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

2016 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards 32


& Destinations SuperBook


For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals

Philadelphia New CVB leader shares her vision for the city’s meetings industry


7 tips for planning

planning religious conferences 127

Las Vegas 52

Orlando 46

Cancun 56

Tuscany 59

Julie Coker Graham President and CEO Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

“EVERYTHING HAS BEEN VERY EASY.” ASHLEY BURGAN Rapid Pathogen Screening Exhibitor, IDWeek™

WE MAKE IT EASY IN PHILADELPHIA It all starts with our magnificent, state-of-the-art Pennsylvania Convention Center, followed by significant cost efficiencies resulting from the progressive work rules and streamlined services implemented by SMG management. Add to this our award-winning sales and services teams, ready to meet your every need, and an East Coast location that delivers record-breaking attendance, and you’ll see why Philadelphia is easily the ideal choice for your next event.

We’re here to help plan your meeting or convention in Philadelphia. MeetPHL.com or 1-855-MEET-PHL

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editor’s note

Meeting experiences of the future

& Destinations SUPERBOOK For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals


Volume 24 No. 1

Chief Operating Officer David Korn


e’ve all been in stuffy conference rooms where the sole focus is on a “talking head” at the lectern, and it seems that every year, meetings are distancing themselves more from this traditional classroom format. Today, the buzzwords are interactivity, connectivity and flexibility: Attendees want to interact with themselves and the speaker(s) during the event, often via tech tools such as audience response systems. They want to remain connected with the world beyond the session through social media and event apps. And they want flexibility in meeting spaces, allowing them to break out for impromptu roundtables discussions, for example. Overall, they want meetings that are “experiences” as opposed to a mere relaying of information. A planner’s goal then becomes “experience creation.” Indeed, 75 percent of planners who responded to IACC’s recent Meeting Room of the Future survey indicated that their job is currently much more about creating experiences than it was two to five years ago. IACC intends the study to help inform meeting room design, as CEO Mark Cooper explains in his talk with F&D (see page 12). As some of the industry’s most avant-garde meeting facilities, conference centers can be expected to continue developing rooms that support interactive, connected and flexible meetings. But I would point out that convention centers are not left out of this picture. Their expansions and renovations are opportunities to step into the future of meeting rooms. Take for instance San Antonio’s Henry B. González Convention Center, which completed a $325 million expansion this spring. Complementing its massive spaces for conventions and tradeshows is the Cantilever Room, aka The Meeting Room of the Future. This 4,000-sq.-ft. space boasts state-ofthe-art audiovisual elements with an integrated control system, highly configurable furniture, a modern industrial look, thoughtfully designed lighting and dramatic city views. It’s billed as a space for “the next generation of meeting planners.” But the real driver, of course, is the next generation of meeting attendees and the experiences they are seeking.

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


In Brief................................................................................................................. 6 Quick Takes Mark Cooper, IACC............................................................................................ 12 Perspectives Due Diligence on F&B, by Tracy Stuckrath....................................................... 126 Religious Retreats, by Timothy McGill............................................................. 127 Photoview EMERGE 2016................................................................................................... 20 ASAE Springtime Expo...................................................................................... 22 F&D A-List Women Convention Center Executives............................................................ 128



Hilton and Starwood: On Board with Pharma Meetings.................................... 16 Prime Site and Top Destination Awards............................................................. 32 Destinations Philadelphia....................................................................................................... 42 Orlando.............................................................................................................. 46 Las Vegas........................................................................................................... 52 F&D International Cancun............................................................................................................... 56 Tuscany.............................................................................................................. 59

Associate Publisher Michael Caffin Editorial Director George Seli Contributing Editors Anthony Bilden Rachel Kapur Deborah Shapiro Creative Direction & Design Scott-Goodman Associates Circulation Manager Winny Cheung Editorial Assistant Shuyu Guo Marketing Assistant Hang Wang Business Operations Nadia Derelieva © Copyright 2016 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 Facilities, 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016. Printed in U.S.A. Cover ad space is available by contacting a Facilities advertising account executive at (212) 532-4150.

ON THE COVER Julie Coker Graham’s first year as President and CEO of the PHLCVB includes a milestone event: the Democratic National Convention, July 2528. Graham sees hosting the DNC as both an honor and a chance to showcase the proficiency of Philadelphia’s meetings industry. Looking further into the future, she sees more international convention groups visiting this World Heritage City.

Facilities Directory...................................................................................... 61-124 Advertiser Index.............................................................................................. 125 2 Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

The New Henry B. González Convention Center NOW OPEN LEARN MORE AT

MEETINGS.VISITSANANTONIO.COM ©2016 San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Albuquerque Convention Center

David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Baton Rouge River Center

Enercare Centre

Jackson Convention Complex

Mobile Convention Center

Kansas Expocentre

Global Center for Health Innovation

Broward County Convention Center


Knoxville Convention Center

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR THIRTY-THREE 2016 PRIME SITE WINNERS Albuquerque Convention Center (Albuquerque, NM)

David L. Lawrence Convention Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

Baton Rouge River Center (Baton Rouge, LA)

Enercare Centre (Toronto, Ontario)

Branson Convention Center (Branson, MO)

Global Center for Health Innovation (Cleveland, OH)

Broward County Convention Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Greater Columbus Convention Center (Columbus, OH)

Century Center (South Bend, IN)

Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (Cleveland, OH)

Cobo Center (Detroit, MI)

Irving Convention Center (Irving, TX)

Colorado Convention Center (Denver, CO)

Jackson Convention Complex (Jackson, MS)

Cox Convention Center (Oklahoma City, OK)

Kansas Expocentre (Topeka, KS)

Century Center

Colorado Convention Center

Cobo Center


Greater Columbus Convention Center

Cox Convention Center

Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

Irving Convention Center



vention Center

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

McCormick Place

Meadowlands Exposition Center

Palm Springs Convention Center

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Puerto Rico Convention Center

Sioux Falls Convention Center

Wildwoods Convention Center

Knoxville Convention Center (Knoxville, TN)

Wilmington Convention Center

Puerto Rico Convention Center (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center (Long Beach, CA) Rhode Island Convention Center (Providence, RI) McCormick Place (Chicago, IL)

Salt Palace Convention Center (Salt Lake City, UT)

Meadowlands Exposition Center (Secaucus, NJ)

SeaGate Convention Centre (Toledo, OH)

Mobile Convention Center (Mobile, AL)

Shreveport Convention Center (Shreveport, LA)

Montego Bay Convention Centre (Montego Bay, Jamaica)

Sioux Falls Convention Center (Sioux Falls, SD)

NRG Center (Houston, TX)

Wildwoods Convention Center (Wildwood, NJ)

Palm Springs Convention Center (Palm Springs, CA)

Wilmington Convention Center (Wilmington, NC)

Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA)

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

In Brief In Brief INDUSTRY PULSE ALEXANDRIA, VA – According to Meeting Professionals International (MPI), healthcare meetings and events are the fastest-growing market segment, totaling nearly 25 percent of the industry. Alexandria, VA is among the first small cities in the country providing training opportunities on MPI’s Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) for local event planners and suppliers. On April 7, Visit Alexandria hosted a training session at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town featuring Pat Schaumann, CMP, CSEP, DMCP, HMCC, Director of Professional Development for the Healthcare Sector of MPI Academy. (For a look at how major hoteliers are serving the medical meetings sector, see p. 16.) ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Convention Industry Council’s APEX Standards Committee has released the RFP Strategy Guide on Event Internet and Communications, with the inclusion of a fill-in Excel resource. The guide assists planners in discussions and negotiations about their event’s Internet and communications needs with a venue. “The Convention Industry Council understands that the needs of meeting and event professionals are everchanging,” said Karen Kotowski, CMP, CAE, CEO of the Convention Industry Council. “It’s our duty to adapt to those changes and provide resources to help planners efficiently execute and excel in their professional lives.” The contributors to the Strategy Guide are Matt Harvey, Michael Owen, John Rissi, MaryAnne Bobrow, CMP, CAE, CMM, CHE, and Mariela Mcillwraith, CMP, CAE, MBA. DALLAS, TX and ALEXANDRIA, VA – MPI has renewed an education agreement with the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation for the Certificate in Meeting 6

Management (CMM) Program. Faculty from the Darden Executive Education team will continue to provide instruction for the program, which is delivered in partnership with MPI and the GBTA (Global Business Travel Association) Foundation, through this year.  MPI and GBTA recently presented the CMM to 39 more meeting and travel professionals from the class held Nov. 12-15, 2015, in Anaheim, CA. This brings the total number of holders to 1,128 worldwide. DALLAS, TX – The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently released the second report in its newest series, 2016 Attendee Retention Insights Part Two: Exhibition Floor Features that Build a Loyal Alumni Attendee Audience. “Response to this new study is strong,” said CEIR President & CEO Brian Casey, CEM. “Clearly organizers are looking for direction on how to maximize retention of a quality attendee base. Part Two of the series reveals that repeat attendees go back to events that deliver the quality face-to-face interaction and product experiences they want, which speaks to the overall power of exhibitions.” CHICAGO, IL – The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) has launched its new CMP Exam Prep App, powered by SpotMe. The app is an add-on to the recently released updated CMP Online Prep Course. Once users have downloaded the app, they will have access to: 500 quiz-type questions to test knowledge, organized by domain and as a scramble; domain resources including chapter summaries from Professional Meeting Management, one of the recommended texts for the CMP Exam; and the ability to connect with other CMP Exam takers via the in-app messaging and message board.

CONVENTION CENTER WATCH LAS VEGAS, NV – The hospitality staff members at the Tampa Convention Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center have earned Smart City’s 5-Star Achievement Award for 2015. The Corporate 5-Star Excellence Program provides a performancemeasuring rubric covering worker safety, staff competence and certification, customer service, business administration and digital network integrity. Stars are earned based on how many standards are met. “The teams in Los Angeles and Tampa have set an enviable model of event management, technical expertise, and sales and customer satisfaction,” said Mark Haley, President of Smart City, the nation’s largest provider of event telecommunications and technology in the convention industry. “While all of our cities provide great service and top-notch technology, these two teams were truly 5-star performers in all aspects.” OCEAN CITY, MD – Elected officials at a Mayor and Council meeting in late April approved the hiring of an architect to begin the process of adding 30,000 sq. ft. to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. The $20 million project would bring the total exhibit space to 80,000 sq. ft. and potentially increase the average number of annual events from 82 to 113. PHILADELPHIA, PA – On May 25, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority and its hospitality partners dedicated a state-of-the-art theater at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC) to the Honorable Michael A. Nutter, former Mayor of Philadelphia and past Chairman of the PCC Board of Directors, in recognition of his many years of leadership and support for the hospitality

Continued on page 8

Pat Schaumann, MPI Academy

Karen Kotowski, Convention Industry Council

Allison Reid, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Mark Haley, Smart City

Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook



In Brief

The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini


industry. The 600-seat Michael A. Nutter Theatre offers a G4 film screen, 4K cinema projector and 7.1 surround sound among its custom technologies. ROSEMONT, IL – The 890,000-sq.-ft. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center is undergoing a $2.1 million renovation that will provide a fresh coat of paint in exhibit halls and upgrades to bathrooms and concession stands. The phased work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The planned WSCC expansion SEATTLE, WA – The $1.4 billion plan to expand the Washington State Convention Center is projected for completion by 2020. The proposal includes two downtown co-development sites that will add approximately 250,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, 125,000 sq. ft. of meeting rooms and 60,000 sq. ft. of ballroom space to the Convention Center’s current capacity. LEED certification will be sought. 8

DES MOINES, IA – A 330-room Hilton hotel attached to the Iowa Events Center is scheduled to open in spring 2018. The new attached hotel has already secured the 2018 Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Annual Convention. LAS VEGAS, NV – The California Hotel and Casino has completed a multi-million dollar redesign of its public spaces. Later this year, Boyd Gaming Corporation will redesign and upgrade nearly 500 of the hotel’s guestrooms and suites. In other news, Red Rock Resorts, Inc. recently announced that Station Casinos LLC has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Palms Casino Resort for total cash consideration of $312.5 million. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2016. (For more Las Vegas hotel news, see page 52.) MIAMI, FL – The Hilton at Resorts World Bimini has completed its second-phase opening. The resort first opened in 2015 and now offers more than 300 guestrooms, including 18 luxury suites, six dining options, a spa and rooftop pool. Planners have 10,000 sq. ft. of function space at their disposal, and an additional 15,000 sq. ft. across the complex. MILWAUKEE, WI – The Westin Milwaukee is scheduled to open in summer 2017 on the US Bank campus at the heart of the downtown area. The new build will feature 220

guestrooms and suites with views of Lake Michigan, 9,000 sq. ft. of function space, and wellness aspects such as the brand’s signature nutrient-rich SuperFoodsRX menu and the WestinWORKOUT gym. “The Westin Milwaukee will mark an important debut for Westin, paving the way for the further development of Starwood’s lifestyle brands in this key Midwestern market,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of Development, North America, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. ORLANDO, FL – Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek is set to complete a nearly 7,000-sq.-ft. increase to

its meeting space in August. The expansion includes the 3,500-sq.ft. Bonnet Creek Ballroom and 2,350-sq.-ft. Expedition Room. (For more Orlando hotel news, see page 46.) TORONTO, CANADA – The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel recently completed a two-year, $120 million renovation that includes a full overhaul of all 1,372 guestrooms and suites, as well as the addition of the Willow and Provincial ballrooms, bringing the total function space to more than 130,000 sq. ft. The hotel has also revamped its wireless Internet infrastructure and installed new access points.

MEETING DEALS The Chase Park Plaza, St. Louis, MO

The “Pick Your Perks” group promotion is available to new bookings of at least 20 rooms, through Dec. 31, 2016. Contract must be signed by July 31. Planners have a choice of one perk for booking 20-49 rooms; two perks for booking 50-100 rooms; three perks for booking 101-250 rooms; and four perks for booking 251-500+ rooms. The following perks are available: complimentary one-hour cocktail reception, complimentary morning break, complimentary afternoon break, 10 VIP upgrades, one complimentary room per 30 rooms contracted,

20 percent attrition, 20 percent off of A/V rental when PSAV is used. (314) 633-1006; Tammy McKenna, tmckenna@ ChaseParkPlaza.com Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL New meetings booked and consumed by Dec. 31, 2016 are eligible for one of the following special offers: 5 percent Rooms Rebate toward a Disney Theme Park Event at one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks; 5 percent Rooms Rebate toward a Disney Institute Event; 5 percent Rooms Rebate toward Continued on page 10

Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook

In Brief MEETING DEALS Continued from page 8

a Disney Springs Dine Around. The promotion is available to groups with greater than 50 rooms on the peak night, for a minimum of two nights. (407) 827-3803; ORLDWSALESADM@hilton.com Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

From now through Aug. 15, 2016, when planners book a group or meeting online using Kimpton Instant Meetings (K.I.M.), they will earn an American Express Gift Card worth 5 percent of the total booked revenue. K.I.M. can be used for: booking four to 45 days out; reserving six to 25 guestrooms; planning meetings from six to 50 guests; staying up to seven days. (888) 954-6786; groupdesk@kimptonhotels.com


Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Qualified planners are invited to send their RFP to sales@ seemonterey.com and reference the Fly-See-Book promotion to receive round-trip airfare up to $500, a personal and customized site inspection tour, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and meals. Planners must be considering California for a meeting that can bring a minimum of 500 room nights to Monterey County; have not held a meeting in Monterey in the past three years; and hold their meeting by June 30, 2017; among other requirements. (831) 657-6426; sales@seemonterey.com 

Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau The “Let the Good Times and Meetings Roll” promotion allows planners who book a meeting at the Shreveport Convention Center and room nights at the Hilton Hotel Shreveport to enjoy a free Mardi Grasthemed reception with a Krewe of Centaur Mardi Gras float. The promotion also includes five times Hilton HHonors Meeting Planner Points and a 5 percent discount on the master bill at each facility. Contracts must be signed by March 31, 2017 in order to be eligible for the offer. Events can actualize anytime through March 31, 2020. (800) 551-8682, ext. 109; meetings@sbctb.org Visit Tampa Bay

The CVB’s “Bonus For Booking” offer awards planners a $100 gift card for

booking 50 to 100 total room nights, or $1 per room night (up to $1,000) for booking 101 or more total room nights. Applicable only to new meetings and convention bookings during eligible dates and contracted prior to Dec. 31, 2016. (813) 218.3838; Alex Kaptzan, AKaptzan@VisitTampaBay.com Visit Tucson

Planners whose RFP includes a minimum of 60 rooms for two consecutive nights qualify for a personalized site visit that includes lodging for three nights, round-trip airfare ($450 maximum per person) and a site tour individualized to the meeting. Visit Tucson will contact planners after they fill out the form at www.tucsononus. com/freetrip/ (800) 638-8350, ext. 134; booktucson@visittucson.org

Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook

Susan A August 7 at 1:01pm • iOS

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Here, you won’t just attract attendees, you’ll inspire devotees. For inspiration and planning assistance visit OrlandoMeeting.com

Q u i c k


Mark Cooper

CHIEF Executive Officer, IACC

By Anthony Bilden


ased in the United Kingdom, Mark Cooper has served as CEO of IACC since October 2012. Prior to the appointment, he held senior posts with conference center operators and global agencies including Dolce Hotels & Resorts, Sundial Group, ConferenceDirect and Warwick Conferences. Founded in 1981 as The International Association of Conference Centres, the not-for-profit organization is dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference center industry worldwide. IACC also maintains a set of stringent Quality Standards and a Code of Ethics for its members, which currently number 378 across 22 countries. Cooper’s discussion with F&D took place on the heels of a successful 2016 IACC Americas Connect (see sidebar page 14).


hat feedback have you received on the latest IACC Americas Connect?

t the end of last year’s annual members conference, we promised radical change to this much-loved event, and we were delighted with the attendance and feedback we received from our delegates who attended from throughout the Americas and globally. Our goals were to stage an affordable event, in an innovative and accessible destination, offering education that is relevant to the needs of our members today. Our chapter board, annual conference planning committee and staff took this to heart from day one in planning this year’s members meeting.


an you cite a few sessions that were especially trend-sensitive this year?

are spearheading and the value we create for our members.


he International Association of Conference Centres has recently been rebranded as IACC. What is the motivation for this change? oday IACC’s membership reflects more than just conference centers, each branded in individual ways, but all providing the same highquality standards and delivery of exceptional meetings that began in the 1980s under IACC. Member venues include conference centers, seminar houses, day meeting venues, corporate universities, and meetings-focused hotels and resorts. So, the association will simply be referred to as IACC.

“We are focused on

establishing our presence in new parts of the world. By the end of this year, we expect to have four member venues in China, one in New Zealand, as well as our first members in Singapore and Hong Kong.”

f particular interest to our members this year were sessions that helped them anticipate the future needs of a fast-changing meetings landscape. Meeting Room Design, The Future of Meetings, Future Technologies and Global Innovations workshops were the most well-attended and received by delegates.


hat are the factors driving IACC’s current expansion?

ACC continues to grow in tandem with our activities and our profile in the industry, which is not surprising. We are focused on delivering value to members in regions where we have a good membership presence, as well as establishing our presence in new parts of the world. By the end of this year, we expect to have four member venues in China, one in New Zealand, as well as our first members in Singapore and Hong Kong. It will be another important year for IACC, fuelled by the initiatives we 12


art of IACC’s rebranding are its four newly defined brand pillars: exclusive meeting venues, by design; at the forefront of meetings innovation; globally connected network of passionate members; curators of exceptional meeting experiences. Will these be marketed as a value proposition to the clientele of IACC’s members?


ACC’s brand pillars are the signature qualities that exemplify the IACC Experience, so absolutely these pillars are an important part of the value proposition which affects the experience the clientele of our members receive when they attend a meeting at an IACC venue. They set us apart from any other organization in the meetings industry, and it was important to us that they were believable, supportable and embraceable.


ne key result of IACC’s new Meeting Room of the Future study is that “experience creation” is a priority today. What is your definition of experience creation? xperience in terms of meetings comes in many forms, but in summary, it is everything that takes place which turns a boring meeting (we have all attended many of those, right?!) into something that stimulates, motivates and remains a fond memory after the event. It is the meeting spaces, the connections people make, the problems that are solved and how they are solved. It is Continued on page 14 very broad. Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

The Great Florida Venue D A Y T O N A


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The great Florida venue! 101 N. Atlantic Ave. Daytona Beach, FL 32118 800.858.6444 oceancenter.com


ow can venues help to support experience creation, according to the study?

he research confirms what IACC venue operators have been saying for some time now. Recognizing that the environment has the power to affect the success and satisfaction of the user experience is the first step. One member cites our evolution as being powered by a human-centered training room design methodology that helps the venue team better understand how they can improve the experience of every user of their spaces. When permitted, the venue team (think conference consultant, rather than conference coordinator) will work with the planner to create the meeting room layout, the social spaces for networking and the supporting technologies needed to help them create a memorable experience. Creative venue design, the use of art to stimulate, and of course the food and beverage programs are vital components in creating memories at meetings.


hat is the desired impact of the study? Do you think IACC members will be responsive to the results and look to integrate the features that planners are seeking, such as flexible meeting space and interactive technologies?


t is possibly too early to answer this question with certainty, but already we are hearing that the research is providing our members with insights into where they should be focusing their resources and investments in the next two years. Just this week, I met with a member committed to investing $75 million into their venue portfolio over the next 18 months, and they stated that this research was a “breath of fresh air” that will help support and guide them in where to invest for the future needs of meeting planners and delegates. (Editor’s note: Visit http://www.iacconline.org/iacc-meeting-room-of-the-future to access the study.)

2016 IACC Awards 1





Among numerous educational and networking sessions, IACC Americas Connect, held April 19-20 in New York City, featured the presentation of the organization’s annual awards.

The coveted Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service to IACC and the meetings industry is presented to the late James Mahon, IACC’s Director of Public Relations, and received by Mary and Kathleen Mahon.


TJ Fimmano (right), IACC-Americas President, presents the Pyramid Award, recognizing members who show a long-lasting commitment to IACC education, to Dan Techman, Director of Sales and Marketing for Doubletree Suites by Hilton Conference Center, Chicago, Downers Grove.



Fimmano presents the Award of Excellence to Mark Woodworth (not pictured), Senior Managing Director of CBRE Hotels | Americas Research, and Ron Stoddard, Executive Chef, The Summits Executive Centres, Chicago.


A gathering of past IACC global and chapter presidents includes (front row) Jeff Farina, Sam Haigh, Burt Cabañas, Charles Williams, John Marenzana, Roberta Butler, Andy Dolce, Wende Blumberg, Tim Chudley and Joe Sebestyen, and (back row) Alex Cabañas, Lotta Boman, Rachael Bartlett, Jeu Bressers, TJ Fimmano and Hendrik Karsten.

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook





275 20 UP TO











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Hilton and Starwood:

By George Seli

On Board with Pharma Meetings


harmaceutical meetings comprise one of the most special- groups’ needs. For example, according to Taylor, among Starwood’s strategic account managers is an expert on the pharma ized segments of the group market, requiring hoteliers segment. One resource for expertise is Meetings Professionto understand the many factors driving site selection for als International (MPI), which offers the Healthcare Meetings these events. Public perception, industry regulations and Compliance Certification (HMCC) program, open to both planintensive breakout needs are among those factors. And fortunately ners and suppliers. “To ensure meeting professionals receive the for planners, major hoteliers have become quite versed in what it proper resources and expertise at their disposal, the entire Hilton takes to be the ideal partner. The nationwide business potential Worldwide Sales team dedicated to the pharmaceutical market makes the effort worthwhile. have all earned their HMCC,” Hills notes, “including a large num“Our pharmaceutical group business is always considerable. ber of our on-property medical meetings sales teams.” It’s a great market for us,” says Allison Taylor, Senior Vice Indeed, Hilton’s focus on the pharma segment has “expanded President of Sales, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Orlando, beyond national sales to include property-level salespeople and Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are very popular for these event services,” says Hills. “Service levels for our groups. Also, recently we have seen it extend pharma groups have significantly increased as to Dallas.” Julie Hills, Managing Director of a result of our specialty approach, as our teams Corporate Group Sales, Hilton Worldwide, cites have the ability to be more consultative and several of those cities as hotbeds for Hilton’s strategic partnerships with their clients. This pharma meetings business as well. “At Hilton, our allows meeting professionals to know that all the strongest markets for medical meetings business important details are taken care of so that they right now are Orlando, Dallas, Chicago and can focus on creating impactful gatherings that Miami,” she says. help attendees reach their goals. Further, since the In many cases, pharma groups will meet in pharmaceutical market is constantly evolving, we these first-tier cities in tandem with a medical believe in an open dialogue with our customers to convention, but the great airlift also makes them help overcome common challenges and educate attractive sites for internal or physician-facing each other together.” meetings held independently. Given that doctors often have busy schedules, the numerous direct flights into a first-tier city are an advantage. But Facilitating Sunshine Act when physicians will be attending, the breadth Allison Taylor Reporting of potential lodging choices in these cities will For physician-attended meetings, one challenge often be curtailed to hotels that do not present a that many pharma groups are facing now is the Physician Pay“luxury” image. “When booking healthcare professional meetings, ment Sunshine Act’s requirement to track and report all transfers pharma groups may avoid luxury hotels or hotels with ‘resort’ in of value to healthcare providers (of $10 or more) made at the the name,” Hills confirms. “For many pharma companies, they event, including meals, amenities, etc. While this project is the are able to use luxury hotels and resorts for internal meetings, responsibility of the host group and any third party it employs although there is still sensitivity to public perception.” for that purpose, hoteliers can do their part to assist. Hilton, for example, has evolved its billing format so as to facilitate the Educated Hotel Reps breakdown of expenses to identify transfers of value to individual National representatives who understand that sensitivity will attendees, Hills notes. In addition, “in working closely with our clearly be prepared to make better site recommendations to hotel operations teams, we ensure they are aware not to upgrade pharma planners. Many hoteliers have reps that are devoted to or send amenities to healthcare professional guests without the the pharma segment, or at least those who are educated on these explicit guidance of the pharma meeting professional.” Continued on page 18


Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Accommodating Short Lead Times

Product launch meetings that are contingent on the FDA approving a drug may result in a short lead time for booking. Unless the company is very confident in the approval, booking the event will usually wait until shortly after the FDA indication date, and then the company will naturally want the product launch to happen sooner rather than later. Starwood’s Fast Track Contract (FTC) template can be an advantage in those scenarios. “We actually specialize in confirming groups in the year for the year,” says Taylor, “originally because of markets like China and India, which can have Julie Hills very short lead times to book business. In China groups confirm only three to five weeks out. So for some time now we have been quite agile in handling last-minute large conferences because you have to move swiftly and change contracts to reflect that.” Given that short-term meetings pick up at a much higher rate than longer-term meetings, and the cancellation rates are also much lower, there is less risk of cancellation or attrition; thus, the FTC includes short-form cancellation and attrition clauses that expedite the negotiation process. “Our Sales, Finance and Revenue Management leaders are highly supportive of our sellers in the use of the FTC template,” Taylor says.

Meeting Logistical Needs

Pharma meetings are known for utilizing a significant amount of function space relative to guestroom usage, and hoteliers keen on this market must be prepared with sufficient breakout rooms, not to mention resourcefulness. “To ensure attendees receive the benefit of these important face-to-face interactions, often our hotel teams need to look creatively at the meeting space and convert guestrooms/suites to breakout rooms,” Hills says. Even nearby offsite venues can be part of the solution in case the property comes up a bit short on breakouts. “As the economy has stabilized, we’ve seen increased demand, but not supply, so it’s definitely become a challenge,” she adds. “Fortunately, for the past 12 years, Hilton has made a long-term investment with an exclusively dedicated Hilton Worldwide Sales vertical market team aligned to the pharma market. Given the booking patterns and formats of pharma meetings, we educate our hotels on the value of the pharma market so that, to the best of our ability, space is available when they need it.” Apart from breakouts, Taylor highlights numerous other logistical features that are important for a hotel to accommodate these complex meetings. “Having the right product for the market you’re pitching is very important, so good prefunction space, banquet rooms, ceiling height, adequate AV, ease of [traffic flow] for groups — all of these things we spend significant amount of time on when we’re producing new hotels,” she explains, adding that Starwood’s Sheraton and Westin brands are especially popular with this segment due to the large and flexible function spaces they offer.

Meal Caps

According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Code (PhRMA), meal caps for healthcare professionals in attendance must be “modest as judged by local standards,” and compliance officers at pharma companies accordingly keep them conservative. On occasion this restriction makes the pharma group a less compelling piece of business than another group vying for the space that promises more F&B revenue. But overall, major hoteliers certainly show a willingness to work within these caps to deliver quality meals. “As pharmaceutical company compliance departments primarily set meal caps, unless there’s a regulatory guideline 18

based on a specific attendee’s origin or meeting location, we encourage meeting professionals to share the meal cap guidelines from the onset,” says Hills. “To accommodate common meal caps, many of our hotels have developed customized Healthcare Professional menus, often with an emphasis on seasonal and healthy items, which helps meeting professionals focus on perfecting other details of the meeting, rather than having to spend time planning compliant menus. We’ve also had success in coordinating menu choices to mirror those of other groups in-house to help us meet with the pharma meal cap budget.” Taylor adds that “There are quite a few industries now that have per diem caps and then meal caps as well, such as government business. You have to adjust accordingly if you want that piece of business or want the volume for that industry.” The volume of pharma meetings business, and medical groups in general, is increasing globally for Starwood, Taylor observes. “One of the biggest trends that we’re seeing is a lot more global pharma and medical association events. Understanding what’s happening in North American markets is extremely important for us, but it’s also key to understand what’s happening in the burgeoning Indian pharmaceutical market, for example. So we also educate on working with different cultures at the hotel level and senior sales level.” Ultimately, what pharma meeting planners want in a hotelier is what all planners want: A partner who is educated on and practiced in accommodating their specific needs. The specialization of major chains such as Starwood and Hilton on the pharma segment is good news in that regard. The “trickle down” effect will be that client planners continue to have rewarding experiences with individual properties.


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94% Made Valuable Connections 93% Said they Wanted to Come Back Next Year For more information and to register visit: www.exlevents.com/mpsummit

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Emerge 2016 Snapshots of the Religious Conference Management Association’s annual meeting, held in San Diego, CA, Jan. 5-7

The CVB CEOs panel includes (l-r) Don Welsh, former CEO of Choose Chicago; Mike Gunn, VP of Sales, Greater Birmingham CVB; Joe Terzi, CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority; and Al Hutchinson, CEO of the Mobile Bay CVB

Colleagues and friends gather for Tuesday evening’s Opening Reception on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, sponsored by Town & Country Resort & Convention Center and the USS Midway Museum Dr. Harry Schmidt, RCMA President and CEO, welcomes attendees

Dr. Shelette Stewart discusses how meeting planners and religious leaders can connect their business plans with God’s purpose and plan for their lives

David Jackson, VP of Sales with the Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau, engages with meeting planners on the Expo 2016 Tradeshow floor

Comedian Michael Jr., who has appeared on The Tonight Show, Comedy Central and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, provided the entertainment for Thursday evening’s closing banquet

Mark Sanborn, President of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development, delivers keynote address

At the Expo 2016 Tradeshow, attendees network in The Hub, sponsored by Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Dean Jones, RCMA Director of Conferences and Events, addresses the delegates


Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

INSPIRE? There’s a place where innovation meets inspiration. And business meetings are elevated to unforgettable gatherings. Some of the world’s most influencial minds come to live, work, and create in Pasadena.

For more information call (800) 307-7977 or go to pasadenameetings.com


ASAE Springtime Expo 2016 The ASAE Springtime Expo was held on April 28 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Tracie Tuft and Lee Adamson of the Utah Valley CVB

Doug Bennett and Kate Burger, Louisville CVB

Tim Buckley, Ocean Center, Daytona Beach, FL

Joellyn Baca, Santa Fe Tourism

Joanie Ohlms (l), Greater St. Charles CVB, and Leah Bronstein, Pinnacle Entertainment

(L-r): Summer Davey, Peter Moyer and Patti Towell, Visit San Antonio

Kay Dillon (l), Boise Centre, and Terry Kopp, Boise CVB

(L-r): Bruce Arnold, Holly Lammert and John Bettag, St. Louis CVC

Rosa MendozaFriedheim (l), Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, and Terry Kuca, Broward County Convention Center

Megan Leap (l), LEAP digital marketing, and Lori Mansell, Irving CVB

Ellen Schwartz (l), Los Angeles Convention Center, and Mary Gallagher, Los Angeles TCB

Rebecca Williams, Knoxville Convention Center, and Chad Ford, David L. Lawrence Convention Center


Facilities & Destinations 2016 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

2016 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence Cities and Convention Centers That Are “Worth Meeting In”


n June 1, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) launched its Worth Meeting About campaign. The aim is to send a message to elected officials and policymakers that “when it’s important, it’s worth meeting about,” by emphasizing the key role of face-to-face meetings throughout the election cycle. “The campaign will highlight that while these events only happen every four years, meetings take place and positively impact people, businesses and communities every single day. The election cycle is just one example of how the most important decisions, moments and milestones are Worth Meeting About,” explains Michael Dominguez, MMBC Co-chair and Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International. The campaign’s first paid advertising will debut at the Republican National Convention, July 18-21, with signage in the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. At the Democratic National Convention, July 25-28, MMBC will have signage in the Philadelphia International Airport as well as billboards along I-95 (see the Philadelphia feature on page 42 for more on the DNC). When a matter is vital to an organization, whether a political party, government body, trade association or corporation, it’s usually “worth 32

meeting about” in person. And when stakeholders must travel to convene, it’s also important to find a site that’s “worth meeting in.” Each year, Facilities & Destinations recognizes cities and venues that are ideal environments for stakeholders to engage in dialogue, brainstorming, learning and networking. Convenient air accessibility, a CVB versed in group service, a LEED-certified convention center, and a diverse and convenient hotel package are examples of the features that our readers highlight in making nominations for the Awards of Excellence. Winning an award thus signals client satisfaction on many levels, and is a boon for these suppliers as they work to stand out in a competitive meetings marketplace. Ballots for the Awards of Excellence are available in F&D’s quarterly print publications, 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 convention and visitors bureaus and other DMOs. We look forward to honoring more cities and facilities that are “worth meeting in” next year. Facilities & destinations 2016 superbook


Welcome to a place where you can be part of something. Where a city and center are humming with energy. 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? A positive voice guiding you, every step of the way? We get it. We have reinvented this city and center for you. COBOCENTER.COM an

managed facility





Amazing and so gracious, happy and positive. She never said no but always offered a work around if needed. The guest/client service experience was unlike any other center I have been at. LADONNA PETTIT DIRECTOR OF CONFERENCES STONE FORT GROUP (NACE CARS)

2016 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Philadelphia CVB, Philadelphia, PA Providence/Warwick CVB, Providence, RI Visit Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Top Destination Award-winning Atlantic City (page 61)


Prime Site Award Winners Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, MA Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, Rochester, NY The Javits Center, New York, NY MassMutual Center, Springfield, MA Meadowlands Exposition Center, Secaucus, NJ Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI Wildwoods Convention Center, Wildwood, NJ Top Destination Award Winners Atlantic City CVA, Atlantic City, NJ Greater Boston CVB, Boston, MA Greater Hartford CVB, Hartford, CT 34

Prime Site Award Winners Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD Chesapeake Conference Center, Chesapeake, VA 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 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 Convention Center, Baton Rouge, LA Birmingham-Jefferson County Convention Center, Birmingham, AL The Classic Center, Athens, GA Durham Convention Center, Durham, NC Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Facilities & destinations 2016 superbook

Take a giant leap forward by booking your next meeting, convention, performance or special event at the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex. Collaborate with our experienced staff to design a meeting or event that meets your group’s specific needs. The variety and flexibility of our space allows us to make your event one of a kind. Reach new heights with your next event by choosing the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex. Rhode Island Convention Center




401.456.0200 | meetings@GoProvidence.com The Dunkin’ Donuts Center and RI Convention Center are managed by SMG and The VETS by PFM.

2016 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Prime Site Award-winning New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (page 80)

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 Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, Savannah, GA Shreveport Convention Center, Shreveport, LA Vicksburg Convention Center, Vicksburg, MS Wilmington Convention Center, Wilmington, NC 36

Top Destination Award Winners Greater Ft. Lauderdale CVB, Ft. Lauderdale, FL Jackson CVB, Jackson, MS Little Rock CVB, Little Rock, AR Louisville CVB, Louisville, KY Nashville CVB, Nashville, TN New Orleans CVB, New Orleans, LA Visit Knoxville, Knoxville, TN Visit Savannah, Savannah, GA


Prime Site Award Winners Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND 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 Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, OH Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, OH Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN Iowa Events Center, Des Moines, IA 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 Facilities & destinations 2016 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

2016 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Overland Park Convention Center, Overland Park, KS 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 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 Visit Omaha, Omaha, NE


Prime Site Award Winners Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, NM Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX Boise Centre, Boise, ID Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK 38

Prime Site Award-winning Hawaii Convention Center (page 104)

Fairplex, Pomona, CA George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, HI Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX Irving Convention Center, Irving, TX Las Cruces Convention Center, Las Cruces, NM 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 Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ Sacramento Convention Center, Sacramento, CA Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT Facilities & destinations 2016 superbook

Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen

2016 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV Three Rivers Convention Center, Kennewick, WA Top Destination Award Winners Anaheim/Orange County VCB, Anaheim, CA Austin CVB, Austin, TX Boise CVB, Boise, ID Colorado Springs CVB, Colorado Springs, CO Visit Denver, Denver, CO 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 Visit Spokane, Spokane, WA Visit Tucson, Tucson, AZ


6-MINUTE WALK At the Phoenix Convention Center in Downtown Phoenix, your attendees are minutes away from the eclectic nightlife and amazing local music they deserve. So book today and watch your event

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

take a big step in the right direction.


800-282-4842 | 40


Prime Site Award Winners Enercare Centre, Toronto, Ontario Palais des congrès de Montréal, Quebec Quebec City Convention Centre, Quebec Shaw Centre, Ottawa, Ontario Facilities & destinations 2016 superbook

Be in The

Center of iT All

Hartford is a destination built for meetings! The connected 540,000 square foot Connecticut Convention Center and 409-room Hartford Marriott is just the start. First-class entertainment and restaurants are all right at your fingertips, so getting from work to play has never been easier. Meet Hartford and discover a connected city like no other.

Put your next event in the center of it all. Call 860.249.6000 or visit ctconventions.com



Philadelphia New CVB leader set to take the city’s meetings industry to even greater heights By George Seli


t’s a big year for one of the the last 18 months during our country’s most dynamic CVB transition we had an opportunity professionals. Not only is 2016 to go over in depth the “We’re extremely Julie Coker Graham’s first year responsibilities that I would be proud to be the as President and CEO of the taking over on Jan. 1.” Graham’s Philadelphia Convention & new position will see her less first World Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), but it is involved in sales and services, also the year Philadelphia welcomes and increasing her collaboration Heritage the Democratic National Convenwith the Pennsylvania City in the U.S. tion, July 25-28. Graham is naturally Convention Center Authority in the midst of the project, working (PCCA) board and “the political That designation with the DNC Experience Commitlandscape of Philadelphia. I will tee to optimize the experience for be working very closely with our came to us in delegates, media and local residents new mayor, Jim Kenney, who November of 2015.” and businesses. For example, “we took office in January, and also have a beautification committee that Governor Tom Wolf, who came —Julie Coker Graham, is looking at the various sites in and into office January of 2015,” she President and CEO, PHLCVB around Center City for any sprucsays. ing up that we need to do,” she says. Among Graham’s goals Philadelphia will be in the limelight is to further expand the after all, and its “audience” in July will include attendees who CVB’s strategic partnerships in order to benefit customers and have the potential to bring group business to the city. stakeholders. Last year, as Executive Vice President, she launched “Many of the DNC’s delegates and other ancillary groups a partnership that benefits meeting planners in particular. “We hold their own individual meetings and conventions, so this will were the main sponsor of Meeting Professional International’s allow them to experience the city and expose them to everything Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certificate (HMCC) course. It’s it has to offer,” Graham explains. “We’ll use the Pennsylvania those types of sponsorships that we want to continue to work on.” Convention Center for caucus meetings, and convention attendees will have the opportunity to see that we can break down VYING FOR GLOBAL GROUP BUSINESS the space to smaller rooms; it really is very flexible. They’ll also In addition, Graham aims to augment Philadelphia’s international see how close the hotel rooms are to the convention center and meetings business, and international visitation in general. “We’ll the fact that the facility is right in downtown Center City. Not a lot be looking comprehensively at what the city currently offers inof destinations have that.” ternational visitors. Several of our tours are translated in different Graham’s convention sales experience with the PHLCVB goes languages. Many of our attractions are starting to enhance offerback to 2010 when she was appointed Senior Vice President of ings for international visitors, and we’re expanding that effort to the Convention Division. She was promoted to Executive Vice international groups,” she says. A recent international convention President of the CVB in July 2014, and then assumed the role of of note is the Ninth World Congress for NeuroRehabilitation, President and CEO in January 2016 following the retirement of which met for the first time in the United States at the PhiladelPresident and CEO Jack Ferguson. The transition went smoothly, phia Marriott Downtown from May 10-13, 2016. Approximately she recounts. “I was fortunate to work very closely with Jack, and 2,000 physicians, speech therapists, physical and occupational 42

Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook

therapists attended. Toward the goal of ramping up business from overseas groups, Rick Staub, the PHLCVB’s new Senior Vice President of Convention Sales since September 2015, attended IMEX in Frankfurt, Germany, this past April. Also helping to raise the city’s profile internationally is its recent designation as a World Heritage City. “We’re extremely proud to be the first World Heritage City in the U.S. That designation came to us in November of 2015,” says Graham. “It builds on a lot of the historical aspects of Philadelphia, whether you’re talking about Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell or Franklin Court.” Planners can emphasize the city’s heritage by staging group gatherings at venues such as The Franklin Institute or the National Constitution Center, both of which rent function space. Planners can also impart a connection to Philadelphia’s past by booking one of several hotels housed in historic buildings. These include The Warwick Hotel Rittenhouse Square (301 guestrooms, 17,000 sq. ft. of meeting space) and Hyatt at The Bellevue (172 guestrooms, 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting space), both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Equally impressive is The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, housed in the 108-year-old Girard Trust Company building designed to evoke the Pantheon. The 299room hotel offers more than 26,000 sq. ft. of function space across 18 meeting rooms (even the original bank vault now serves as a well-appointed meeting room). The Ritz-Carlton completed a $23 million, property-wide renovation this spring.


The PHLCVB posted its highest year of bookings ever in 2015 with 856,663 room nights secured for future years. Almost 75 percent of those room nights are related to meetings and conventions taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, with the rest tied to meetings taking place at regional hotels and other venues. Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook

Recent appointments at the PHLCVB: Sybil Davis, National Accounts Manager, Diversity & International Markets, and Rick Staub, SVP, Convention Division Of the 2015 convention bookings, 31 percent are new groups who have never hosted a meeting in Philadelphia. These include the Project Management Institute, which held SeminarsWorld in May 2016, and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, meeting in 2023. “It’s a convention that has not been held in Philadelphia before, and they were not necessarily pleased with our labor rules,” says Graham. “But because of the changes we made at the convention center and also the vibrancy in our hotel package, we were able to book them.”

Fast Facts: Pennsylvania Convention Center

• Opened: 1993 • Management: SMG • Last expansion: 2011 • Events annually: Approximately 250 • Total exhibit space: 679,000 sq. ft. (528,000 contiguous sq. ft.), seven halls Loading docks: 45 • • Meeting rooms: 82 • Ballrooms: 32,000 sq. ft. and 55,400 sq. ft. • Hotel rooms in Center City: 11,500 • Distinctive spaces: 23,400-sq.-ft. Atrium overlooking •

the Avenue of the Arts; terraces with views of City Hall and the Museum Mile Tech features: WiFi connectivity, digital signage and smartrooms 43

The East Market development will create a renaissance for retailers in the heart of Center City

Apart from the service improvements at the convention center, what has driven the uptrend in bookings is Philadelphia’s “very robust and compact hotel package,” Graham asserts, “and the fact that our city is very walkable. The arts and culture as well as the dining scene are sprinkled in between our hotels. The really good convention attendee experience is one of the reasons why we did extremely well with our meeting planners.”


Photo: R. Kennedy for VISIT PHILADELPHIA and Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau

When SMG took over management of the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Dec. 1, 2013, it created a Labor Services Division that interfaces with unions on behalf of customers, and group clients have had a smoother logistical experience ever since. Graham praises Jack Ferguson for being “instrumental in working with the PCCA board and Greg Fox, who is the current Chairman, as well as SMG to put Philadelphia where it should be in terms of being competitive with other large urban cities. That’s one of his great accomplishments.”

Shopping and dining is a common free-time activity for conventioneers in any major metropolis, and Philadelphia’s Market Street, which had seen a decline in quality since the 1970s, will deliver a much improved experience in the coming years. The half-billiondollar, million-sq.-ft. East Market, a mixed-use development spanning the block between Market Street and Chestnut Street, will eventually include a 17-story residential tower, digital signage, an upscale organic market, and numerous shops and restaurants. New establishments are expected to begin opening next year. In addition, The Gallery at Market East, a mall situated between the convention center and the historic district, will be rebranded into a premier upscale fashion outlet by 2018. “It will also have restaurants and function space that convention groups can rent out for offsite events,” Graham says. But Philadelphia will be showing its best face well before 2018. With the arrival of the DNC next month, the national media will convey an image of a vibrant city that has been a capable host for meetings of moment since the Founding Fathers gathered in Independence Hall.

To mark National Travel and Tourism Week, May 1-7, Philadelphia’s hospitality industry assembled its ranks at Independence Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to put a face on an industry that generates $10 billion a year in economic impact in Greater Philadelphia and employs 90,000 people. In the crowd of 200 were hotel employees, museum workers, National Park Rangers, small-business owners, sales and marketing professionals, the Phillie Phanatic, Mummers, and Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin and Rocky re-enactors, along with industry leaders including: Mayor Jim Kenney, City of Philadelphia; Julie Coker Graham, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau; Meryl Levitz, VISIT PHILADELPHIA; John J. McNichol, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority; and Greg Stafford, Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association. 44

Facilities & destinations 2016 Superbook

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Philadelphia Prepares to Host Democratic National Convention



San Jose Welcomes QuickBooks Connect 38



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ORL ANDO Staying top-of-mind among planners with convention center upgrades and more By George Seli


rlando is arguably Florida’s most popular city for meetings and conventions, and according to one barometer, it is the most popular in the country. Last August, Cvent ranked Orlando as the No. 1 destination for meetings and events in the United States for 2015, based on booking activity in Cvent’s Supplier Network of 5,600 U.S. cities. Visit Orlando President and CEO George Aguel considered the recognition “a testament to the investment we make in marketing and selling Orlando as the ideal location for meetings and conventions at all levels, a very important driver of local economic impact.” Aguel, the leader of that marketing effort, was personally honored this past February with HSMAI’s Albert E. Koehl Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Marketing. Clearly, Aguel’s team enjoys the advantage of having a great product to promote. Among the city’s qualities that are appealing to the group segment, he cites the “incredible portfolio of convention hotels that fit a wide variety of budgets. And, as far as accessibility, Orlando International offers more flights with more seats to more U.S. destinations than any other airport in Florida. It’s affordable, too, with Orlando airfares ranking among the lowest of the 50 largest U.S. airports.” And the future of Orlando’s meetings industry looks bright as the Orange County Convention Center progresses with its improvement plan. “Our convention center is recognized each year for its services and amenities, and its five-year, $187 million capital development program will make it even more user friendly,” Aguel adds. As part of the program, the nearly 50,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art Tangerine Ballroom opened last September, and the Valencia Ballroom will complete renovations by September of this year. Approximately 7,300 sq. ft. of space in the South Building is being redesigned to create a high-tech, upscale and multifunctional Destination Lounge for networking. On the F&B front, the Food 46

“Our convention center’s five-year, $187 million capital development program will make it even more user friendly.” —George Aguel, President and CEO, Visit Orlando Court in the West Building will be getting a complete makeover starting in June 2016, and a 2,000-sq.-ft. aeroponic structure will soon be installed. The latter will allow food service provider Centerplate to serve edibles grown on property in an all-natural, chemical-free environment. “Logistically the OCCC is very easy to work in; it’s laid out very well,” observes Catherine Lyons, Senior Vice President of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). “The open glass structure is certainly nice when you’re at a Florida venue. And you can tell that the labor [teams] do a lot of shows; they’re very professional.”


The ISPA Expo was held March 9-12, 2016 in Orlando, marking the

Continued on page 48

Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook




Imagine your next meeting in a place where unforgettable surroundings inspire creativity. Newly redesigned guest rooms and state-of-the-art facilities provide the perfect backdrop for meetings from 15 to 15,000. With over two decades of service expertise backed by

award-winning accommodations and dining, this is the world you’ll experience at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.

800.524.4939 • www.swandolphinmeetings.com

“We saw a 34 percent growth in our [overall] attendance, and our international attendance grew by 70 percent” at the 2016 ISPA Expo in Orlando. —Catherine Lyons, Senior Vice President, International Sleep Products Association Continued from page 46

first time in the ISPA’s 100-year history that it had met in the city. Prior to the meeting, the organization had mainly utilized second-tier cities. “We work through a committee of exhibitors and attendees that helps us decide where we’re going to hold our event. They traditionally had avoided Orlando because there was the fear of the ‘Disney impact’ on the traffic of the show floor,” Lyons explains. “But five years ago it came up again in discussion and I think the general consensus was that we didn’t risk losing people on the show floor. We have very seasoned travelers; they travel enough as it is, and I think when they go on a business trip [it’s just for business]. And if you have the added luxury of extending your stay and maybe taking advantage of a nice venue, that’s great. In fact, we felt that Orlando was so easily accessible both domestically and internationally that it would help with the attendance.” It turned out that the ISPA committee was right on all counts. The total attendance was 4,300, up from 3,200 the previous year. “We saw a 34 percent growth in our [overall] attendance, and our international attendance grew by 70 percent. We typically have about 25 percent international; we had 35 percent this year,” Lyons reports. The Florida location in March helped the draw, and the recreational resources prompted many attendees to travel with families and extend their stay. Yet the theme parks did not siphon buyers from the show floor, Lyons indicates. “In fact, the floor was brisker because we had more people there, but it did not fall off late in the afternoon. So I don’t think [the available recreation] was a distraction at all, and if it added an incentive for more international people to come, then that’s better for us,” she says. Furthermore, Orlando’s theme parks and restaurants are a great resource for offsite group gatherings. “We had one group from Australia that had 80 people visiting the show, and they used the theme parks [for offsite events], but most stayed on International Drive,” says Lyons. “We have a lot of people who do client dinners and entertaining in the evening, and there were many options on I Drive.” And to Aguel’s point about Orlando’s diverse portfolio of lodging options, ISPA Expo attendees “found a lot of variety in the area to accommodate whatever their price point was or their housing needs,” Lyons notes. She also found Visit Orlando to be a “very close-knit community; they were the most coordinated [CVB] that I’ve worked with.” ISPA relied on Visit Orlando for logistical support, including restaurant reservation services for attendees, onsite support for show management, introductions to local vendors, and connections with hotels and theme parks. Visit Orlando is also a great informational resource on new diversions at the city’s theme parks, which are constantly evolving.


April’s Awaken Summer event, hosted at multiple sites throughout Disney’s Orlando campus and attended by F&D staff, highlighted 48

Morimoto Asia, one of Disney Springs’ trendiest eateries upcoming developments throughout Disney’s portfolio that will provide groups more conveniences and free-time options. It was announced that function space throughout Disney’s properties will be equipped with “redundant, high-capacity Internet bandwidth and hard-wired services at no or low cost.” In related news, the Walt Disney World Resort Swan and Dolphin, which is undergoing a multiyear $125 million redesign of all 2,265 guestrooms, is equpping its meeting and convention space with the latest high-density WiFi technology. Disney theme park enhancements were introduced to the global media with major events hosted at Disney Springs as well as Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. For example, meeting attendees will have the opportunity to pilot the Millenium Falcon this summer at Hollywood Studios’ soon-to-be-open Star Wars themed land. Options for creating themed events using the existing attractions or newly minted settings from a galaxy far away are infinite. Also this summer, a new Toy Story themed land will debut. Meanwhile, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is introducing a series of new nighttime experiences, including a laser-light water show, safaris and musical street parties. There is even more to come in 2017 when the park introduces its Avatar themed land. In addition to theme park activities, opportunities for dining (and after-hours shopping) line the streets at Disney Springs. Morimoto Asia, created by the well-known Iron Chef, has quickly become a go-to site for groups. While its Pan-Asian cuisine is the central attraction, guests will be awed by the modern design including the high ceilings and 20-ft.-long chandeliers. The restaurant also contains a terrace for entertaining outdoor events. This summer, new restaurant offerings at Disney Springs will include STK, a modern steakhouse featuring the only rooftop dining at Disney Springs; Tablas Frontera, a “contemporary Mexican experience” by Chef Rick Bayless; and Homecoming: Florida Kitchen and Southern Shine, a new restaurant concept from Chef Art Smith. Prior to departing for Disney Resort, planners can arrange for their attendees to have their luggage marked with special tags so as to avoid baggage claim. Upon arrival, the luggage will be directed to Disney Resort teams who will deliver it directly to the hotel room. After deplaning, guests can proceed straight to Magical Express coaches located in the airport; the exclusive transportation effectively allows guests more time to enjoy their hotel. Continued on page 50

Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Orlando ‘s

Orange County Convention Center

TANGERINE BALLROOM A multi-purpose carpeted ballroom that can be used for exhibits, small and large formal functions and general sessions. Create a unique look with the wave-like translucent panels, backlit with colorchanging LED lighting.



Our new executive boardrooms provide an intimate space when large meeting rooms are not required. Each with access to state of the art technology for presentations.

Cutting-edge destination lounges in the North/ South Building will provide technology-focused and sophisticated networking and rejuvenation environments.

Experience the New Orange The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), located in the heart of the Convention Center District and only fifteen minutes from the Orlando International Airport, provides a multitude of event options in two beautiful buildings – the West and North/South. The OCCC is consistently rated a top tier convention center with incredible spaces, including the multipurpose Tangerine Ballroom, the Sunburst signature meeting room with outdoor hospitality terrace along with the all-new Honeybell and Hamlin board rooms.

www.experie n ce t h e n e w or an g e . c om

FOLLOW OUR PROGRESS Get a first look at www.occc.net/cip OrangeCounty ConventionCenter @OCCC Call the Sales Department at 1-800-345-9845

Continued from page 50

The lakeside Nantucket-themed Yacht & Beach Club Resort (1,190 rooms, 70,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space) and Atlantic Citythemed Boardwalk Inn (370 rooms, 20,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space) are among the Disney hotels that have considerable function space, including plentiful outdoor event space. They are situated near the Boardwalk entertainment district, as well as within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios (which is also accessible via a ferry on the lake).

Universal Orlando Resort

“Every team member I’ve encountered [at the Hilton Orlando] lives the values I want my team to demonstrate at Hampton.” —Gina Valenti, Vice President Hampton Brand Culture & Internal Communications and Vice President Owner Services, Hilton Worldwide

While Walt Disney World evokes the nostalgia of Star Wars, Universal is also drawing inspiration from classic cinema with Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a new attraction opening this summer at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The ride will take guests on a journey through King Kong’s native island, replete with ancient temples and hostile tribes. Next year, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida will be joined by Universal’s third theme park, Volcano Bay. A replica of a smoking volcano will naturally be the focal point of this “next generation” water park, which will bring the tropical island environment to life. Volcano Bay will also be Universal’s first major addition since 2014, when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley and eight new restaurants at Universal CityWalk debuted. More attractions and venues increase planners’ options for special events, which can be coordinated and executed through Universal Orlando Meetings & Events (www. uomeetingsandevents.com). Similarly, Walt Disney World Resorts’ design and production services for in-park events are provided through Disney Meetings (www.disneymeetings.com).

THE LATEST FROM ORLANDO’S LEADING HOTELIERS Loews Hotels & Resorts This summer will see the opening of the much-anticipated Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, adding 1,000 guestrooms and more than 155,000 sq. ft. of meeting space to Universal Orlando Resort’s onsite hotel portfolio. The meeting space includes a 41,000-sq.-ft. ballroom divisible into 12 breakout rooms, a 31,000-sq.-ft. hall, 16 meeting rooms, three meeting planner offices, a full business center, 27,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space and 11,000 sq. ft. of outdoor function space. The Caribbean-themed resort will be part of the new Loews Meetings Complex, consisting of 247,000 sq. ft. of contiguous meeting space. “This project marks a first for our company, as we will connect the meeting space at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort with the meeting space at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, giving planners new options for their meetings and events in Orlando,” said Jonathan Tisch, Chairman of Loews Hotels & Resorts, in a statement. Planners bringing citywides to Orlando will also benefit from 400 new rooms at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Opening in 2017, the expansion will consist of two additional towers that will be located at the south end of the property. Rosen Hotels & Resorts According to Lyons, several ISPA Expo attendees took to the greens at the top-rated Shingle Creek Golf Club, which is located just a half-mile east of the OCCC. Rosen’s trio of Orlando properties — the 1,501-room Rosen Shingle Creek, 1,334-room Rosen Centre and 800-room Rosen 50

Plaza — are also environmentally “green.” Last fall, the three convention hotels were awarded the APEX designation for sustainable meetings standards, developed by the Convention Industry Council and ASTM International. Rosen Hotels & Resorts has a history of leadership in sustainability. Its three convention hotels were the first in Central Florida and the state to receive the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Two Palm designation in 2007 and Three Palm designation in 2009. Also in 2009, owner Harris Rosen received the Legacy Award, Sustainable Florida’s highest honor.

Hilton Hotels & Resorts Groups will find even more value at the company’s Orlando properties with improvement projects at both the Hilton Orlando and DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. The former recently introduced 11,000 sq. ft. of new meeting space, comprised of the Key Largo and Key West meeting rooms, pre-function space and an additional registration desk. Dividable into eight total meeting rooms, these facilities complement the existing 15,000-sq.-ft. Florida Ballroom. Meanwhile, the DoubleTree is undergoing a multimillion dollar renovation of its 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor/outdoor function space that will be completed this year; a new 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom is part of the project. ORLANDO 3000 The Hilton Orlando and the Hyatt Regency Orlando are conveniently located in the heart of the action on International Drive and less than 20 minutes away from the Orlando International Airport. For over two years both hotels have been working together as the “Orlando 3000,” which refers to the hotels’ combined room count of 3,000. The hotels, each adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center on International Drive, have been attracting huge meetings and conventions due to their combined size. The walkways that connect them to the convention center and to each other make the hotels a perfect pair. Together, the Hyatt and the Hilton have 490,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. A total of 16 onsite dining options include upscale restaurants, bistros, lounges and poolside bars. Each dining venue can be reserved for a private event. Gina Valenti, Vice President Hampton Brand Culture & Internal Communications and Vice President Owner Services, Hilton Worldwide, shares her firsthand impressions of the Hilton Orlando. “Because of the product, quality, attention to detail and delightful nature of the Hilton Orlando team, it was no accident that we chose them for major events,” Valenti relates. “We hosted the Hampton GM Huddle at the Hilton Orlando in 2011 and 2014, and will be doing so again this year. In 2014, we had 2,400 general managers and are hoping to reach over 2,500 in 2016. In addition, we hosted 1,400 executives and owners from around the globe at the Hilton Worldwide Global Owners Conference in 2014.” She continues, “The hotel has a great product, and the team members bring it to life by being caring and authentic. Every team member I’ve encountered lives the values I want my team to demonstrate at Hampton.” Orlando’s imaginative and experienced convention services teams are sure to inspire any group, whether they are working with hoteliers, the convention center or the theme parks. And with numerous upgrades throughout all of these facilities, the city’s status in the meetings industry is more secure than ever, as is the value incoming groups will receive. David Korn contributed to this article. Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook


F&D 2016




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 industry-leading products and convey their value proposition to meeting planners. On top of these “musts,” some professionals 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 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

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Name, Title:___________________________________________



2. Name:_____________________________________________




Convention Center Executive of the Year

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

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Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Please Fill Out Form & Mail Your Vote To:

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Las Vegas Caesars, MGM and Wynn up the ante with new investments By Anthony Bilden


ast year, the ever-evolving Las Vegas surpassed 42 million visitors for the first time, and the upward trend shows no sign of abating this year, with March visitation numbers showing a 2.9 percent increase over March 2015, reports the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA). Accordingly, one of the cornerstones of Las Vegas’s tourism industry, Caesars Entertainment, is doing solid business: “This will be our third straight year of double digit growth in Las Vegas,” notes Michael Massari, the company’s Senior Vice President for National Meetings and Events. Compared to Atlantic City, where Caesars recently made a major investment with the new Harrah’s Waterfront Conference Center, Las Vegas is “a really mature meetings market” that came to the fore about 17 years ago, Massari observes. “If you think back to Las Vegas in the mid to late ’90s, it was not a big player in the national meetings market. But once The Venetian, Mandalay Bay, Paris Las Vegas and Bellagio opened in ’98 and ’99, you started seeing really good quality hotel rooms, good restaurants and very big meeting spaces that fit the corporate market really well.” In recent years Caesars has been doing its part to further expand the city’s quality hotel options with the debut of Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace in 2013, and The LINQ Hotel & Casino and The Cromwell in 2014. For planners faced with a choice between the many options in Caesars’ Las Vegas portfolio, the company goes the extra mile to facilitate the site selection and negotiation process. “Planners don’t have to come out here to start that process,” says Massari. “They can start it in their office with one of our local representatives. It’s about trying to help customers accomplish what they want to accomplish, [whether that’s to] grow their membership, grow their stock price or roll out a product.” For its “Boot Camp” meeting in Las Vegas, Cruise Planners, the nation’s largest home-based travel agent network, aimed to create an intensive training and education program complemented by entertainment and networking. In short, the Boot Camp had to be a draw for agents, and its second Las Vegas installment, held March 23-25 at Caesars Palace, turned out to be “one of our best-attended Boot Camp events that we have put on to date,” noted Cathy Kusuma, Senior Director, Training and Strategic Partnerships at Cruise Planners. Caesars was an integral part of the event’s success, she adds, beginning with the value52

“It’s about trying to help customers accomplish what they want to accomplish, [whether that’s to] grow their membership, grow their stock price or roll out a product.” —Michael Massari, Senior Vice President for National Meetings and Events, Caesars Entertainment

added deal they presented. “They’re a top-notch organization when it comes to working with planners and offering the best amenities and concessions,” she says. “We did site inspections with other hotel brands as well, but Caesars just made it incredibly competitive when it came to rates; they obviously really wanted the business.”


Looking to the future, Caesars plans to upgrade more than 4,800 hotel rooms this year at four of its Las Vegas resorts: Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Paris Las Vegas and Harrah’s Las Vegas. The project will result in modernized room designs, enhanced in-room electronics, new furnishings, fully refurbished bathrooms and all the connectivity meeting attendees want. “For business travelers it’s all about productivity,” says Massari. “You’ve got to have all the right plugs in all the right places, a great workspace, and so all those things are being incorporated in the thought process.” Guests will also enjoy the convenience of the Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Photo: Cruise Planners

Cruise Planners’ management team aboard the High Roller (l-r): Brian Shultz, CIO; Cathy Kusuma, Senior Director of Training & Strategic Partnerships; Michelle Fee, CEO and Co-owner; Laura Blanco, Director of Sales; and Olaf Olen, IT Support Services Manager.

Caesars Palace new self-check-in kiosks being introduced at The LINQ Hotel & Casino, Flamingo Las Vegas and Caesars Palace. Caesars Palace’s new 587-room Julius Tower, a transformation of the resort’s original tower, began welcoming guests in January. The Tower is near the 300,000-sq.-ft. Caesars Palace Conference Center, which can be configured into 25 separate breakout rooms. Cruise Planners’ Boot Camp utilized two meeting rooms at the hotel for its 110 attendees, “one for our general session and then one for a tabletop tradeshow,” Kusuma says. “The following day we used [the latter room] for about 50 of our travel partners to have a networking exchange, so our agents were able to have one-on-one appointments with our preferred destination and travel partners.” Despite the group’s small size relative to the 3,799-room hotel, “we felt very special, like we stood out a little,” she relates. “They were definitely busy when we were there, but we didn’t have any confusion with other groups.” Beyond its dedicated meeting space, Caesars Palace offers a variety of restaurants and venues for attendees to gather, one of the newest being the 4,000-sq.-ft. Montecristo Cigar Bar. But Caesars also understands the value of outdoor function space, and The LINQ Promenade fits the bill. “Las Vegas has good weather almost year round, so when people come here from [cities like] Minneapolis, Boston, New York and Philadelphia, they want to be outside,” says Massari. This open-air shopping, dining and entertainment district has hosted “about a half dozen multi-thousand person parties,” he says, and “groups are buying out restaurants all the time, such as the Brooklyn Bowl and the Yard House.” New this year at The LINQ are In-N-Out Burger, Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips, Canter’s Deli, Virgil’s Real BBQ, Amorino, Basin White, Purple Zebra and C&E Studio Tony Vegas. A real high point in Caesars’ entertainment offerings is the world’s tallest observation wheel. The High Roller is 520 ft. in diameter and contains 28 glass-enclosed cabins that each holds 40 people. Cruise Planners secured three cabins for a memorable time following a welcome reception at the LINQ’s 2,500-sq.-ft. Wheel House. “We went on the High Roller at sunset, which was a beautiful time to do it,” Kusuma says. “It’s a 30-minute rotation. You have the option to have a bar in each of the pods, and you can change the color of the wheel itself, adding your own videos and music. It was actually quite affordable.” For even more panoramic Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

views, Cruise Planners coordinated a helicopter tour of the Strip with one of its local partners. “We have a relationship now with Cirque du Soleil, so we’re looking forward to putting together some special events with Cirque for our future Boot Camps as well,” she adds.


Like Caesars, MGM Resorts International is also investing in its guestroom product. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino recently finished remodeling more than 3,000 guestrooms and suites with new color schemes and decor, marking the conclusion of an approximately $100 million project that began last year. In addition, 1,995 guestrooms and suites at Excalibur Hotel & Casino have been remodeled with new carpeting and bedding, modern furnishings, 40-inch flat-screen TVs and more. Guestroom services have been upgraded at ARIA Resort & Casino with Crave Interactive’s tablets offering in-room dining orders, one-touch spa service requests, news in multiple languages and other features. Following what appears to be a trend toward outdoor dining and entertainment venues, MGM has recently debuted The Park, located between New York-New York and Monte Carlo resorts. Featuring captivating art installations that express Las Vegas’ desert landscape, The Park serves as the gateway to the new 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena and provides a scenic respite for attendees during free time. MGM has also augmented its capacity to host conventions with the expansion of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

The recently expanded Mandalay Bay Convention Center 53

The LINQ has hosted “about a half a dozen multi-thousand person parties,” and “groups are buying out restaurants all the time.”—Michael Massari

(Clockwise from top): The LINQ, Caesars’ shopping, dining and entertainment district; an art installation at MGM Resorts’ recently opened The Park; and Beerhaus, a beer garden style restaurant at The Park.

Groups have at their disposal 350,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit space, the 70,000-sq.-ft. Oceanside Ballroom and a 20,000-sq.-ft. foyer. The facility now offers more than 900,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space.

in Schools of Nevada, Three Square and U.S. Vets, Las Vegas. These organizations are among the many options in the Las Vegas community for incoming groups interested in doing CSR activities as part of their events.



Las Vegas’ largest two convention centers offer function space in the millions of square feet: The Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), with exhibit space of two million sq. ft. and meeting space of nearly 250,000 sq. ft., and the Sands Expo Center, with 2.25 million sq. ft. of flexible exhibition and meeting space. The latter is connected to The Venetian and The Palazzo, which offer more than 7,000 suites all under one roof. Sands Expo Center’s Specialized Event Services team oversees numerous services such as F&B, cleaning, rigging, and comprehensive technical support including Wi-Fi, Internet and intranet capabilities. But Las Vegas Sands not only serves convention groups; the company also strongly emphasizes corporate citizenship with the global Sands Cares program. Earlier this year Sands Cares donated a total of $100,000 to five non-profit organizations serving the Las Vegas community: HELP of Southern Nevada, The Shade Tree/Noah’s Animal House, Communities 54

Historically, Las Vegas has been a focal point of innovative developers, and one of the most high-profile is Steve Wynn. Wynn Las Vegas and Encore are multifaceted destination resorts, but Wynn has his sights set on an even more comprehensive development with the tentatively titled Wynn Paradise Park. Per the proposal under consideration, the 130-acre Paradise Park will include a 1,000-room hotel and 326,000 sq. ft. of premium meeting space with views of a 38-acre lagoon. What is more, Wynn Resorts is opening Wynn Plaza, a 75,518-sq.-ft. luxury retail complex, in the fall of 2017. Indeed, meeting groups always have new options on the horizon in Las Vegas, whether in lodging, meeting venues or entertainment. Developers’ forward-thinking spirit effectively keeps the city in the meeting industry headlines year after year, and keeps attendees perpetually interested in their next visit. Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Event Calendar: Las Vegas Date Venue Event 8/02-8/04/2016 Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino SuperZoo West 8/07-8/21/2016 MGM Grand Hotel and Casino International Association of Fire Fighters - Convention 8/15-8/17/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center Off-Price Specialist Show 8/15-8/17/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center MAGIC Marketplace Fall Show 8/25-9/05/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center Asian and African Exhibition 8/25-8/27/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center Orgill Fall Dealer Market 9/07-9/09/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center Super Mobility Week 9/11-9/18/2016 Caesars Palace SANS Institute - Network Security 9/11-9/17/2016 Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino American Society for Clinical Pathology -Annual Meeting 9/13-9/15/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center Solar Energy Trade Show 9/13-9/16/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Show 9/13-9/15/2016 The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino ISPA Conference & Expo 9/14-9/16/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center Specialty Graphics Annual National Convention 9/15-9/17/2016 The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino International Vision Expo West 9/21-9/23/2016 Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Interbike Expo 9/26-9/28/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center National Mining Association MINEXPO 9/27-9/29/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center G2E: Global Gaming Expo 9/28-9/30/2016 Caesars Palace Access Intelligence - OR Managers Conference 10/05-10/07/2016 Caesars Palace AAHAM Annual National Institute Meeting 10/08-10/11/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center International Baking Industry Expo 10/11-10/13/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center PubCon 10/11-10/15/2016 MGM Grand Hotel and Casino Sweet Adelines International - Annual Convention & Competition 10/15-10/18/2016 Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Scientific Assembly 10/18-10/21/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center ABC Kids Expo 10/18-10/20/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center IMEX America 10/21-10/23/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center Live Design International 10/25-10/27/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center National Industrial Fastener & Mill Supply Expo 10/31-11/04/2016 Caesars Palace Global Academy for Medical Education Meeting 11/01-11/04/2016 Sands Expo & Convention Center Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week Las Vegas Convention Center 11/01-11/04/2016 Las Vegas Convention Center The SEMA Show (co-located with Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week) Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook


Cancún T

Not just for leisure tourists, the city’s Hotel Zone has the resources planners need

the-art audiovisual team. They can he spark to transform a coordinate every detail of single to sleepy fisherman’s town on multiday events as well as air and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninground transportation. sula into a high-rise hotel Jan Levine, President of JSL haven occurred in the early 1970s. Meeting & Event Group in North The development of Cancún’s white Carolina, has worked with the sandy shores launched as a tourism hotel numerous times. She affirms project to bring income to the state. that all of her clients have been When initial construction teetered, pleased. “I can’t say enough about the Mexican government stepped “I can’t say enough about the management staff. They go the in to fund the first resort hotels. The extra mile and do what they do very project eventually caught fire and the management staff [at the well,” she says. “They listen and resulted in over 32,000 hotel rooms, Grand Fiesta Americana]. They have amazing commitment. The inincluding 60 all-inclusive resorts, team understands what you, within a 17-mile Hotel Zone. That understand what you, the planner, house the planner, are looking for and will hotel infrastructure is needed to find a way to make it happen.” accommodate a growing influx of are looking for and have amazing Jim Bozzelli, Vice President visitors: Nearly 20 million people commitment.” of Meeting & Incentive Travel passed through Cancún Inter—Jan Levine, President, JSL Meeting & Event Group Management at Illinois-based Gavel national Airport in 2015. Among International, brought a multi-wave Cancún’s finest options for meetcorporate incentive program to the ing groups are the Grand Fiesta Grand Fiesta Americana from March Americana Coral Beach and the two 24 to April 17, 2015. The family program included nearly 1,700 properties that comprise Marriott’s Cancún Collection: Casaadults and children utilizing onsite pools, swim-up bars, beach Magna Marriott Cancún Resort and the JW Marriott Cancún and watersports. Offsite events included tours to Chichen Itza, Resort & Spa. Tulum and the Selvatica zip-lines. Bozzelli comments, “From the managing director on down, the GRAND FIESTA AMERICANA CORAL BEACH staff at the Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach was extremely This resort takes full advantage of its beachfront location. Each of professional, friendly, efficient and fun. Their strong team effort the Grand Fiesta Americana’s 602 guestrooms includes a private contributed to a very successful incentive program for our client.” terrace overlooking the shimmering waters of the Caribbean. The Positive words from a company that operates over 125 meetings resort’s design is no small feat; all lobby and restaurant windows for 100,000+ attendees annually. also face the beach. Planners have at their disposal a private beach area that can be custom decorated for cocktail parties, formal or Spacious Guestrooms casual receptions, and dinners. The majority of the guestrooms, 520 of them, measure a comfortOverall, the Grand Fiesta Americana houses more than 80,000 able 560 sq. ft. and include marble-flooring with private sitting sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor meeting space for groups of 10 to areas and balconies overlooking the beach. In addition, the resort 1,700. The unobstructed Grand Coral Ballroom offers 15,351 sq. offers 79 Master Suites with 860 sq. ft. of space, king-sized beds, ft., which can be subdivided. The room can handle 1,100 seated or marble floors and private sitting areas. Double vanities, a Jacuzzi, 1,700 theater style. There are also 20 breakout rooms. A U-shaped and separate shower complete the bathroom. Large terraces are boardroom seats 14. furnished with reclining loungers and table and chairs. Meeting planners find themselves in excellent hands with the The hotel is topped with 80 Grand Club Suites located on the onsite staff of event managers and an award-winning, state-of56 Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

The Grand Fiesta Americana’s sprawling pool area

Grand Club Level. These Junior or Master Suites feature private balconies with panoramic vistas a seafarer would envy. The Grand Club (or what is typically called the Concierge Level Lounge) offers a variety of culinary creations and premium beverages both in the lounge and beachside sundeck. A multilingual concierge is available. Two Presidential Suites await VIPs at the top of each tower of the resort. These ultra-luxe two-level suites, measuring 5,410 sq. ft., boast expansive rooftop terraces complete with a private pool, a master bedroom with a Jacuzzi and steam bath, twin-bedded guestroom, dining room, spacious living room and full kitchen. Pool and Beach A real showstopper, the resort’s lagoon pool is divided into sections via waterfalls, islands, bridges and three swim-up bars. The various areas separate the guests in the area, so the pool decks never seem crowded. The outdoor restaurants cater to the swimsuit crowd. Stairways from the pool lead down to the pearly sand beach lined with chaise longues and cabanas. The Gem Spa The luxurious Gem Spa, measuring a whopping 43,046 sq. ft., was added as an $8 million investment in the property. The multilevel spa is a must for groups to experience. Arrangements can be made for smaller groups (up to 100) to enjoy dinner, dessert or after-dinner drinks in the sublime surroundings. However, the spa’s 10-step, onehour hydrotherapy ritual is what guests rave about. All individuals signed up for a spa treatment may indulge in this complimentary pre-service. Dining Options Isla Contoy, a casual beachfront restaurant under a grand canopy, showcases fresh seafood and Mexican favorites along with stunning seaside views. For fine dining, the resort offers Le Basilic, one of only a few in Mexico to hold the AAA Five Diamond distinction. Le Basilic presents an innovative French-Mediterranean menu created by Chef Henri Charvet of Paris, who holds the title of Maître Cuisine de France. Chef Charvet blends his new love of local Mexican products with his French culinary techniques. Local artwork enhances the candlelit atmosphere. Live jazz musicians add to the vibe.

“From a logistical standpoint, a huge upside at our properties is that meeting attendees don’t have to leave the buildings to reach a convention center.” —Christopher Calabrese, Vice President & General Manager, Marriott Cancún Collection Tequila tastings can be staged in the resort’s authentic Mexican restaurant, La Joya. Guests sample a three-tiered tasting of Mexico’s national spirit and learn about tequila’s history and aging process. It’s an ideal first-night event. A bountiful champagne brunch/breakfast buffet is laid out daily at Vina del Mar, whose floor-to-ceiling windows make the room feel like an aviary — a lovely spot to start the day. —Debi Lander


The CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort and the JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa are conveniently situated beachfront and less than 20 minutes from the Cancún International Airport. Christopher Calabrese, Vice President & General Manager of the Marriott Cancún Collection, highlights several other reasons why the resorts are popular with groups: “The Marriott Cancún Collection offers the largest conglomerate of hotel rooms in Cancún properties. This is because our sister properties, the JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa and CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort, are located side by side, offering over 88,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor and outdoor event space and 898 guestrooms combined. In addition, we offer a 2,000-plus-ft. stretch of beach for events.” All of the shared meeting space is centralized on the lobby level, so meeting attendees can easily navigate between the properties. “From a logistical standpoint, a huge upside at our properties is that meeting attendees don’t have to leave the buildings to reach a convention center, as they would have to do in some of the neighboring properties,” says Calabrese. There are a total of 30 breakout rooms, including 12 at CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort and 18 at the JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa. While the properties can accommodate all kinds of events, “nearly

The JW Marriott Cancún Resort & Spa (left) and CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort (right) Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook


99 percent of our group business comes from incentive groups,” says Calabrese. “While we see more domestic business in April and May, otherwise known as shoulder season, the remainder of the year we have mostly North American clientele in house, probably because of Cancún’s accessibility as a destination and our prime location within the Hotel Zone. While we do see a fair amount of business from corporate groups and associations — for example, a pharmaceutical company launching a product — it’s mainly incentive.” Event Design The Marriott’s Events Team works closely with client meeting planners to amplify their event through the integration of activities such as group fitness classes, which include kickboxing, yoga and spinning. The team also provides consultation on the design of special events and customizes the experience through its vendor partners. “With our AV vendors, J&S and Sterling, we can transform our meeting spaces and bring meeting planners’ vision to life. We bring in magnificent props, and can change everything from the ceiling to walls to flooring, which is amazing for award presentations and big events,” says Calabrese. “Another offering that distinguishes us is our Red Coat Direct meeting planner app, which is a very useful tool that allows for constant communication between the meeting planner and our events team. With the app, they can let us know any needs without leaving their chairs, from coffee refills to room

temperature change and anything else that comes up. We also just upgraded our Internet bandwidth to 300 mb, so our WiFi speed is lightning fast throughout both properties.” Restaurants and Amenities From Thai and Japanese to Argentine, fine Italian and American Southwest cuisine, the properties have nearly every craving covered. “All-inclusive meetings are on the rise, and for meeting planners who select an all-inclusive program, we have eight specialty restaurants between both hotels that are available to groups, regardless of which property they book,” Calabrese explains. The properties share a 1,000-sq.-ft. Mayan-inspired spa facility, which is home to tennis courts, an indoor lap pool, Jacuzzis, plunge pools, steam rooms and saunas. Quiet adults-only pools and Bali daybeds offer a relaxing place to unwind in between meeting sessions. Renovation Plans The CasaMagna Marriott Cancún Resort will complete a $20 million guestroom renovation in October. As part of the project, wraparound balconies overlooking the ocean will be added to the Caribbean Suites and Executive Suites. Bathroom renovations have already been completed, including the installation of new, luxurious “Rain Forest” shower systems. The JW Marriott Cancún is scheduled for renovations starting January 2017. —Rachel Kapur

One of the Maya Museum’s 300 artifacts

Seven Top Diversions in Cancún 1 2

Golf. The island is home to courses designed by some of the game’s greatest names, including Jack Nicklaus, Trent Jones, Greg Norman and Pete Dye.

The Maya Museum. A tour takes about an hour and highlights ancient Mayan achievements in architecture, urbanism, art, writing and science. About 300 well-preserved artifacts are displayed. Best of all, the museum integrates with the archeological site of San Miguelito. After strolling the exhibition halls, visitors can meander the treeshrouded path leading to the restored ruins of a stone pyramid.


Isla Mujeres. Guests can hop aboard a ferry (the dock is just steps away from the Grand Fiesta Americana), and arrive at the island in less than a half an hour. Connecting to the landing point, the main avenue is lined with shops, restaurants and architecture reminiscent of Old Mexico.


MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art). Located in the waters surrounding Cancún, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc, this museum consists of more than 500 permanent life-size sculptures. It is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.



Garrafon Natural Park. Golf carts, the most common means of travel (or motorcycles and taxis), are an easy way to reach Garrafon Natural Park, a reef park set at the southern tip of the tiny isle. The landmass is less than five miles in length. Activities include temazcal (Mayan steam treatments), snorkeling the coral reefs, ziplining over the sea, kayaking, swimming in an infinity pool and the resting in hammocks under palm trees. A VIP area offers an additional pool, sunbeds, a private restaurant and full shower facilities. A steep hike leads to the Mayan temple of the goddess Ixchel and its panoramic vistas. Garrafon Park can be privately rented for memorable evening events away from Cancún.


Ruins of Tulum. The spectacular archeological ruins of Tulum rest about an hour and a half from Cancún. Certified guides provide interpretive tours that explain the lost grandeur of the Mayan site. Groups will find a wonderfully inviting beach below the site’s Castle and dramatic cliff. A stairway was installed for safety. Have attendees wear bathing suits, if they wish to take advantage of the spectacular beach or dip into the Caribbean Sea.


Chichen Itza. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is arguably the most impressive Mayan ruin and worth a day trip from Cancún. Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook


Renaissance offers groups ‘la dolce vita’ in central Italy By Debi Lander

The Renaissance Tuscany presents an upscale yet rustic experience in the heart of Tuscany. (Left): The resort’s GM, Georges Midleje


here’s a famous quote that says, “Traveling is the ruin surprising number of open piazzas. Attendees can embrace la of all happiness! There’s no looking at a building after dolce vita, the sweet life, and stop for an espresso, gelato or glass seeing Italy.” I tend to agree. of wine and savor the ambiance of the moment as well as the view. Tuscany’s medieval buildings are particularly The Renaissance Tuscany’s meeting space is located in a enthralling, as are its towering mountains and sunny separate building behind the main hotel (with adjacent parking), landscapes. Along with these vistas, meeting and yet connected through the fifth-floor walkway. Glass walls provide incentive groups can enjoy the fabulous food, wine and hospitality glimpses of Barga and the bucolic countryside. Planners will find a characteristic of this region of central Italy. combined 18,708 sq. ft. of flexible spaces within 11 venues, all with Flights into Florence or Pisa bring windows except one. Salone Pascoli provides participants within taxi or van distance the setting for a larger conference, with of the Sergio Valley in northern Tuscany. seating for 500 to nearly 1,000. All conference The hour-plus drive to The hour-plus drive to the Renaissance rooms feature state-of-the-art technology, and Tuscany Il Ciocco winds guests past the Renaissance Tuscany knowledgeable AV operators are on hand. centuries-old villages topped by ancient Outdoor patios and vine-covered terraces Il Ciocco winds guests bell towers, small farms and vineyards. The make glorious spots for cocktail parties, hotel rests within 1,500 acres bordering the small group meals or breakout snacks. The past centuries-old Garanfanga region near the Apuan Alps. Penthouse and Presidential Suites are ideal And in case you are working with VIPs, villages topped by for a reception or intimate dinner party. In all, fly them to the property by helicopter and hotel contains 180 guestrooms including ancient bell towers, small the land at the resort’s private helipad. valley-view rooms and three new Junior Suites. Upon arrival, guests enter the lobby The fifth floor of the resort houses a spa with farms and vineyards. for check-in, but will likely return to this 12 treatment rooms, a sauna, whirlpool, indoor welcoming venue to converse over a pool and relaxation lounge. An outdoor pool, glass of wine or morning coffee. Equally located below the main restaurant, is seasonally open to all guests. comforting are the guestrooms. Gregarious General Manager The surrounding National Park-like acres are ideal for teambuilding Georges Midleje jokingly says he gets so many inquiries about experiences such as horseback riding, ATVing and mountain biking. where to buy the bedding, he thinks he should open a franchise. Planner Suzy Fielders, Marketing Associate with the Hayes Most Americans will find the marble-appointed bathrooms a bit Group, a Winston-Salem, NC-based organizational consulting small, but the balconies compensate with spectacular views. firm, coordinated a Leadership Conference for 30 participants The tiny medieval town of Barga lies across from the resort, at the Renaissance Tuscany last October. Spouses/partners of presenting itself like a Renaissance painting. The town looks participants were encouraged to attend both the meeting sessions almost close enough to hit with a stone, but in reality it takes as well as the group lunches and dinners. Fielders first initiated a 10 minutes to drive down hairpin turns to reach the hamlet. conversation with national Marriott representative Kathy Rooney, Visitors enter the old city through ancient arched stone gates who connected her with Cinzia Panella, Director of Sales & and meander along tiny cobblestone alleyways that lead to a Marketing at the hotel. Fielders found the hotel staff friendly and

Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook


responsive. She said there were no issues with language barriers, and concluded by saying, “The hotel property itself is stunning and the views were splendid. It’s the ideal setting for any meeting and a wonderful place to go to as a meeting planner.”


In addition to the spa, cooking classes and trip to Barga, the Renaissance staff can arrange guided outings to other local cities. Pisa boasts the iconic leaning tower, a must-see for tourists. The Romanesque complex includes an art and sculpture infused cathedral, baptistery, cemetery as well as the famous bell tower. If time permits, arrange to move the group beyond the busy tourist arena and discover another side of Pisa: a university town filled with notable architecture, fountains and statues. Another option is a half- or full-day trip to Lucca, which features equally impressive churches, palaces, buildings and parks. The city walls have been restored and present the most enticing five-mile circuit for bike riding, walking or jogging — no cars allowed. Lucca is the birthplace of Puccini, and the historic area features a museum devoted to him and his music. Lucca also offers excellent shopping and restaurants. Afternoon wine tastings and meals can be booked at various vineyards or restaurants depending on the size of your group. The Slow Food movement showcases three major dishes for culinary enthusiasts: Prosciutto Bazzone (ham), Biroldo (blood sausage) and Pane di Patate (potato bread). Sample cheese and freshly sliced meats pair nicely with bold Tuscan red wines. Pecorino cheese topped with a drop of local honey finishes off the meal. Planners can also consider scheduling a short stop to the photogenic Bridge of Mary Magdalene, where attendees can climb an inclined walkway that hovers above the water and snap a sensational selfie. When next planning a European meeting, consider Italy and, in particular, the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco, a great lodging option in one of the country’s most memorable regions. 60

(Clockwise from top left): Lucca, birthplace of Puccini; Suzy Fielders, who planned a Leadership Conference at the Renaissance Tuscany; the Piazza del Miracoli, in Pisa; and the medieval town of Barga, which lies across from the Renaissance.

A TUSCAN CULINARY ADVENTURE One of the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco’s most popular group events is the culinary experience that includes a trip to the market in Barga. Executive Chef Allessandro Manfredini — a semi-celebrity known by all the fishmongers, cheese sellers, fruit stands and deli/trattoria vendors — leads the tour. Class members (up to 10) help the chef pick out the ingredients, and then head back to the hotel kitchen to begin preparation. My cooking lesson started with making spinach ravioli. I mixed and kneaded the Groups can learn the dough, then let it rest, before art of pasta making rolling it paper thin. I asked from the hotel’s culinary Chef Manfredini, “Is this the team correct thickness?” “No,” he replied. “Not until you can read newsprint from a paper held behind the dough.” I went back to rolling! Class members also made eggplant Parmesan topped with the most tasty local cheese and thick tomato sauce, steamed green beans and lightly fried zucchini flowers. Desserts included a hand-whipped tiramisu and a stunning fruit tart. —D.L. Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook


Meet AC

Meet Space, Meet Style, Meet AC


tlantic City is a hidden gem along the New Jersey shoreline, offering visitors much more than a seaside destination. 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 miles of scenic beach and Boardwalk that your group can enjoy at any time of the year. They can take a stroll on the famous historic Boardwalk, bask in the glowing sun or 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, delegates can try their luck on the table games or slot machines at any of the city’s eight casinos. Atlantic City is made up of 15,600 first-class hotel rooms that will provide the perfect accommodations for your attendees’ complete comfort and relaxation. The city also offers casino resorts with full resort amenities that range from an adult to a familyfriendly atmosphere. The hotel and casino properties consist of meeting facilities and a surplus of unique event venues. The Atlantic City Convention Center provides over 600,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, as well as 45 meeting rooms, ample pre-function space and all the amenities you would expect.

Convention delegates can unwind and dine with plentiful dining options all customized to fit their taste buds, from brand-name eateries to celebrity chef restaurants. The Entertainment Capital of the Jersey Shore will have them laughing and singing all night long. Shopaholics can shop ‘til they drop at the city’s tax-free outlet shopping, Tanger Outlets The Walk, with over 100 retail stores that won’t disappoint with incredible deals, just steps from the convention 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 landmark built in the late 1920s.

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 nonstop, 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.

1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 • (609) 449-7100 • www.meetinac.com 61

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Connecticut Convention Center


he Connecticut Convention Center is the Northeast’s ideal location for tradeshows, conventions, business meetings or any occasion demanding a dramatic riverfront setting. Overlooking the Connecticut River, the Center is situated in the heart of downtown Hartford’s Front Street District — rapidly expanding with new restaurants and entertainment. In addition to sweeping views of the river, a 110-ft. glass atrium dramatically rises 10 stories above a historic and tree-lined riverfront esplanade. The Center’s award-winning event planning and in-house catering team combine with spectacular function space to make every event unforgettable. Every facet of hosting an event has been taken into consideration — from state-of-the-art audiovisual, to flexible spaces and abundant pre-function areas, to ample onsite sheltered parking. Plus, the attached AAA Four Diamond, 409room Hartford Marriott Downtown, with 13,500 sq. ft. of additional meeting space, ensures all of a planner’s event needs are met.

Meeting Space

Limitlessly functional and endlessly customizable, the 540,000-sq.-ft. Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. The Center combines ample meeting space — including 140,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space (divisible into two halls), a 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom (divisible into three rooms), 25,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space and two executive boardrooms — with visually stunning touches, creating the ideal backdrop for any event.


With first-rate accommodations at numerous hotels (up to 1,600 hotel rooms within Hartford and 6,000 rooms within a 15-mile radius) and unparalleled service, Hartford truly has it! The city offers a variety of full-service hotel brands including the Hartford Marriott Downtown, the Radisson Hotel Hartford, the Hilton Hartford, Homewood Suites, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn.

Airport and Transportation

Bradley International Airport is only 15 miles from Hartford and serves 198 national and international flights daily with direct flights to 25 cities including 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. In addition, 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 provides its own exclusive, in-house catering services — something very few convention centers can offer groups directly. The staff works with clients to coordinate memorable food and beverage experiences with high-profile corporate events, conventions, or ethnic and themed events.

Coming to Hartford: Hartford Yard Goats

Professional baseball is returning to Hartford! The state-of-theart Dunkin’ Donuts Park will be home to the Hartford Yard Goats minor league baseball team. The 6,000-seat ballpark will also be a versatile indoor and outdoor venue that can accommodate everything from a small meeting for 20 to a reception for 400.

Across from the Convention Center: Front Street District

Hartford’s new entertainment hub is a redeveloped historic area buzzing with activity. Located just steps from the Connecticut Convention Center, groups will find an exciting collection of restaurants and bistros as well as live entertainment venues, including: • Spotlight Theatres • Nixs Hartford • Front Street Bistro • Qdoba Mexican Eats • Infinity Music Hall & Bistro • Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ • The Capital Grille • Arch Street Tavern • Ted’s Montana Grill

100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06106 • (860) 249-6000 • ctconventions.com 62

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

PITTSBURGH MIGHTY. BEAUTIFUL. VIBRANT. The perfect setting for powerful events.



Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center


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 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, cafes, coffee houses, pubs, dance clubs, music halls, theaters and more. Rochester also boasts numerous museums, including the George Eastman Museum, the Susan B. Anthony House and the acclaimed Strong National Museum of Play. The city is proud to be home to the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, a nine-day event featuring 300+ concert, as well as the Fringe Festival, a unique 10-day event celebrating the arts with 500+ performances all over downtown Rochester. 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 — 54+ flights daily — is just a 10-minute drive from the Convention Center’s front door. Complimentary airport transportation is provided by all major hotels. Rochester is a community known around the world for its hightech expertise, which has led to the city being selected as the location for the Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Integrated Photonics. The Rochester Riverside also 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 64

requirements its customers have. This service is available wireless throughout the facility and is scalable from 50 MB to 100 MB. The Center features an in-house food and beverage operation, which includes an Executive Pastry Chef. In addition, the Riverside Productions and Riverside Catering divisions can even provide services to groups utilizing offsite locations throughout the region. Basically, the Riverside Convention Center is New York State’s only one-stop convention facility. More than 1,100 rooms in a quartet 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 217room Holiday Inn, 460-room Radisson, a 338-room Hyatt Regency and a 106-room Hilton Garden Inn. Delegates also enjoy the convenience of walking between hotels and the Convention Center in minutes using the enclosed skywalk system or the scenic riverside walkway.

123 East Main Street Rochester, NY 14604 (585) 232-7200 rrcc.com

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

Whether you have 50 or 5,000 attendees, we can put together the perfect package for your meeting or convention.

585.232.7200 • www.rrcc.com • 100,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting & exhibit space • Directly connected by enclosed skybridge to 800 hotel rooms • In-house catering, production & AV services


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 more than 170 events a 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 six 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. A new subway station opened across the street, connecting 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. Expansion: New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced plans to expand the Javits Center with an additional 1.2 million sq. ft., including five times more meeting room space and the largest ballroom in the Northeast. The project, which will break ground in late 2016, also includes a rooftop terrace with a 1,500-person capacity and an onsite truck marshaling facility to accelerate event operations and improve area traffic flow. A new exhibition hall also will be constructed, creating 500,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibition space on Level 3, a sought-after benchmark throughout the industry. Renderings of the project can be found at javitscenter.com. The expansion builds upon the success of a recent renovation, which included upgrades to the building’s infrastructure and earned the facility LEED Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council. Staff: The Javits Center is much more than a versatile space. With more than 4,000 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). A second Starbucks location has opened in the Crystal Palace, providing attendees with even more food and beverage options. 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. 66

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

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



Here For The Making of Great Meetings


ost a record-breaking meeting or convention in Philadelphia, recently recognized as a World Heritage City. 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. Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

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, 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, President and CEO 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 67


meadowlands exposition center


he SMG-managed Meadowlands Exposition Center at Harmon Meadow is proud to be the premier New Jersey convention center that meeting planners and tradeshow producers prefer. Since opening its doors in 1990, the MEC has consistently exceeded the expectations of planners, exhibitors and attendees. The MEC is • Five miles from Manhattan; • Accessible to all major interstate arteries, including the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway; • Minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport and Teterboro Jetport; and • Serviced by New York/New Jersey Transit, with bus stops located at the front entrance of the facility. Groups have at their disposal 61,000 sq. ft. of obstructionfree, dedicated convention space with 20 ft.-high ceilings; fully carpeted seminar rooms with air walls that can be utilized individually or opened to one large room; and two drive-in doors (14 ft. by 16 ft.) with four loading docks at street level. Full and half-hall rates are available. Meadowlands Exposition Center staff will work with each group to address their individual needs and budget in relation to calendar and availability of dates and space. Professional event coordinators will guide the show manager through the entire event. The in-house decorator has its office in the Con-

vention Center and maintains a full warehouse on the premises, guaranteeing exhibitors a full range of decorating services. In addition, the inhouse caterer provides world-class food service for 50 to 5,000 attendees. The Meadowlands Exposition Center operates three concession stands that offer a wide variety of options. Located only minutes to Manhattan and Newark Liberty International Airport in Northern New Jersey, the Meadowlands Exposition Center at Harmon Meadow establishes a spacious campuslike environment for visitors with the best amenities: hotels, dining, shopping and entertainment — all within walking distance of each other. There are six national hotel chains within walking distance, with rates that average 30 percent lower than New York City. Major retailers and a variety of restaurants provide an ideal location to relax or conduct business. Take in a movie at Kerasotes ShowPlace 14 Theatres and dinner at a nearby restaurant or work out in LA Fitness Signature Club (Full Service Fitness Club). Incoming groups will enjoy easy access from the New Jersey Turnpike and Route 3, plus multiple transportation options and free parking right outside the Center’s door. So come on in and look around and find out more about the MEC’s upcoming events. And when you’re ready to book your next event, call (201) 330-7773 and the staff will be happy to assist you in planning your most successful event ever.

355 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 07094 • (201) 330-7773;
Fax: (201) 330-1172 • mecexpo.com 68

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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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Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau


iverse and innovative restaurants, a rich arts and culture scene, and beautifully preserved historic architecture combine to make Providence, RI a destination for inspiration. Known as the “Creative Capital,” Providence has received national recognition over the past few years and was recently named one of the “52 Places (in the World) to Go in 2016” by The New York Times. The Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex is situated in the heart of Providence’s downtown and is comprised of the Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and the Veterans Memorial Auditorium (The VETS). All three buildings are located within one mile of 2,200 hotel rooms, and a total of 5,500 rooms are available in the Greater Providence area. Convenience and connectivity are key features of the Complex. Ample meeting space, hotel rooms and entertainment options are all within easy reach. On one side, the RICC is connected to the 564-room Omni Providence Hotel, and in turn, Providence Place, a major downtown shopping destination. On its other side, the RICC connects to the 14,000-seat Dunk, the area’s premier multiuse events arena. Home to the AHL Providence Bruins and the Big East Providence College men’s basketball team, the Dunk also hosts sporting events, major concerts,

family shows and tradeshows. The recently renovated VETS is a 1,900-seat historic theater located across from the striking Rhode Island State House. Meeting attendees will find a variety of things to do during their free time in Providence. The RISD Museum at the Rhode Island School of Design is home to more than 91,000 works of art ranging from the ancient to the avant-garde. Foodies will want to see the one-of-akind Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University, which displays 500,000 food-related artifacts, including a complete diner. Theater lovers can take in a show at the beautifully gilded Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC) or at the Tony Awardwinning Trinity Repertory Company. PPAC was originally a Loew’s Movie Palace opened in 1928, and hosts touring Broadway shows, as well as plays, concerts and more. Trinity presents contemporary and classic plays, and features one of the country’s last longstanding resident acting companies. Providence’s restaurants offer something for every taste, serving a global array of cuisines and cooking styles. And as home to the world’s largest culinary educator, Johnson & Wales University, Providence reaps the rewards of having many of the school’s alumni and students demonstrate their culinary talents in local restaurants.

10 Memorial Boulevard, Providence, RI 02903 • (401) 456-0200, Fax: (401) 351-2090 www.goprovidence.com 70

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


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


specially when that beach is in Ocean City, Maryland. Ocean City 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.

In addition to the city’s great beach, the Ocean City Convention Center keeps getting better. Last year saw the opening of the state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, which can seat 1,200 attendees for keynote addresses or general sessions. In addition to the performing arts center, the Roland E. Powell Convention Center has over 214,000 sq. ft. of space, which includes a 45,000-sq.-ft., column-free exhibit hall, a 20,000-sq.-ft. bayfront ballroom, and 22 meeting rooms. Ocean City can accommodate many different events, including conventions, meetings, tradeshows and athletic events. 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.



THE ROLAND E. POWELL CONVENTION CENTER WE MAKE IT EASY TO WORK HARD. The Roland E. Powell Convention Center has been designed from the ground up to provide a seamless environment for any event. With 1,200 on-site parking spaces and additional parking lots for crowds of all sizes spread over 214,000 square feet, it’s the perfect venue for all of your needs.

Main Exhibit Hall – 45,500+ sq. ft. of column-free, flexible halls Bayfront Ballroom –19,126 sq. ft. • Exhibit Hall –14,000 sq. ft. of flexible space • 21 meeting rooms • Brand-new Performing Arts Center–1,200 seats with state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, box office, concession area, and spacious dressing rooms • •

Plus, we are less than three hours from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia and 30 minutes from the Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport (SBY).




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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 ft.-30ft. 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; 276-seat Forum Theater • 18,000-seat Arena

2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 458-8400 • www.bjcc.org 72

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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



The Classic Center




he Classic Center is northeast Georgia’s premier award-winning convention center and performing arts theater. Located in the heart of downtown Athens, GA, The Classic Center provides unique meeting space, outstanding special events services and a wide range of entertainment options, making this unconventional convention center the choice for conferences, meetings and special events.

Historic Athens Charm... Located within walking distance to unique dining, shopping, hotels and entertainment options.

The Classic Center is a unique facility, offering several spaces that are perfect for every occasion, including a multiuse conference center, 2,100-seat theater, 2,000-seat Arena and outdoor, covered pavilion hosting conventions, conferences, meetings, weddings, concerts, sporting tournaments and special events for up to 6,000 people. In the fall of 2015, The Classic Center announced a new partnership with Akins Ford of Winder to introduce the new Akins Arena at The Classic Center, which is home to the 2016 SECHC Champions, the UGA Ice Dawgs. The Classic Center is under the auspices of The Classic Center Authority (CCA), a political subdivision of the state government, and has been under the leadership of Executive Director Paul Cramer since it opened in 1995. Mr. Cramer and The Classic Center Authority strive every day to enhance the quality of life in Athens-Clarke County by serving as the cultural, civic and social center of the Southeast and by generating maximum economic impact. Mr. Cramer also oversaw the development of the Hospitality Careers Academy in 2003, which is a program designed for students interested in business, marketing, culinary arts, hotel/lodging management or event planning, as well as the Classic Center Cultural Foundation. The Foundation affords resources to entertain and educate the community by providing and supporting diverse performing, visual and culinary arts programs, while working to maintain The Classic Center in a state-of-the-art condition. Considered the crown jewel of downtown Athens, The Classic Center’s motto is “Be Impressed,” and guests most certainly are.



300 N. Thomas Street, Athens, GA 30601 (706) 208-0900• classiccenter.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Visit Knoxville Why Knoxville?

For the meeting planner seeking a destination that will deliver “wow, I had no idea” experiences, Knoxville offers a surprisingly real, truly accessible and unexpectedly sophisticated mix of culture, adventure and cuisine rooted in history and genuine Southern hospitality. Located at the intersection of I-75, I-40 and I-81, Knoxville provides the accessibility you need, the venues you want and the overall experience you’ve been hoping to find. Knoxville boasts a number of outstanding venues suitable for a variety of events, including everything from conventions to sporting competitions. The Knoxville Convention Center serves as the cornerstone of Knoxville’s meeting facilities. Located alongside World’s Fair Park, minutes from the University of Tennessee, and a short drive from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, this beautiful, 500,000-sq.-ft. space is ideal for gatherings of all kinds. The Convention Center is located just minutes from Market Square, the heart of Knoxville’s vibrant and walkable downtown. This popular area is home to eclectic shopping, fine dining, outdoor concerts and more. A number of Knoxville’s finest hotels are within walking distance, and many of the downtown hotels and attractions are located on the free shuttle route provided by Knoxville Trolley Lines. The Visit Knoxville Convention Services Team is committed to making sure everything runs smoothly from start to finish and will simplify the planning process. First-time visitors are typically amazed by all

Knoxville has to offer, and meeting planners are consistently impressed with the city’s ability to host events. For example, Susan Perry, Executive Director, Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC), said: “Everyone raved about the easily walkable city with your maps and friendly volunteer’s assistance; one SEMC member said this was the best [annual meeting] we’ve had in the past decade.” Knoxville is home to a number of festivals, loads of live music, fantastic Civil War sites, a world-class zoo, highly acclaimed museums and a unique Urban Wilderness that offers 1,000 acres of adventure within the city limits. These reasons and countless others explain why more and more people are choosing Knoxville. To learn more, visit meetings.visitknoxville.com.

301 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 • (800) 727-8045; (865) 523-7263 • visitknoxville.com

Facilities & Destinations


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


rkansas’s capital city, Little Rock is a breath of fresh air. At its core, the city is home to numerous attractions enjoyed by tourists and meeting-goers alike. Recently honored by Trivago.com as its top 10 “US Best Value Cities of 2016,” 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 renaissance has been the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, propelling Little Rock as a true tourist and meetings destination. Little Rock has produced new attractions, award-winning restaurants and entertainment venues, and a number of new hotels and meeting spaces. The Statehouse Convention Center, with its 220,000 sq. ft. of public, meeting, and exhibit space, features state-of-the-art amenities, scenic Arkansas River views and is adjacent to downtown’s River Market Entertainment District. Connected to the Center is the Little Rock Marriott, the state’s only full-service Marriott, that recently completed a $16 million top-to-bottom renovation providing a sleek, urban, contemporary feel.

The Little Rock metro area boasts approximately 9,500 hotel rooms, accommodating a variety of groups, including an Arkansas-based international association’s annual convention drawing 7,000 domestic and international visitors. Getting to Little Rock is also convenient. The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport reaches 334 unique destinations around the world, offering 70 daily flights to major hubs. Multi-phased renovations include the nation’s fastest, free Wi-Fi, a new ticket lobby and baggage-claim upgrades, with more on the horizon. The airport is located minutes from downtown, making transportation a breeze. For more information, visit www.littlerock.com and follow Little Rock at www.facebook.com/experienceLR and www.twitter.com/littlerockCVB. Contact Alan Sims, Vice President of Sales and Services, at (501) 370-3251 or asims@littlerock.com.

101 S. Spring Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 • (501) 376-4781; (800) 844-4781 • www.littlerock.com • $70 million historic renovation and expansion • 2,200 seat world-class proscenium theater • Brand new conference center addition includes flexible ballroom, meeting and pre-function spaces • Directly connected to the DoubleTree Little Rock, currently undergoing its own multi-million dollar renovation • 45,000 sq. ft. of combined conference center space


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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 recently. 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. Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

Miami’s Unique Appeal


ou don’t have to be a meeting planner to appreciate how perfect Miami is for meetings. If you’ve traveled much, the advantages are obvious. More than 50,000 hotel rooms, venues to accommodate any size group, and the high-tech conveniences a planner expects – all set against the tropical backdrop of year-round al fresco dining, the surf and sand of some of the world’s most glorious beaches, out-ofthis-world off-sites, fabulous nightlife for the entire team, plus unique neighborhoods just made for exploring. Miami is the event destination that goes beyond fulfilling everything on a planner’s checklist. It sails the checklist across the turquoise ocean.

Off Site. Out of this World.

At 647,648 sq. ft., the Miami Beach Convention Center is home to some of the world’s largest events and festivals. Reimagined, the Miami Beach Convention Center is embarking on a magnificent transformation: a $592 million, LEED-certified renovation with 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 81 breakout rooms and a new 60,000-sq.-ft. ballroom to be completed by January 2018.

For off-sites, the challenge for a planner is deciding what to offer delegates. Major League sports are a hit. Downtown is a vibrant cultural hub and the Pérez Art Museum Miami is stunning inside and out. Oceanside, there’s beach volleyball or sunset cruises. Greater Miami also features two national parks – Biscayne National Preserve and Everglades National Park. There’s NASCAR’s Homestead-Miami Motor Speedway, Miami Open and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. And the golf and tennis aren’t just for spectators. For fashionistas, Miami is home to the world’s largest collection of designer boutiques.

But There’s More.

Tropical. International. Yet Right in the Continental U.S.

Open for Business Today. Reimagining for Tomorrow.

Along with flagship-hotel meeting rooms and ballrooms, Miami boasts two other convention centers: the 100,000-sq.-ft. James L. Knight Center and the 172,000-sq.-ft. Miami Airport Convention Center. Also in development, the new Marriott Marquis at Miami World Center project will break ground with a 1,700-room hotel and 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space.

Easy In. Easy Out. Every Day.

Miami International Airport offers 97 international and 53 domestic, nonstop flights daily from more than 100 airlines, as well as more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airport in the nation. Modernized infrastructure and streamlined accessibility to and from the airport are designed to make hosting an event in Miami as easy and stress free as possible.

In Miami, delegates can meet people and sample gourmet cuisine from every corner of the earth. Meeting participants can explore the world’s third-largest barrier reef, sample locally crafted beer and rum, discover the perfect Cuban coffee and guava pastry or take in the ballet, a Latin rock concert, or a string quartet. They can mingle over cocktails on rooftop lounges, admire world-renowned public art murals or salsa the night away. There’s an unforgettable event on the horizon waiting to be planned. Make it a reality at MiamiMeetings.com. Citywide Facts & Features Accommodation: 403 Hotels/51,787 Rooms Three Convention Centers Totaling Nearly 1M Square Feet and 74 Specialized Meeting Facilities

701 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL 33131 • (800) 933-8448, ext. 3071 info@MiamiMeetings.com • MiamiMeetings.com 78

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Meet in the Center of It All.

Reimagined for 2018. | Open for Business Now. Imagine a center of creative collaboration, in the perfect location, surrounded by everything you desire – beaches, fine dining, art, luxury rooms, and ideal weather all year long. It’s real. Unveiling in 2018, but open for business now. Reserve today. Meetings@GMCVB.com | 305-539-3071 | MiamiMeetings.com

New 60,000 sq. ft. ballroom • 81 breakout rooms with more than 190,000 sq. ft. of space 500,000 sq. ft. of renovated exhibit space © Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau – The Official Destination Sales & Marketing Organization for Greater Miami and the Beaches.


New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center


ew Orleans is an award-winning city steeped in culture, culinary excellence and centuries-old architecture, and its meeting facilities are equally compelling. Events held in New Orleans are unlike any other, and the city’s 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 is the sixth largest and one of the most technologically advanced convention facilities in the country. With over 1.1 million sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, 140 different meetings rooms, two multipurpose ballrooms and a 4,000-seat divisible performing arts theater, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has been tested by the most demanding clients from all event segments. The Great Hall boasts 60,000 column-free sq. ft. with 25,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space, interior and exterior balconies served by a large outdoor pedestrian plaza, and grand entrance. Stateof-the-art lighting systems feature energy-efficient lighting that can create nearly endless color combinations to transform any event. The grand entrance is overlooked by a high-definition video display board promoting the event. An exciting transformation is taking place that will revitalize the Convention Center District, bringing new entertainment, dining, arts and cultural opportunities to enhance the experience for visitors attending conventions, or attending an event or festival. The Convention Center District Development project will be a 47-acre mixed-use development that features: • A four-star headquarters hotel; • A multi-modal transportation hub for shuttles and taxis; • A pedestrian park along Convention Center Blvd. with planned outdoor function space; • 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; and • Direct access to the river with outdoor entertainment and gathering places. With more than 1,400 restaurants in the city, attendees will 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 awardwinning chef Donald Link. After business ends, the Center is just a stone’s throw from the newly renovated Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk and the historic Warehouse District and French Quarter. 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 through its food and beverage partner Centerplate, 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 self-service 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 is available, including shipping, high-volume copying, faxing, badge chains, etc.

900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 19107 • (504) 582-3023 www.mccno.com 80

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Ocean Center Convention Center


he Ocean Center Convention Center is at the forefront of today’s meeting locations. With sweeping architecture, dramatic pre-event areas, captivating permanent and rotating art galleries, the Ocean Center is sure to be a planner’s perfect venue. A dynamite location situated in the core area of Daytona Beach, the Ocean Center promises spectacular sunrises, beautiful beaches and plentiful dining and entertainment options. Steps away from the Atlantic Ocean, the Ocean Center is also just 10 minutes from Daytona International Airport. Planners can count on the Ocean Center’s 200,000 sq. ft. of space providing flexibility and adjustability. The center offers an exhibit hall, 9,050-seat arena, 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 32 meeting rooms. The main exhibit hall is 93,028 sq. ft. and total exhibit space is 160,000 sq. ft. The facility is known for its experienced staff with many years of hospitality experience. An outstanding catering staff delivers delectable menus, themed events and eye-appealing presentations. And when the meeting breaks, the ocean awaits. The Ocean Center Convention Center is surrounded by first-class accommodations, an abundance of entertainment and dining options, and attractions galore. The Center is only 400 feet from the beautiful beaches of Volusia County. Ocean Walk Shoppes directly across the street offers dining and entertainment featuring Sloppy Joes’, Johnny Rockets, Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company and other establishments. The Ocean Center is adjacent to Daytona Lagoon Waterpark and Entertainment Complex and to

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

Peabody Auditorium, offering concerts, Broadway shows and other entertainment throughout the year. The “World Center of Racing” is home to the Daytona International Speedway, Richard Petty Driving Experience and annual events such as Speedweeks, Bike Week and Bikertoberfest. During their free time, meeting attendees can explore numerous points of interest such as the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, Sugarmill Botanical Gardens, Sugarmill Ruins and the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum.

101 North Atlantic Avenue Daytona Beach, FL 32118 (386) 254-4524 (386) 254-4512 oceancenter.com



Orange County Convention Center

EXPERIENCE THE NEW ORANGE rlando has been named the first destination in the United States to surpass 60 million visitors, setting a new record for the U.S. tourism industry. This recent announcement reiterates the significance of Orlando as a tourism destination. As that number continues to grow, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is finding new ways to showcase the leadership and quality of service that has made the destination one of the most popular in the world, not only for tourism but also for meetings and conventions. Exhibitors, attendees and meeting planners alike acclaim the attention to detail provided by the OCCC, with a variety of facilities and services including over seven million sq. ft. of combined meeting space, sophisticated amenities and world-class onsite providers. The OCCC is consistently rated a top-tier convention center with incredible spaces, including the multipurpose Tangerine Ballroom, the Sunburst signature meeting room with outdoor hospitality terrace, along with the all-new Honeybell and Hamlin boardrooms.

centers and 4,777 onsite parking spaces. As a testament to the OCCC’s commitment to sustainability, the North/South Concourses have been awarded LEED EB:OM (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance) Gold status and house one of the largest solar panel arrays in the southeastern United States.

FACILITY FEATURES The award-winning Orange County Convention Center, located in the heart of the Convention Center District and only 15 minutes from the Orlando International Airport, provides a multitude of event options in two beautiful buildings – the West and North/South. The OCCC’s West Concourse boasts 1.1 million sq. ft. of exhibition space, all on one level, supported by 97 covered loading docks. This beautiful facility includes a total of 49 meeting rooms/141 breakouts, the 2,643-seat Chapin Theater, 160-seat lecture hall, 62,182-sq.-ft. multipurpose Valencia Room, a full-service restaurant, four food courts, one business center and 1,450 onsite parking spaces. Connected to the West Concourse via a pedestrian bridge, the OCCC’s North/South Concourses offer over 950,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, containing two 92,000-sq.-ft. general assembly areas. The exhibition space is supported by two covered loading docks with 76 truck bays. Other amenities include 25 meeting rooms/94 breakouts, two innovative restaurants, four food courts, two business

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE This is a time of great transformation and reinvention for the OCCC and the surrounding Convention Center District. With new and improved transportation, entertainment and accommodation options changing the landscape, the Central Florida area is experiencing a period of tremendous growth and reinvestment. After three decades of activity, the OCCC is three years into its largest renovation project in its history: a five-year, $187 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that will ensure an even stronger foundation for the next 30 years and beyond. The CIP brings a number of facility-wide renovations and upgrades and adds new spaces to meet the needs of clients and to keep the campus competitive. For example, the new cutting-edge Destination Lounges in the OCCC’s North/South Concourse will provide sophisticated, technology-focused environments for networking and rejuvenation. In addition to upgrades within the facility, capital improvements will also stretch beyond the walls of the OCCC. The Center currently links to all of the neighboring hotels and their 5,000+ luxury guestrooms via a network of four pedestrian bridges. The construction of a fifth pedestrian bridge, spanning International Drive between the West Concourse’s Central Lobby Level III and the sidewalk in front of the Hyatt Regency Orlando, is underway. The finish date of this new overhead walkway is estimated for 2017.


West Concourse – 9800 International Drive; South Concourse – 9899 International Drive; North Concourse – 9400 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32819 (407) 685-9800, (800) 345-9845 • occc.net 82

ONSITE SERVICE PARTNERS The OCCC offers first-rate assistance through its partnerships with the following providers: • Centerplate – Catering and Specialty Services • Smart City – Internet, Telecommunications and Digital Advertising • FedEx Office – Business Centers and Mobility Solutions • LMG – Audio-Visual Services • Bags – Remote Skycap, Valet, Bag and Coat Check • SeaWorld® Orlando – Gold Key Partner • Universal Orlando® Resort – Gold Key Partner

Learn more at www.experiencetheneworange.com. Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Visit Orlando

ORLANDO: The #1 Meetings Destination in the Country


ith temperate weather year-round, the second-largest convention center in the country, proximity to 141 meeting hotels, and more than 100 unique venues, Orlando is the ideal place for association and corporate meetings. Orlando has always been at the top of the list for meetings and conventions; in fact, CVENT named Orlando the No. 1 meeting destination in the country two years in a row! Orlando also scored the second most tradeshows (24) in the United States on the Top 250 Trade Show List, ranked by net square footage, by Trade Show News Network.

Orlando’s Continued Growth

Constantly evolving, the Orlando International Airport will nearly double in size after a $1.1 billion investment, and the $187 million in upgrades to the Orlando Orange County Convention Center include new digital signage, a new ballroom and a sprawling outdoor terrace. With 2.1 million sq. ft. of total exhibit space and 479,190 sq. ft. of meeting rooms, it is the largest convention center in the world to receive LEED Gold EBOM certification. Orlando is also the most connected city with more than 5,202 hotel rooms across four premium hotels connected by covered walkway bridges to the convention center. Plus, you’ll find an additional 16,800 hotel rooms among 42 hotels within a two-mile radius. Groups of all sizes and every budget will have no trouble finding accommodations here in Orlando, noted as one of the most affordable destinations. With more than 450 hotels and close to 120,000 rooms, Orlando has hosted some of the largest conventions in the country.

Unique Experiences Abound

What makes Orlando so special is the opportunity to create oncein-a-lifetime experiences here by taking over designated areas of Orlando’s top theme parks for unforgettable private VIP functions with incredible backdrops you won’t find anywhere else, or hosting an event at one of the city’s many retail, dining and entertainment complexes.

Within walking distance to the convention center is Pointe Orlando on International Drive, with more than two dozen restaurants, shops and nightclubs. Down the road, Orlando’s newest dining and entertainment complex is I-Drive 360, home to the 400-ft.-tall Orlando Eye as well as other exciting restaurants and attractions. Other new hotspots include Mango’s Tropical Café, a 55,000-sq.ft. nightclub with a Latin flare, as well as new dining options at Universal CityWalk. And Orlando’s most popular dining and entertainment complex has been reimagined into Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney), with exciting new waterfront restaurants and unique shopping and entertainment experiences.

Incredible Hospitality

Orlando is most well-known for its exceptional service and hospitality. For the third year in a row, in fact, Visit Orlando was named the CVB of the Year by ConferenceDirect. This is a testament to the city’s Destination Services Team – all Certified Meeting Professionals – who help association planners from RFP and beyond to put together memorable conferences and events. Visit Orlando can work with meeting professionals to recommend trusted suppliers, assist with site inspections and even offer registration help. Here, you won’t just attract attendees, you’ll inspire devotees. For inspiration and planning assistance, visit OrlandoMeeting.com and make your next meeting unforgettable.

6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32821 • (800) 643-0482 • orlandomeeting.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



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. 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 84

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort


ecently the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin finished a redesign of all 758 guestrooms in the Walt Disney World Swan. The work is part of a multiphase, multiyear, $140 million+ redesign project that will transform all of the resort’s guestrooms. The first phase of the 1,509-room Walt Disney World Dolphin redesign began in late 2015 with 300 rooms completed before year’s end. Final renovations will be completed in 2017.

The new room design is inspired by the resort’s water-themed architecture and offers guests a serene and sophisticated atmosphere. The renovated guestrooms feature all of the latest technology including large HD TVs and all-new upgraded furniture centered on the famous Westin Heavenly Bed® with its all-white custom-designed pillow-top mattress set, cozy down blanket, a trio of crisp sheets, goose down comforter and four overstuffed pillows. The design continues into a completely new bathroom, featuring residential-style vanities and a backlit mirror on iridescent glass tiles. The resort offers 2,267 guestrooms and suites with the finest amenities in comfort and convenience. The newly redesigned Grand Deluxe guestrooms as well as other premium categories are elegantly furnished and feature the Westin Heavenly Bed® and Heavenly Bath®. Enjoy stunning views of the Walt Disney World Resort and nightly fireworks for a truly memorable experience. “Whether visiting for business or leisure, it’s the ideal space to relax and reenergize,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. A nationally respected and recognized leader in the convention resort arena, the resort offers over 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space consisting of 84 meeting rooms, including two executive boardrooms, four ballroom options, 110,500 sq. ft. of contiguous convention/exhibit space, outdoor function areas and two business centers. When it comes to the business of meetings, the award-winning team is highly regarded for their ability to exceed expectations. Meetings are supported by an award-winning banquet, catering,

and culinary team that delivers customized solutions with a passion for each customer. Whether your event is in the ballroom, on the beach, on the causeway or in one of the resort’s signature restaurants, the creative opportunities abound. For the adventurous, nothing beats a private event in the theme parks to add that magical touch while supporting your meeting theme. The resort is situated in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, within footsteps of both Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Boardwalk. Complimentary transportation is provided throughout the resort and guests enjoy the Extra Magic Hours Benefit, and FASTPASS+ access. On property, guests can enjoy one of the resort’s five pools, tennis courts and two health clubs, or indulge at the luxurious Balinese-inspired Mandara Spa. Recognized as a top “Foodie” destination in Orlando, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin features 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, including the famed Todd English’s bluezoo, Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Shula’s Steak House and more. Contact Gino Marasco, Director of Sales and Marketing, at (800) 524-4939, (407) 934-4290 or meetings@swandolphin.com.

1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 • (800) 524-4939; (407) 934-4290 www.SwanDolphinMeetings.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


NEW LOGO SAME GREAT FACILITY From meeengs to corporate retreats to conferences to tradeshows, we have the space for you! Call us today!


Rethink GREAT Venue | Service | Menu | VALUE



Delivering OutstandingExperiences BRIDGE VIEW CENTER | 102 CHURCH STREET | OTTUMWA, IA 52501 P: 641-684-7000 | F: 641-684-6305 | WWW.BRIDGEVIEWCENTER.COM

Century Center Convention Center Unique Architecture. Exceptional Experiences.


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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






COBO CENTER Centered around you. THE NEW COBO CENTER The $279 Million Renovation was completed in 2015 and brings many head-turning additions: The new 40,000 sq. ft. Grand Riverview Ballroom with floor to ceiling views of the Detroit River and over200,000 sq. ft. of f lex 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.

1 Cobo Center Entrance and Outdoor Video Board 2 South Atrium Renovation 3 Outdoor Video Walls 4 Shinola City Clock


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.




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.

managed facility

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook COBO_Advertorial_F+D.indd 1

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)

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

cobocenter.com | Downtown Detroit


5/3/16 11:54 AM


Greater Columbus Convention Center


he excitement is contagious at the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) as this year has already brought celebrations commemorating the dedication of the new 800-space Goodale Garage and the completion of the Union Station Ballroom, a significant phase of the $125 million expansion and full renovation project. The new $18 million fully automated parking garage features colorful LED exterior lighting, plus local artwork at the elevator vestibules at each of the eight levels. The unique combination of garage + gallery prompted a speaker during the dedication ceremony to refer to the new structure as a “gallerage.” The Goodale Garage will eventually be connected to the convention center by enclosed walkway once the expansion of the facility is built.

The expansion includes the addition of more than 10,000 sq. ft. of two-level meeting space near the north entrance, increasing the total number of meeting rooms from 65 to 74. Nearly 37,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit space will bring the grand total to 373,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space and a total of 447,000 when the 74,000-sq.-ft. Battelle Grand — the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio and the crown jewel of the convention center — is included. As part of the exhibit hall enhancements, second-level show offices will enable busy show managers to have a bird’s-eye view of the tradeshow floor below.

The GCCC now has nearly 4,000 parking spaces to offer guests. Both the new garage and the renovated and expanded convention center will include a significant presence of public art created by school children and established professionals. Artwork will be featured at 150 points throughout and around the complex.

The expansion will propel the property from 1.7 million to 1.8 million sq. ft. and the facility will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Centerplate, the facility’s exclusive caterer, is planning to provide elevated dining experiences throughout the building, including a café featuring locally based cuisine with national renown. The Food Court & Shops merchants on the south side of the facility will inhabit a redesigned destination with a variety of seating configurations.

The expansion and renovation, which began in late August 2015, will be completed in July 2017 and propel one of the busiest convention centers in North America to even greater heights. Among the phases already completed are the renovation of the connecting walkway between the convention center and Hyatt Regency Columbus, and pods of meeting rooms in both facilities. The most recent milestone reveal was the renamed Union Station Ballroom. Now a truly magnificent 25,000-sq.-ft. multipurpose space with an LED ceiling lighting system and upscale carpeting, wall coverings and finishes, the ballroom has the flexibility to be divided into three sections.

Strategically located within one day’s drive or a one-hour flight of the majority of the nation’s population and only 10 minutes from Port Columbus International Airport, the award-winning GCCC is nestled within a vibrant entertainment area, which includes the Arena District and Short North Arts District. Connected to five hotels — Hilton, Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, Lofts and Drury — by covered walkway, the GCCC is owned and developed by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority and is known as one of the premier venues in the SMG management portfolio of properties.

400 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43215 • (614) 827-2500, Fax: (614) 827-2659 www.columbusconventions.com 90

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


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.


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

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

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook




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, but the complex is also 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 2016 SuperBook


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


FAX THIS FORM TO (212) 213-6382 OR EMAIL IT TO subscriptions@facilitiesonline.com



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monona terrace convention center

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.


blog.mononaterrace.com ©2014 Monona Terrace


One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 441-3942 • mononaterrace.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


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 and 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 33,000 hotel rooms, with 7,500 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, W Austin, Hyatt Place Downtown Austin and the 1,012-room JW Marriott Austin. The 326-room Westin Austin Downtown opened in July 2015 and the Fairmont Austin is scheduled to open in 2017. 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 hightech 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 austinconventioncenter.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



Boise Centre


roups that haven’t experienced Boise lately are in for a surprise — the city has grown to become one of the Northwest’s most vibrant hotspots, and many are taking notice.

A Top Town of the Future

Forbes ranked Boise No. 15 in “Americas Fastest Growing Cities,” and Sunset magazine called it “One of the top twenty towns of the future.” Getting to Boise is a breeze with 20 nonstop daily flights from most major U.S. cities. American Airlines recently announced two daily flights from Dallas will begin in June.

Convention Center Expansion Opening September 2016

Boise Centre, Idaho’s largest convention, meeting and tradeshow facility with 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, is expanding to better accommodate your needs. The expansion is underway to add 38,250 sq. ft. of additional space. Planners will have at their disposal eight new meeting rooms, a 14,000-sq.-ft. dividable ballroom space and over 4,000 sq. ft. of column-free pre-function space overlooking the city’s civic plaza and fountain. Completion is anticipated in September 2016 and will bring the venue’s total square footage to nearly 90,000 sq. ft. A concourse will provide convenient access for guests from Boise Centre to the expanded space. Boise Centre’s professional event team has built a reputation for providing excellent service and high-quality events. The venue offers full-service catering, audiovisual and technical services, high-speed Internet, Wi-Fi connections throughout, and extensive recycling and sustainability programs.

Compact Walkable Downtown

A compact walkable downtown surrounds Boise Centre offering culture, entertainment and amenities within steps of the facility. More than 100 shops, 80 restaurants, a number of microbreweries, and a lively nightlife scene have given Boise a hip new vibe. Boise has activities for everyone to enjoy, including whitewater rafting, skiing, golfing and a 25-mile Greenbelt bicycle and pedestrian path along the Boise River, which runs through the city.


Boise has a wide variety of lovely hotels ranging from luxury to modern and boutique. Several hotels are located within walking distance of Boise Centre. Three new downtown hotel properties are under construction and are expected to open in 2017. Complimentary airport shuttle service is offered by most hotels.

850 W. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702 • (208) 336-8900 • boisecentre.com

Bigger. Better. Boise.

Boise has quickly become one of the Northwest’s most vibrant hot spots and Boise Centre’s convenient location in downtown is easily accessible to culture, entertainment and recreation. It’s easier than ever to host.your next meeting, convention or tradeshow at Boise Centre, Idaho’s premier convention facility.

• Non-stop air service from 19 major U.S. cities. • Currently expanding to 86,000 sq. ft. A new 14,000 sq. ft. ballroom, 22,000 sq. ft. of new meeting and pre-function space is coming in September 2016. • Boise is adding hotels to accommodate larger conventions and groups.

Give us a call. We look forward to introducing you to a bigger and better Boise Centre.

boisecentre.com 208.336.8900


Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Caesars Palace

Celebrating 50 Years


aesars Palace continues to redefine Las Vegas luxury in its golden year. The iconic property brings exciting and luxurious offerings to new levels with the addition of fresh and enticing options. From contemporary new accommodations to world-class dining options and the hottest new nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace has it all. The newly renovated Julius Tower, formerly the Roman Tower, features 587 modern guestrooms at the heart of Caesars Palace, just steps away from the conference space. Highlights of the new rooms include 55-inch TVs, luxurious Beautyrest Bouvet Island Mattresses, a specially curated minibar and English-themed Gilchrist & Soames in-room toiletries and amenities. The latest restaurant to join the Caesars Palace repertoire is the famed and unique dining experience, MR CHOW. MR CHOW is the newest location of the luxurious Beijing cuisine eatery, joining the ranks of Miami, Malibu, New York City, Beverly Hills and the original location in London. The moment guests arrive, MR CHOW entertains and inspires with unparalleled design, impeccable service and notable cuisine. MR CHOW has two private dining rooms, offering beautiful views of the Garden of the Gods pool oasis, and is able to accommodate a complete buyout. In 2015, OMNIA Nightclub at Caesars Palace opened to the sounds of internationally renowned DJ Calvin Harris. The

75,000-sq.-ft. nightclub can host private events throughout the venue, from the main club to the outdoor terrace or the private ultra-lounge. The most recent addition to the empire is the upscale Montecristo Cigar Bar, designed by the award-winning architecture and design firm Rockwell Group. The contemporary 4,000-sq.-ft. cigar bar pairs notable cigar offerings with rare fine whiskeys, small bites and more. The cigar bar features a spacious courtyard space that wraps around the back portion of Montecristo and the 10-seat vault that allows small groups to create an exclusive experience. The vault was designed with a slightly domed ceiling that amplifies voices, allowing guests to communicate with ease across the room. With more than 300,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and an outstanding range of flexible venues with countless configuration options, Caesars Palace has the capacity to host groups of all sizes. At Caesars Palace, imagination isn’t confined to the ballrooms. The ability to create unique events throughout the property is possible with the five-acre Garden of the Gods pool oasis, Qua Baths & Spa, and suites reaching up to an astonishing 13,000 sq. ft. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace houses more than 4,000 seats, and is home to world-famous headliners such as Elton John, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. For 50 years, Caesars Palace has been creating unique experiences for groups of all sizes. From the space, accommodations and endless array of world-class amenities, Caesars Palace has everything for small or large groups under one roof.

3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 • (855) 633-8238 • CaesarsMeansBusiness.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau

Colorado Springs: Beautiful and Budget Savvy


he challenge of picking the perfect event destination, offsite activities and venues at a reasonable price can be a lot to take on. Colorado Springs is the perfect destination choice. Create meeting perfection with stunning scenic beauty during breaks, refreshing mountain air before or after the keynote presentation and more than 55 attractions and activities to explore. The award-winning staff of the CVB can help provide a smooth, streamlined execution. Colorado Springs is easily accessible from anywhere in the country. 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 a wonderful choice year-round. Mild climates lend themselves to light jackets in the summer and shorts in the winter. Crossing the Royal Gorge Bridge via Segway, rock climbing in North Cheyenne Cañon, ATV tours, or hiking popular trails like The Crags, Intemenn, Catamount and Barr Trail are all opportunities to connect with the prominent beauty of the area.

Take advantage of unique teambuilding activities like handfeeding giraffes at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, solving challenging puzzle rooms, cycling down Pikes Peak Highway, hand-making your own goat cheese, or casting a line into the nearby Arkansas River. Itinerary building is a breeze with so many things to see and do. Tour one of over 30 craft breweries or distilleries like Phantom Canyon, Triple S or 300 Days of Shine. Round out the perfect Colorado meal with a delicious buffalo burger or spicy green chili. Unique shopping and dining can be found in the historic and charming shopping districts of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. 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 Glen Eyrie Castle or an authentic dude ranch. Home to 14,500 guestrooms, the area can certainly accommodate. The state’s first Great Wolf Lodge and indoor waterpark will open in 2016. Renovations are taking place at the Colorado Springs Marriott and Antlers Hotel, to name a few. 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, providing promotional assets 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.

515 South Cascade Avenue, Suite 1300, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (800) 888-4748, ext. 132; (719) 685-7632 • visitcos.com/meet 100

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SUBMIT AN RFP AT: VisitCOS.com/meet or call 800.888.4748 x132


days of blue sky per year

11 Miles

from COS Airport to downtown


rooms at full-service hotels


turns on the highway to the

14,115 ft.

summit of Pikes Peak



Garden of the Gods Park rank on TripAdvisorÂŽ

55+ Attractions

Home to the Olympic Training Center and Team USA

for attendees to enjoy before, during and after your event

Colorado Springs is a distinctive destination with a year-round mild climate, stunning scenery and more than 55 unique experiences for meeting and convention attendees to enjoy. Let our staff be your local, on-the-ground experts to help you plan a successful and memorable event.

400,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space



where you rank in importance with our professional and helpful destination experts – contact us today!


low lodging tax on great room rates


cox Convention Center


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-oflife projects and improvements throughout the city. 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.


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.

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

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

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


Hawai‘i Convention Center


here’s no question that Hawai‘i is a beautiful place to hold a meeting. But don’t let its breathtaking settings obscure the fact that the islands are also a vibrant business destination with exceptional meeting venues – the crown jewel of which is the Hawai‘i Convention Center. In fact, there are dozens of reasons why you should consider the Hawai‘i Convention Center for your next meeting.


Hawai‘i’s unique location inspires attendance, not only from AsiaPacific nations but also from the world at large. The Hawai‘i Convention Center has representatives in Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Oceania to help meeting planners with attendance building.


Honolulu’s Hawai‘i Convention Center is a spectacular, open-air structure that combines the latest in cutting-edge technology with an authentic Hawaiian ambience. Satisfaction ratings from meeting planners are consistently between 95 percent and 100 percent.


The Convention Center is located in the heart of cosmopolitan Honolulu, surrounded by museums, cultural centers, and more than 100 diverse dine-around options.


There are more than 30,000 hotel rooms with a wide range of amenities and price points on the island of O‘ahu, 6,000 committable within a one-mile radius of the Convention Center.


Getting people and materials to Hawai‘i is easier than you might think. Many major airlines have daily direct flights to O‘ahu and there are over 10 million air seats with direct, nonstop service from major cities around the world.


The inspiring atmosphere of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Convention Center itself provides a nurturing setting and environment that encourages networking, and allows delegates to be open and receptive to the sharing of new ideas and concepts, while also attaining increased levels of productivity and synergy that ensure a successful event.


The highly experienced and knowledgeable Hawai‘i Convention Center Team is ready to help develop a detailed proposal for your event, coordinate site visit itineraries, provide promotional materials, and arrange onsite support services for both planners and attendees.


Book now at (808) 943-3500 or hawaiiconvention.com.

1801 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815 • (808) 943-3500 ¯ hawaiiconvention.com 104

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau


djacent to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, located directly between Dallas and Fort Worth, and boasting accommodations of more than 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, more than 79 hotels and 12,000 hotel rooms, ranging from luxury resort to all-suite extended stay to economy, Irving offers a diverse selection of options as a meeting destination. With an at-your-service attitude for providing VIP treatment to groups large and small, Irving presents planners with first-tier accessibility, accommodations and amenities without big city hassles and distractions. The Silver LEED certified, architecturally stunning Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas (ICCLC) represents the innovative future of meetings and events. With 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting/ exhibit space, the building’s vertical design and high-end interior finishes create a new niche in the marketplace. A multi-functional facility, the $133 million ICCLC takes a bold new direction in a landscape of traditionally “institutional” facilities. Copper-clad and featuring open indoor/outdoor areas totaling 275,000 sq. ft., the facility includes a 50,000-sq.-ft., column-free exhibit hall, a 20,000-sq.-ft. grand ballroom, and an additional 20,000 sq. ft. in breakout space for 20 rooms, accommodating groups of 8004,000. The ICCLC is committed to providing an exceptional experience and has been recognized as a leader in service. Amenities and special offers include incentive rebates for qualified groups, customized name badges/lanyards, conference registration assistance and marketing/PR support. Ideally situated on 40 acres in the heart of Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center, the convention center is just one phase of a mixed-use entertainment district that includes the Irving Music Factory and a $110 million, 350-room Westin Convention Center Hotel, opening soon. The Music Factory, an all-in-one dining and entertainment destination, will open in 2017. Its main component, the 8,000-seat indoor-outdoor amphitheater called The Pavilion, will be operated by Live Nation. The project also features a 50,000-sq.-ft. plaza with a stage that will play host to fashion shows, farmers markets, food festivals and events throughout the year. Overall, the project will offer 250,000 sq. ft. of entertainment, retail and restaurant space, including a movie theater, comedy club and over 20 restaurant options. Major local attractions in Irving include the PGA Tour’s AT7T Byron Nelson Golf Tournament, The Mustangs of Las Colinas Sculpture and Museum, National Scouting Museum, The Ruth Paine House Museum, Irving Arts Center, Stand Up Paddle and

Campion Trails. Las Colinas is a master-planned community that is home to Flower Clock, a working timepiece that is adorned yearround with fresh blooms and greenery, as well as the Mustangs of Las Colinas, a breathtakingly realistic sculpture of nine bronze mustangs galloping across a prairie stream. Just down the block is the Mandalay Canal Walk at Las Colinas on the waterfront of Lake Carolyn featuring gondola rides and paddle boarding in the canal. Irving’s Heritage Park features the original railroad depot, the city’s first library, an original water tower and a restored cabin originally built in the 1880s. Surrounding this park is the city’s historic Heritage District, which provides a friendly atmosphere, unique antique and novelty shops and the Texas Musicians Museum. Also located in the Heritage District is Centennial Park, featuring a commemorative wall depicting the history of Irving through words and pictures, as well as Heritage House, one of the city’s first homes and a Texas State Historical Landmark. The Four Seasons at Las Colinas has recently completed the renovation of level one of its 34,000-sq.-ft. conference center. The addition of a new 4,400-sq.-ft. space, the Lantana Room and deck, enhances the selection of venue offerings for meetings and social events. The Lantana Room boasts one floor-to-ceiling window wall of natural light, can be divided into two equal sections and will accommodate up to 400 guests. The outdoor deck will be accentuated with seasonal landscaping to add to the ambiance of the space. Additionally, the Pecos Room will offer more than 600 sq. ft. of new breakout space in the heart of the conference center. For more information or to book a meeting in Irving, contact Lori Fojtasek, Vice President, Sales and Services, at lfojtasek@irvingtexas.com.

500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, TX 75039 • (800) 2-IRVING; Fax: (972) 401-7729 • irvingtexas.com Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



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 multi-functional 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, SVP of AEG Facilities and General Manager of the LACC.

Multi-Function 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, AEG Facilities and the Department of Convention and Tourism Development actively collaborate to complete Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) and Alteration & Improvement Projects. By the end of 2016, $20 million in CIPs will be completed.

Environmental Initiatives

The LACC strives to reduce its environmental impact while providing a positive experience to clients and guests. As of 2015, the LACC is proud to be the largest convention center in the United States to achieve LEED – EBOM Gold recertification. The Center 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 aware-

ness of environmental issues and inspire others to take action. We invest heavily in sustainable products, technology and practices to reduce negative environmental impact,” added Gessner.

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 fullservice business center operated by Los Angeles-based Image Quest Plus.


Experience the LA 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 LACC today to learn how the facility can bring your event vision to life.

1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 • (213) 741-1151 • www.lacclink.com 106


Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook






Oregon Convention Center recently hosted the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Track and Field Championships. Organizers sought the perfect home for its historic return to U.S. soil for the first time since 1987, and selected Portland and the OCC. We provided the technical solutions for a live worldwide TV broadcast and an attendee experience that included the construction of a 7,000 seat Olympic-class stadium inside our facility – not to mention the planning and management talent to get it all to the finish line.

You have big dreams for your event. Now, dream bigger!

7 7 7 N E M L K J r B l vd

Portland OR 97232


5 0 3 . 2 3 5 . 7575

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pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

Jamie pham


here’s a reason Pasadena is the perfect choice for meetings. The weather is idyllic. Mountain views and blue skies abound. Intimate neighborhood allure is infused with modern energy and metropolitan offerings that make it a destination in itself. Pasadena is located just 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and is conveniently accessible from all LA-area airports and freeways. The Gold Line light rail transports passengers from Pasadena to downtown Los Angeles and points in between. In February 2015, the Pasadena Convention Center welcomed the newly restored historic exhibit hall with 17,000 sq. ft. of possibilities. The state-of-the art Pasadena Convention Center features 80,000 sq. ft. of space for meetings of all sizes, with spacious exhibit halls, an expansive ballroom and 29 meeting rooms. Over 2,500 hotel rooms are available within the city to fit all budgets, 1,200 within walking distance of the Convention Center. An eclectic mix of shopping, theaters, golf, museums and gardens are all conveniently just steps away from Pasadena’s Civic Center. There’s literally something significant around every corner, whether you’re into architecture, design, high fashion, music, theater, museums or galleries. Pasadena is the heartbeat of SoCal’s cultural side. Art connoisseurs have a myriad of landmark museums and galleries, housing everything from European masters to early California Impressionists to modern art. Literary lovers can peruse rare books and manuscripts. Explore mile upon mile of stunning botanical gardens, top-notch arts performances and live concert venues. A tour of the town will lead to a beautiful treelined shopping district along South Lake Avenue, galleries and specialty shops in the Playhouse District, 19th century structures and quaint alleyways in Old Pasadena, and an open-air urban village in Paseo Colorado. Pasadena could easily be called “Foodie City,” with more than 500 restaurants — more per capita than New York City.


Some of the world’s greatest minds have chosen to live and work in Pasadena, and there are countless possibilities for incoming meeting groups. In addition, the destination experts at the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) offer a variety of personalized services to meeting planners. For more information, visit www.PasadenaMeetings.com or call (800) 307-7977.

300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 • (800) 307-7977 PasadenaMeetings.com

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


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, USA Today recently named downtown’s Roosevelt Row one of the 10 Best City Arts Districts in America. So whether attendees are 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 than 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 the 2,312-seat Symphony Hall and the 1,364-seat historic Orpheum Theatre. The Phoenix Convention Center & Venues was in the international spotlight in 2015, hosting the Super Bowl’s NFL Experience and Media Center. The Orpheum Theatre was the hottest ticket in town when The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon filmed its live performance there. Not to be outdone, Symphony Hall hosted the nationally televised NFL Honors show. Recently, Phoenix hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff Fan Central and is looking forward to hosting the NCAA Final Four in 2017.

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 than 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 tradeshows 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 a planner’s next event.

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

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook



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. 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.

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

1030 15th Street Ste. 100 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 808-5291 Fax: (916) 808-7687 sacramentoconventioncenter.com

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. 110

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


Accessible and affordable, California’s Capital is served by Sacramento International Airport which offers 130 flights per day. Once you’ve arrived, you’re just minutes from the downtown Sacramento Convention Center, which offers flexible meeting space, award-winning farm-to-fork catering from Classique Catering – a Centerplate Company – plus, an on-site Starbucks and APizza café. More than 1,000 first-class hotel guest rooms are located just steps from the Convention Center and another 1,000 guest rooms within walking distance. To experience Sacramento call us today at 916-808-5291. SACRAMENTOCONVENTIONCENTER.COM


San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

Meet, Learn and Play in Unforgettable San Antonio


xperience the most unforgettable of meeting destinations – San Antonio. Here, a modern meeting scene has evolved in one of the nation’s most scenic and historic backdrops.

expertise with your attendees. Leading sectors include information technology, healthcare bioscience, cyber security, financial services and tourism.



San Antonio recently opened the doors to the newly transformed Henry B. González Convention Center. The $325 million expansion increased the footprint to 1.6 million sq. ft. with 514,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space and the largest ballroom in Texas. The expanded center sits on the River Walk in historic downtown, placing attendees within walking distance of much of what drives San Antonio meeting attendance: local venues, historic sites (including the Alamo), restaurants, museums, theaters, shops and thousands of hotel rooms. Next to the convention center is the 18-acre Hemisfair Park, which is undergoing its own inspiring transformation. Aside from providing outdoor venue options to capitalize on the city’s 300 days of sunshine a year, Hemisfair is an urban oasis with rolling green lawns and shaded natural groves. It is scheduled for completion in 2020, reconnecting the convention center with surrounding neighborhoods and opportunities to experience the heart of San Antonio.


Engaging your audience makes for better retention and enjoyment, so San Antonio has made it easier to inspire, teach and share information. The Henry B. González Convention Center’s cutting-edge technology, interactive wayfinding and upgraded WiFi are connecting your meeting and attendees like never before. San Antonio is also a destination for big business, with an economic platform and industry leaders who are able to share their

Here, authentic offerings enliven your mind by day and spirit by night — all in a compact, walkable location that frees time and budgets. San Antonio has a vibrant mix of culture, cuisine, legendary architecture and moving history. The city’s heritage and traditions are rich, as are its modern pleasures. With a cosmopolitan blend of top-notch golf courses, remarkable dining and nightlife options, art galleries, spas, theme parks and shopping, there’s no shortage of authentic experiences. San Antonio is also being recognized on the world’s stage as the home of the United States’ newest World Heritage Site, the San Antonio Missions. These five Spanish colonial missions, including the Alamo, are the largest collection of Spanish colonial architecture in the country. They symbolize an era when the world was expanding, cultures were intertwining and the global landscape was forever changed. The mission experience today offers hike and bike trails, guided tours, living history demonstrations, museums and an award-winning film.

A CVB Ready to Help

When you meet in San Antonio, you have the award-winning San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau behind you, dedicated to making your meeting a success. The CVB’s experienced sales and services staff is ready to assist with an extensive services directory, accommodations booking, marketing materials and hot hotel and convention center dates. Contact the staff at saconv@ visitsanantonio.com.

203 S. St. Mary’s, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78205 • (866) 517-7771; Fax: (210) 207-6768 www.meetings.visitsanantonio.com 112

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook


San Jose McEnery Convention Center


mbedded in the heart of Silicon Valley, the San Jose McEnery Convention Center provides groups over 365,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space in a modern venue with outstanding technological capabilities. As a bonus, Team San Jose’s all-inclusive service assists with housing, event services, customized food and beverage, permits and special events.


Downtown San Jose offers over 250 dining and nightlife options ranging from eclectic galleries and museums in the SoFA District, a diverse dining scene in San Pedro Square — the city’s unofficial dining district — and vibrant performing arts and entertainment offered at any of the four Team San Jose-managed theaters. Other popular cultural pockets in the city are Japantown San Jose — one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States; and Little Saigon — a district that blends traditional Vietnamese and modern American culture. San Jose’s neighboring towns provide central access to notable Northern California leisure activities. Tucked in the hills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Los Gatos and Saratoga are great wine-tasting options, Michelin-starred dining and local shopping. Nearby Santa Cruz and Monterey are perfect distances for a beach getaway day along the iconic Pacific Coast.


San Jose is home to over 6,600 technology companies in the city, and visitors can experience their own slice of Silicon Valley technology with free Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi. The nation’s best free Wi-Fi experience extends from Mineta San Jose International Airport, within downtown and throughout the convention center — all covered under one connection.


San Jose has 8,000 hotel rooms available citywide ranging from contemporary to historic boutiques. Eight hundred and fifty of those rooms Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook

are connected to the convention center and another 2,000-plus are within a block. Groups will find familiar brands such as Fairmont, Marriott, Hilton, Westin, Hyatt, Holiday Inn and La Quinta Inn & Suites.

Airport and Transportation

For convenient access to the heart of Silicon Valley, Mineta San Jose International Airport is only 3.9 miles from downtown. Additionally, international airports in Oakland and San Francisco and local transit throughout the Bay Area on VTA light rail, Caltrain and BART ensure a smooth arrival and departure. San Jose’s Airport has added new routes from San Jose to London via British Airways with service that began May 4, 2016, and San Jose to Frankfurt via Lufthansa with service that began May 16, 2016. The airport has also added new routes from San Jose to Vancouver, BC via Air Canada.

Sustainable Meeting Services

Team San Jose’s Director of Food & Beverage and Facilities and Property Operations have identified an opportunity (through the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act) to donate unused food to local nonprofit organizations. Hotel partners from Hilton, Marriott, The Fairmont and DoubleTree, plus Levi’s Stadium, the SAP Center and Shoreline Amphitheater, signed on to the initiative, called Hunger at Home. In appropriate Silicon Valley-style, Team San Jose have partnered with the City of San Jose and Waste No Food to continue this work. Waste No Food provided a web and mobile marketplace to reduce food waste by matching potential donors with charities via mobile app for IOS and Android. In total, Hunger at Home and the Waste No Food app have already provided nearly one million meals.

150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113 (800) SAN-JOSE • sanjose.org 113


Meet Puerto Rico


uerto Rico’s offerings answer the bucket list dreams of both planners and attendees. Offering everything a planner needs to have a successful meeting – the Caribbean’s largest and most technologically advanced convention center, top accommodations, sophisticated meeting and event venues, fine dining, authentic activities and “only in Puerto Rico” experiences for attendees — it is no wonder Puerto Rico continues to be positioned as one of the most sought-after global meeting destinations. And it can all be found on an exotic tropical island in the Caribbean with no passports required for U.S. visitors. Meeting planners know Puerto Rico offers delegates a distinctive and memorable experience as well as an ever-growing roster of top-rated hotels and resorts totaling approximately 15,000 guestrooms throughout the island. Puerto Rico’s large number of rooms and variety of accommodations offer the opportunity to host major citywide conventions as well as luxury incentives. There are more than 1,800 weekly flights from the United States and international destinations (1,499 nonstop and 382 direct flights from the U.S.) landing in the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport (LMM), which has recently undergone a $750 million renovation; an additional $200 million enhancement program is in the works. “Puerto Rico has every required infrastructure asset and all the benefits of a major U.S. destination – and it is all on an exotic island in the Caribbean. Meet Puerto Rico shines a light on the unusual juxtaposition of benefits of being both a U.S. destination and an exotic Caribbean island,” according to Milton Segarra, President and CEO of Meet Puerto Rico. “In essence, Puerto Rico turns meeting lists into bucket lists so planners and attendees can escape the conventional.”

Not only can planners arrange the best conferences, but attendees can also attend a professional meeting and check off items on their bucket lists: kayak races on three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays, experiencing the tallest zip line according to the Guinness Book of World Records, hiking a tropical rainforest and experiencing 500 years of culture. And summer means outdoor sports! USA Swimming has selected Puerto Rico as the site of the 2016 post-Olympic Trials, pre-Olympic Games “foreign” training camp this summer. They will utilize Puerto Rico’s Natatorium of San Juan, a covered outdoor swim facility designed after the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games pool with capacity for 1,800 spectators.

Meet Puerto Rico’s $10 + $10 Meeting Promotion

Meet Puerto Rico recently launched the $10 + $10 Meeting Promotion, rewarding meeting and incentive industry planners for booking groups at select participating hotels and resorts in Puerto Rico. The promotion applies to new leads or groups generated on or after April 10, 2016. The contract must be signed by or before Sept. 30, 2016 with the travel window until Dec. 20, 2017. More than 20 hotels and resorts are participating. Meet Puerto Rico will contribute $5 per booked room night. In addition, each participating hotel will provide a match of $5 per booked room night equaling a total of $10 per booked room night (contributions are not applicable to room rate, tax, incidentals or resort fee). In addition, participating hotels will offer an additional $10 rebate on the resort fee – hence the name $10 + $10 Meeting Promotion. This promotion applies to new groups booking at least 10 rooms or more per night and a minimum of 30 room nights. (Does not apply to weddings, family reunions, social events or repeat business.)

500 Calle de la Tanca, Ste. 402B, San Juan, PR 00901-1969 • (800) 875-4765; (787) 725-2110 meetpuertorico.com 114

Facilities & Destinations 2016 SuperBook




I need an easily accessible, contemporary, state-of-the-art convention center.

3: 3:

I want to snorkel crystal-clear waters with exotic fish.

Where everything you need meets everything they dream of doing on a tropical island in the Caribbean. Nothing else in the U.S. compares. 1.800.875.4765 MeetPuertoRico.com


Montego Bay Convention Centre

A sta n d o u t fac i l i t y i n t h e h e art o f t h e Car i b b e a n


he award-winning Montego Bay Convention Centre (MBCC), the largest convention facility of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean, has won the World Travel Award for the Caribbean’s leading meeting and conference center for the last five consecutive years, 2011–2015. Throughout 2014 and 2015, the MBCC hosted some of the largest events in its history, including the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, the Climate Investment Funds Partnership Forum, the 5th International Taekwondo World Cup and Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX). Opened in 2011, the SMG-managed facility is one of a select few in the Caribbean to offer both comprehensive meeting spaces and modern amenities. The center’s more than 139,000 sq. ft. of space has been designed to accommodate exhibitions, conventions and galas, with built-in technology features such as projectors and projection screens. Besides its intelligent design, the MBCC is also visually striking. Attendees have views of both the coast and the mountains, and the center’s plantation-style shutters and cut stonework recall Jamaica’s classic Georgian style of architecture. The open-air layout of the facility — the meeting, exhibition and ballroom spaces are all housed in three separate buildings, and connect via outdoor walkways — gives attendees the chance to get outside more than the typical convention center might allow. Many of the MBCC’s indoor spaces feature plenty of natural light, and the property offers a number of outdoor event spaces, like the 17,000-sq.-ft. Ocean View Terrace – which accommodates up to 1,500 for banquet-style functions – and the MBCC’S courtyard, capable of holding up to 2,600 guests for receptions within its 25,000 sq. ft. space. The MBCC’s largest space, the 57,525-sq.-ft. Exhibition Hall, spans two buildings and offers room for 282 booths as well as 4,700 guests seated banquet style or 6,200 seated theater style.

For special events, the 18,684-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom can seat up to 1,580 for banquets. And for meetings, nine meeting rooms offer 10,161 sq. ft., with the largest accommodating up to 600 attendees. The center’s entire pre-function lobby area comes outfitted with built-in reception desks and comfortable seating. Supporting these spaces are the MBCC’s well-equipped catering facilities. A 15,000-sq.-ft. kitchen, along with additional prep spaces, means that everything from tea breaks to five-course banquets run seamlessly. Ample parking, coach bays and freight access in the Exhibition Hall offer added convenience for larger events. As for onsite technology, all of the MBCC’s meeting, exhibit and ballroom spaces come equipped with videoconferencing capabilities and high-speed Internet. A full-service business center, a fully integrated broadcast and teleconference system, and an onsite team of audiovisual technicians all help ensure that meetings and events run smoothly while groups are in house. Sangster International Airport, the Caribbean’s leading airport, is just 15 minutes away, and surrounding the center are more than 4,000 hotel rooms, including the world-renowned Half Moon, A Rock Resort and Hyatt Ziva and Zilara Hotels, restaurants, bars, shopping centers, and three championship 18-hole golf courses. Montego Bay, the tourism capital and second-largest city in Jamaica, also offers groups conveniences such as duty-free shopping, as well as plenty to do and see. Groups can cruise the bioluminescent Luminous Lagoon, snorkel or swim in the pale aqua waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach, visit working plantations that grow pineapple and sugarcane, shop the craft markets, take a horseback ride on the beach, or hit the nightclubs that line the Hip Strip. Also popular is the 18th-century Rose Hall Plantation and Great House, for which the area is named. In addition, meetingrelated expenses incurred in Jamaica by U.S.-based groups qualify as tax-deductible.

Half Moon P.O. #4058, Rose Hall, Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica W.I. • (876) 622-9330 mobaysales@mobaycentre.com • www.mbconventioncentre.com 116

Facilities & Destinations 2016 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, Director of Sales; Trevor Lui, Director of Operations and Sustainability; Lee-Anne Leckie, Sales Manager – Meetings and Conventions; Raiman Dilag, Director of Technology Services; Rita Medynski, Sales Manager – Trade and Consumer Shows; Kevin Parker, Sales Manager – Corporate; Tawfik Shehata, Executive Chef; and Nadena Singh, Director of Events Management

Sites & Cities Directory OHIO

Akron Convention & Visitors Bureau / 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 North Dakota

Alerus Center

1200 42nd Street South, Grand Forks, ND 58201 (701) 792-1200 www.aleruscenter.com Conference Sales Manager: Terry Anderson

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. PAGE 5,400 hotel rooms county-wide. 19 Alerus Center is Grand Forks’ premier entertainment and convention facility. The Conference Center at Alerus Center offers 160,000 sq. ft. of convention and tradeshow space, a 20,000-sq.-ft. pre-function hallway, 12 individual meeting rooms totaling 11,000 sq. ft., a 30,000-sq.-ft. ballroom with a 22 ft. high of ceiling, a 100,000-sq.-ft. tradeshow floor with state-of-the-art acoustical design, and a full-service kitchen. Connected to Alerus Center is Canad Inns Destination Centre Grand Forks, which offers 201 guestrooms and the largest indoor waterpark in North Dakota. PAGE 86

New Jersey

Atlantic City Convention Center 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


Austin Convention Center

500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 404-4200; Fax: (512) 404-4220 www.austinconventioncenter.com Director of Sales: Amy Harris Live Music Capital of the World


Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex

2100 Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard North Birmingham, AL 35203 (205) 458-8400 www.bjcc.org Director of Sales and Marketing: Susette Hunter IDAHO

Boise Centre

850 W. Front Street, Boise, ID 83702 (208) 336-8900; Fax: (208) 336-8803 www.boisecentre.com Director of Marketing and Sales: Cliff Clinger


Bridge View Center

102 Church Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501 (641) 684-7000 www.bridgeviewcenter.com Sales and Marketing Manager: Scott M. Fraise


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, worldclass 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 PAGE C3 energy-savings programs. A LEED® Gold certified, technologically advanced convention center located near downtown’s famous entertainment districts. Multi-level facility spans six city blocks; features 369,132 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit space, including five column-free, contiguous exhibit halls (247,052 sq. ft. of total exhibit space), seven ballrooms (40,510 sq. ft. is largest) and 54 meeting rooms. Complimentary high-speed, high-density wireless services throughout; onsite engineers; proven ability PAGE to handle 7,000 simultaneous connections. Pre-function spaces offer downtown views. 37 Pedestrian walkway connects 3rd and 4th levels. Close to 7,500 downtown hotel rooms. 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.


Located just seven minutes from the airport, Boise Centre is Idaho’s largest convention, meeting and tradeshow facility, with 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 29 meeting rooms. The facility is in the heart of a compact, walkable, downtown filled with restaurants, shops, microbreweries, cultural attractions and entertainment venues. An expansion of the convention center is underway that will add 36,000 sq. ft. of space by September 2016. Planners will have at their disposal, a new ballroom to seat 800, eight flexible meeting rooms and two levels of pre-function, lobby space. Boise Centre features full-service catering, AV services, high-speed Internet, PAGE Wi-Fi connections throughout, extensive recycling and sustainability programs. 98 Located on the banks of the Des Moines River, the Bridge View Center is the crown jewel of the City of Ottumwa. Opened in 2007, the 92,000-sq.-ft. complex features an Expo Hall, adjoining conference/meeting space and a state-of the art theater. The Expo Hall is 30,000 sq. ft. and can be divided into three 10,000 sq. ft. sections, each able to accommodate up to 500 guests for a banquet or meeting. The conference space is divisible into five smaller conference rooms or one large 7,000-sq.-ft. room. Bridge View’s 665-capacity theater is ideal for general sessions and lectures; it features state-of-the-art, multi-format PAGE video projection and sound system. 87 Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook

Caesars Palace is celebrating its 50th anniversary. With more than 300,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, Caesars Palace has the capacity to host groups of all sizes. Special events can be held at the five-acre Garden of the Gods pool oasis, Qua Baths & Spa, and suites reaching up to 13,000 sq. ft. The 4,000-seat Colosseum at Caesars Palace is home to world-famous headliners such as Elton John, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey. Enhancements include the newly renovated Julius Tower, formerly the Roman Tower, including 587 modern guestrooms; MR CHOW, a luxurious restaurant featuring Beijing cuisine; the PAGE 75,000-sq.-ft. OMNIA nightclub; and Montecristo Cigar Bar. C4


Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (855) 633-8238 CaesarsMeansBusiness.com

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 retrofit completed in 2013 and PAGE carpet replacement completed in 2014. 88


Century Center South Bend

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 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. 74


The Classic Center

300 North Thomas Street, Athens, GA 30601 (706) 208-0900 www.classiccenter.com Director of Sales: Maureen Baker Be Impressed



Cobo Center

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

COBO CENTER Greatness comes from within.


Colorado Springs THE NEW COBO CENTER Convention & Visitors Bureau

723,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Space. More robust technology, with Free WiFi and enough connectivity for 30,000 simultaneous users. Spectacular Outdoor to ceiling views of the Video Walls – 3X as large Detroit River and over as billboards. 50,000 sq. ft. of flex space. An In-house Broadcast An Outdoor Event Plaza Studio with a soundstage facing the downtown and satellite uplink to skyline, connected to distribute your meeting a terrace overlooking content to stakeholders. the river. We are not done yet –

$279 Million Renovation 515 S Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903 is nearly complete and brings with it lots of (800) 888-4748 x132; Fax: (719) 635-4968 head-turning additions: www.VisitCOS.com The new 40,000 sq. ft. Riverview Senior Director of Convention Sales:Grand Kathy Reak Ballroom with floor


Connecticut Convention Center

100 Columbus Boulevard THIS IS A DIFFERENT DETROIT Hartford, CT 06103 (860) 249-6000; Fax: (860) 249-6161 www.ctconventions.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Michele Hughes The CENTER of it all oklahoma

Cox Convention Center

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.

Cobo_Advertorial_F&D.indd 1


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! Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook



1 Rendering of Cobo Center Riverside Entrance (now open)

In Colorado Springs, the views of Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak are as inspirational as your keynote speaker. There are 55+ area attractions, spectacular scenery, seven full-service properties and 5,000 convention guestrooms (14,500 hotel rooms citywide). Groups can visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak Cog Railway and SO, WHAT WE WANT TO SAY IS THANK YOU. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Downtown Colorado Springs is an inviting, historic shopping, dining FOR BELIEVING IN THE ABILITY OF AN ENTIRE CITY TO TURN AROUND. and entertainment district, while Old Colorado City is a charming mountain town directly west of Colorado Springs. The Colorado Springs Marriott just completed a $3.5 million renovation, PAGE and The Broadmoor welcomes groups to the new Seven Falls Soaring Adventure. 101 2 South Atrium Renovation 3 Outdoor Video Walls 4 Shinola City Clock



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 peoTHE CORE OF THE CITY’S CENTER IS ALIVE WITH BUSINESSES AND hour drive; 19 meeting rooms; 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 180,000 sq. ft. of exhibit ple NEW within a 2-1/2 NEW RESIDENTS, THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO SEE. 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: Front Street District; The Old State House; Wadsworth Atheneum; Mystic Seaport & Marinelife Aquarium; and Essex PAGE Valley Railroad. 41

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.

One Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City, OK 73102 managed facility (405) 602-8500; Fax: (405) 602-8505 an www.coxconventioncenter.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Tim Linville

Overlooking the Detroit River and our international neighbor, the Cobo Center’s elegant banquet rooms and over 100 meeting rooms total 200,000 sq. ft., accommodating from 25 to 2,500 attendees. The Center is physically linked to all downtown Detroit hotels and entertainment districts by the Detroit People Mover on the fourth floor, and an elevated railway system and station. The Grand Ballroom is 40,000 sq. ft., dividable with a retractable wall. Features 40-foot ceiling height with built-in rigging points, color-programmable LEDs and 21,000 sq. ft. of meeting space below the ballroom. Cobo Center is completing PAGE Phase 3 of its $279 million renovation in 2015. 33

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.

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 PAGE offers an eclectic mix of heritage and hotspots. 103 4/27/15 9:57 AM

Located in downtown Pittsburgh’s cultural district along the Allegheny River, the environmentally smart, Gold/Platinum LEED® certified, SMG-managed David L. Lawrence Convention Center features 313,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space with 37 loading docks, 53 meeting rooms and a 31,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The center’s dynamic architectural design offers breathtaking views, open terraces and column-free space. Technology: 1Gb circuit with 100Mb backup, single-mode fiber optic backbone, multi-mode fiber, CAT6 (copper) cabling, robust Wi-Fi network that supports high bandwidth and high density requirements. PAGE 63


Call 888.456.2599 or email nationalsales@global-spectrum.com


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 Convention Center Performing Arts Center, a nationally respected arts center. Attendees can enjoy unique restaurants, shopping, Cincinnati, OHart galleries, museums or a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. A 189-room Marriott is available for groups, and a 125-room 21C hotel and PAGE 53-room Durham Hotel recently opened. 24

North Carolina

Worldwide Leader in Convention Center Management

Durham Convention Center

Duke Energy

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 SMG-managed Greater Convention ExhibitColumbus Hall: 195,000 sq.Center ft. is located within a day’s drive and hour’s flight of the majority of the nation’s population. The GCCC houses four contiguous exhibit Ballroom: 40,000 sq. ft. halls (336,000 sq. ft. contiguous, 410,000 sq. ft. within facility), 65 meeting rooms and three & 17,500 sq. ft. ballrooms, including the 74,000-sq.-ft. Battelle Grand, the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio. Breakouts: 30 Connected by enclosed walkway to five hotels; about 26,000 hotel rooms citywide; dozens of resTotal Meeting 96,600 sq. taurants, bars, theaters, galleries, sportsSpace: and concert venues in ft. walking distance. A $125 million expansion and renovation hasRooms: begun and will conclude in 2017, adding nearly 37,000 sq. Hotel 3,500 walkable PAGE ft. of exhibit space and 10,000 sq. ft.Located of meetingin space. 91 Downtown: heart


Greater Columbus Convention Center

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

on Centers


of downtown Cincinnati, the

Duke Convention Centerinclude South Beach, Coconut Greater Miami is a vibrant areaEnergy whose renowned neighborhoods Grove and Little Havana.brings Among Midwestern the area’s majorhospitality attractions are American Airlines Arena, to life in the Center of a vibrant Pérez Art Museum Miami, MiMo in North Beach, Bal Harbour and two national parks: Biscayne City core full of shopping, National Preserve and Everglades National Park. There restaurants, culture andare a total of 50,134 hotel rooms, and league attractions. the Miami Worldcenter big will add an 1,800-room Marriott Marquis when it opens in 2020. The Convention Center currently offers 500,000 sq. ft. of total exhibit space and 81 meeting rooms. The Greater Miami CVB offers groups banners, airport signs, destination material, regis“Not only has the Global Spectrum team Book With UsPAGE Today! tration personnel services, website, and more. in 79 delivered, they promotions have succeeded


Cross Insurance Center Springfield, MassMutual Center antic City, Atlantic City Convention Center ara Falls, Conference Center Niagara Falls ndiana, Kovalchick701 Convention Athletic Complex, Brickell& Avenue, Ste. 2700, Miami, FL 33131 rsity of Pennsylvania

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

(305) 539-3071 MiamiMeetings.com Beach, Miami Beach Convention CenterSales: Ita Moriarty SVP, Convention alm Beach, Palm Beach County Convention Center ita@gmcvb.com


sboro, Owensboro Convention Center Durham, Durham Convention Center Fayetteville, Crown Complex ohio , Enid Event Center hristi, Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center hristi (Robstown), Richard Borchard Exhibition Complex 525 ElmM.Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202 ond, Greater Richmond Convention Center (513) 419-7300; Fax: (513) 419-7327 ke, Berglund Center

developing a relationship where we feel

Duke Energy Convention Center

Iowa Events Center

www.duke-energycenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Justin Markle

With Us Today!

8.456.2599 or email alsales@global-spectrum.com Hawaii spectrum.com

Call 888.456.2599 or email

nationalsales@global-spectrum.com The Global Spectrum-managed Duke Energy Center is located in the heart of our input, suggestions and Convention expertise are valued.”and can be easily accessed from I-71, I-74 and I-75. Cincinnati/ Downtown Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky International Airport isWanda just 10 minutes away. Featuring over 750,000 Bowling, Director, sq. ft. of exhibit, meeting and entertainment space,Meeting the Duke Energy Convention Center is & Convention Planner, flanked by more than Western $2 billionSouthern in new infrastructure, including the new Fountain Square Financial Group entertainment district and more than 3,000 hotel rooms within three blocks of the Center. Catering by Ovations; audiovisual by Prestige AV & Creative Services. Onsite Green PAGE Team dedicated to sustainability initiatives. 24

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

Hawaii Convention Center Total Meeting Space: 226,000 sq. ft. 1801 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815 (808) 943-3500; Fax: (808) 943-3099 Pre-function space : 60,300 sq ft. hawaiiconvention.com Arena: 16,980 seats Vice President, Meet Hawai`i Citywide New space opened January 2012 Sales & Marketing: Vickie Omura

Honolulu’s Hawaii Convention Center is a spectacular, open-air structure that combines the latduke-energycenter.com est in cutting-edge technology with an authentic Hawaiian ambience. It includes a 200,000-sq.ft. exhibit hall divisible into three halls, a 35,000-sq.-ft. registration lobby, a 35,000-sq.-ft. global-spectrum.com ballroom, 47 meeting rooms, simultaneous translation rooms and two presentation theaters with tiered seating for 788. Tech features include an extensive fiber-optic and Cat-5 infrastructure with connection points in all meeting spaces and common areas. The Hawai‘i Convention Center is located just eight miles from the airport, surrounded by 30,000 hotel rooms, museums, PAGE cultural centers and more than 100 diverse dine-around options. 9

The Indiana Convention Center is surrounded by 7,100 hotel rooms by major brands such as Indiana“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

Marriott, Westin, Hyatt, Hilton and Conrad. The walkable downtown is in proximity to more details that result in a very special experience for our guests and our staff. It is Indiana Convention Center always a great pleasure to work with you and we look forward to next year’s than 200 restaurants and clubs, as well as such points of interest as the State Capitol, 100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, 46225 dinner and other events inIN between.” (317) 262-3400 www.ICCLOS.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Linda Addaman


Iowa Events Center

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

Personalized. Innovative. Professional.


Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau 500 W. Las Colinas Boulevard,
Irving, TX 75039 (866) 421-4379 www.irvingtexas.com Vice President, Sales and Services: Lori Fojtasek


Union Station, Circle Centre Mall, Victory Field and Bankers Life Fieldhouse. A recent $275 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 additional 183,000 PAGE sq. ft. of exhibit space and 12 meeting rooms. 93

Mary Bontrager, million Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Iowa Events Center combines three venues: Wells Fargo Arena, Hy-Vee Hall and Community 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 ballPAGE room at 28,730 sq. ft., with 13,400 sq. ft. of pre-function space. Catering by Ovations. 24



Located adjacent to DFW International Airport and Downtown Dallas and just minutes from Love Field, Irving, TX is an ideal meeting destination. Irving boasts more than 75 hotels with more than 12,000 guestrooms, including luxury, full-service, extended-stay and limited-service accommodation options. The 275,000-sq.-ft. Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas offers nearly 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space, includes a column-free exhibit hall, elegant ballrooms, separate breakout rooms and pre-function areas with views of the Dallas and Las Colinas skyline. Situated in Irving’s Las Colinas Urban Center, the convention center is just one phase of a mixed-use PAGE entertainment district that will be completed in 2017. 15 Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook

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 Director of Sales: Sandra Martin There’s Something Happening Here! 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

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. 117 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.



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

new mexico

Las Cruces Convention Center

680 East University Avenue, Las Cruces, NM 88001 (575) 526-0100; Fax:
(575) 526-0103 www.meetinlascruces.com Sales & Marketing Manager: Patrick Drake

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. One 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 guestPAGE rooms nearby; 3,500 downtown hotel rooms; 26,000 citywide. 95 The LEED Gold-certified Las Cruces Convention Center, operated by Spectra Venue Management, is 55,000 sq. ft. with just over 30,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The facility features a 14,500-sq.-ft. exhibition hall as well as a nearly 9,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. There are six breakout rooms with nearly 3,000 sq. ft. of space, as well as 5,000 sq. ft. outdoor space. Free WiFi for all attendees is accessible throughout the facility, with the fastest Internet speed available. The Convention Center is in proximity of restaurants, entertainment, and shopping, and there are over 2,500 hotel rooms within a six-mile radius.



Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

101 S. Spring Street, 4th Floor, Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 376-4781; (800) 844-4781 www.LittleRockMeetings.com Vice President Sales & Services: Alan Sims Meetings are better with a Southern accent California

Los Angeles Convention Center

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

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 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 Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook

As the state capital, Little Rock is renowned for its hospitality, culture and charm. There are approximately 9,500 rooms in the greater Little Rock metropolitan area. Major local attractions include the William J. Clinton Presidential Center & Park, Arkansas Arts Center, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Old State House Museum, and Heifer International and Heifer Village. The Statehouse Convention Center offers 82,892 sq. ft. total exhibit space; 16 meeting rooms. The 418-room Little Rock Marriott is physically connected to the Convention Center. Additionally, Arkansas’s premier performing arts facility, the Robinson Center, is currently undergoing a PAGE $70 million re-imagining and expansion that will be completed in November 2016. 76 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 the largest U.S. convention center to achieve LEED Gold EB-OM recertification. The facility offers multifunctional event space, advanced technological functionality and first-class service. The LACC houses 867,000 sq. ft. of event space, including 64 meeting rooms; large exhibit halls — 346,890-sq.ft. South Hall and 210,685-sq.-ft. West Hall; and a newly renovated 299-seat theater. PAGE Neighboring the LACC is downtown L.A.’s sports and entertainment district, L.A. LIVE. 7 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, Secaucus Outlet Center, 25+ restaurants, 16 movie screens, health club. PAGE 69

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 hotel openings include the Hyatt House San Juan located in the Convention Center District and the luxurious Condado Vanderbuilt Hotel in the Condado area. The $29.7 million Hyatt Place San Juan, located in the Puerto Rico Convention District adjacent to the recently opened Hyatt PAGE 115 House San Juan, debuted in the first quarter of 2016. 121


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


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

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, award-winning 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. 24 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 Exploreum, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, Civil War Trail and more.



Monona Terrace Convention Center

One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 261-4000; Fax: (608) 261-4049 www.mononaterrace.com Sales/Event Services Manager: Laura Cornell, CMP Where Business and Inspiration Meet jamaica

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 oklahoma

Muskogee Civic Center

425 Boston Street, Muskogee, OK 74401 (918) 684-6363; Fax: (918) 684-6364 www.muskogeeciviccenter.com

Located in heart of Madison’s vibrant downtown on the shore of Lake Monona, this 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, art/ PAGE exhibit area and expansive areas for registration/information needs. 96 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; a 18,845-sq.-ft. ballroom; nine meeting rooms; 6,000-seat theater; a large, full-service kitchen within the facility; and 4,000 nearby PAGE hotel rooms. 17 Located in the heart of Muskogee, OK, the Muskogee Civic Center offers over 8,500 sq. ft. of versatile meeting space between six meeting rooms of various sizes. In addition, the arena floor consists of 8,568 sq. ft., making it ideal for larger meetings, tradeshows and banquets for corporate gatherings. Seating capacities are 3,710 theater-style, 845 classroom-style. The Muskogee Civic Center offers audiovisual equipment, a portable sound system and a public marquee. Approximately 1,000 hotel rooms are in proximity. PAGE 24

New Orleans

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

900 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 582-3000; Fax: (504) 582-3032 mccno.com Director of Sales: Elaine Williams, ewilliams@mccno.com Any meeting, any size. Florida

Ocean Center Convention Center

101 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32118 (386) 254-4524; (386) 254-4512 www.oceancenter.com Assistant Director/Director of Marketing: Angela Daniels The great Florida venue! 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 New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is located in the Warehouse/Arts District, in walking distance to 20,000 hotel rooms and the historic French Quarter. Among many local highlights are Harrah’s Casino, the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium and IMAX theater and Mardi Gras World. New at the Center is The Great Hall, a 60,300-sq.-ft. divisible, column-free ballroom. The Center houses 1.1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space, 140 meeting rooms and 4,000 theater seats; 1 gigabyte fiber optic Internet backbone that is 100% redundant. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is embarking on an ambitious new venture that will revitalize PAGE the City’s riverfront: the 47-acre Convention Center District Development Project. 39 Located at the core of Daytona Beach, the Ocean Center Convention Center is just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean and 10 minutes from Daytona International Airport. The center houses 160,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 9,050-seat arena, 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 32 meeting rooms. Ocean Walk Shoppes directly across the street offers dining and entertainment featuring Sloppy Joes’, Johnny Rockets, Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company and other establishments. The Ocean Center is adjacent to Daytona Lagoon Waterpark and Entertainment Complex and to Peabody Auditorium offering concerts, Broadway PAGE shows and other entertainment throughout the year. 13 The second-largest convention center in the nation, the award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is known as “The Center of Hospitality, where it’s all about your experience.” The facility 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 2,643seat theater, a 160-seat lecture hall and state-of-the-art technology. Directly connected by pedestrian bridge to 5,000 luxury guestrooms. PAGE 49

Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook


Oregon Convention Center

777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232 (503) 235-7575; Fax: (503) 731-7802 www.oregoncc.org Deputy Director: Matt Pizzuti


Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

300 East Green Street, Pasadena, CA 91101 (800) 307-7977; Fax: (626) 795-9656 PasadenaMeetings.com Senior Director of Sales & Marketing: Jeanne O’Grady Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Convention Center 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 418-4700 www.meetphl.com President and CEO: Julie Coker Graham The Complete Package ARIZONA

Phoenix Convention Center & Venues

100 North Third Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 (602) 262-6225; (800) 282-4842 www.PhoenixConventionCenter.com Director of Sales: Debbi Foshee In the Heart of Downtown: Enjoy Our Space, Explore Our City Rhode Island

Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau

10 Memorial Boulevard, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 456-0200; Fax: (401) 351-2090 GoProvidence.com Vice President of Sales & Services: Thomas Riel, CASE 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 Senior Director of Sales: Rosa M. Luke


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 California

Sacramento Convention Center 1030 15th Street, Suite 100 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 808-5291; Fax: (916) 808-7687 www.sacramentoconventioncenter.com

Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook

The one million-sq.-ft. Oregon Convention Center (OCC) houses 255,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 52 meeting rooms and the 34,200-sq.-ft. Portland Ballroom. High ceilings accommodate audiovisual; Internet and electrical power connections throughout meeting, ballrooms, lobbies and exhibit hall space. Major convention hotels include the 478-room Doubletree Hotel by Hilton and the 782-room Portland Hilton and Executive Towers, with 5,000 additional rooms in the downtown. The OCC recently added 6,500 solar panels to its roof, expanded seating sections in the Stir, Bistro and Lounge, and updated all lighting in Oregon and Portland Ballrooms, PAGE loading dock and garage to LED lighting. 107 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 over 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.), a newly restored 17,000-sq.-ft. historic exhibit hall, 25,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 29 meeting rooms, 3,000-seat Civic Auditorium and a 22,000-sq.-ft. outdoor plaza. Major local attractions include the Historic Rose Bowl PAGE Stadium, Pasadena Playhouse, Norton Simon Museum and Pacific Asia Museum. 21 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. C2 The award-winning Phoenix Convention Center & Venues is within walking distance of shopping, entertainment, sports and theater venues, and is just four miles from Sky Harbor International Airport. There are more than 3,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the center and more that 6,000 hotel rooms located along the Metro Light Rail System. Named one of the top-10 convention center facilities in the country, PCC&V offers more than 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 — all complemented by the 2,312-seat Symphony Hall and the 1,364-seat historic PAGE 40 Orpheum Theatre. Compact, convenient and walkable, Providence, RI, is known for its rich history, world-class dining and stunning architecture. The Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC), hotels, great restaurants, and eclectic shopping are all within blocks of each other. Providence is easily accessible by air, rail or highway, and about 25% of the United States’ population lives within 500 miles of the city. There are 2,200 hotel rooms citywide. Major local attractions include Historic Newport, Providence Performing Arts Center, Providence Place, RISD Museum, Roger Williams Park Zoo and WaterFire Providence. The RICC offers 167,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 137,000 sq. PAGE ft. of exhibit space, 23 meeting rooms and a 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. 35 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 PAGE energy array that is one of the largest green initiatives of its kind on the island. 115 Ocean City, MD, 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. Located 28 miles PAGE from Salisbury-Ocean City Airport. 71 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; PAGE 10,000 citywide. Classique Catering; Wolfgang Pucks Express. 111 123


St. Charles Convention Center

One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303 (636) 669-3000; Toll Free (877) 896-7222 www.stcharlesconventioncenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Bill Nicely


San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

203 S. St. Mary’s, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78205 (210) 207-6768; Fax: (210) 207-6843 Meetings.VisitSanAntonio.com saconv@visitsanantonio.com


Team San Jose

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


Visit Knoxville

301 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 (800) 727-8045; Fax: (865) 673-4400 www.visitknoxville.com Senior Director of Sales: Sarah Rowan


Visit Orlando

6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Suite 400, Orlando, FL 32821 (407) 354-5547; Fax: (407) 370-5014 OrlandoMeeting.com Senior Vice President Convention Sales & Services: Fred Shea


Visit Savannah

101 East Bay Street, Savannah, GA 31401 (877) SAVANNAH; (912) 644-6424; Fax: (912) 644-6499 www.SavannahMeetings.com www.VisitSavannah.com VP Business Development & Services: Jeff Hewitt


Visit Spokane

801 W. Riverside Ave., Ste. 301 (509) 624-1341; Fax: (509) 623-1297 www.visitspokane.com Director of Sales: Shannon Shannon


Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

1500 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 (800) 524-4939; (407) 934-4290 www.SwanDolphinMeetings.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Gino Marasco


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. 24 The new San Antonio meeting experience allows attendees to Meet, Learn and Play in a place that’s sure to engage and inspire at every turn. San Antonio recently debuted the $325 million expansion of its Henry B. González Convention, increasing the center’s footprint to 1.6 million sq. ft., with 514,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, 270,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit space, 85,000 sq. ft. of column-free multipurpose space, a more than 54,000-sq.-ft. ballroom and 72 meeting spaces. Other new developments include the city’s five Spanish colonial missions being named UNESCO World Heritage sites, Hemisfair Park’s redevelopment, the new 146-room Hotel PAGE Emma, and the recently completed $358.3 million project to lengthen the River Walk. 3 As the Capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose is known as a business mecca, but also offers a variety of sophisticated entertainment options for delegates. The Winchester Mystery House, Tech Museum of Innovation, Levi’s Stadium, Center for Performing Arts, San Pedro Square Market and San Jose Museum of Art are all in easy access of the city’s 8,000 hotel rooms (4,000 committable on peak). The Sainte Claire Hotel has been rebranded to a Westin San Jose, and 2016 will bring a new property by AC Hotels. Rather than handing planners off to other organizations once the meeting is booked, Team San Jose does it all, from housing, convention PAGE 1 center and facility event services to customized F&B menus, permits and special events. Located within a day’s drive of nearly half the U.S. population, Knoxville offers a surprisingly real, truly accessible and unexpectedly sophisticated mix of culture, adventure and cuisine rooted in history and genuine Southern hospitality. Highlights include Market Square, Old City and Urban Wilderness. There are 8,900 hotel rooms citywide. Eleven downtown hotels are within one mile of The Knoxville Convention Center, which features 120,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space and 250,000 sq. ft. of meeting and ballroom space. Downtown will house an additional 500+ hotel rooms by the end of 2017, PAGE with two new builds debuting next spring. 10 As the No. 1 meetings destination in the country, Orlando offers a world of possibilities for unique meetings and events. From low-cost accessibility and a top-rated convention center to a wide variety of hotels and world-class entertainment options, Orlando is an exciting gateway city for meetings of all sizes. Whether networking with colleagues at 400 ft. atop the new Orlando Eye or hosting a private company event in one of the city’s world-class theme parks complete with a fire-breathing dragon, no other destination delivers excitement quite like Orlando. Add its exceptional hospitality and you’ve PAGE got a recipe for success. 11 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 84

Spokane, Washington’s second-biggest city, is leading the way with a just-expanded convention center that is connected to 1,100 guestrooms. The Spokane Convention Center now has 92,000 additional sq. ft. and is connected by skybridge to the brand-new Davenport Grand Hotel. At 500,000 sq. ft., the center includes 40 meeting rooms, three ballrooms and 120,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. Major local attractions include Riverfront Park, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) and The Historic Davenport Hotel. The Convention Center District features dozens of restaurants, great shopping and loads of entertainment. Come see why USA Today named Spokane America’s (2nd) Best Riverfront City. Situated in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin houses 2,267 guestrooms and suites with the finest amenities in comfort and convenience. Recently the hotel finished a redesign of all 758 guestrooms in the Walt Disney World Swan, part of a complete guestroom renovation project. Groups have over 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space at their disposal, including 84 meeting rooms, 110,500 sq. ft. of contiguous convention/exhibit space, outdoor function areas and two business centers. Seventeen world-class restaurants and lounges are onsite, including the famed Todd PAGE English’s bluezoo, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Shula’s Steak House. 47 Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook

advertiser index Northeast Connecticut Convention Center..................................................... 41 David L. Lawrence Convention Centre............................................. 63 Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center............................................................................... 65 The Javits Center...................................................................................23 Meadowlands Exposition Center................................................... 69 Meet AC................................................................................................... C3 Philadelphia CVB................................................................................. C2 Providence Warwick CVB.................................................................. 35 Mid-Atlantic Ocean City CVB......................................................................................71 Southeast Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex..............................73 The Classic Center................................................................................74 Durham Convention Center............................................................. 24 Little Rock CVB.......................................................................................76 Greater Miami CVB...............................................................................79 Miami Beach Convention Center................................................... 24 Mobile Convention Center................................................................77 New Orleans Morial Convention Center............................................................................... 39 Ocean Center.......................................................................................... 13 Orange County Convention Center............................................... 49 Visit Orlando..............................................................................................11 Visit Knoxville...........................................................................................10 Visit Savannah......................................................................................... 84 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.........................................................................................47 Midwest Akron/Summit CVB/ John S. Knight Center........................................................................... 19 Alerus Center......................................................................................... 86 Bridge View Center...............................................................................87

Century Center...................................................................................... 88 Cobo Center........................................................................................... 33 Greater Columbus Convention Center............................................. 91 Duke Energy Convention Center.................................................... 24 Indiana Convention Center............................................................... 93 Iowa Events Center.............................................................................. 24 Kansas City Convention Center...................................................... 95 Monona Terrace Convention Center............................................ 96 Saint Charles Convention Center..................................................... 24 West Austin Convention Center..................................................................37 Boise Centre........................................................................................... 98 Colorado Springs CVB........................................................................101 Cox Convention Center....................................................................103 Hawaii Convention Center...................................................................9 Irving CVB..................................................................................................15 Las Cruces Convention Center....................................................... 24 Los Angeles Convention Center........................................................ 7 Muskogee Civic Center...................................................................... 24 Oregon Convention Center.............................................................107 Pasadena CVB..........................................................................................21 Phoenix Convention Center.............................................................40 Sacramento Convention Center...................................................... 111 San Antonio CVB.....................................................................................3 Team San Jose............................................................................................1 Canada International Centre............................................................................. 117 caribbean Meet Puerto Rico.................................................................................. 115 Montego Bay Convention Centre....................................................17 Other Caesars Entertainment...................................................................... C4 SMG...............................................................................................................4 Spectra....................................................................................................... 24

Looking Ahead Facilities & Destinations 2016 Summer Issue

Featuring: The F&D annual Mid-Market Review, profiling America’s value cities The ELITE Awards, recognizing CVB executives Destination reports on Atlantic City, The Carolinas and Mexico A feature on accommodating kosher dietary needs Plus the latest meeting industry news and planning tips from the pros

•• • ••

To subscribe, see page 95 in this issue.

Facilities & Destinations 2016 superbook


Due Diligence on F&B 6 measures for managing attendees’ dietary needs By Tracy Stuckrath, CSEP, CMM, CHC


ntil recently, we didn’t think much about the food we served at events. A catering menu from Atlanta looked just like the one from Washington, DC, Johannesburg, London and Dubai. Our main consideration was making sure we didn’t serve the same thing we did yesterday. Today, food and beverage planning has become much more complicated. A growing number of guests follow a strict diet, whether it’s because of food allergies, celiac disease, diabetes, religious beliefs or lifestyle choices. With a little bit of knowledge and by asking the right questions, you can cater to your attendees’ dietary needs without much difficulty, whether you’re planning a cruise, safari, conference, product launch, employee recognition event or a wellness incentive.

KEY definitions

and type of meals served, but also a list of special dietary requests made during registration and onsite.


Ask attendees about their dietary needs during registration. As much as possible, use check boxes instead of calling for open-ended responses to show that you are asking about restrictions rather than preferences.


Work with chefs to create delicious menus that can be eaten by the general population as well as those with dietary restrictions. If the food is tasty, few will notice or care that it contained no gluten or dairy, for example.

Provide attendees


Put a meal-ticket system in place. Provide attendees with meal tickets to communicate to service staff about their dietary restrictions. And label buffet items with the top eight to 14 allergens and preferences.

with meal tickets to A food allergy is a serious and sometimes fatal medical condition caused by eating, touching or inhaling a communicate to particular ingredient. While many foods can cause an service staff about allergic reaction in different people, eight of them cause 90 percent of all allergic reactions: wheat, egg, soy, milk, their dietary Document and verify all peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish (crustaceans). Overall, special-meal requests in BEOs restrictions. there are more than 160 known food allergens; some of the and at pre-cons, along with the less common ones are banana, nickel, onion, celery and agreed-upon serving procedures garlic. for them. When dealing with a possibly life-threatening situation, People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must avoid you can’t over-communicate your attendees’ needs. gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley. Note that a gluten intolerance caused by celiac disease differs from a wheat allergy. After the event, survey attendees and speak with caterers Vegetarians do not consume animals but do eat animal to confirm that the meal service went as planned, and that byproducts such as eggs, milk and honey. Vegans avoid the everyone received meals that were safe and satisfying. Find out byproducts, too. how many special meals were served and if others were requested, People who have chosen the Paleo Diet refrain from consuming to keep tabs on the “I’ll have what she’s having” phenomenon. grains, legumes (such as soy and peanuts), milk, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, refined vegetable oils and alcohol. Meetings and events are designed to educate, recognize, Religious diets are very common among attendees. Muslims motivate and inspire. I believe that providing healthy, delicious who keep a halal diet avoid alcohol, pork, carnivorous animals food that is safe for all attendees to eat is possibly the most and birds of prey. The latter includes falcon, vulture, buzzard and motivating thing a meeting planner can do. osprey, which are not an issue in meeting menus. Kosher guests do not eat pork, rabbit, fish without scales, shellfish or birds of A speaker, consultant and meetings industry trainer, Tracy prey. They also do not eat dairy products and meat in the same Stuckrath is Founder & Chief Connecting Officer of Thrive! meal. Additionally, generally all the food, except for whole raw Meetings & Events. She specializes in educating the fruits and vegetables, must be certified kosher. hospitality industry on how to reduce risk, maximize budgets Once you have understood common dietary needs, and improve customer experience through safe, delicious and I recommend the following steps to ensure the accuracy of special healthy food and beverage events. Based in Atlanta, Tracy was meals — and the safety of your attendees. named one of the top 25 women in the meetings industry in 2015 and a 2014 Meetings Trendsetter. Include a detailed F&B history in your RFPs when selecting hotels and caterers. This should not only include the number





Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Religious Retreats 7 tips for creating a rewarding

and cost-effective experience for attendees By Timothy McGill


he religious meetings industry has grown tremendously over the last 10 years. Events previously held close to home or at the neighborhood place of worship are now being held at large hotels and conference centers. As such, faith-based meetings and events are an important sector of the conference industry. While they have some commonalities with corporate meetings, there are some interesting differences. Tough economic times may actually drive more frequent religious meetings. During those times, attendees seek the support of their peers and to discuss how best to support their organization. That means venues can depend on religious meetings business even in economic downturns. Also in contrast with many corporate meetings, religious meeting attendees often must pay their own way and tend to have varied socioeconomic backgrounds. Thus, planners must try to keep meetings affordable, which is sometimes a challenge at hotels and conference centers. Following is a list of top tips for planning religious meetings, beginning with several related to cost control:

work, and most likely lower costs as well. Look for hotels that can handle full-event coordination, including group activities, catering and audiovisual.


Consider what family activities a potential destination offers. Since families often attend religious conferences together, it is important for a venue to offer a variety of activities for all ages. For example, the beachside Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, CA, offers whale watching, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, horseback riding and visits to the Monterey Bay Aquarium or Monarch Grove Sanctuary.


Consider the overall environment of a roperties that have location. Many religious groups seek amenities suites with multiple that will make the event rooms offer a huge more peaceful and remove attendees from the stresses economic benefit as of everyday life. “We want somewhere sacred for attendees can cut costs our signature women’s by room sharing. conference,” says Janet Sanders, Adult Ministries Consider meeting in smaller cities. Third- and Coordinator for First second-tier cities will often offer lower rates than Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, CA. “We love Asilomar first-tier cities in order to bring in business. because it is truly a retreat. Other venues tend to be too institutional, but at Asilomar we can connect with nature and truly escape the obligations of everyday life.” Asilomar has Book multiple years at once. Conference centers will an onsite chapel that can be used for speaking engagements, typically offer better rates if groups sign multiyear contracts. prayer, group meetings or classes. Additionally, the property’s This gives the venues more flexibility with pricing since they lush natural setting provides a serene and relaxing environment. will be able to count on the future income. There are other benefits to going to the same venue year after year: Meeting planners can develop relationships with venue personnel, and Ensure the venue can accommodate religious dietary it becomes less work for the planner since the venue is already restrictions. Meal planning can also be a source of concern familiar with his or her expectations and those of attendees. for religious meeting planners. It is important to select a venue that can accommodate various dietary restrictions or requirements. Although they may not be able to prepare Look for properties that have suites with multiple rooms. everything onsite, a venue should be able to accommodate These offer a huge economic benefit as attendees can cut any kind of menu by working with offsite partners. Asilomar, costs by room sharing. for example, does not have a kosher kitchen, but does have an established caterer who can provide kosher meals when necessary. Ask whether the hotel has an onsite event planner. By working with a venue that has the capability to offer Timothy McGill is Director of Sales and Marketing for everything needed for a successful event, a planner does not Asilomar Conference Grounds, located in Pacific Grove, CA. have to coordinate with a variety of vendors. That means less







Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook




Women Convention Center Executives Rebecca Bolton

General Manager Las Cruces Convention Center Las Cruces, NM ebecca Bolton manages the LEED Gold-certified Las Cruces Convention Center on behalf of Spectra Venue Management, while focusing on building community partnerships. She received the Industry Leadership Award from New Mexico State University’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management in April 2015.


Robin Cuneo

Executive Director Meadowlands Exposition Center Secaucus, NJ or over 20 years, Robin Cuneo has overseen operations and sales/marketing for the Meadowlands Exposition Center and SMG Exposition Services. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce where she is the 2016 Legacy Award Honoree.


Stephanie Curran

General Manager Spokane Convention Center and INB Performing Arts Center Spokane, WA reviously Assistant General Manager, Stephanie Curran was promoted to her current role in October 2015. She has served within the Spokane Public Facilities District since 2003. Curran is also a Past President of the Spokane Chapter of Executive Women International.


Peggy Daidakis

Executive Director Baltimore Convention Center Baltimore, MD eggy Daidakis was appointed the first female director of a national convention center in 1986. She served as Co-Chair of the IAAM/DMAI Task Force for Best Practices of Convention Centers and DMOs. In 2013, the Convention Industry Council honored her as an inductee to the CIC Hall of Leaders.


Susan Eaton

General Manager and Director of Sales & Marketing Wilmington Convention Center Wilmington, NC 30-year industry veteran, Susan Eaton has been involved in the managing, marketing, selling and operations of convention centers markets including Rochester, Miami Beach, Chicago and Knoxville. Her role as GM for the SMG-managed Wilmington Convention Center started in 2009, helping to open the facility in 2010.


Shura Garnett

Division Senior Vice President Spectra Venue Management and Food Services & Hospitality St. Charles, MO hura Garnett oversees the Central Division of Spectra’s Venue Management and Food and Hospitality operations. A 20-year industry veteran, she has served as Chairman of the IAVM Convention Center Committee, and received the 2005 IAVM Presidential Citation and the prestigious Charles A McElravy Award in 2014.


128 Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook

Dittie Guise

General Manager Montego Bay Convention Centre Montego Bay, Jamaica ittie Guise serves as both GM of the Montego Bay Convention Centre and President/CEO of International Hospitality Services, a hospitality industry management consultancy. Previously, she served as COO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, driving the organization’s rebranding and making widespread operational improvements.


Deborah Hennessey

Convention Center Director Indiana Convention Center Indianapolis, IN ebbie Hennessey oversees a stellar team who represent Indiana to millions of guests annually. Her strengths in managing budgets, client experience, employee relations and policies have resulted in new and repeat business. She is a member of IAVM, MPI and ISES, among other organizations.


Mercedes Miller

Executive Director Georgia International Convention Center College Park, GA ercedes Miller joined the GICC in 1999 and worked her way up from Director of Sales to Assistant Executive Director to Interim Executive Director prior to being appointed Executive Director in 2013. She is also highly active in her community, holding positions with Motherless Daughters, American Red Cross and the Boys and Girls Club.


Jennifer Noble

General Manager Durham Convention Center Durham, NC ennifer Noble and her team have reduced the net subsidy of the Durham Convention Center from $1.3 million to $14,579 in four years. A 30-year industry veteran, she previously served as the Assistant General Manager and Director of Sales and Marketing of the Spectra-managed Conference Center at Niagara Falls.


Teri Orton

General Manager Hawai’i Convention Center Honolulu, HI EG Facilities named Teri Orton General Manager of the HCC in December 2013. Orton had been VP of Condominium Resort Marketing for Outrigger Enterprises Group. Due in part to her leadership, the HCC’s economic performance in 2015 was reportedly the best in its 17-year history.


Karen Totaro

General Manager Atlantic City Convention Center Atlantic City, NJ aren Totaro is the General Manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center for Spectra Venue Management. She has held managerial roles with the Duke Energy Convention Center, Oregon Convention Center and University of Dayton Arena. Totaro currently serves as IAVM Chairman of the Board.


Facilities & Destinations 2016 Superbook 128


Paul Van Deventer President & CEO, MPI


Atlantic City is proud to host TEAMS & MPI’s WEC in 2016

To book your meeting or convention call 1-844-855-6338 (MEET) or visit meetinac.com today!

We are proud to host the

2016 MPI WEC at Harrah’s Atlantic City Waterfront Conference Center



A meeting space is empty until we fill it with your vision. Our team of experts can transform the more than one million square feet of meeting space at our nine properties in Las Vegas into your next exceptional event. Book your meeting at one of 40 venues in 20 destinations at CaesarsMeansBusiness.com or call 855-633-8238

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2016 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook  

2016 Facilites & Destinations SuperBook: >>2016 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards. >>Destination Features: Philadelphia, Italy's Tuscany,...

2016 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook  

2016 Facilites & Destinations SuperBook: >>2016 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards. >>Destination Features: Philadelphia, Italy's Tuscany,...

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