete with endless dining, shopping, hotel and entertainment options. Contact the staff today to learn how the LACC can bring your event vision to life.

1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 • (213) 741-1151 • www.lacclink.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


The west / arizona

Phoenix Convention Center & Venues


onvening in America’s sixth-largest city packs more value than ever.

Located in the center of a vibrant walkable downtown, the Phoenix Convention Center & Venues is mere steps from a variety of urban eateries, live music, professional sports, art museums and more. In fact, downtown’s Roosevelt Row was recently named one of the 10 Best City Arts Districts in America by USA Today. So whether you’re looking for restaurants featured on The Food Network, or just wanting to take in some local culture, downtown Phoenix has something for everyone. Named one of the top-10 convention center facilities in the country, the Phoenix Convention Center & Venues offers more that 900,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, including a 312,500-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall and a 46,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. Conveniences include 99 meeting rooms, 61 loading docks (22 of which are climate controlled), exhibit halls with pre-scored floors and an Executive Conference Center – all complemented by a 2,312-seat Symphony Hall and the 1,364seat historic Orpheum Theatre. The Phoenix Convention Center & Venues was recently in the international spotlight with the 2015 NFL Experience and Media Center for Super Bowl XLIX. The Orpheum Theatre was the hottest ticket in town when the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon filmed their live performance and, not to be outdone, Symphony Hall hosted the nationally televised NFL Honors show. Phoenix has nonstop service from 80 U.S. and 20 international destinations, so getting to and from “America’s Friendliest Airport” is both easy and affordable. The Phoenix Convention Center is four miles from Sky Harbor International Airport. Guests flying into Phoenix have multiple transportation options, including the Metro Light Rail, which has dedicated stops at the Convention Center.

There are more than 3,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Phoenix Convention Center and more that 6,000 hotel rooms located along the Metro Light Rail System. With more than 325 days of sunshine a year, the weather is almost always permitting. In a 2014 survey of show managers, Phoenix ranked the second most popular destination for trade shows and events in the country. There are so many things to do, and with an average temperature of 72 degrees, it’s easy to see why Phoenix is an ideal destination for your next event.

100 North Third Street, Phoenix,AZ 85004 • (602) 262-6225, (800) 282-4842; Fax: (602) 744-2987 • PhoenixConventionCenter.com 136

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

The west / california

San Jose McEnery Convention Center T

he San Jose McEnery Convention Center’s $130 million makeover introduced an additional 169,957 sq. ft. of flexible ballroom and meeting space with a hip, modern design and state-of-the-art technology — bringing the grand total to 372,754 sq. ft. of flexible space.

New Alternative Meeting Venues

• Avaya Stadium: From sold-out soccer matches to international sporting events and corporate affairs, Avaya Stadium’s 18,000-seat venue has opened to rave reviews. • The GlassHouse: With 12,000 sq. ft. and the largest outdoor patio in Downtown San Jose, The GlassHouse leaves a lasting impression for events including weddings, fashion shows, corporate events and fundraisers. • RockBar Theater: RockBar Theater is a one-of-a-kind live entertainment venue that can host up to 2,000 guests. This electrifying locale will bring out attendees’ inner rockstars while they indulge in cuisine fit for royalty and enjoy the full-service VIP space for functions and events. • The Continental: Located one block from the Convention Center in the artsy SoFA District, The Continental is a fun new venue for entertaining clients, grabbing drinks with colleagues or just relaxing after a conference.


San Jose offers attendees a quintessential Silicon Valley experience: serious business done in a low-key atmosphere. Attendees will experience a range of post-convention activities in Downtown San Jose with over 200 dining and lively nightlife options, contemporary museums, edgy galleries, and vibrant performing arts and entertainment — all within walking distance of the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Another reason to meet here is San Jose’s accessibility to navigate other regional destinations. As the gateway to Northern California, San Jose provides attendees with central access for visiting nearby wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains, sandy beaches, world-class golf courses and even San Francisco.


In an effort to deliver the best Internet service experience for meeting planners and attendees, Team San Jose partnered with the City of San Jose to launch Wickedly Fast Free Wi-Fi in the Convention Center. This

new industry leading, complimentary Wi-Fi service allows one connection to cover an attendee from the Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), within downtown and throughout the Convention Center. The Wi-Fi’s infrastructure was created by leading Silicon Valley companies to accommodate today’s multiple device users. Unlike other free Wi-Fi services, thousands of users can stream simultaneously with no service lag.


San Jose boasts over 8,000 hotel rooms with 850 rooms connected to the Convention Center and another 2,000+ within a block. From name brands such as Fairmont, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Four Points by Sheraton, Ramada and La Quinta Inn & Suites to boutique hotels like Dolce Hayes Mansion and Hotel Valencia, San Jose offers a variety of rooms from contemporary to historic boutiques.

Airport and Transportation

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is only five minutes outside of Downtown. With two additional international airports (Oakland and San Francisco) nearby, and a variety of public transportation options such as VTA light rail, Caltrain or DASH (a free Downtown area shuttle), getting into and around San Jose is easy. SJC recently announced that Hainan Airlines’ non-stop service to Beijing will begin June 15, 2015. Hainan will operate five flights per week on a modern Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft via the Beijing–Silicon Valley route. This will mark the second trans-Pacific route to SJC, complimenting ANA’s seven weekly direct flights to Tokyo. SJC’s other new and expanded nonstop service includes Seattle on Delta Air Lines, Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines and Dallas on Southwest Airlines.

150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113 • (800) SAN-JOSE • www.sanjose.org Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


The west / California

Sacramento Convention Center


he discovery of gold near Sacramento in 1848 started California’s famous “Gold Rush,” bringing thousands of fortune seekers and entrepreneurs to the area almost overnight. Today, meeting planners discover their own type of gold when they select Sacramento as a meeting destination. Convention Center Complex: Located in the State Capital of California, the Sacramento Convention Center is just 20 minutes from the Sacramento International Airport, and located in the heart of downtown. The Sacramento Convention Center offers over 134,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit hall space on one floor, and another 61,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space with 31 meeting rooms on three levels. A 2,400-seat Community Center Theater and 4,000-seat Memorial Auditorium are close by. All three facilities are within walking distance to major downtown hotels, shops and restaurants. For those driving into town, a Convention Center parking garage is located just two short blocks to the main entrance of the Center. Hotel Inventory: Within walking distance of the Convention Center (or a short shuttle ride away) are more than 2,000 rooms and a dozen hotel properties. Only a pedestrian walkway separates the Sheraton Grand and the Hyatt Regency from the entrance to the Center. Several other properties can be found within a few blocks of the Center, including the Marriott Residence Inn at Capitol Park, Holiday Inn at Capitol Park, Best Western Sutter House, Holiday Inn Express, Clarion and Embassy Suites Waterfront.

This capital city has a convention center with 134,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and 31 meeting rooms.

Attractions: With over 600 events and approximately one million visitors annually, Sacramento offers something for everyone. The city is strategically located in Northern California — 90 minutes northeast of San Francisco. It offers a wealth of cultural activities, professional sports and a wide range of family attractions. Take time to walk in the city and stroll through Capitol Park. Visit the many shops, relax on a riverboat or water taxi, and don’t forget to experience Old Sacramento where wooden boardwalks, cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriages will transport you back in time. Food & Beverage: Award-winning Classique Catering is the celebrated caterer at the Convention Center and manages onsite Wolfgang Puck’s Express and Starbucks coffeehouse. Classique Catering is a division of Centerplate and pride themselves on excellent service and quality product. 138

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


Why have your event anywhere else? TRADESHOWS


Opening December 2014




Offering an expansive 75,000 square feet of space, the Three Rivers Convention Center is the ideal setting for your next event. Its sleek, modern design and pleasing color palette invoke the natural beauty of the Mid-Columbia region, while its common sense functionality and many high-tech amenities make it endlessly adaptable to any configuration you require.

7016 W. Grandrige Blvd., Kennewick, WA 99336 phone (509) 737-3700 | fax (509) 737-3729 email sales@3riverscampus.com www.threeriversconventioncenter.com

The west / washington

Visit Spokane


he city’s everything you want a city to be. The region is among the most beautiful in the nation. Meeting groups are invited to come and enjoy the sunny side of Washington . . . in the state’s second-biggest city, Spokane. And right now, it’s one of the best times ever to check out Spokane. The city is booming, with more dining, more shopping, a bigger, better Spokane Convention Center and a downtown hotel inventory that just took a huge step forward. The new, 716-room Davenport Grand Hotel is set to open this month and will be the second hotel connected to the downtown convention center. The Davenport Grand — a Marriott Autograph hotel — joins the DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center for a total of 1,100 connected rooms. This brings the total room count to 3,200 within just eight blocks of the convention center. More on that “Double B” (Bigger! Better!) convention center in a moment . . . The downtown core has been transforming for the better over the past few years, with a dining scene that’s gained national acclaim. Like any “culinary destination” worth the description, Spokane’s is populated by chefs who seem to outdo each other each day — at breakfast, lunch and dinner! There are plenty of sips to be had, too, with The Cork District’s 21 tasting rooms (hello, wine lovers) and the Inland Northwest Ale Trail’s 27 craft breweries (cheers to you, hop heads). If shopping is the name of your game, you’ll feel right at home in Spokane. In the downtown core you’ll find a mix of local shops, chic boutiques, the top national chains, vintage home décor and a huge indoor mall — River Park Square — all within walking distance. Speaking of walking, it’s so easy to unwind after a day of meetings by checking out the 100-acre Riverfront Park. Since its creation as the site of Expo ’74, Spokane’s beautiful backyard has become the go-to place for a taste of the region’s natural splendor. As if the

outdoor ice skating rink and the historic carrousel weren’t enough, the majestic Spokane River runs through the heart of the park. When you check out the Spokane Falls, it’ll be easy to see why a USA Today poll named Spokane as the second-best Riverfront City in America. Take it all in from above by boarding the Spokane Falls SkyRide, a gondola journey named one of the 15-best in the world by Condé Nast. By the way, the park is about to get a $64 million facelift — another reason to visit. As for the convention center, the open house recently took place after the completion of a $55 million expansion project. Now the center offers more than 120,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 40 meeting rooms, three ballrooms and floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook — and open up to — the Spokane River and Riverfront Park. If the downtown is the crown jewel, the crown itself is the region’s stunning natural beauty, which provides countless ways to enjoy yourself. With 76 lakes, dozens of parks, 30-plus golf courses (some rated the best in the nation), you will see what all the fuss is about. The arts and entertainment scene has something for everyone: art galleries scattered throughout the city, travelling Broadway shows, an acclaimed symphony, a vibrant local theater scene. The list does go on. Because in Spokane, there is so much to do . . . so many ways to do it!

801 W. Riverside Avenue, Suite 301, Spokane, WA 99201 • (800) 662-0084; (509) 624-1341 • www.visitspokane.com Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


alberta, Canada

Calgary TELUS Convention Centre 120 Ninth Avenue SE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2G OP3 (800) 822-2697; (403) 261-8500; Fax: (403) 261-8510 calgary-convention.com


Director of Sales & Marketing: Heather Lundy Multi-purpose, newly expanded, fully-equipped venue; 132,000 sq. ft. flexible meeting space; 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 65,000+ sq. ft. exhibit space, five foyer areas, 27 breakout rooms. Terrace View Room is elegant fifth-floor rooftop room with private balcony; Olde Scotch Room is a multi-level room with built-in bar and hardwood floor. Full-service electronic infrastructure supports high-speed Internet, telecommunications and elaborate audio-visual displays, with full video-conferencing capabilities, satellite downlink, fiber-optic services; directly connected to 1,100+ hotel rooms; 11,000 hotel rooms citywide. Calgary offers vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment; spectacular hiking and skiing in Canadian Rockies.

Ontario, canada

The International Centre


6900 Airport Road, Suite 120, Mississauga, ON. L4V 1E8 (905) 677-6131; (800) 567-1199; Fax: (905) 677-3089 www.internationalcentre.com Sales Manager, Trade & Consumer Shows: Sandra Martin There’s Something Happening Here! Located three minutes from Toronto Pearson International Airport, The International Centre offers 548,000 sq. ft. of expansive and versatile function space, an exceptional culinary experience and a team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals, many with CEM and CMP designations. Thirty-three meeting rooms, 125,500-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall, 48,000 sq. ft. of conference center space. State-of-the-industry AV equipment built in, ultra high-speed Internet, complimentary WiFi in the Grand Lobby. Forty brand-name hotels nearby, providing over 10,000 rooms. Recently completed Phase 1 of a $7 million improvement project PAGE that renovated Hall 1, added a new Connector building to Hall 5 and more. 143

Puerto Rico

Meet Puerto Rico

Ochoa Building, 500 Tanca St., Suite 402, San Juan, PR 00901 (800) 875-4765; Fax: (787) 725-2133 www.meetpuertorico.com Vice President of Business Development and Sales: Joyce Martínez Puerto Rico offers 1.2 million sq. ft. of state-of-the-art conference facilities, breathtaking natural attractions, championship golfing, resort spas and sizzling nightlife and casinos. The experts at Meet Puerto Rico, MPR, have liaisons to more than 250 members and can arrange luxury group accommodations and itineraries, gather proposals, coordinate site inspections and more. Recent/upcoming hotel openings include the Hyatt House San Juan, Courtyard by Marriott, Hyatt Place Manati and The Hyatt Bayamón & El Tropical Casino. The $29 million Paseo Puerta de Tierra project, a boardwalk linking historic Old San Juan with other popular tourism areas, is expected to open in late 2015. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Convention Center

100 Convention Boulevard San Juan, PR (800) 875-4765; (773) 654-1758; Fax: (787) 725-2133 www.prconvention.com National Sales Director: Rosa M. Luke The Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport is just 13 minutes from the Puerto Rico Convention Center, which is surrounded by 1,887 guestrooms within a three-mile radius, and the attractions of Old San Juan. PRCC features 600,000 sq. ft. of total space and can accommodate groups of up to 10,000. Signature wave-like roofline and a 13-story glass curtain offer spectacular views of the San Juan Bay and area beaches. Offers 152,700 sq. ft. of exhibition space, a 39,500-sq.-ft. ballroom, and 36,200 sq. ft. of additional meeting space, including 15 separate meeting rooms on two levels, divisible into 28 breakout rooms. The PRCC has unveiled a new solar energy array that is one of the largest green initiatives of its kind on the island. 142


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. 59 137

ontario, CANADA

Shaw Centre

55 Colonel By Drive,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 9J2 (613) 563-1984; (800) 450-0077 www.ottawaconventioncentre.com Senior Vice-President, Sales and Client Service: Paul Keogh Canada’s Meeting Place Opened in April 2011, the Shaw Centre is centrally located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s Capital and within walking distance of more than 6,000 downtown hotel rooms, numerous attractions and the ByWard Market. The Centre is directly linked to the Westin Ottawa Hotel and the 180-store Rideau Centre shopping complex. In January the facility received LEED® Gold certification. The Centre offers 192,000 sq. ft. of function space including a 55,741-sq.-ft. multipurpose hall accommodating 6,260 theater style, 4,600 banquet style and up to 400 10 ft.-by-10 ft. booths displays; 22,032 sq. ft. of pre-function space; 28 meeting rooms; and a 19,032-sq.-ft. ballroom. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

there’s teamwork happenIng here!

It’s ImpossIble to convey all the strengths of our exceptIonal team In just a hundred words, so we Included a pIcture to add a thousand more. Why do clients love our team so much? It’s a combination of collaborative spirit, a ‘whatever it takes’ tenacity and decades’ worth of know-how. Every event we host is different, each client’s goals unique. But no matter how challenging or enormous the event may be, our team sees to it that every aspect exceeds the expectations of clients, participants and attendees. Event planning, promotion, hospitality, food, drink and beyond – our people manage it all with professionalism and efficiency. If your event is too important to trust to just any venue, talk to the team at The International Centre.

canada’s leadIng event & meetIng facIlIty 6900 Airport Road Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 905.677.6131 / tf 1.800.567.1199 InternationalCentre.com

Follow us!

the International centre staff (from left to right) Ron Bentley, Director of Event and Client Services; Sandra Martin, Sales Manager – Trade and Consumer Shows; Trevor Lui, Director of Operations and Sustainability; Lee-Anne Leckie, Sales Manager – Meetings and Conventions; Raiman Dilag, Manager of Information Systems and Technology; Rita Medynski, Sales Manager – Trade and Consumer Shows; Kevin Parker, Sales Manager – Corporate; Tawfik Shehata, Executive Chef; and Nadena Singh, Director of Events Management

The caribbean / jamaica

Montego Bay Convention Centre

The Perfect Venue he pride of Montego Bay, the new Conference Centre brings serious business to the second city, and as an international convention destination, it is already making an impact on the local economy. Unlike leisure travel, which has its peak seasons, convention business is year round and the benefits are shared: The Centre feeds into the five-star hotels along the elegant corridor and the attractions in and around the area offer leisure activities for the delegates. The local business community has been very supportive, with the Centre being booked for meetings, retreats, training workshops and special events. It is also becoming known as a sports venue, hosting championship events in table tennis, taekwondo and domino competitions. Church events are popular; so too are weddings which can be held on the large landscaped lawns. The venue also targets the music industry, and is ideal for concerts, which can be held indoors, or in the huge paved courtyard overlooking the ocean. The room rates are very good and clients are able to manage their budget depending on all the add-ons, such as audiovisuals and catering.


Located on prime land, the complex is the first of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean — owned by the local Urban Development Corporation. Well planned and designed, it is impressive in many ways. Architecturally it delivers so much and incorporates several design elements. Elevated, it has a dramatic view of the coastline, with a backdrop of the mountains; there’s the grandeur of the old Georgian style public buildings seen in Jamaica, with cut stonework dominating the exterior, along with large green plantation style shutters. Yet there is enough glass and chrome to give it all a very modern

feel. There are the water features — narrow, long shallow pools, all calming and tranquil. The interior décor has Asian influences in the cherry wood finishing, and latticework screens. And it’s super elegant, with marble tiles and stylish furniture. The facility offers 142,000 sq. ft. in convention and meeting space — all very flexible and functional. There are three main areas, and each one can be divided up to offer several options: •The Exhibition Hall is massive, spread over two separate buildings. It can accommodate 6,200 theater style, 4,700 banquet seating or 282 booths. •The Grand Ballroom, carpeted with chandelier lighting, can seat 1,580 banquet style. •On the west wing, another building houses eight meeting areas, the largest accommodating up to 600, and including a small boardroom. Not overlooked in design are the spacious pre-function lobby areas, with reception desks and comfortable seating, and the large, immaculate public washrooms. Other spaces include the brick-tiled courtyard, which can hold 2,600 attendees for a reception and is great for large outdoor parties, and the Ocean View Terrace, which can seat 1,500 banquet style. The 15,000-sq.-ft. kitchen is a huge space with additional prep rooms for salads, seafood, meat and pastry. Catering is a big part of the Centre’s services, from coffee and tea breaks, to working lunch buffets, cocktail parties and fivecourse banquets. Both the kitchen and Exhibition Hall also have freight access. Parking is ample, with coach bays.

Half Moon P.O. 4058, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica, W.I. • (876) 622-9330 • mobaycentre.com 144

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook



By Sibylle Eschapasse

The resort’s expansive swimming pool at sundown.

One of Mexico’s newest resort options on the Pacific coast


Premium Gold property of the Iberostar brand, Playa Mita is the company’s first hotel on Mexico’s west coast and 10th resort in the country. Located approximately 25 miles — about a one-hour taxi ride — from Puerto Vallarta’s Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport, the five-star resort opened a year ago in the area of Litibu on the Pacific coastline of Riviera Nayarit. Meeting and incentive groups representing various industries — from financial and insurance to technology and health — are welcomed with an open door. “In addition to our wide range of offerings, our strong dedication to quality service and customer satisfaction has contributed to our success,” says Annette Furman, Director of Groups and Incentives. 145

The resort’s 452 spacious guestrooms, including 120 oceanfront junior suites and two presidential penthouses, are equipped with large balconies. Five conference rooms totaling around 7,050 sq. ft. can accommodate up to 560 attendees (and 130 within one 1,600-sq.-ft. room). Meetings are supported by latest audiovisual technology and experienced onsite meeting professionals. And with sunny weather almost every day of the year, the IBEROSTAR Playa Mita is a fine choice for outdoor functions, offering oceanfront event space. “While staying at Playa Mita, there were so many positives it would be hard to name just one,” says William J. Moulds Jr., National Sales Manager at Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing, which recently hosted an incentive group at Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

“Our strong dedication to quality service and customer satisfaction has contributed to our success.” – Annette Furman, Director of Groups and Incentives

the resort. “The fact that the entire group loved the resort with no complaints certainly says a lot; it is nearly impossible to please 80 different people, and the resort did just that. The staff went out of their way to make everyone feel welcome and to take care of any needs. The entire team was great to work with, very professional and made the experience a wonderful memory for everyone.” As they say in Spanish, “Mi casa es tu casa” — My house is your house — and there is a sense that every element of the resort is designed to make meeting participants feel very comfortable while working there. Moulds adds that “The resort is one of the most beautiful we have seen, and the location with oceanfront views is spectacular.” With a long golden beach, the warm Pacific Ocean at its feet, and the Sierra Madre Mountains and lush vegetation on the other side of the resort, it would be an understatement to say that the locale is picturesque. 146

Diverse Culinary Options

The resort’s seven restaurants allow groups to experience both local and international cuisines. Among the options is the Tsuba restaurant with its Japanese cuisine; the Pacific Express for a more gourmet experience in an old-fashioned train’s elegant dining room; La Bahia steakhouse; and Cuate Pancho with its delicious Mexican cuisine. For groups who may prefer the convenience of a buffet with a variety of dishes and delicacies, the Nopal Buffet restaurant is an ideal choice. And for attendees who prefer the comfort of their rooms after a long day of meetings, room service is available 24 hours a day, at no additional cost and with no limitations for all guests of the hotel. Eight bars are located on property, including the Sea Soul Bar & Lounge which affords a majestic view of the beach and the world-renowned sunsets of Riviera Nayarit. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

(Clockwise from top): Kids’ swimming pool with IBEROSTAR gardens in the background; Sea Soul Bar & Lounge; one of the resort’s well-appointed meeting rooms; and the Pacific Express restaurant.

In terms of recreational activities and entertainment, attendees can enjoy Vallarta Adventures (www. expansive swimming pools, vallarta-adventures.com) “The resort is one tennis courts, a state-of-the can arrange an outing to of the most art fitness club as well as a the Marietas Islands for beautiful we have variety of daily outdoor and attendees to discover the water activities. The Greg world-famous and surprisseen, and the Norman-designed, 18-hole ing “hidden beach,” or the location with Litibu Golf Course is also biodiversity and nature oceanfront views onsite. Those looking for sanctuary of Riviera Nayarit. some quiet time and rejuSuch an adventure makes is spectacular.” venation can indulge in the –William J. Moulds Jr., for an exciting conclusion National Sales Manager, to a productive and successworld-class spa and beauty Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing salon at the IBEROSTAR ful meeting at the resort, Playa Mita. The private effectively rewarding your sanctuary offers a relaxation garden and lounge. In participants. the evening, guests can enjoy theater entertainment. At the time F&D staff visited, the theater presented With its luxurious accommodations, distinctive archiBroadway musicals that transported us to New York tecture, superior service and the beauty of its locaand made us briefly forget we were in Mexico. For tion, it is difficult to find another resort to match the those who want to continue being entertained, a IBEROSTAR Playa Mita in Punta Mita, now considdisco next door is open all night. ered the most exclusive and exquisite area of Mexico. Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook


on location

Tanque Verde


Facilities & Destinations-2015 Superbook

Dude Ranch Welcoming attendees from all walks of life, including the “city slickers” By Debi Lander


he sun rises over Arizona’s Rincon Mountains as I watch puffy clouds stir in a creamsicle-colored sky. Their shadows add depth to the prickly pear and saguaro cactus-filled desert surrounding me. I’m heading to breakfast, sitting a bit catawampus in the saddle as my mount and I climb a rocky limestone hill. After three days at Tanque Verde Ranch, I feel accustomed to straddling a horse and almost like a real rider in the Old American West. Meeting attendees, even if they are non-riders, can expect the same transforming experience. What exactly is a dude ranch? The word “dude” goes back to the 1870s Yellowstone Park rangers who created the term to refer to visitors from the east. By the 1880s it referred to anyone who was not a resident of the Rocky Mountains. By the 1920s the definition changed to anyone who hired a guide or paid money to stay on a ranch. This definition continues today; any ranch that takes on paying customers for tourism or income is considered a dude ranch. Tanque Verde Ranch, located about 30 minutes from Tucson International Airport, is the nation’s largest dude ranch and ranked among the “Ten Best” by Condé Nast. The grounds span 60,000 acres, with nearby recreational areas including the Saguaro National Park and the Coronado National Forest. Tanque Verde offers guests a genuine Western experience along with the luxury of a top-notch resort. It’s like going to a deluxe adult camp where participants can choose their own activities. The ranch provides airport shuttle service for groups. Along the way “Cowboy Joe,” the driver wearing a cowboy hat, points out local attractions and tells about the protected species of saguaro cactus. “They grow very slowly and don’t get their arms until their 75th birthday,” he says. These huge cacti, along with other smaller ones, some mesquite and cottonwood trees, and desert broom are about all that manage to live in the rocky Sonoran Desert.

Facilities & Destinations-2015 Superbook


Tanque Verde Ranch is replete with indoor settings for group gatherings that are at once rustic and elegant.

and executive retreats. The ranch offers stateof-the-art indoor and outdoor function spaces, including the stunning, 2,304-sq.-ft. Saguaro Room, which can hold 160 for a banquet or 175 for a reception. The Kiva Dining Room measures 2,321 sq. ft. and can host 140 for dining. The outdoor Rincon Terrace can seat 160 and the Cottonwood Grove is a one-acre property typically used for weekly BBQ dinners and line dancing. Live Western-themed music or a Mariachi band can be added to any event.

Roughin’ it? Hardly. Tanque Verde offers a total of 69 guestrooms: 31 Sala guestrooms, 22 Casita junior suites and 16 Hacienda suite accommodations, all with views of The Cottonwood Grove is a Tucson desert and mountains. Each one-acre property typically suite includes its own private patio; leather chairs facing a wood-burning fireused for weekly BBQ place and living room/sitting area; and a dinners and line dancing. modern bath. Some suites also feature Live Western-themed music a Jacuzzi tub to soak in at the end of a long day. The décor is classic Southwestor a Mariachi band can be ern style with modern amenities. added to any event. However, Tanque Verde offers no in-room televisions. Guests are encouraged to talk to one another, play cards, attend an evening activity or sleep after a busy day. For those who can’t do without this amenity, TVs are found in the lounge and the bar. Tanque Verde Ranch is an ideal venue for small incentive travel groups, teambuilding programs 150

Tucson, AZ-based Southwest Energy, LLC, has held several management retreats at the Ranch over the last six years, most recently hosting approximately 65 employees. “Our group returns year after year to the Ranch because it is a five-star experience with an Old West feel,” notes Jenine N. Dalrymple, Chief Financial Officer. “Our team feels at home in the casual atmosphere, but the high-quality food and accommodations make it feel like a special getaway.” The Tanque Verde Difference

The highlight of the ranch is naturally the riding Facilities & Destinations-2015 Superbook


Memorable Group Activities


Stargazing. Arizona is known as “The Astronomy Capital of the World,” and a stargazing session is a great option for groups. I attended a stargazing program on one of the terraces, where an astronomer presented a spirited talk and used a powerful green laser to point out stars and constellations. He also brought a high-tech telescope and let participants take photos of the moon with their smartphones through his lens.


Desert Jeep Rally. Teams navigate a four-wheel vehicle through the desert looking for clues along the trail. They answer desert trivia questions, search for fool’s gold, and compete in events like archery, roping and horseshoe pitching. Each rally can be personalized with questions pertaining to the group’s organization. Planners may also add a margarita bar stop at the end of the adventure.


Casino Night. Any meeting can be livened up with a Casino Night for up to 80 players, featuring Blackjack, Craps,

program, and this is where Tanque Verde Ranch differs from most dude ranches. Guests have the flexibility to start and end a program any day of the week; they don’t have to arrive on a specific day and stay for a weeklong agenda. The ranch stables hold approximately 180 horses for riding and group horseback activities, and provide everything needed for the beginner to advanced rider, including expert instruction, guided trail rides and team penning competitions. Beyond riding lessons, the ranch offers hiking, mountain biking, fishing in Lake Cochran, tennis, pickleball, basketball and volleyball. Guests Facilities & Destinations-2015 Superbook

Poker and a Roulette Wheel. Saloon girls, gangsters and card tricksters can be included to add authenticity.


Western Carnival. Booths, barkers, Westernthemed games and a 30-minute Western Show with Loop Rawlins featuring his rope tricks and gun-handling routine are all featured in this colorful event. For athletic attendees, a Foot Rodeo can also be scheduled for a minimum of 50 persons. The obstacle course includes ring toss, steer roping, and tomahawks or cow-pie throwing. A poultry heist, bucket brigade and Western boot race can also be staged.


Hot-Air Ballooning. Smaller groups might start the morning by taking a desert hot-air balloon ride, followed by a celebration at the ranch with a champagne toast and cheese and fruit plates on the front lawn before breakfast. —DL

can stretch sore muscles in yoga classes, paint a Southwest scene in a watercolor workshop, or take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pool or 24hour hot tub. Naturalists lead walks on a nature trail and give educational presentations in the nature center. Naturally, there’s also a saloon/bar, a library, lounge and gift shop. Golf is available at some of Tucson’s finest courses, featuring outstanding desert landscapes and full-service clubhouses. Special rates are offered along with complimentary shuttle service to Arizona National, Forty-Niner Country Club and Del Lago Golf Club. 151

Attendees can



MEETINGS The summer season of conferences, conventions, business meetings, incentive travel, tradeshows and exhibitions is in full swing – and with it comes the positive impact to local businesses and economies. When meetings happen, economies grow, jobs are created and businesses achieve positive outcomes. Meetings and events help to build relationships, foster collaboration and facilitate deals and business success across industries.

Companies depend on face-to-face meetings to win new customers, close deals and develop high-performing talent.

Business travelers are twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting than without one.

74% of frequent business travelers reported that in-person meetings with clients deliver a high impact on customer retention.

Business travel converts every

dollar spent into nearly $10 in new revenue for companies.

= 300,000 people.*

million domestic business trips

were taken just last year.

In 2013, business travel added more than $265 billion to the U.S. economy – employing 2.3 million Americans - provided $42 billion in tax revenues, and generated $67 billion in total

payroll for the industry.**

Handshakes are good for business, our economy and communities.

Meetings Mean Business is a national communications and advocacy campaign to highlight the incredible value that business meetings, travel and events bring to the U.S. economy. Learn more and download our app at MeetingsMeanBusiness.com

Source: Oxford Economics and U.S. Travel Association *2012 Government Travel Economic Impact **2013 Business Travel Economic Impact


treatments and nail designs. The spa uses natural herbs found in the desert along with other organic products. A Tanque Verde tradition is the Thursday and Sunday morning trail ride into the desert foothills. Riders stop by the Old Homestead where breakfast awaits: blueberry pancakes flipped by the ranch owner, Bob Cote, along with bacon, sausage and eggs cooked to order and various drinks. Cote has overseen the property for about 40 years since taking over the reins from his father. Riding Off Into the Sunset

Government travel contributes nearly $33 billion to our economy and employs nearly

Nearly 445

Arizona is known also partake of as “The Astronomy the services at the ranch’s La Capital of the World,” Sonora Spa, and a stargazing including massages, aromasession is a great therapy, body option for groups.

The two-hour sunset trail ride (available any night) became the most vivid memory of my time on the ranch. My group on horseback strolled through the cottonwoods, and then ventured up the mountains on steep paths barely wide enough for the horse’s hooves. I couldn’t comprehend how the animals could master this trail. Riding downhill seemed even more dangerous, but my horse very carefully placed his hooves on the rock-strewn path, making sure his footing was secure before taking the next step. I hung on to the saddle horn, and when I looked up I glimpsed a scene from National Geographic come to life: a silhouette of riders against a stunning sky. Soon, the moon began to rise above the eastern hills and the sun slowly sank in the west. Blurry swatches of orange, peach, red and yellow painted the horizon and giant saguaro cacti stood in black profile, like sentries guarding the gates. By the time we returned to the stables, the trail was totally dark, but my horse knew the way. I could hardly believe I was capable of this exciting outing. While I might not have eased into the life of a cowboy like a horse takes to oats, I surprised myself, and so will meeting attendees who take full advantage of Tanque Verde’s outdoor adventures.

Facilities & Destinations-2015 Superbook

Religious Meetings

Keeping the Price Right

5 ways to stabilize meeting budgets in a seller’s market By Rachel Eble, CMP


eality. Sometimes facing it is a challenge, and if you are trying to plan meetings on the same budget now that you’ve had in the past few years it can definitely be quite a struggle. With a strengthening economy we are seeing that hotels are being more optimistic, rates are being driven higher, especially in peak seasons, and availability is sometimes scarce. Religious-meeting planners often need to find ways to keep the same or very similar pricing year after year in order to ensure meetings remain affordable for attendees, which is crucial to maintaining strong attendance levels. Even in a seller’s market, it is easier to achieve pricing goals for meetings that are desirable pieces of business. Venues that want and need that business will be much more willing to work with the planner’s budget on all areas of the meeting, including food and beverage and concessions. Hotels will often be more flexible on contract terms as well. When the economy was weaker, religious meetings were more desirable because unlike some other kinds of meetings, their attendance numbers stayed strong and budgets remained intact. But nowadays religious-meeting planners often need to make a case for the value their conventions represent to hoteliers. A crucial starting point is to look at your meeting holistically. This includes considering the needs, expectations, and budget in all areas of the meeting. Be clear about the revenue you anticipate bringing the hotel, and provide your sales manager with the tools needed to convince Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

his or her internal team that your business is valuable, including both historical and realistic anticipated revenues. Sometimes your sales managers are in a tough position, and if you understand and acknowledge the challenges they face you’ll often find they’re much more willing to fight harder on your behalf. Unfortunately, though, providing all that information may not be enough. There is only so much even the best sales manager can do. Planners still need to find ways to make their business s you become desirable enough so that more flexible you even the most aggressive revenue manager can’t will receive more argue the value. Moreover, religious-meeting planners options and cannot go head-to-head find more hotels with corporate groups that truly wanting can afford to pay higher rates and expect the hotel to your business. offer the pricing they need.


Be Flexible A key way to increase the value of your business and make it more attractive is flexibility. Your organization needs to determine and prioritize the most important items needed to meet your goals and create a successful meeting. If budget is the key factor, then you need to be flexible in other areas. Sometimes even a little flexibility is enough to meet your needs, but as you become more flexible you will receive more options and find more hotels truly wanting your business. 153

ies Media Group

s Guide


Booking Window: Guestrooms are a perishable item, and if you eligious-meeting Services Resource are able to be flexible and book in the planners cannot go Location. Sometimes it’s as simple shortest timeframe possible, many as changing your meeting location hotels can offer great pricing. You UrbanRide head-to-head with 421 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001 to a destination where your dates will often need to combine this with (800) 525-5750; Fax: (212) 202-9638 groups corporate fall in their off-season. In one case, a flexibility of date and/or location, www.urbanride.net client organization of my company as many properties may already be that can afford to pay Chief Executive Officer: Jeremy Milikow wasVice willing toMitch takeBornstein, their February Senior President: SVP However, if this is an option higher rates and expect booked. meeting from a warmer destination for your meeting, the rewards can ‘Leading Global Provider of Meeting & Event Transportation’ to Chicago. We were able to contract the hotel to offer the be substantial. With their current UrbanRide a global provider of ground transportation and a Four isDiamond downtown Chicagofor meetings & events, optimism, hotels are holding out for uses the top-of-the-line sedans, SUVs, vans, minibuses and motorcoaches. We provide pricing they need. a rate in thethatlow $100s along ourhotel clients with with IMS, our software enables meeting planners to better manage the most profitable business, and transportation for their meetings, conferences, conventions, tradeshows & other events. with reduced F&B pricing and other decreasing your booking window will We work exclusively with meeting & event planners and our customer service is the best in theconcessions, business. UrbanRide is a one-stopparking. solution for meeting & event transportation. including The first quarter date, increase their willingness to be flexible. combined with some pattern flexibility by the group, fit a need the hotel had, and as a result the hotel was willing Change for Repeat Groups: Often hotels will increase meet the group’s budgetary needs. rates year-over-year for repeat groups. If you know your business is valuable to a city or hotel and you typically Dates and/or Patterns. This kind of flexibility can stay in the same location or rotate to the same cities, you yield Speakers great results. For example, after meeting over Keppler may have to walk away for a year or change your rotation 4350 Fairfax Dr., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203 theN.same April/May timeframe for more than 75 years, in order for that city/hotel to “reset.” If you are willing to (703) 516-4000; Fax: (703) 516-4819 one group decided to be more flexible with their dates www.kepplerspeakers.com walk away and the hotel is unable to replace all the revenue Senior for Sales and Marketing: Truran andVPconsidered movingJohn to Memorial Day week. Since you provided, then they will value your business more making change, they have meetings been able their With Kepplerthat Speakers, creating memorable neverto feltkeep so easy. With over 25 upon your return. A classic example is of a group that years of experience, we provide you solid, seasoned expertise, making speaker selection rate consistently around $100 for over a decade while also meets every year in the early part of Thanksgiving week. ll stress-free by managing all of the details. Keppler Speakers saves you precious time by receiving a significantly higher value ofproven concessions. matching you with speakers who are right on target. From performers to dynamic They find an upscale resort they would like to return to, but rising stars, our speakers bring fascinating, real stories and a gift for inspiring audiences. every year the hotel raises the rate higher, and the group chooses to walk away. This particular group has kept their rates at $89-$99 by leaving the hotel three times since 1998, effectively resetting the rate each time upon their return. Although this example is over a holiday timeframe, we’ve also seen the same results with citywide rotations and groups meeting over need dates in general. Here are five ways flexibility can yield results:






Line Items. Be flexible on as many items as you can when the budget is tight. For example, if you are on a budget for F&B, allow the hotel to provide chef’s-choice menus, as this will help them meet your budget while utilizing resources to achieve their own goals.

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Don’t Get Stuck in a Fishbowl! Don’t Get Stuck The Facilities Media Group in a Fishbowl!

Once you determine your priorities and have an understanding of the value that your business brings to the table, you may be surprised to find that the reality you are facing isn’t all that challenging, and in fact is quite promising. Being flexible will allow you to negotiate fantastic rates and concessions, while creating a partnership that hotels and cities will see as a win for them as well. Rachel Eble, CMP, serves as a meeting planner with Arrowhead Conferences and Events, a nonprofit ministry of Cru that assists Christian ministries with their conference planning needs. Prior to joining the Arrowhead team eight years ago, she held roles in sales, catering and convention services for various hotel companies including Hilton and Hyatt. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Religious Conference Management Association.

Facilities & Destinations The Media GroupGuide Facilities •Facilities Conference • Planner Facilities Facilities LIVE&•Destinations Booking Guide Facilities & &Event Management Facilities Event Management www.Facilitiesonline.com Facilitiesonline.com



Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Healthcare Meetings



Four areas where technology can support continuing medical education conferences By Jason Heathcote


t first glance, our daily routine as continuing medical education (CME) planners can usually be completed without much technical innovation. We can communicate via the phone, send brochures to homes and offices, and even produce a decent live conference without relying on sophisticated technology. But in the course of planning a CME conference, we sometimes encounter obstacles that can best be overcome through advances in technology. The process may be as simple as “Googling” a solution, but more often than not it involves asking how technology can help solve a problem or how it can improve a situation. Following are four areas where it can do so:

1. Attendance tracking

One tangible problem CME planners often encounter is attendance tracking. Although we are in the business of education, we need to record who has received that education and when. Old paper methods — getting physicians to sign a roster at the start of the day and after breaks — are cumbersome at best and distracting at worst. With the use of bar code scanning technology, physicians can now record attendance with a quick swipe of their name badge as they coast into the classroom. This attendance tracking solution saves a meeting planner labor costs and administrative time, and gives attendees a more professional impression of the conference.

2. Interactive presentations

Although the content of a CME lecture is great, the delivery sometimes causes a problem. The solution Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

is technology. Implementing an Audience Response System (ARS) provides a more interactive experience for the attendees, engaging them and creating a better delivery mechanism. Indeed, interaction with one’s audience is considered the “new normal.” In addition, employing networked computers or tablets for attendee use can improve the visual aspects of a presentation, especially when attendees are reviewing medical images or film. Attendees expect meeting planners to utilize this technology. The bar has risen beyond the simple use of slide decks and projection screens.

3. Audience communication

But technology is not just about solving problems; it is also about improving how we work. For example, technology helps CME planners better communicate with their audience. At World Class CME, using a proprietary content management system (CMS) has allowed us to send personalized future offerings to prior attendees, warehouse old business, and better understand who our attendees are in demographic terms. And this communication is two-way. Attendees can better communicate with us through integrated social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, download literature from our website and make realtime inquiries from anywhere in the world via the Web. We monitor satisfaction levels by employing online surveys that can be completed with a few clicks or a few touches on a mobile screen. That data is crunched to provide great, unfiltered feedback, and some of our best companywide developments have come from attendee surveys. 155

4. Marketing

CME planners must constantly ask themselves how they can ith the use of Technology elevates our marketing improve on the status quo. efforts. I caution budding marketers to bar code scanning How do we create a better step into the digital world of e-marketing experience for the attendee, in technology, physicians thoughtfully because at times it can be terms of education, logistics a double-edged sword. For example, can now record and communications? To on one side email solicitations can answer these questions we attendance with a quick be produced and delivered in such do find ourselves leaning on swipe of their name a personal and connected way with technology more than ever. Our minimal effort (and cost); but on the company has become more badge as they coast into other side you must consider the scalable as an organization, the classroom. intrusive and addictive nature of email improved satisfaction levels marketing. When done correctly, and seen a further increase in e-marketing can reach the correct global audience for a loyalty from our attendees. Technology has allowed fraction of the cost of a traditional mail campaign. You will us to better ourselves as a company while providing have the ability to analyze the performance of a campaign, some valuable internal benefits. I encourage all CME in real time, and automate future responses. Having planners to explore how technology can improve the ability to track successes and pinpoint any failures their meetings. helps defray future costly mistakes. We have found that targeted discount or coupon campaigns are a powerful driver of registrations. This is especially important in the Jason Heathcote is Chief Operating Officer of early stages of a mailing campaign when faced with large World Class CME. World Class CME provides live printing, postage and mailing list charges. Being able to and online CME in the areas of radiology, breast move registration income to the front end of a campaign imaging, OB-GYN ultrasound and gynecology. is very helpful.



Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Facilities & Destinations SuperBook Advertiser Index

advertiser index Northeast Connecticut Convention Center.............23 David L. Lawrence Convention Centre...... 57 Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.......................................C3 The Javits Center...........................................25 MassMutual Center...................................... 30 Meadowlands Exposition Center............87 Meet AC.............................................................. 17 Philadelphia CVB/Pennsylvania Convention Center.......................................C4 Mid-Atlantic Baltimore Convention Center.................. 60 Chesapeake Convention Center..............91 Events DC............................................................ 7 Visit Norfolk......................................................89 Ocean City CVB/Roland Powell Convention Center........................................92 Virginia Beach CVB.......................................95 Southeast Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.............................................................99 The Classic Center........................................97 Durham Convention Center......................35 Georgia World Congress Center..............61 Little Rock CVB..............................................101 Miami Beach Convention Center.............31 Mobile Convention Center......................102 New Orleans Morial Convention Center.........................................13 Orange County Convention Center......105 Visit Orlando....................................................45 Owensboro Convention Center..............34 Palm Beach County Convention Center........................................35 Visit Florida....................................................... 37 Visit Savannah..................................................63 Vicksburg Convention Center.................108 Wilmington Convention Center.............109 Facilities & destinations 2015 superbook

Midwest Akron/Summit CVB/ John S. Knight Center...................................53 Bridgeview Center......................................... 111 Century Center...............................................112 Cleveland Convention Center/Global Center for Health Innovation......................11 Cobo Center...................................................... 5 Greater Columbus Convention Center.... 119 Destination Cleveland................................. 113 Dodge City Convention Center/ United Wireless Arena...............................120 Duke Energy Convention Center.............29 Indiana Convention Center........................55 Iowa Events Center.......................................33 Kansas City Convention Center...............26 Monona Terrace Convention Center....123 Racine Civic Centre.................................... 124 RiverCenter.....................................................125 Saint Charles Convention Center..... 35, 126 George W. Neilson Convention Center/Sanford Center.....127 Swiftel Center................................................ 128 West Austin Convention Center...........................21 Colorado Springs CVB..................................19 Cox Convention Center............................ 133 Los Angeles Convention Center................ 3 Phoenix Convention Center...................... 22 Sacramento Convention Center............ 139 Team San Jose..................................................15 Three Rivers Convention Center...........140 Visit Spokane...................................................... 9 Canada/caribbean International Centre.................................... 143 Montego Bay Convention Centre...........59 Other SMG................................................................. C2-1 157


Orlando, FL

F& D

Hot List

Status: Hot category: Theme Park Hotels FYI: Meeting in proximity to one of the nation’s great theme parks

promises a wealth of activities for attendees during their free time, particularly if they travel with family. Yet these resorts offer plenty of their own diversions complementing superb meeting facilities, not to mention the drawing power of the theme park’s name. Several renovation projects are highlighted below. Planners will also note a major theme park hotel opening next summer at Universal Orlando, the 1,000-room Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, offering 131,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

1] Disneyland Hotel Anaheim, CA

disneyland.disney.go.com/hotels/disneyland-hotel Orange County’s largest convention hotel, the Disneyland Hotel offers 975 guestrooms and a 136,000-sq.-ft. convention center. Recently the hotel completed a four-year transformation that completely redesigned the guestrooms, recreation facilities and public areas. New features include two additional pools, 20,000 sq. ft. of lawn space for private events and several luxurious themed suites, including the 3,000-sq.-ft. Blue Sky Suite located on the 11th floor. The unique suite is designed to host meetings or receptions for up to 15 attendees and features three digital presentation screens and an open-air lanai offering panoramic views of the hotel courtyard, gardens and pool. 158


Anaheim, CA

by Hilton Hotel 2] Doubletree Orlando at SeaWorld Orlando, FL

doubletreeorlandoseaworld.com The 700-room Doubletree spans 28 acres adjacent to SeaWorld and its waterpark Aquatica, and lies minutes away from Universal Orlando Resort, Walt Disney World Resort and the Orange County Convention Center. Groups have 60,000 sq. ft. of meeting space at their disposal, including the 12,000-sq.-ft. Oceans Ballroom, the 10,000-sq.-ft. Great Lakes Ballroom, 25 meeting rooms and the Tower Terrace. Options for relaxation include three pools and L’Esprit Day Spa.

3] The Hotel Hershey Hershey, PA


The historic Hotel Hershey is the ideal location for attendees to enjoy Hersheypark, home to 70 rides and attractions, including 12 rollercoasters and nine water attractions. This summer will see the debut of Laff Trakk, the park’s 13th rollercoaster. The 276-room hotel houses 25,000 sq. ft. of meeting space across 20 meeting rooms, Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook



Hershey, PA

Orlando, FL

themed resort include Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, a lagoon-style pool, a 5,000-sq.-ft. Gymnasium, torchlighting ceremonies and fire-dancing entertainment, and complimentary WiFi throughout.



Orlando, FL

Galveston, TX

and boasts numerous recreational resources of its own: Hershey Country Club with three golf courses, The Spa At The Hotel Hershey, a sports and fitness complex, and outdoor and indoor pool complexes.

Royal Pacific Resort 4] atLoews Universal Orlando Orlando, FL

loewshotels.com/royal-pacific-resort This fall, Loews Royal Pacific Resort will complete the expansion of its function space from 85,000 sq. ft. to more than 140,000 sq. ft. The new space will feature a nearly 36,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, along with four additional breakout rooms and pre-function space. Universal Orlando itself will offer more than 306,000 sq. ft. of function space after the project is complete. Highlights of this 1,000-room, South PacificFacilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Gardens ] Moody 5& Convention Hotel Spa Center

Galveston, TX

moodygardenshotel.com In May 2014, Moody Gardens Hotel debuted its $20 million restoration, featuring upgrades to the lobby, corridors, guestrooms, business and fitness centers, restaurants, meeting spaces, spa and public areas. The 418-room hotel offers over 103,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, complemented by a 1,000-space parking garage attached to the Convention Center. Recreational options include the Spa at Moody Gardens, Moody Gardens Golf Course and the theme park’s renowned attractions, including the Aquarium Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, Discovery Museum and 3D and 4D Theaters.

Disney World Swan and 6] Walt Dolphin Resort Orlando, FL

swandolphin.com The Swan and Dolphin Resort is getting the largest makeover in its history, a $125 million redesign project that will transform every guest room in the 758-room Swan Hotel and the 1,509-room Dolphin Hotel by 2017. The bulk of the meeting space, 273,000 sq. ft., is at the Dolphin, with the Swan housing over 56,000 sq. ft. Participants can rejuvenate at the Mandara Spa, and dine at Shula’s Steakhouse and Todd English’s bluezoo, among 17 restaurants and lounges onsite. Groups can also walk to Disney’s BoardWalk entertainment district, Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Courses. Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot are connected via waterway and walkway, and the Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park lie minutes away. 159

Small-Market Review Midwest Continued from page 78

Purdue’s skyline

hour north of Indianapolis and two hours south of Chicago along I-65. For attendees that would be flying to the area, shuttles depart on a regular basis to and from Indianapolis International and Chicago’s O’Hare airports multiple times a day. Being the home of Purdue University brings many cultural experiences, vibrant nightlife and great resources for planners. Meeting venues range from University spaces to historic venues, ag-

ricultural venues and classic hotel conference centers. The Courtyard by Marriott is scheduled to open a new conference center in August of 2015. This expansion will also include 32 new guestrooms and an 8,000-sq.ft. patio space. Fairfield Inn and Suites finished a major renovation this spring and the Hampton Inn is currently undergoing a major renovation.

Quad Cities, IA

visitquadcities.com The Quad Cities is a vibrant riverfront community with a rich history and a great variety of things to see and do, including riverboat cruises, dining, museums, casinos, bike trails, outdoor recreation areas, performing arts and festivals. Groups can avail themselves of 5,500 hotel rooms and meeting/

Downtown Davenport

exhibit space of up to 117,000 sq. ft. The Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau can send out leads, host site inspections, provide suppliers, contact media, and onestop planning assistance. The Isle Casino Hotel in Bettendorf, IA, held a groundbreaking recently for its new land-based casino. The new Hilton Garden Inn Bettendorf has 115 rooms and reception space for 200. The newly constructed Holiday Inn & Suites offers 104 guestrooms and nearly 5,300 sq. ft. of meeting and pre-function space for special events.

Sioux Falls, SD


visitsiouxfalls.com Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s largest city and has



Meetings/Tradeshows/Exhibitions/ Convention Centers/CVBs/Hotels/ Resorts/Conference Centers The River Greenway Project along Big Sioux River

THE FACILITIES MEDIA GROUP Essential Planning Tools 160

one of the country’s fastestgrowing economies. Accessibly located at the junction of I-90 and I-29, Sioux Falls is home to state’s largest airport, the Sioux Falls Regional Airport. Groups can have more than 4,675 hotel accommodations at their disposal, as well as 650 restaurants, the Sanford Sports Complex, Great Plains Zoo, SculptureWalk, Falls Park and other attractions. The new Denny Sanford

PREMIER Center is adjacent to the current Convention Center and Arena and adds 30,000 sq. ft. of flat floor space. The entire complex offers flexible meeting and event space for groups from 250 to 25,000. New hotels include Home2Suites, LaQuinta Inns & Suites and Comfort Inn & Suites. Two new hotels will open by late Spring 2015. The River Greenway Project is a highlight to the historic Big Sioux River. Revitalization has enhanced the downtown bike trail.

Springfield, MO springfieldmo.org

Hammons Field, home to the Springfield Cardinals

Springfield has about 6,000 hotel rooms and a variety of facilities to meet the needs of groups large and small. They include large facilities, such as the Expo Center, University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, Ramada Plaza Hotel & Oasis Convention Center and White River Conference Center, and small venues in unique settings such as The Old Glass Place, Uncle Buck’s Auditorium at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, meeting space at Relics Antique Mall, The Diamond Room and many others. The 50-room, upscale Hotel Vandivort opens this month. America’s Wildlife Museum & Aquarium is expected to complete a major renovation and expansion project in 2016. 319 Event Center is a new meeting venue in a historic building.

Facilities & Destinations 2015 Superbook

Whether you have 50 or 5,000 attendees, we can put together the perfect package Albuquerque Convention Center

Baton Rouge River Center

Branson Convention Center

Broward County Convention Center

for your meeting or convention.

Century Center

Cox Convention Center

Jackson Convention Complex

Meadowlands Exposition Center

Palm Springs Convention Center

Cleveland Convention Center

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Kansas Expocentre

Global Center for Health Innovation

Montego Bay Convention Centre

Puerto Rico Convention Center

ROCHESTER, NY Shreveport Convention Center

Colorado Convention Center

Greater Columbus Convention Center

Knoxville Convention Center

Mobile Convention Center

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Cobo Center

Irving Convention Center

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

McCormick Place

NRG Center

The Oncenter/Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center

Rhode Island Convention Center

SeaGate Convention Centre

• 585.232.7200 • www.rrcc.com

Sioux Falls Convention Center

Wildwoods Convention Center

Wilmington Convention Center

JPG Photography for PHLCVB





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2015 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook  

2015 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook >> 2015 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards. Destination Features: Orlando, Las Vegas, Henderson,...

2015 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook  

2015 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook >> 2015 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards. Destination Features: Orlando, Las Vegas, Henderson,...

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