2017 Facilities & Destinations SuperBook

Page 1

Facilities 2017 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards 32


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

Destinations & SUPERBOOK


For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals


40 Years and Still Growing


Planning Tips for Hybrid Events 130

Senior leadership reflect on the company’s past and future 42

Secure Your Meeting 129

Dean Jones on the State of RCMA’s EMERGE 18

Las Vegas 56

Orlando 46

Philadelphia 52

Wes Westley, President and CEO, SMG


Philadelphia is a diverse, global destination on the rise. We are known for our rich history, but are also a birthplace of technology and innovation. For over 20 years, PHL Life Sciences, a division of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, has mobilized a robust network of industry leaders to advance the greater Philadelphia region as one of the nation’s top life science hubs. Together, with our award-winning sales and services team, we are able to work with our customers to identify and engage potential exhibitors and attendees, resulting in successful, record-breaking conventions. Come see for yourself how, in Philadelphia, we’ve got life and meetings down to a science. PHLLifeSciences.com or 1-855-MEET-PHL

40 years

SMG is Celebrating of success!

40 years is a milestone moment in the life of a company. From our very first account, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, an account we still manage today, to our portfolio of more than 230 accounts, we celebrate them all. All year long we will remember and celebrate our terrific employees and clients. It’s been an amazing history, and we look forward to a fantastic future.

Worldwide Entertainment and Convention Venue Management

editor’s note

Facilities & Destinations SUPERBOOK

influence your way to the top

For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals


Chief Operating Officer David Korn


e’re looking forward to a superb educational experience at IMEX America this October in Las Vegas — the kind of learning that helps to breed leaders in the meetings industry. The next issue of F&D will include a special IMEX-themed section, previewing some of the content via interviews with the event’s organizers. One highlight at IMEX will be the Event Industry Council’s Hall of Leaders & Pacesetter Awards Celebration. Scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 10, the gathering will honor longtime industry leaders for their lifetime achievements as well as trendsetting young professionals. In recent years, F&D has recognized numerous top professionals on the supplier side of the industry, convention center and CVB executives in particular. Look for the announcement of our latest ELITE Award winners in the Winter issue. This year’s SuperBook recognizes 11 outstanding women convention center executives in the F&D A-List (page 136). Among the featured industry veterans are Sarah Blayne, GM of the Lynnwood Convention Center and President of the MPI Washington State Chapter; Peggy Daidakis, Executive Director of the Baltimore Convention Center and an EIC Hall of Leaders inductee; Shura Garnett of Spectra Venue Management, a Charles A. McElravy Award recipient; and Karen Totaro, the new EVP/GM of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation and a former IAVM Chairman of the Board. Leaders share many traits that support their success, from industry knowledge to vision to tenacity. One “people skill” that helps a professional rise through the ranks is the power of persuasion. As a meeting planner, one’s day is typically filled with opportunities to influence coworkers, suppliers and upper management so as to deliver the best events possible and further one’s career. In this issue, B. Kim Barnes, CEO of Barnes & Conti Associates, shares invaluable influence skills for planners (page 127). Utimately, a leader must move people to act, and do so in a way that builds positive business relationships.

Associate Publisher Michael Caffin Editorial Director George Seli Contributing Editors Anthony Bilden Deborah Shapiro Creative Direction & Design Scott-Goodman Associates Circulation Manager Max Kimmel Editorial Assistant Gabriella Davino Business Operations Nadia Derelieva

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

© Copyright 2017 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.


In Brief................................................................................................................. 4 Photoview EMERGE 2017................................................................................................... 16 Forum Dean Jones, Director of Conferences, RCMA.................................................... 18 Perspectives The Meeting Planner as Influencer, by B. Kim Barnes...................................... 127 Secure Your Meeting, by Kevin Mellott........................................................... 129 6 Strategic Planning Tips for Hybrid Events, by Matthew Marcial................... 130 The Evolution of Medical Meetings, by Eli Sananes......................................... 133 Subtle but Effective Branding, by Greg Weiss................................................. 134 Why Not a Wine Tasting? by David Wrigley.................................................... 135 F&D A-List Women Convention Center Executives............................................................ 136


Prime Site & Top Destination Awards................................................................ 32 SMG: Four Decades of Growth.......................................................................... 42 Destinations Orlando.............................................................................................................. 46 Philadelphia....................................................................................................... 52 Las Vegas........................................................................................................... 56 Peru: Cusco and the Sacred Valley..................................................................... 62 Sites & Cities Directory...................................................................................... 64 Advertiser Index.............................................................................................. 132 2

Volume 24 No. 1

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 Since 1977, SMG’s business has grown from its initial client — the Mercedes-Benz Superdome — to 232 facilities worldwide, including convention centers, stadiums, arenas and theaters. President and CEO Wes Westley has been a major catalyst for the SMG’s achievements since the early ‘90s, along with a team of dynamic executives. They discuss the state of SMG and venue management on the occasion of the company’s 40th anniversary (p. 42).

Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook

Brilliant, Dazzling, Unforgettable.

Long Beach California Fresh, Urban Coast

City chic. Beach cool. This dynamic indoor/outdoor experience is classically SoCal. Sky-high ceilings with a dazzlingly illuminated view, the Terrace Plaza’s turnkey spaces, stylish furniture, professional light and sound design saves you tens of thousands of dollars in rental costs. Set in a highly walkable downtown of award-winning restaurants, metro-cool hotels, electrifying nightspots, and fun-filled entertainment — this all-inclusive setting packs plenty of wow factor — making your next meeting unconventionally unforgettable. Nominated as 1 of the top 3 New Special Event Spaces in the Nation.

Terrace Lobby Room Size: 10,090 sq.ft | Banquet: 600 | Reception: 1,121 Terrace Plaza Room Size: 14,785 sq.ft. | Banquet: 930 | Reception: 2,500

800.452.7829 | MeetInLongBeach.com MeetLBC MeetInLongBeach


Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Austin. “We want people to visit Austin and see the amazing things we are doing here as a leisure, meetings and conventions destination.”

Tom Noonan Visit Austin

Mark Cooper IACC

Paul Van Deventer MPI AUSTIN, TX — The Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau has been renamed Visit Austin. “Convention and visitors bureaus all over the U.S. are moving away from the traditional CVB titles because the terminology doesn’t truly capture the role of what we are trying to accomplish, especially in Austin,” comments 4

CHICAGO, IL and DALLAS, TX — IACC and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) recently announced a five-year global partnership for the mutual benefit of their members. The two associations will share event and learning platforms, including education delivered at annual conferences, regional events, and online as well as research initiatives. IACC’s CEO Mark Cooper comments: “The leadership teams at MPI and IACC have been collaborating on several successful initiatives over the last two years, and now seems the perfect time to bring all this great work together under one strategy to allow us to seize more opportunities and provide more for our respective members. Just as MPI is passionate about designing great meeting experiences, IACC is passionate about venues delivering an exceptional meetings experience. It’s the perfect marriage.” One new project slated to roll out in 2017 will entail MPI conferences streamed live to IACC venues, where MPI members can come together, learn and experience valuable networking. MPI’s 2017 World Education Congress (WEC), which took place June 19-22 in Las Vegas, was the first conference featured. “One of our top priorities at MPI is to continuously enrich our portfolio of professional development offerings, and this collaboration with IACC will certainly help us deliver more value to our membership community,” says Paul Van Deventer, President and CEO of MPI. “We are especially excited about the opportunity to live stream WEC to members that are unable to make it to the conference this year and in an environment that encompasses peer-to-peer engagement and networking.” MPI will also take part in the next phase of the IACC Meeting Room of the Future research project.

The meetings virtues of The Palm Beaches, an up-and-coming destination DALLAS, TX — Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has published its Meetings Outlook 2017 Spring Edition last month. Key findings include the following: • 69 percent of respondents predict favorable business conditions — up 11 percent since last quarter. • 48 percent of respondents report good availability of space for 2017 meetings; 61 percent say the same for booking 2018 meetings. • 21 percent of respondents have significantly increased sustainability practices in the past five years; 28 percent have either decreased or not increased such practices. • Attendance at live and virtual events is expected to grow by 1.8 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

The full report is available at www.mpiweb.org/meetingsoutlook.

NEW YORK, NY — Launched in March, GoBe.com is an interactive digital platform that travelers can use to book thousands of day tours and activities throughout cities in 97 countries. Users can search by Destination, Interest or Group requirements. The site has three primary categories of activities: high-value group tours, private excursions and exclusive, customized “Travel Creations.” With hundreds of tours added each week, the site is a robust resource for meeting attendees during their free time. PALM BEACH, FL — Recent statistics and developments show The Palm Beaches are an up-and-coming meeting destination. In 2016, The Palm Beaches achieved a 94 percent year-over-year increase in room nights sold through groups and meetings bookings. The destination also saw record-breaking tourism numbers for 2016 of 7.35

Kevin Hinton Events Industry Council million visitors, and a year-overyear increase in visitor spending. New visitors will be able to take advantage of the new high-speed rail service Brightline, which begins service from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale in late July and to Miami in late August. In addition, the 158-room Boca Raton Mandarin Oriental is set to debut in 2018. WASHINGTON, DC — The Convention Industry Council is now the Events Industry Council. “Our Brand Task Force recognized a need to go beyond a ‘refresh’ — we needed to refine our organization’s brand to ensure that our focus and work provides value to event professionals, all Certified Meeting Professionals (CMPs) and the industry we all serve,” explains Kevin Hinton, CIS, Chair-Elect, Events Industry Council, Brand Task Force Member. “In order to be more inclusive and representative of our industry, it became apparent a name change was needed to better reflect the direction of the industry and the organizations we represent. ‘Events’ consistently came to the forefront as the most universal, progressive and preferred descriptor.”

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

In Brief


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (fifth from right) and stakeholders break ground on the $1.5 billion Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion (rendering left), scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Rendering of the new home of the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (left), opening in 2019

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND — Aberdeen City Council has named SMG to manage the existing Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) ahead of a move to its newly built home near Aberdeen International Airport in 2019. The partnership follows last year’s announcement that SMG was awarded preferred bidder status to manage, operate and program the new $416 million complex. The new state-of-the art venue will include a 12,500-seat arena with a moveable stage, hospitality boxes and club lounge, 538,000 sq. ft. of flexible exhibition space, conference center, three hotels and its own energy center. “SMG’s expertise in driving multipurpose exhibition, conference and entertainment content is second to none, and we’re delighted to bring this portfolio of experience, international industry contacts and innovative thinking to both 6

the existing and new AECC,” comments John Sharkey, SMG Executive Vice President of European Operations. AUSTIN, TX — Austin residents from the music, arts, technology and business industries have formed a coalition called A New Vision for Austin’s Convention Center, which advocates for the expansion of the facility. The Austin Convention Center currently has 247,050 sq. ft. of exhibit space, and the center’s official long-range master plan calls for an expansion of 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space and 65,000 sq. ft. of meeting space that would be located in a new building across from the current facility, connected by skybridge. LOS ANGELES, CA — The Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC), managed by AEG Facilities, placed second in the

Water Management Category at the Los Angeles Department Water and Power (LADWP) 2017 Sustainability Awards. The Sustainability Awards event was held on April 6, 2017, at the La Kretz Innovation Campus in the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District and recognized highlevel commitment to environmental sustainability, honoring LADWP large non-residential customers who completed major efficiency and conservation projects. “Californians have just experienced the worst drought in recent history, so increasing water efficiency is a must. We are honored to be recognized by LADWP and continue to expand our sustainable efforts,” notes Brad Gessner, General Manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center and Senior Vice President of AEG Facilities. NEW YORK, NY — On March 1, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo broke ground on the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center expansion in Manhattan’s West Side, signifying the start of construction on the first phase of the $1.5 billion project. Set for completion in 2021, the expanded Javits Center

is expected to generate $393 million in new annual economic activity, reduce area traffic congestion and increase the efficiency of operations to allow for new and expanded events. “This is no longer a promise or a proposal — we have now broken ground on expanding one of this region’s greatest economic assets, proving yet again that government can get things done,” Cuomo said. “This is the new New York — meeting deadlines, fulfilling promises and supporting transformative projects that provide economic opportunity for businesses of all sizes and New Yorkers of all backgrounds. The Javits Center expansion is creating thousands of construction jobs and supporting the growth of New York’s hotel, restaurant and tourism industries for decades to come.” PEMBROKE PINES, FL — The SMG-managed Charles F. Dodge City Center opened last month in Pembroke Pines, the second-largest city in Broward County. Leveraging its longstanding success and market knowledge at the Broward County Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center, SMG has teamed with the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in this new partnership. Designed to accommodate banquets, conventions, meetings, tradeshows and performance events, the new 175,000-sq.-ft. facility includes the Great Hall, which offers room for more than 3,200 guests seated theater style, 2,400 for concerts, Continued on page 10

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook









2017 1
















Albuquerque Convention Center (Albuquerque, NM) Branson Convention Center (Branson, MO) Broward County Convention Center (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Century Center (South Bend, IN) Cobo Center (Detroit, MI) Colorado Convention Center (Denver, CO) Cox Convention Center (Oklahoma City, OK) David L. Lawrence Convention Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

DeVos Place (Grand Rapids, MI) Greater Columbus Convention Center (Columbus, OH) Global Center for Health Innovation (Cleveland, OH) Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland (Cleveland, OH) Jackson Convention Complex (Jackson, MS) Irving Convention Center (Irving, TX) Kansas Expocentre (Topeka, KS) Knoxville Convention Center (Knoxville, TN)

PRIME SITE WINNERS Worldwide Entertainment and Convention Venue Management

















a t n e m n e i g a t a r n e a t

17. Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center (Long Beach, CA) 18. McCormick Place (Chicago, IL) 19. Meadowlands Exposition Center (Secaucus, NJ) 20. Mobile Convention Center (Mobile, AL) 21. Montego Bay Convention Centre (Montego Bay, Jamaica) 22. NRG Center (Houston, TX) 23. Palm Springs Convention Center (Palm Springs, CA)

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

24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31.

Pennsylvania Convention Center (Philadelphia, PA) Raising Cane’s River Center (Baton Rouge, LA) Rhode Island Convention Center (Providence, RI) SeaGate Convention Centre (Toledo, OH) Shreveport Convention Center (Shreveport, LA) Sioux Falls Convention Center (Sioux Falls, SD) Tucson Convention Center (Tucson, AZ) Wildwoods Convention Center (Wildwood, NJ)

In Brief

Convention CENTER WATCH Continued from page 6

ROCHESTER, MN — The $84 million Mayo Civic Center expansion project, which began in March 2015, was substantially completed on April 1 of this year. Located in the heart of downtown Rochester, the expanded Mayo Civic Center features Minnesota’s largest ballroom (40,000 sq. ft.), pre-function areas with views of the Zumbro River and the downtown, 23 breakout rooms, a brand-new 7,000-sq.-ft. banquet production kitchen, and the 7,500-sq.-ft. Riverfront Plaza, an outdoor reception venue. In total, the Mayo Civic Center now offers

more than 200,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and exhibit space. SAN DIEGO, CA — The San Diego Convention Center has been recognized for innovative and successful zero-waste efforts by the City of San Diego’s Environmental Services Department with the Recycler of the Year Award. This marks the sixth time the convention center has achieved this prestigious recognition. The award was presented on April 6, 2017, at the 25th annual Recycler of the Year ceremony held at the San Diego Central Library. The San Diego Convention Center is a proud industry leader in sustainability. Each program in place as part of daily

The expanded Mayo Civic Center includes common areas with panoramic views of downtown Rochester, MN. (Right): Mayo Civic Center Commission members (l-r) Heidi Mestad, Dan Nelson, Matt McCollum, Marvin Mitchell and Amita Patel (seated). operations continues to improve, helping reach new record diversion rates. The facility set an alltime recycling record in 2016 by diverting 79 percent (3,162 tons) of total waste from local landfills. UNCASVILLE, CT — Construction is underway on The Mohegan Sun Expo Center with a target opening date of summer 2018. The expansion will span over 240,000 gross sq. ft. and will be located by the Winter Parking garage and in proximity to Mohegan Sun’s newest hotel, Earth Tower. The facility will include: a 21,412-sq.-ft. ballroom, divisible into two and featuring over 3,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space; the 130,000-sq.-ft.,


1,300 classroom style, 1,120 banquet style and more than 100 exhibits for tradeshows.

Kara Starzyk


Jose Gonzalez

(L-r): Steve Clark, GM of the new Charles F. Dodge City Center (depicted above); Broward Center for the Performing Arts President and CEO Kelley Shanley; SMG Executive VP Gregg Caren; City of Pembroke Pines Recreation Director Christina Sorensen; and SMG COO and Senior VP Bob McClintock

column-free Exposition Center; 18 meeting rooms in total; a 1,263-sq.-ft. boardroom with its own outdoor terrace; and 3,600 sq. ft. of outdoor space, which includes a large wrap-around terrace for the full center. Additional features include a mobile box office, digital displays inside and outside the center, free Wi-Fi and contiguous exhibit space.

Mohegan Sun’s new Expo Center is set to open in the summer of 2018. 10

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

Elizabeth M December 12 at 9:34pm

Pinch me I’m…working. And loving this conference! Where else can you get photo bombed by a dolphin? Or network with your toes in the sand? I Orlando! #BestMeetingEver #OrlandoMeeting

Like • Comment • Share 280 Likes

Imagine the possibilities.

For planning assistance, visit OrlandoMeeting.com 2ND LARGEST CONVENTION CENTER IN THE COUNTRY




Manuel Deisen Omni Atlanta Hotel ATLANTA, GA — Omni Hotels & Resorts has acquired Time Warner Inc.’s 50 percent interest in the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center. Omni Hotels & Resorts partnered with Turner Broadcasting in 2000 to acquire the hotel’s south tower and build the 600-room north tower, which opened in 2003. The hotel connects to

Amy McPherson Maritz International, Europe the CNN Center, Georgia World Congress Center and the College Football Hall of Fame. The property features 1,059 guestrooms and suites and 45 meeting rooms with more than 120,000 sq. ft. of function space. Omni Hotels & Resorts has appointed Manuel Deisen as General Manager of the hotel. Deisen joins the Omni Atlanta

Hotel at CNN Center from the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, where he had been General Manager since 2012. BETHESDA, MD — Marriott International, Inc. has announced plans to dramatically increase the size of its portfolio in Europe across all segments of the industry. The planned expansion in Europe is the first development vision announced for the continent since the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in September 2016. “2016 was a momentous year for both the company and our continent team. We added 40,000 rooms in Europe with the Starwood acquisition alone, and achieved our long-term goal to triple in size, from 40,000 open rooms in 2010 to 134,000 open or signed rooms at the end of 2016,” said Amy McPherson, President and Managing Director, Marriott International, Europe. “Now, as we look to the future, we have set ambitious goals for 2020. We plan to expand our lead in the luxury and full-service segments, to have the largest portfolio in the upscale tier and to win with Millennials in the affordable lifestyle category.” CHICAGO, IL — The Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile has been rebranded the Hyatt Centric Chicago Magnificent Mile. The Hyatt Centric brand targets Millennial guests and those seeking “authentic experiences” of the local culture. The 419-room hotel offers 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. DUBAI, UAE — Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a second luxury hotel and branded residences in Dubai. Targeted to open in late 2020, the 257-room downtown hotel will complement the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira Beach, Dubai, the Group’s previously announced urban resort that is currently under construction on the beachfront and due to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. HONOLULU, HI — The Mandarin Oriental, Hawaii is projected to open in early 2020. Located adjacent to the Hawaii Convention Center, the 125-room hotel will feature a signature spa and rooftop restaurant and bar with landscaped outdoor terraces.


INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, recently announced that six prominent downtown Indianapolis hotels that have pledged to participate in IPL Green Power Option, a program that allows participants to specify a percentage of their monthly electricity use to be generated by wind. The hotels include Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown, Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Omni Severin Hotel, The Westin Indianapolis, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown and JW Marriott Indianapolis. Collectively, these six hotels will reduce approximately 20 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to 1,530 residential homes’ emissions, by participating in the program. LIMA, PERU — The 200-room Holiday Inn Lima, managed by InterContinental Hotels Group, is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2019. Offering groups 5,500 sq. ft. of meetings space, the hotel will be situated on Avenida Ricardo Palma in the Miraflores District, an affluent residential area south of downtown Lima known for its upscale dining and shopping. See page 62 for more information on the meetings offerings of Lima and its environs. MYRTLE BEACH, SC — The Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has completed a $14 million makeover of its 405 guestrooms. Highlights include new contemporary furnishings, 50-inch smart TVs and re-carpeted hallways. The resort offers 45,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The new Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, located on Cable Beach, began accepting reservations May 8 following a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The hotel offers 1,800 guestrooms, including 230 luxury suites; 200,000 sq. ft. of indooroutdoor event space, including the 82,000-sq.-ft. Baha Mar Convention, Arts & Entertainment Center; more than 20 food and dining outlets; a 30,000-sq.-ft. ESPA Spa; a 100,000-sq.-ft. casino; and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course.

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

TREATING MEDICAL MEETINGS WITH CARE Caesars Entertainment is here to prescribe the solution to all of your meeting needs with one contract, one point of contact, and a level of personal service that is second to none. Our salespeople live and work right in your community, so whenever you need us, we’ll be there. Schedule your next meeting with Caesars Entertainment and our dedicated team will provide excellent care of your business. Find out what Caesars can do for your business at CaesarsMeansBusiness.com or call 855-633-8238.

In Brief

meetings taking place during the 2019 calendar year. Groups must contract at least 1,000 rooms on peak utilizing all three participating hotels. The Phoenix Convention Center lease agreement and participating hotel contracts must be signed by Dec. 31, 2017. All terms and conditions are available at VisitPhoenix.com/ Meet2019.

MEETING DEALS ORLANDO, FL — Planners bringing a group to the Wyndham Grand Orlando Bonnet Creek can save 10 percent on their total spend, earn double Go Meet Wyndham Rewards Points and receive complimentary WiFi in all meeting space for events booked and held by Dec. 21, 2017. Includes the following added benefits: Waived resort services fee of $20 per room per day; 10 percent off of the 2017 published banquet menus; and 10 percent off of all in-house audiovisual services. The following group spends apply to the reward earnings: guestrooms, when there are 10 or more rooms on at least one night; meeting room rental fees; and planned events with

F&B charges. For additional details, visit www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com/packages/save10-on-your-next-2017-meeting. PHOENIX, AZ — Visit Phoenix’s

new Meet Your Million promotion includes: up to one million Loyalty Reward Points; up to a $50,000 credit toward an opening reception; complimentary meeting room Wi-Fi at the Phoenix Convention Center at 1.5 mbps; complimentary guestroom Wi-Fi at participating hotels; and no attrition at Sheraton Grand Phoenix, Hyatt Regency Phoenix and Renaissance Phoenix Downtown. The promotion applies to qualifying citywide RFPs for

ST. LOUIS, MO — Explore St. Louis and participating members of the region’s hospitality community are offering meeting groups the VIP Gateway Arch Experience, which showcases the recently completed $380 million CityArchRiver project. The package includes a behind-the-scenes tour of the Arch grounds and museum for 25 VIPs; a $1 airfare credit for each room night booked; a comp room for the planner for every 30 guestrooms booked; complimentary guestroom Wi-Fi; waived hotel attrition

clauses and complimentary meeting room rental; and more. Offers only apply for new business taking place between Dec. 15, 2017 and Dec. 15, 2018. To learn more about the program, visit www.explorestlouis.com/bookstl or call (800) 405-2058. SINGAPORE — The Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau is offering Special Benefits for Trade Exhibitions and Trade Conferences. Planners who apply before Dec. 31, 2019 are eligible for numerous privileges, including: up to five complimentary Economy Class tickets on Singapore Airlines; complimentary welcome desk at Singapore Changi Airport; discounts on advertising space across all terminals at the airport; 10 percent discount off Uber rides for all attendees (maximum 2,500 rides); and more. For details, visit www.visitsingapore.com/ mice/en.html.

Premier convention center located in a vibrant downtown entertainment district featuring dining establishments, nightclubs, museums, the 2,404 seat DeVos Performance Hall and the 12,000 seat Van Andel Arena, all within walking distance, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 162,000 sq. ft., column-free exhibit hall 40,000 sq. ft. ballroom 32,000 sq. ft. of sub-dividable meeting rooms

DeVos Place.org


Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook




EMERGE 2017 The Religious Conference Management Association’s annual meeting was held in Chicago, IL, Feb. 7-9


Choose Chicago hosted the Conference Opening Reception at the iconic Field Museum

Chicago Boyz acrobatic team wow the Emerge audience with their high-flying antics and performance

Dean Jones, CMP, Director of Conferences, RCMA, addresses delegates

Authentic Chicago jazz adds local flavor to the opening events

Emma Pitts of PullSpark Productions discusses the art of general session design during an educational session

The Soul Children of Chicago delight the RCMA audience at the Opening Keynote session

Haydn Shaw, opening keynoter, discusses Sticking Points, his book navigating generational workplace issues

(L-r): Dean Jones; David Whitaker, CEO, and Michele Pondexter, Director of Diversity Sales, Choose Chicago; and Dr. Harry Schmidt, CEO, RCMA

The Closing Dessert Reception was held in the Hilton Chicago’s historic Grand Ballroom

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook


ONE AMAZING DESTINATION! AUSTIN, WE DID IT! We pulled off an amazing event for PCMA Convening Leaders, one of the meeting industry’s premier events of the year. 40 local musicians performed at the Austin Convention Center, Palmer Events Center, ABIA, and during events

42 venues and restaurants were booked or rented for 63 client events

325 volunteer hours locals contributed during the conference

53 local sponsors from the worlds of retail, tech, spirits and restaurants

$40K worth of donations gifted to local non-profits thanks to PCMA volunteering and fundraising

[512] 404-4200 www.austinconventioncenter.com

A big Thank You to all sponsors and partners who helped make PCMA Convening Leaders possible.

FORUM Dean Jones

Director of ConferenceS Religious Conference Management Association


By George Seli

member of RCMA for over two decades, Dean Jones has served in his current role for nearly six years. Previously, he oversaw the annual conference of the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Conference planning comes naturally to Jones: “My brain works in logistical, logical ways, so it’s a natural fit,” he explains. “If I wasn’t an event planner, I’d be a contractor and build houses. It’s a process of following very specific steps in order to make it work, and so very similar to event planning.” Jones applies those logistical skills in planning RCMA’s annual conference, dubbed Emerge in 2013. “That was the year our new leadership came on board, so we rebranded the conference to try to get some renewed focus and recreate a fairly old establishment,” he says. Emerge is next scheduled for Omaha, NE, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, 2018.


ow do you think convention planning has evolved since the time you took up that role?

think today people are a lot more intentional about becoming planners. You see people going into that field specifically, and getting an education in the hopes of landing a job in the eventplanning world, whereas 20-25 years ago I think it was more happenstance. Now it’s a much more honored and intentional career path.


as the attendance at the RCMA annual conference grown since it was rebranded?

ur attendance overall has slowly grown over those years. When it comes to exhibitors, we took an intentional step five years ago and reduced the size of our exhibit hall solely to create a better buyer/seller ratio. [With the improved ratio] our planners didn’t feel like they were outnumbered three to one, and our suppliers didn’t feel like they were getting lost in this massive exhibit hall where people weren’t paying attention to them.


re you targeting certain demographic segments in order to increase attendance?

n most religious organizations there are many layers, such as international, national, regional, state and district levels. And it’s really hard to get down into those lower levels and figure out who the people are that plan events. It’s easy to find the director of planning for some of the larger denominations. But when you get down to who plans a state conference for the United Methodist Church, for example, that becomes a challenge. And all of those people really fall under our umbrella; we want to connect with them and help train them.



re you reaching out to younger planners as well? How large is that contingent in the field? see some of these older legacy planners who I’ve known my entire career still doing well and actively involved, but they know that at some point in the near future they’re going to retire. And so many of them have brought a younger person under their wing. That’s where I see the younger generation being involved at this point in our market. I’m sure the corporate market has a stronger Millennial presence, but for us it’s slower moving. Still, it’s a goal of mine to develop programming content and smaller events within the bigger event to try to engage the younger audience, and also learn from them.


hat are some of your main site selection criteria for Emerge?

e’ve alternated between first- and second-tier cities over the last 40-plus years. We go where there is interest in a partnership. Chicago [Emerge 2017] was interested in connecting with the religious market, as was San Diego [Emerge 2016]. We also try to expose our members to locations where we think their own events could occur easily in the future.


ow would you describe the value proposition of religious meetings business to a city?

hey’re a very loyal audience; they like to return to places. So once you host them, you can be pretty sure they’ll come back to your city at some point in their rotation. Also, most religious organizations are fairly flexible on their meeting times, and almost every city in the country has an opening somewhere that they need to fill, whether that’s a weekend or a holiday. And I think the third thing that distinguishes the religious market from others is relationship. I would say that almost all of our planner members would be more inclined to do business with someone that they feel is their friend, long before they feel they are a business associate.


hat other goals do you have for Emerge?

ne of my goals is to continue to engage what I would call senior planners, those who oversee multiple or very large events or staffs of planners. They may not be coming to our conference to learn because they’re at a level where they probably know most of what they need to know. But I want them to help invest in others that attend, and help us craft content and direction for our conference. Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook





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We are the experts that help bring out the best in event planners. Through proven methods, innovative concepts, attentive customer service and passionate industry professionals, Spectra turns your event into a truly remarkable experience.


Atlantic City Convention Center Atlantic City, NJ

Total Meeting Space: 600,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 457,200 sq ft Ballroom: 29,400 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 45 Hotel Rooms: 15,630 within city Located within a few hours drive of nearly one third of the nation’s population and 20 percent of the country’s business addresses.

One Convention Boulevard Atlantic City, NJ 08401 609.449.2000



Miami Beach Convention Center

Miami Beach, FL

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.

Total Meeting Space: 694,392 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 502,193 sq ft Grand Ballroom Space: 60,979 sq ft Three Junior Ballrooms: 16,106 sq ft - 19,591 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 81

*All figures are an estimate based on renovation plans and are subject to change.

Hotel Rooms: 7,564 Rooms within one mile Located 12 miles from Miami International Airport: #2 for International Passengers.

1901 Convention Center Drive Miami Beach, FL 33139 786.276.2607

miamibeachconvention.com LEGEND

Venue Management

Food Services & Hospitality


Duke Energy Convention Center

Total Meeting Space: 750,000 sq ft

Located in the heart of downtown.

Exhibit Hall: 200,000 sq ft

Central to shopping, entertainment and 100+ restaurants.

Ballrooms: 40,000 sq ft and 17,500 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 30 Hotel Rooms: 3,500 adjacent


Prime Site Award Winner for six consecutive years.

525 Elm Street Cincinnati, OH 45202 513.419.7300

Cincinnati, OH

Iowa Events Center

Des Moines, IA

Total Meeting Space: 286,300 sq ft

Attached hotel opening Spring 2018.

Exhibit Hall: 150,000 sq ft

Facility renovated in January 2012.

Ballroom: 28,800 sq ft

Tax-exempt convention center facility.

Number of Meeting Rooms: 37 Arena: 16,980 seats Pre-function Space : 60,300 sq ft Hotel Rooms: 1,900 hotel rooms within one mile of the Iowa Events Center. 12,500+ hotel rooms in Greater Des Moines Metro area.

730 Third Street Des Moines, IA 50309 515.564.8000




Venue Management

Food Services & Hospitality

Greater Richmond Convention Center

Total Meeting Space: 310,331 sq ft Exhibit Halls A, B, C, D: 178,159 sq ft Grand Ballroom: 30,550 sq ft Jr. Ballroom: 7,392 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 36 Additional Meeting Space: 50,000 sq ft Registration Lobby: 11,500 sq ft Hotel Rooms: 650 attached/adjacent, 3,600 downtown and 18,000 in the region.


Largest meeting and exhibition facility in Virginia. Centrally located and accessible via I-95/I-64. Virginia Green Certified and Non-Union. Award-winning restaurants and attractions in close proximity.

403 North Third Street Richmond, VA 23219 804.783.7334

Richmond, VA

Utah Valley Convention Center

Total Meeting Space: 84,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 20,000 sq ft Ballroom: 17,000 sq ft

Provo, UT

One of the most technologically advanced, architecturally pleasing, functionally superb venues in the West.

220 West Center Street Provo, UT 84601 801.851.2200

Meeting Rooms: 16 Hotel Rooms: 331 adjacent, 1,300 rooms with shuttle service.

utahvalleyconventioncenter.com LEGEND

Venue Management

Food Services & Hospitality

Saint Charles Convention Center

Saint Charles, MO

Total Meeting Space: 154,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 35,700 sq ft Grand Ballroom: 16,200 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 21 Hotel Rooms: 296 attached; 2,100 within a five-mile radius. 1,200 complimentary parking spaces. Half-mile from Streets of St. Charles, one mile from Historic St. Charles. 10 minutes from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis.

1 Convention Center Plaza St. Charles, MO 63303 636.669.3000



Durham Convention Center Total Meeting Space: 35,000 sq ft Grand Ballroom: 15,500 sq ft (divisible into 3 sections) Jr. Ballroom: 11,500 sq ft (divisible into 8 sections) Meeting Rooms: 4 Board Rooms: 2 Hotel Rooms: 190 attached, 500+ within walking distance Located in a vibrant downtown dining and entertainment district. 14 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

301 West Morgan Street Durham, NC 27701 919.956.9404


Durham, NC


IMEX America Special Section The Summer issue of Facilities & Destinations will devote a special section to IMEX America 2017, one of the preeminent tradeshows in the meetings and events industry. To be held Oct. 10-12 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, NV, IMEX America is expected to convene over 5,500 decision makers and over 3,200 exhibitors from more than 130 countries.

Facilities & Destinations

F&D will bring you exclusive interviews with some of the show’s organizers and presenters. A preview of the educational content and IMEXthemed destination coverage will also be included. Our staff looks forward to connecting with F&D readers and industry partners at this year’s show, which promises to be another great installment.


Facilities Media Group’s trade magazine for booking agents, promoters and venue managers is expanding its coverage to include the sports-related travel and event industry. Invaluable to those who organize and manage sporting events, the new content will include developments at destinations and venues that cater to this industry segment. Q&As with event organizers and key suppliers will keep readers abreast of the latest trends, and offer guidance in maximizing the success of sporting events and tours. Look for our sports-travel focus beginning with the 2017-2018 F&EM Booking Guide. 30

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

Best show we attend all year. IMEX America 2016


over 12,000 participants from 139 countries

WE’LL SEE YOU IN 2017! Great news—IMEX America returns next year for our lucky number 7 show. Count on meeting us in Las Vegas for yet another jackpot of industry connections and unrivaled business prospects.





2017 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence Cities and Convention Centers That BOTH EXCEL AND IMPROVE


t is a pleasure each year to recognize cities and venues that offer superior environments for meetings and tradeshows. Among the features that F&D readers highlight in making nominations for the Awards of Excellence are convenient air accessibility, a CVB versed in group service, a LEEDcertified convention center, a diverse and convenient hotel package, and intriguing offsite activities. Winning an award thus signals client satisfaction on many levels, and is a boon for these suppliers as they work to stand out among competitors bidding for meetings business. Yet these leading cities and sites not only excel as far as their current offerings. They are also improvementoriented, and look to give group clients new reasons to return. Among this year’s Prime Site and Top Destination Award winners, we can cite numerous examples of improvement projects that ensure these locales continue to excel. Following is a brief sampling: • Events DC. Washington, DC’s official convention and sports authority has initiated numerous upgrades to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, from Wi-Fi enhancements to a streetscape transformation that will be pursued over the next four years (see page 74).


• Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Spearheaded by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Javits Center has commenced a $1.5 billion expansion (see page 68). • Greater Columbus Convention Center. The SMG-managed facility has recently completed a $140 million expansion and renovation that introduced Ohio’s largest multipurpose ballroom (see page 94). • Long Beach CVB. In recent years, major renovations have been completed to both the Long Beach Convention & Enterntainment Center and the Long Beach Airport (see page 106). • New Orleans CVB. The Big Easy’s Convention Center Boulevard will be transformed to connect the Warehouse/Arts District to the French Quarter, and a new $65 million park will be developed (see page 84). Ballots for the Awards of Excellence are available in F&D’s quarterly print publications and at Facilitiesonline.com. The Prime Site Award is given out to convention centers, and the Top Destination Award to CVBs and other DMOs. We look forward to recognizing more cities and facilities that both excel and improve. Submit your nominees for the 2018 Prime Site and Top Destination Awards today (ballot page 55).

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

2017 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Top Destination Award Winners Meet AC/Atlantic City CVA, NJ Greater Boston CVB, MA Greater Hartford CVB, CT Philadelphia CVB, PA Visit Pittsburgh, PA Providence/Warwick CVB, RI


Prime Site Award-winning Javits Center (page 68)


Prime Site Award Winners Atlantic City Convention Center, NJ Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, MA Conference & Events Center Niagara Falls, NY Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center, NY 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 34

Prime Site Award Winners Baltimore Convention Center, MD Greater Richmond Convention Center, VA Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Ocean City, MD Virginia Beach Convention Center, VA Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC Top Destination Award Winners Events DC, Washington, DC Virginia Beach CVB, VA Ocean City CVB, MD Visit Baltimore, MD Visit Norfolk, VA Top Destination Award-winning Events DC (page 74)

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook




Spectacular downtown riverfront location

20 minutes from the airport to downtown

Over 40 independent restaurants

See what it looks when we defy your expectations at ctconventions.com/defy


2017 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Top Destination Award-winning Visit Knoxville (page 79)


Prime Site Award Winners Birmingham-Jefferson County Convention Center, Birmingham, AL The Classic Center, Athens, GA Durham Convention Center, NC Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA Greater Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, FL Jackson Convention Complex, MS Knoxville Convention Center, TN Miami Beach Convention Center, FL Mobile Convention Center, AL Music City Center, Nashville, TN Myrtle Beach Convention Center, SC New Orleans Morial Convention Center, LA Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL Owensboro Convention Center, KY Palm Beach County Convention Center, West Palm Beach, FL Raising Cane’s River Center, Baton Rouge, LA 36

Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, GA Shreveport Convention Center, LA Top Destination Award Winners Birmingham CVB, AL Greater Miami CVB, FL Greensboro CVB, NC Little Rock, CVB, AR Louisville CVB, KY New Orleans CVB, LA Visit Jackson, MS Visit Knoxville, TN Visit Orlando, FL Visit Savannah, GA


Prime Site Award Winners Alerus Center, Grand Forks, ND Branson Convention Center, MO Bridge View Center, Ottumwa, IA Century Center, South Bend, IN Cobo Center, Detroit, MI Greater Columbus Convention Center, OH Prime Site Award-winning Greater Columbus Convention Center (page 94)

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook



Bon AppĂŠtit named DC the 2016 Restaurant City of the Year. Shape magazine ranks us the #2 Fittest City in America. USA Today scores DC a Top Ten Best Sports City and walkscore.com chose us as one of the most walkable cities. Need any more reasons to host your event in DC? Discover what makes DC such a happening place at EventsDC.com. Walter E. Washington Convention Center | Carnegie Library | RFK Stadium | DC Armory | Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium | Gateway DC

2017 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Visit Indy, Indianapolis, IN Visit Milwaukee, WI Visit Wichita, KS


Prime Site Award-winning Kansas City Convention Center (page 97)

DeVos Place, Grand Rapids, MI Duke Energy Convention Center, Cincinnati, OH Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland, OH/Global Center for Health Innovation, OH Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN Iowa Events Center, Des Moines, IA Kansas City Convention Center, MO Kansas Expocentre, Topeka, KS McCormick Place, Chicago, IL Monona Terrace Convention Center, Madison, WI Saint Charles Convention Center, MO SeaGate Convention Centre, Toledo, OH Sioux Falls Convention Center, SD Wisconsin Center, Milwaukee, WI

Prime Site Award Winners Albuquerque Convention Center, NM Anaheim Convention Center, CA Austin Convention Center, TX Boise Centre, ID Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center, Corpus Christi, TX Cox Convention Center, Oklahoma City, OK 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, TX Las Cruces Convention Center, NM Prime Site Award-winning Austin Convention Center (page 102)

Top Destination Award Winners Akron/Summit CVB, OH Destination Cleveland, OH Experience Columbus, OH Explore St. Louis, MO Greater Des Moines CVB, IA Visit Detroit/Metro Detroit CVB, MI 38

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

The Great Florida Venue D A Y T O N A


The Ocean Center is located in the heart of one of America’s favorite family destinations. It’s the perfect venue for meetings and conventions large and small, exhibitions, entertainment events and sporting competitions. And when the meeting breaks, the ocean awaits. Book the Ocean Center and the best staff in the business will make your next event your best event.

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

2017 Facilities & Destinations Awards of Excellence

Prime Site Award-winning Los Angeles Convention Center (page 107)

Meet Hawaii, HI Oklahoma City CVB, OK Pasadena CVB, CA Sacramento CVB, CA San Antonio CVB, TX Visit Anaheim/Anaheim/ Orange County CVB, CA Visit Denver, CO Visit Phoenix, AZ Visit Spokane, WA

Canada Las Vegas Convention Center, NV Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, CA Los Angeles Convention Center, CA NRG Center, Houston, TX Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR Palm Springs Convention Center, CA Phoenix Civic Plaza Convention Center, AZ Sacramento Convention Center, CA San Diego Convention Center, CA Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV Spokane Convention Center, WA Tucson Convention Center, Tucson, AZ Utah Valley Convention Center, Provo, UT Top Destination Award Winners Austin CVB, TX Boise CVB, ID Colorado Springs CVB, CO Greater Houston CVB, TX Irving CVB, TX Las Vegas CVA, NV Long Beach CVB, CA Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, CA 40

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


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 Prime Site Award-winning Phoenix Convention Center (page 113)

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

FIND A MEETINGS DESTINATION THAT DAZZLES Just minutes from a world-class airport and some of the world’s top hotels, restaurants and beaches, Miami offers a stunning array of meeting options, including the new Miami Beach Convention Center, coming in 2018. Contact us to learn more. | Meetings@MiamiMeetings.com 800-933-8448 ext. 3071 | MiamiMeetings.com

© Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau – The Official Destination Sales & Marketing Organization for Greater Miami and the Beaches.

Four Decades of Growth

SMG has evolved from trailblazer to a market leader in public facility management


By George Seli

his year, global venue management company SMG celebrates its 40th anniversary, a milestone for any organization. But more important than longevity is the steady growth the company has achieved. SMG has developed on many fronts: a maturation of services and internal processes, an expansion in lines of business, and a proliferation of new clients over the years. SMG’s first account — which it retains to this day — is the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and by 1993 the company had nearly 30 clients. SMG was ripe for further expansion, and that’s when EVP, Finance and Administration Wes Westley became President and CEO. Today, SMG’s top executives look back on that moment as a turning point for the company. Westley established four major divisions: Convention + Exhibition Centers, Stadiums + Arenas + Theaters, SMG Europe and SAVOR. Under his visionary leadership, the reorganized SMG achieved dramatic business development, reaching the total of 232 facilities worldwide in its portfolio today. “Those four divisions now contribute almost equally to the bottom line, so I think that was a big move in the right direction,” says Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President, Stadiums and Arenas. “That move allowed us to focus more specifically on the best practices that involve our subject matter experts in those particular disciplines.” Also instrumental to SMG’s growth were various acquisitions, including Leisure Management International, Ogden Corp. and San Diego, CA-based Premier Food Service. For Gregg Caren, Executive Vice President of Convention and Exhibition Centers, what is most significant on the occasion of SMG’s 40th anniversary is “the very fact that one can even inquire specifically about SMG’s Convention Center Division.” The realignment “has allowed us to build a leadership team and action plan that focuses on the unique needs of meeting and exhibition venues, and the communities they serve,” Caren explains. The community focus displayed by SMG’s leaders is another factor that has made the company successful, adds Maureen Ginty, Executive Vice President. “As much as our growth is remarkable, our retention 42

of clients is as well. We’re at a 92 percent retention rate,” she says. “And it’s attributable to our general managers; they do a really good job of becoming part of their communities and taking on their vision and objectives.” Although SMG’s four divisions specialize in different lines of business, they are certainly not silos. Best practices are shared among them to optimize client service. For example, the Convention Center and Stadium/Arena divisions “communicate constantly, sharing and learning from each other,” Caren explains. “This is a must in our world, especially considering that at least 40 of our locations are multipurpose venues, drawing on the support and expertise of both of operating units.” John Sharkey, Executive Vice President, European Operations, adds, “There are synergies that come from the management of these buildings that are common in terms of F&B, environmental [initiatives], etc. The clients are different, the customer experience is different, but trying to deliver on these common objectives is pretty much the same.” One goal that various kinds of facilities share is to excel in customer service, and to that end SMG offers the k’nekt Training Program, which covers sales, event management and culinary service skills. The program was the brainchild of Ginty, who explains the value proposition of the three-day sales training course: “People mistakenly think that if you have a nice personality, you’ll be good at sales, but there are techniques. By offering that class, we make sure that everybody has access to the information and is trained in sales. We get great marks. This summer, we’re launching a sales class for our bureaus” at the request of clients. Recently, k’nekt sales and event training classes were approved for CMP education credits by the Convention Industry Council.


SMG’s first convention center account was a top-tier facility in the meetings industry: Moscone Center. Since then, the company has added over 70 convention centers — and facilities that include convention venues — to its portfolio. “There are so many success Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

“SMG was the first to look at major public venues through the eyes of a luxury hotel manager and guest.” —Gregg Caren, Executive Vice President of Convention and Exhibition Centers

stories, with success being noted in different ways ranging from customer service to financial performance,” says Caren. “And success is as vital to the municipal owner of a venue with less than 100,000 sq. ft. of space as it is to those over 500,000 sq. ft.” The division’s philosophy of client service is to focus on what Caren calls “our three varieties of ‘client’: event organizer, exhibitor and attendee. Given our Hyatt roots in hospitality [SMG was originally founded by the Pritzker family], SMG was the first to look at public venues through the eyes of a luxury hotel manager and guest. This perspective helped build our culinary services, as well as a more concierge approach to working with meeting planners and their guests,” he explains. Eventually, the team also began to focus on the experience of the exhibitor and general services contractor. “This has been especially helpful in our larger tradeshow venues where the exhibitor experience is critical to the event’s success,” he adds. The comprehensive approach to addressing the needs of various stakeholders has made SMG a “truly recognized brand in the minds of event hosts and industry partners,” says Caren. “Whether association, corporate, trade or consumer show organizer, our clients have confidence in the high level of consistent service they receive in booking one of our venues.” And sourcing those venues is a centralized process. “The fact that event organizers can research and book any or all of our 75 venues with one email or phone call is a huge value to not only the planner, but to the venues and destinations we serve. I think that the fact that we have been able to secure preferred national relationships with firms like Experient and SmithBucklin speaks volumes to what the SMG brand represents, and the value proposition to our mutual end users,” says Caren. Overseeing so many convention facilities, Caren has a vantage point to observe trends in their design. In general, they are becoming “less institutional,” he notes. “Personalizing spaces for human interaction can make a venue feel more like a boutique hotel than a stark open space.” California’s Long Beach Convention Center is a case in point. The venue has been transformed into “a hip series of surprising spaces, inspired by the very first TED conferences,” says Caren. “Meeting planners and attendees are blown away by large sofas, Restoration Hardware chandeliers and unique turnkey event spaces. The entire LBCC campus can serve as a venue design learning laboratory — and it will for SMG’s annual management meeting this summer!”


During the last couple of years, this division of SMG has made significant strides, with the Los Angeles market being a prime example. The company was recently awarded management of the historic Greek Theatre, formerly contracted with Nederlander for about 40 years. “That was a big one for us because it gave us more of a presence in the LA market with an iconic venue,” remarks Thornton. “We do 74 concerts a season out there. Another one in the L.A. market was taking over the operation of the Ontario arena, which is called Citizens Business Bank Arena, formerly run by AEG. We manage the Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

convention center in Ontario, and the city asked us to come in and take over the operation of the arena, which we did last summer.” On the stadium side, SMG’s partnership with the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN, was a major milestone. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority hired SMG when ground had just been broken on the stadium. “We had no GM or staff; it was a startup operation,” Thornton recalls. “And it was the first NFL stadium that had been bid out to private management probably for 10 years up to that point. We opened it last July and are about to close out our first full fiscal year, and we’ve exceeded our expectations there and the client’s expectations.” Bringing value to new facilities is a “differentiator” for SMG, according to Thornton, as the company has opened 20 new buildings in the last 10 years and has been involved in about 40 transitions. Soon after U.S. Bank Stadium opened, SMG took over management of the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, from Spectra. “And we really improved the financial picture in just one year,” says Thornton. “That was another big win for us, because it gave us a total of six NFL stadiums.” SMG’s service to its stadium, arena and theater clients is facilitated by knowledge sharing among its general managers and directors of operations, via a widely used intranet system called OSCAR (Operations Support through Communication And Resources). “They can pull down procurement documents, RFPs for security services, and so on. It’s a repository for best practices and code compliance,” Thornton explains. “It also has a chatroom where you can send a question to the field and get 30 responses. It’s a great communication tool for all of our buildings across the network.” Another internal process that ultimately benefits SMG’s clients is a new customized survey program provided by Turnkey Sports & Entertainment. “It’s tied to our ticketing database, so now we’re extracting that information from our customers on a

“As much as our growth is remarkable, our retention of clients is as well. We’re at a 92 percent retention rate.” —Maureen Ginty, Executive Vice President more regular basis, for every event that we do. It helps us focus on areas that we need to improve,” Thornton explains. “The information now comes back to us in a more granular sense, so it’s not just about the quality of the food, but about the location of the stand. We are able to fix that more rapidly than we were before.” Over the last three years, SMG has greatly refined its data collection across its facilities, enabling it to compare the performance of a given venue to those in its peer set, per caps for a given act in venues throughout a certain market, and so forth. “That level of detail is available to all of our GMs,” says Thornton. Such benchmarking helps managers both improve their operations and bring the right acts to their buildings. “Many arenas and theaters in secondary and tertiary markets are struggling for content,” Thornton observes. “They’re having to be more creative with a smaller staff and fewer resources.” It’s a market segment where Thornton sees opportunity for SMG’s value proposition. “There are still a number of buildings out there that are self operated, that need to be part of a broad network like SMG to be successful,” he says.


SMG’s European business is over 20 years old, yet still “in a growth phase,” according to Sharkey. “We want to grow our exhibition 43

“It is certainly is a ‘one SMG’ policy to [the Asia and Middle East] markets, to be able to provide the firepower that we’ve got across our business.” —John Sharkey, Executive Vice President, European Operations portfolio, conference portfolio and live entertainment portfolio, and underpin that with a very strong F&B offering. I think if we look back in a couple of year’s time, the one thing I’d like is to be a strong image of our business in the U.S.” The division is en route to achieving that goal. Last year, SMG Europe was awarded management of the £36 million Hull Venue (opening next year) and, in partnership with Live Nation, the 12,000-capacity Bristol Arena (opening in 2020). Another major new client is the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Center, which is moving to a newly built home near Aberdeen International Airport in 2019 (see page 6 for details). Sharkey discusses SMG Europe’s competitive advantage: “We’ve got the benefit of a group with strength and depth that we can call on, whether it’s convention business in the U.S., or theaters in the U.S. or stadiums and arenas in the U.S., as well as our facility management teams in the U.K. and food service teams in the U.K.” An events industry veteran who was Group CEO at Scottish Exhibition Centre Ltd prior to joining SMG in 2014, Sharkey himself has a depth of understanding when it comes to trends in the convention center experience. “Increasingly, there has to be a closer connection between the conference organizer services and the delegate experience. [Part of that is] trying to make sure the digital experience and the connectivity is intuitive, so that we cut down as many barriers between us and our clients’ delegates as we possibly can,” he explains. “Meeting opportunity is more time-light than it’s ever been because people are so busy, so it’s trying to make the most out of meetings for delegates and for people who are coming to meet those delegates.” Essentially, there has been a “switch to delegate catering from account catering,” Sharkey observes.


The next international frontier for SMG, Asia and the Middle East, is also under Sharkey’s oversight. “We’re not going to be successful in these parts of the world unless we can add value by understanding the culture and applying our best practices,” he says. “But it certainly is a ‘one SMG’ policy to these markets, to be able to provide the firepower that we’ve got across our business.” Thornton considers those regions “poised for growth.” “The prediction is that in the next 10 years there will be an explosion of growth in those communities, and there is going to be an increased desire for improved facilities and greater interaction with sports,” he says. “We could certainly see ourselves moving into those opportunities.” On the meetings side, last month SMG achieved a major “win” in China with the agreement to manage the new Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Center. Currently under construction and targeted to open in the first quarter of 2019, the facility will anchor a vibrant new business and lifestyle district near the Shenzhen International Airport. The design of Shenzhen World calls for 4.3 million sq. ft. of exhibition space and another 500,000 sq. ft. of convention meeting space. The venue will be roughly twice the size of the SMG-managed McCormick Place in Chicago. 44

“While we have entertained many inquiries from China in recent years, we were waiting for the right project and partner, and believe we have found both in Shenzhen,” comments Westley. “As we expand our global footprint, this agreement will propel our international growth strategy.”


In 2007, food & beverage service became a standalone offering to SMG’s clients: SAVOR & Premier Food Services. “Wes [Westley] saw it as a growth opportunity,” says Shaun Beard, Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage. Beard joined SMG in 2009, prior to which he held Vice President positions with Levy Restaurants and Centerplate. “Just in my short tenure we’ve basically doubled the F&B revenue because of the right vision and the right people,” he relates. “Since 2009 we’ve really grown that SAVOR-only segment [of the clientele]; about 28-30 percent of our [agreements] now don’t include facility management. Twenty years ago it would have been 100 percent combined services.” Beard considers the hallmark of SAVOR’s food service to be a focus on local food culture. “That’s how we began, that’s how we’ve grown and that’s how we’ve succeeded — by being in touch with the local environment in the cities that we serve,” he says. The approach is part of a broader emphasis on the locale that is “reflected in the appearance of the building, the amenities, and so on. If [guests] don’t have a sense of place in these buildings, I think they are disappointed,” Ginty adds. SAVOR’s work at McCormick Place is a stellar example of not only expressing the destination, but also involving the community and its organizations in F&B initiatives. “Prior to 2011 the [convention center culinary garden] trend was well in play, but McCormick did not have the marketability of having a garden; it was a big miss. We won that contract in 2011 and within the first 18 months transformed the roof to an over 20,000-sq.-ft. garden to supply our chef tables,” says Beard. “We aligned with the Chicago Botanic Garden to make sure we’re growing in a proper,

“We don’t take a chef from point A and put him in point B; we would much rather find the best talent in the local market.” —Shaun Beard, Senior Vice President, Food & Beverage

responsible way. So I think what makes us special is that we look at every business from a community standpoint first.” Drawing upon the talents of a city’s chefs and restaurateurs is another part of that approach. “We don’t take a chef from point A and put him in point B; we would much rather find the best talent in the local market,” says Beard. Not all markets are enamored with the idea of a celebrity chef, he adds. “In some markets, the celebrity chef is looked at as a very good thing. In other markets, it’s the local chef that went to high school there, left and went to the Culinary Institute of America; we found him, brought him back and he’s the celebrity.” For additional local flavor, SAVOR often brings in local restaurateurs to ensure that the experience reflects the community. Ultimately, it’s about how the venue can create an F&B experience that is both indigenous and marketable. “The convention center segment, the smaller, localized arenas, stadiums and the university venues, they’re all looking for differentiation, how they fit into their local and regional Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook

ecosystem,” he says. “That’s our sweet spot.”

vision and tenacity, Thornton’s effort contributed to revitalizing “There are still New Orleans and its economy, FORWARD-THINKING ultimately to the benefit of its a number of citizens. LEADERSHIP buildings out there In commemoration of its 40th SMG’s senior executives are the anniversary, SMG is encouraging catalysts for the company’s ongo[in secondary and its employees to be great citizens ing growth, and they each bring tertiary markets] by recognizing their acts of considerable career achievements kindness in their professional and to the table. Just one example is that need to be personal lives. The company’s the work of Doug Thornton, former Gift of Kindness Contest, part of a broad General Manager of the camlaunched in March, accepts pus that included the Louisiana network like SMG to be successful.” submissions from employees Superdome (now the MercedesBenz Superdome), Smoothie King —Doug Thornton, throughout the year, with a Center and what is now Champion Executive Vice President, Stadiums and Arenas winner announced each quarter and an overall winner announced Square. Thornton was made Vice in December. Each winner will President of the campus around receive cash prizes and special the time Hurricane Katrina hit in limited edition Waterford “2017 The Gift of Kindness” signature 2005. “We shut our building down and I focused on the rebuilding ornaments. Says Ginty, “We want to celebrate the kind of character project, which resulted in the Superdome reopening one year later,” that has set SMG apart for our first 40 years and will continue to drive Thornton relates. “The $225 million reconstruction process was probour success in the future.” ably the most aggressive in the history of stadiums.” Displaying both


Following are just a few recent examples of how SMG has helped transform convention centers large and small: Branson Convention Center, Branson, MO

In 2014, SMG took over management of the Branson Convention Center, previously managed by the adjacent hotel operator. SMG’s focus was to expand the impact of the Center throughout the hospitality community. In the three years SMG has been in Branson, they have:

• Reduced the operating loss from $1.1 million in 2013 to an average loss of $417,000 • Improved scores to 90 percent or better in Overall Customer Satisfaction energy savings programs that reduced electrical consumption by • Implemented over 37 percent in two years Cobo Center, Detroit, MI

SMG has managed Cobo Center since late 2010. Since then, and in partnership with the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, the Center has truly flourished. Key accomplishments include:

• Quadrupling rental income in the past seven years of operation • Reducing the State subsidy from $20 million in 2008 to $2.8 million in 2016 sales efforts in partnership with the Detroit Metro CVB, more than • Restructuring doubling the number of citywide conventions Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA

SMG commenced management of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in 2013. At the time, the Center’s reputation suffered due to management concerns and a history of labor troubles. In its four-year tenure, SMG has:

comprehensive new labor agreements (Customer Satisfaction • Negotiated Agreement) that have brought together a partnership between labor, management, contractors and clients for the first time in history in Philadelphia.

the unique “Contractor Services Department” targeted at working with • Created customers, contractors and exhibitors to ensure maximum client satisfaction. with the PCC Authority leadership and the PHLCVB to foster the • Partnered return of major citywide events that had declined to return to Philadelphia, such as LightFair International (see Philadelphia feature on p. 52 for more detail on improvements at the PCC).

Facilities & destinations 2017 superbook



Volcano Bay, Universal Orlando’s latest theme park


Fine-tuning its convention district to meet clients’ needs


By Anthony Bilden

entral Florida’s meetings eateries at Pointe Orlando. At the powerhouse welcomed upscale end of the spectrum will a record 1.2 million-plus be Circo Orlando, a Le Cirque “There has been a convention attendees Restaurant brand, opening in the tremendous amount last year, and 2017 is shaping up second quarter of this year. It’s all to be equally dynamic. This year, part of a multiyear investment of of growth up and down Orlando hosts major conventions $1 billion into the development of ranging from HIMSS17, Feb. 19International Drive. International Drive 23, to Star Wars Celebration, “Accessible and high quality” with new restaurants, April 13-16, to Microsoft Ignite, is how Karen Malone, Vice Sept. 25-29. As diverse as these President of Meeting Services, venues and events are, they all require a great HIMSS (Healthcare Information breadth of convention space, and Management Systems experiences.” lodging options and dining and Society), describes the district’s —Fred Shea, Senior Vice President of Sales entertainment venues. Orlando’s enhanced collection of offsite and Services, Visit Orlando convention district has improved venues. During HIMSS17, Pointe in all these areas: the Orange Orlando “was very busy, and our County Convention Center exhibitors appreciated having (OCCC) has been undergoing a those venues nearby because $187 million capital improvement project since 2013, while the hotel they would get a better turnout for their events.” inventory continues to grow with new openings and expansions. Such upgrades to the hospitality infrastructure show that local In addition, “there has been a tremendous amount of growth up developers are attuned to the needs of Orlando’s group clientele. and down International Drive with new restaurants, venues and The OCCC also “does a good job of listening to their clients and experiences,” notes Fred Shea, Senior Vice President of Sales and what their future needs may be,” observes Malone. Among the new Services at Visit Orlando. features at the OCCC’s North/South Concourses is the Destination “Planners were concerned that there was not enough dining and Lounge, a 7,000-sq.-ft. gathering area with video wall, LED systems entertainment near the convention district,” says Shea, “so they were and lighting to support corporate branding and displays. “It’s a great forced to go to Restaurant Row and the theme parks.” But now groups idea,” she says. “People now tell us that the No. 1 reason they come have 70 restaurants within a two-mile stretch of the OCCC, including 21 to conferences is for networking. Any time they have a place to sit Continued on page 48


Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook





EXPERIENCE THE NEW ORANGE! The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) located in the heart of the Convention 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 Valencia Ballroom, Sunburst signature meeting room with outdoor terrace, along with the all-new Destination Lounge. To learn more, visit www.occc.net.


sales@occc.net occc.net

“We had one of the best opening receptions we’ve ever had because [the Valencia Ballroom] lends itself well to high-end events.” —Karen Malone, Vice President of Meeting Services, HIMSS Continued from page 46

down and network, they’re going to take full advantage of it. We actually take meeting rooms and create networking lounges out of them because they’re so popular.” HIMSS17 took place in the OCCC’s West Concourse, which offers over 1.1 million sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space (part of an overall 2.1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space) and 49 meeting rooms (141 breakouts). Special venues include the 2,643-seat Chapin Theater; 160-seat Lecture Hall; the newly designed, 62,182-sq.-ft. Valencia Ballroom; and the new, 48,961-sq.-ft. West Hall F Tangerine Ballroom and Sunburst Room with attached outdoor Sunburst Hospitality Terrace. “They’ve done a great job facelifting Hall F and the Valencia Ballroom,” Malone remarks. “We had one of the best opening receptions we’ve ever had because it’s a beautiful ballroom that lends itself well to high-end events.” Pedestrian bridges connect the West Concourse to the 1,254room Rosen Centre Hotel and 800-room Rosen Plaza Hotel, and the North/South Concourse to the 1,417-room Hilton Orlando. In June, the International Drive Pedestrian Bridge will open, connecting the West Concourse to the 1,639-room Hyatt Regency Orlando. “Next, we’ll be looking at improvements in the transportation and circulation around the building, getting people in and out more smoothly,” says Shea. In addition, “the North/South building will be adding more digital signage for exhibitors; it’s been very popular in the West building. There is also a plan that looks at possible expansion of meeting and exhibit space in the North/South building, although it’s not an approved plan.” As part of its ongoing capital improvement plan, the OCCC has introduced an aeroponic garden, currently the largest aeroponic garden in a public venue in the country. It provides a variety of produce that is featured in the center’s culinary offerings. On the catering front, the OCCC “did an amazing job” for HIMSS17, says Malone. “We had almost 44,000 attendees and sometimes convention 48

(Left): The HIMSS17 opening reception at the Orange County Convention Center (Right): The Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After fireworks show centers have a hard time keeping up with all of the food demands: Exhibitors order a lot, we have a lot of events we’re holding all day long, and then there are the concessions. And they worked with us to make sure we had enough outlets to meet our needs.”


HIMSS17 partnered with about 75 hotels, naturally including the Hyatt Regency Orlando and the Rosen Centre and Rosen Plaza. “The advantage of Orlando is they’ve got those great properties with a lot of meeting space that we’re able to use for overflow meeting space from the convention center,” Malone explains. “And we’ll put some exclusive or higher-end programming” in the hotels as well. The convention’s contracted hotels also included one of Orlando’s most significant new properties, the Loews Sapphire Falls Resort at Universal Orlando Resort. The 1,000-room, Caribbean-themed property is built around a lagoon and towering waterfall. Its debut established the Loews Meetings Complex, consisting of 247,000 sq. ft. of contiguous meeting space between Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. In summer 2018, Universal Orlando is expected to debut the 600-room Aventura Hotel. The new property will bring the total number of onsite hotel rooms at Universal Orlando to 6,200 when combined with the 400-room expansion of Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort, to be completed this year. Walt Disney World Resort is also enhancing its onsite lodging with the expansion of the 1,910-room Coronado Springs Resort. Over the next two years, the resort will be adding new dining options, resort rooms and outdoor networking spaces. As part of that expansion, construction is underway on a new 500-room tower with a rooftop restaurant and lounge offering panoramic views of nighttime fireworks from nearby Disney theme parks. The expansion will also add a boardroom and two multipurpose rooms to the resort’s current 220,000 sq. ft. of function space. Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort is expanding as well, adding 28,000 sq. ft. to its convention center. The total amount of flexible meeting and event space at the 1,190-room resort will be 100,000 sq. ft., Continued on page 50

Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook



All-New Walt Disney World Dolphin Lobby Concept - Scheduled for completion in September 2017

The Walt Disney World Dolphin lobby will undergo a $12 million re-design, the final stage of a $140 million renovation project, the largest makeover in the resort’s history. It will be completely transformed into a sleek, contemporary space featuring new food and beverage options and offer an inviting area for guests to relax or network. A recipient of the prestigious Meetings & Conventions Hall of Fame Award, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is a nationally respected and recognized leader in the convention resort arena. The resort offers more than 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 84 meeting rooms, and 2,267 guest rooms and suites which feature the Westin HeavenlyŽ Bed. Attendees can also relax in the luxurious Mandara Spa, indulge in one of our 17 world-class restaurants and lounges or enjoy our unique Disney Differences.

Award-Winning Dining

1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd. Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830 800.524.4939 | 407.934.4290 swandolphinmeetings.com

All-New Guest Rooms And Suites

Impressive Meeting Venues



ake Nona Medical City, a health and life sciences park, has become a convenient resource for medical meetings in Orlando since it opened in 2010. Located about 25 minutes from the convention district, the 7,000-acre community is home to the UCF College of Medicine, Nemours Children’s Hospital, the Sanford-Burnham Medical Institute and the Orlando VA Medical Center. A group of attendees of HIMSS17 at the Orange County Convention Center participated in a tour of the VA Medical Center. “Since 2011 we’ve done tours of Medical City; attendees love it very much,” says Karen Malone, Vice President of Meeting Services, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. “We have also brought in healthcare IT professionals from Medical City as speakers.” HIMSS17 welcomed Thad Seymour, VP of Lake Nona developer Tavistock Development Company, as a keynote speaker The park adds to Orlando’s appeal to the healthcare meetings sector. “We do really well in the pharma and medical business,” confirms Fred Shea, Senior Vice President of Sales and Services, Visit Orlando. “Medical organizations often want to connect with a [Medical City] facility for research or to get speakers. I think it does help our business overall.”

Continued from page 48

including a new, 16,000-sq.-ft. ballroom that can be divided into eight breakout spaces. One of Orlando’s most expansive convention hotels is the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, boasting 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The resort recently completed a $5 million refresh to that space that is part of a multi-phase, $140 million redesign project that also includes the transformation of all 2,267 guestrooms. In 2015, the Swan guestrooms were completed, and the Dolphin Resort guestrooms and lobby are scheduled for completion this fall. Other hotel upgrades of note include the following: A renovation of 92,000 sq. ft. of meeting space at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, completed last October. The 1,011-room resort is located in the Disney Springs dining and entertainment area. A completed $5 million renovation at the 400-room Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. The project added the new, 3,500-sq.-ft. Bonnet Creek Ballroom and the 2,133-sq.-ft. Expedition meeting room. An expansion at the 1,004-room DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, bringing the total meeting space to 100,000 sq. ft. with a new, 20,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The addition of 20,000 sq. ft. of function space to the Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa, bringing the total to 36,000 sq. ft.

• • • •



According to Shea, Orlando’s convention groups are always interested in new developments, whether in lodging, dining or entertainment. “We have a lot of repeat business, and many of those customers are excited about finding new venues so their attendees can get excited when they come here,” he explains. On the theme park side, there are several major new offerings that attendees will be drawn to during their free time, and that planners can use for offsite functions. “The theme parks are getting more into the group market,” Shea adds. “Pandora especially is going to be an unbelievable homerun. It extends the Animal Kingdom into the evening, whereas it had been considered more of a daytime venue. This helps it in the group market.” Opened this May, Walt Disney World Resort’s Pandora - The World of AVATAR is the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom’s history and features floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests, a Banshee flying attraction and new evening entertainment. Also this May, Universal Orlando Resort opened Volcano Bay, an immersive tropical island environment with a 200-ft. volcano, aqua coaster, reef, rainforest village and more. In addition, Universal recently debuted Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon, which invites guests to join The Tonight Show’s studio audience on the ultimate race through the streets — and skies — of New York City. Many HIMSS17 attendees enjoyed the theme park’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter during a networking event, Malone relates. “We used both sides of the Harry Potter area [in Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida] to give them a full experience. The Universal meetings and events team is top notch. They’re very customer service oriented, flexible and creative.” Some of the city’s new offerings will be especially attractive to the Millennial set, Shea feels. He cites the new Main Event Entertainment at Pointe Orlando, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games (opening in June), Top Golf Orlando (opening in the fall) and several “escape game” venues on International Drive as examples of interactive entertainment that Gen Y tends to find appealing. “Customers are saying to us, we’re relooking at Orlando because it can help us attract the Millennial generation,” he relates. Sports enthusiasts will also find new points of interest with the opening of the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona (featuring more than 100 courts) and a new, 25,500-seat multipurpose soccer stadium for MLS team Orlando City Soccer. “There is also indoor skydiving near the convention center [iFLY Orlando],” Shea notes. “When people leave the convention center, they kind Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook

(Clockwise from top left): “Rivers of Light,” recently opened at Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom; the new Jimmy Fallon attraction at Universal Orlando; and the new USTA campus in Lake Nona. Malone found Visit Orlando a dynamic partner in many respects, from destination marketing assistance for HIMSS17 to supporting her supplier relations. “They served as our advocate in informing all the suppliers in town — the hotels, cab authority, airport — about the value of our meeting and what it’s all about,” she says. “They made sure everyone was fully prepared and valued our attendees coming to Orlando.” The CVB’s proactive service is part of the reason so many convention groups find it worthwhile to repeatedly visit Orlando. of become leisure guests. So planners want to have opportunities where they can tell their attendees, ‘You can stay close to the center; there’s something here for everybody.’”



Visit Orlando is certainly ready for the growing influx of convention attendees. “We have dramatically increased our convention staffing service,” says Shea. “They’re not only doing a good job for group clients, but they also know the destination. So when attendees see somebody in the green jacket at the convention center, they can just walk up to them and ask, ‘Hey, where’s a good restaurant?’” App-savvy delegates can use Visit Orlando’s new destination app to find those dining options and other local activities. Designed in partnership with WayBlazer artificial intelligence and IBM Watson technology, the app allows users to simply speak or type questions in the search function for personalized recommendations through crowdsourcing from trusted travel resources such as TripAdvisor. The app is free through iTunes and Google Play. Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook

The Orlando International Airport is building the new, $1.8 billion South Terminal near the current airport, adjacent to the $1.3 billion train station also under construction. The train station and gates 16 to 21 of the South Terminal are scheduled to be completed in 2019, and will feature indoor palm trees, interactive video screens and a moving sidewalk. All Aboard Florida is introducing Brightline, an express train service for intercity travel in Florida. Brightline will use the existing Florida East Coast Railway corridor between Miami and Cocoa, along with new track between Cocoa and Orlando. Services will begin between Miami and West Palm Beach in 2017, with service from Miami to Orlando to follow. Upon completion, travel from Miami to Orlando will only take about three hours. Phase Two of Brightline will include a station at Orlando International Airport, within the future South Terminal. 51


The Benjamin Franklin Memorial at The Franklin Institute

Philadelphia Record bookings show plenty of “love” for this city among meeting planners By George Seli


hile a CVB’s marketing efforts are key to landing in 2016, with 713 events using 903,199 hotel room nights secured major convention business, hosting high-profile for future years. That translates to an 18.2 percent increase in the events is effectively its own form of promotion. In number of events and a 5.8 percent increase in room nights secured recent years, Philadelphia has accrued that benefit over 2015. Among the booked conventions are the 2022 American from both the Democratic National Convention and the Papal Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery/American Society Visit and World Meeting of Families. The eyes of the world of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASCRS/ASOA) Annual were on this UNESCO World Heritage City thanks to these Symposium & Congress, the 2019 and 2025 National School top-tier political and religious Boards Association Annual events, held in 2016 and 2015, Conferences and the 2026 respectively. “Both had billions of Leading Age Annual Meeting social media impressions,” notes & Expo. The Pennsylvania John J. McNichol, President Yet the PHLCVB is and CEO of the Pennsylvania certainly not resting on its Convention Center Convention Center Authority. laurels after this record“And this year we had the NFL breaking performance. One “has undergone a Draft [April 27-29] on the Ben goal, according to President dramatic transformation Franklin Parkway, which also and CEO Julie Coker drew millions of eyeballs to Graham, is to “attract even that includes simplified Philadelphia.” While such events more international visitors,” work rules and a help to raise Philadelphia’s including overseas meeting profile in the meetings groups. Conducive to that end renewed spirit of marketplace, “you still have to is the recent appointment of land the customer,” McNichol cooperation among SMG, the PCCA and Svetlana Yazovskikh to the adds. And that’s where the city’s position of Executive Director the labor unions working in the building.” of Tourism. Yazovskikh has dynamic CVB comes into play. The Philadelphia —John J. McNichol, President and CEO, Pennsylvania worked at the organization Convention & Visitors Bureau Convention Center Authority since 2008, most recently as the (PHLCVB) achieved its highest Senior International Tourism convention booking year ever Manager. “Her commitment 52

Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook

“Discover Philadelphia has been a wonderful partner. They were so proud that we chose Philadelphia to host our Centennial Celebration, and they worked with us from the beginning in making it the best it could be.” —Frank Gainer, Director of Conferences, American Occupational Therapy Association to Philadelphia and our customers is unmatched,” says Coker Graham, adding that Yazovskikh’s “expertise will be critical in growing Philadelphia’s presence on the world stage.” As part of her responsibilities, she will direct the activity of seven representation offices the PHLCVB contracts in China, Denmark, India, Italy, France, Germany and the UK.


One domestic meeting group that recently enjoyed the PHLCVB’s customer service is the American Occupational Therapy Association, which held its 2017 Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration from March 30 through April 2 at the SMG-managed Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC). Frank Gainer, AOTA’s Director of Conferences, says that “Discover Philadelphia has been a wonderful partner. They were so proud that we chose Philadelphia to host our Centennial Celebration, and they worked with us from the beginning in making it the best it could be.” Assistance included everything from an airport greeting, to a welcome banner on the PECO Building, to the organization of AOTA’s “fun run,” to venue booking advice for the convention’s Friday night celebration. At the PCC, AOTA found the ideal venue for that celebration: the Grand Hall. The 34,960-sq.-ft. hall is built into the historic Victorian building that was once the Reading Railroad Train Shed. With an impressive arched ceiling, the venue has a grandeur appropriate for a centennial event, with just one tweak: “The staff worked with us on the lighting because it was raining and it can get dark in there,” Gainer notes. In addition, “our CSM and catering staff made sure we had the appropriate amount of security and setup. They were truly partners, and we relied on them for a lot.” In addition to the Grand Hall, the PCC houses 528,000 sq. ft. of continuous exhibit space across five halls, a 55,408-sq.-ft. ballroom, a 31,512-sq.-ft. ballroom and a second 125,120-sq.-ft. exhibit hall. Planners have a total of 82 meeting rooms to work with, apart from the exhibit halls. “We knew the Centennial would have record-breaking crowds, so we wanted to make sure we had enough space,” says Gainer in explaining AOTA’s motivation for returning to the city after its 2011 annual meeting in Philadelphia. “Also, Philadelphia is a great draw for our attendees because it’s in the mid-Atlantic; our membership is spread across the country, but we have a nice density in the midAtlantic and Northeast. Philadelphia has good access to Amtrak and the airport is a hub, so all of that played into our decision.” The convention drew over 14,000 attendees, including 470 exhibitors occupying 520 booths — AOTA’s largest exhibit hall ever.

AOTA’s Centennial Celebration was held in the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s Grand Hall rules and a renewed spirit of cooperation among SMG, the PCCA and the labor unions working in the building,” says McNichol. The ASCRS/ASOA (booked for 2022) and LIGHTFAIR International (held this May) are examples of clients that had become dissatisfied with the work rules and decided against meeting in Philadelphia — until the operational change. The organizers of LIGHTFAIR, a citywide that means 25,000-plus room nights, had said that working in the PCC was “too expensive, too complicated, and we’re not going to come back,” McNichol relates. “But since their last visit was in 2013 — in that very short period of time in the convention booking world — we were able to turn their attention back to Philadelphia and say, ‘We’ve made changes, what do you think now?’ And we really applaud them and appreciate they came back this year.” The new rules provide show organizers and exhibitors more independence and flexibility. According to the PCC, exhibitors have the freedom to: Set up and tear down within their 600-sq.-ft. booth area or show space; Unload their personally owned vehicles using their own equipment, including dollies, luggage carriers, non-hydraulic carts and two-to-four wheel hand trucks; Use power tools and ladders (up to six feet) to set up and tear down exhibits;

• • •

AOTA’s 2017 Annual Conference featured the event’s largest exhibit hall ever


Exhibitors at the PCC have had greater logistical ease in recent years with the new work rules established in 2013. “The Center has undergone a dramatic transformation that includes simplified work Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook




The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, part of Philadelphia’s compact downtown (right)


Install signage and floor coverings; and Install and remove non-rented AV equipment.

In addition, full-time exhibitors, show managers and customers have the freedom to set up and connect their own (non-rented) computers, components and low-voltage power supply equipment for non-public use. Show managers can place, move and remove easels, signs and poster-board materials, and leave up to six popup signs. “The other major issue we’re working on now is billing transparency,” says McNichol. “We want all our customers to understand exactly what it’s costing them when they roll through the building. We’re sensitive to not get in between the customer and their decorator or their general contractor, but at the same time we want them to know what their contractors are charged by the building and by us.” SMG, which began managing the PCC in late 2013, is a resource for all of the facility’s new customer service initiatives. “They have the ability to reach out to the 75 other facilities that they operate, and there is very little they haven’t seen,” McNichol adds. “So we can also rely on that SMG network. And we can rely on our customers and their prior experiences. One thing that we’re now doing is when a big show is coming in, we try to get to the show in whatever town it’s in the year before, and we watch the build and discuss it with the organizers. By the time they get here, we’ve demystified it and maybe found a greater efficiency for them.”


One of SMG’s most recent initiatives is its Green Team, launched in 2016. The team implements the PCC’s Sustainability Program, which focuses on measuring, tracking, reporting and improving sustainable practices. “Our commitment includes the use of safe-cleaning products, reduced water use, energy efficient LED lighting, a new reflective roof, expanded recycling and streamlined management of HVAC, lighting, power, elevators and escalators,” explains Janet Mitroccsak, SMG Director of Facilities. “Using technology to ‘go green’ is critical to our customers and our effort to sustain the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for future generations.” 54

“It’s important to us, so we’re doing it for the right reasons. But it’s also very important to our customers,” McNichol adds. The expansion and renovation of the PCC in 2011 achieved LEED Gold, and the facility continues to work to bring the older portion of the building to that higher sustainability standard. Last year, the PCCA signed a new two-year electricity supplier agreement that increased its use of renewable energy to 25 percent and cut costs. Also last year, the Center completed replacing lighting in its 82 meeting rooms with 765 new LED fixtures, as well as installing 214 external LED fixtures.


The increased influx of convention business to Philadelphia will benefit from its already wide and diverse hotel portfolio, which includes a total of 11,500 hotel rooms in Center City. But more options are always better. By the fall, five smaller properties will have debuted: the 103-room AKA University City and 212-room Study at University City (both opened in January), a 93-room Best Western (opened in February), a 179-room Aloft Hotel (scheduled to open in July) and a 121-room Fairfield Inn & Suites (scheduled to open in September). Next year will see the opening of the 220room Four Seasons (January), 222-room Cambria Inn & Suites (February) and a combined 295-room W and 460-room element hotel (June). AOTA partnered with a total of 17 hotels, including its headquarters property, the 1,332-room Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. With 92,223 sq. ft. of meeting space and 64 function rooms, the Marriott is well suited to hosting a citywide convention’s ancillary events, and did so for AOTA’s Annual Conference.


AOTA’s Centennial Ball, a smaller, higher-priced event on Saturday evening, was held at the Franklin Institute, a renowned science museum housed in a neoclassical building. Like many of Philadelphia’s cultural institutions, it offers a variety of intriguing spaces that can be rented for offsite functions. Groups can convene around the Benjamin Franklin Memorial, in the Fels Planetarium or on the Rooftop Deck, and there are two conference centers available as well. Planners who want America’s most Historic Square Mile as a backdrop to their special event can consider booking the 2,800-sq.ft. Liberty View ballroom, located on the mezzanine level of the Independence Visitor Center. It is complemented by the 1,600-sq.ft. Liberty Terrace in full view of Independence Mall. Groups that Facilities & destinations 2017 Superbook

want to feel connected to the arts scene during their offsite function have major museums with rentable venues at their disposal, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art (site of the famed Rocky Statue) and Barnes Foundation. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is another fine example in this vein. Located on the Avenue of the Arts, the Center is home to eight resident companies and presents acts that range from The Philadelphia Orchestra to French circuses to jazz quartets. Its red mahogany, 2,500-seat interior is shaped like a cello and features adjustable acoustical panels. Smaller venues at the Kimmel Center include the 650-seat Perelman Theater; 200-capacity Hamilton Garden, an atrium rooftop venue; 200-capacity Academy of Music Ballroom, accented by chandeliers and hand-gilded walls; and 150-capacity SEI Innovation Studio.

From four-star dining to the corner bistro to the iconic cheesesteak, the city’s dining scene has flourished over the last 15 years


What sets Philadelphia apart as a destination is, most obviously, its deep ties to America’s political history. And on the practical side, it offers attendees a convenient — and healthy — way to experience its historical venues from the PCC or their hotel. “The distinguishing factor for Philadelphia is that we are the ultimate walkable city in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic,” says McNichol. “The convention center was built in the heart of Center City, where it’s walkable to historic Philadelphia, arts and culture, restaurants, the hotel package — it’s all right here. And so if you go to other facilities, whether it’s Boston, Chicago or even New York, those centers can be very challenging for attendees to get to. You’re always in a shuttle bus or a cab. But in this case they have that walkable experience.” Indeed, delegates can walk directly into the historic Reading Terminal Market from the PCC and enjoy the products of more than 100 vendors — at the very least a classic Philly cheesesteak. Gainer confirms its popularity: the market was “overrun by our attendees,” he says.

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LAS VEGAS Making room for more meeting groups with major investments By George Seli


his December, Don Ross marks 30 years on the meetings side of Caesars Entertainment’s business in Las Vegas. He served as the first Director of Conventions at Caesars Palace back in 1987, and is currently Vice President of Catering, Conventions & Events overseeing nine properties. While Ross’s career has come a long way, so has Las Vegas as a meeting destination. “When I started here there were groups that just wouldn’t come to Las Vegas,” Ross recalls. Companies like IBM and Sony would visit the city for industry events, “but now they’re coming for their own employee meetings or customer meetings. I don’t think there are many companies out there that have Las Vegas on their do-not-use list.” The evolution of Las Vegas’ meetings business over those decades is partly due to a change in clients’ perspective on the city. “They no longer have the concern that they’re going to lose everybody to the casinos,” says Ross. “The same guys that miss a meeting in Las Vegas will miss it in Dallas. They’ll go golfing, etc.” And the city itself has grown its diversions far beyond gaming. “We are more of a hospitality town now: It’s all about the chefs and shows,” he says. Celebrity chefs such as Guy Savoy and Gordon Ramsay have establishments at Caesars Palace, with the latter opening his first Hell’s Kitchen restaurant this winter. On the musical entertainment side, Caesars Entertainment has welcomed major acts from Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino to residencies by Cher, Elton John and Mariah Carey at Caesars Palace. This year, the Backstreet Boys began their own 18-date residency at Planet Hollywood. “These are exciting times” for visitors to Las Vegas, Ross observes. The most recent tourism statistics from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) evince the city’s 56

popularity: 42.9 million visitors in 2016, up 1.5 percent from the previous year. Most of that increase is attributable to convention attendance, with a record 6.3 million delegates in 2016, up 7.1 percent from 2015. Those numbers reflect the overall health of the meetings industry, according to Terry Jicinsky, Senior Vice President of Operations at the LVCVA. “I think it can be traced directly to the continued rebounding from the recession,” he says. “We’ve always seen the trend that the convention market rebounds a little slower than the leisure market post recession, and now that gap is closing due to the strength of the economy. When the economy is stronger businesses spend more on tradeshows and marketing. We’re a clear benefactor of the continuation of the healthy economy.” As a result, many of the conventions and shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) “are seeing double digit growth” in attendance, he adds. Las Vegas is home to three of the 10 largest convention centers in North America: The LVCC, Sands Expo & Convention Center and Mandalay Bay Convention Center. At the LVCC, the sales focus is the citywide groups. “Our strategy is to attract tradeshows that can use all of our venues and hotel bases,” Jicinsky explains. “We have nearly 150,000 hotel rooms throughout the city with some 300 hotel owners, so our citywides are really meant to be a platform that all of those properties can engage in regardless of whether they’re part of one of the big chains or not.”


In October 2016, the Nevada State Legislature approved legislation to help fund the expansion and renovation of the LVCC. The project will add 600,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, new meeting rooms and other amenities by early 2021, as well as renovate the entire existing Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook


The High Roller at Caesar’s Entertainment’s The LINQ provides a distinctive backdrop for group clients’ special events.

property by early 2023 [see sidebars on the following page]. Accommodating about 480,000 additional delegates per year, the expansion will allow the LVCC’s largest tradeshows, such as CES and CONEXPO–CON/AGG, to grow in square footage and attendance. “We know all of our full-building users who kind of maxed out their footprint are very interested in growing their shows, and all are expected to use the expansion,” Jicinsky says. According to Ross, the project will ultimately benefit Caesars’ meetings business. “My core business is groups that are going to stay here and meet here [at Caesars properties], but certainly we love having the big conventions,” he says. “It’s good for a lot of our hotels, especially our second-tier hotels like The LINQ and Harrah’s, and even the Flamingo. Those three properties specifically are on the monorail, so it helps them when we have citywides.”

Rendering of the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion


While the LVCC looks forward to an ambitious expansion, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center is offering an additional 350,000 sq. ft. of new exhibit space, which debuted January of last year. The Center currently spans more than two million total sq. ft., including 900,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and a new, 70,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. In addition, the 4,004-room ARIA Resort & Casino is expanding its LEED Goldcertified convention center. The $154 million project will deliver an additional 200,000 sq. ft. of high-tech, flexible meeting space across four stories, including a glass-enclosed venue with panoramic views of The Park and T-Mobile Arena. With the completion of the expansion in February 2018, ARIA will offer groups more than 500,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

Another major project for MGM Resorts is the approximately $450 million transformation of the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, projected for completion in late 2018. The 20-year-old Monte Carlo will essentially be split into the 2,700-room Park MGM and the 292-room NoMad Las Vegas. Park MGM is targeted to a younger, well-traveled demographic; the NoMad is the sister property to the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan. MGM Resorts not only offers diverse meeting venues to its group clientele, but it also provides events design services through an internal events division, MGM Resorts Event Productions (MREP). On March 31, the company celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Formed in 1997 as Mirage Events with fewer than 20 employees and a 15,000-sq.-ft. warehouse, MREP today employs more than 125 employees with a 110,000-sq.-ft. facility. 57


MREP produces more than 1,200 events annually, and has done everything from transforming a large ballroom into an immersive underwater environment to elevating the visual environment for major music festivals. Caesars Entertainment partners with Destinations by Design for décor as well as Encore Event Technologies for production services at Caesars Palace. When it comes to F&B at special events, Ross observes a move away from “the big sit-down dinner.” “We’re always reinventing ourselves as more of a culinary experience and doing food stations where people can network with each other,” he describes. “And more and more we’re using TV monitors that allow guests to see what the menu is from afar, so when they go up to the chef they know what’s being prepared in that station. It makes it fun for the guest. That’s how people eat nowadays; it’s not so formal anymore.”


Earlier this year, the LVCVA unveiled the 26.36-acre Diamond Lot, its new 3,100-space parking lot and outdoor exhibit space. The launch finalized Phase I of the Las Vegas Convention Center District project. (L-r): LVCVA Senior Vice President of Operations Terry Jicinsky; Meda, showgirl; Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly; Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro; LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter; and Porsha, showgirl. Phase One: Acquisition and Demolition of the Riviera The acquisition of the Riviera added over 26 acres to the LVCC campus, including a perimeter on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Phase Two: Expansion Creating new exhibition space of approximately 600,000 sq. ft., including corresponding meeting rooms, prefunction space, service and support areas. Total size of the new building will be approximately 1.4 million sq. ft.

• •

Phase Three: Renovation Renovation of the existing 3.2 million-sq.-ft. facility to replace/repair some of the aging building complex includes: Additional meeting rooms supporting the current exhibition space. Technology and security systems replacement, building ingress and egress enhancements, utility services capacity, food service distribution enhancements, as well as interior, exterior and restroom upgrades. A new connector so that all halls can be accessed internally.

• • •

Phase Four: Future Improvements Will improve the Convention Center District based upon prevailing market conditions and direct customer feedback. The schedule for Phase Four elements will be based upon the completion of Phases Two and Three and available funding.

• •


Meetings business is up across the board at Caesars’ Las Vegas properties, Ross notes, and returning attendees will enjoy guestroom upgrades at several properties. The company expects to renovate a total of 7,353 rooms by the end of 2017. “Since 2014 we have renovated 50 percent of our room product here in Las Vegas, and the goal is to get to 90 percent before 2020,” says Ross. “Right now we’re renovating 1,090 rooms and 42 suites in our Palace Tower at Caesars Palace, and the Forum Tower is next. In the second quarter, we’re renovating about 2,000 Planet Hollywood guestrooms.” This August, a $90 million renovation of 1,270 rooms at the Flamingo Las Vegas will commence, with completion scheduled for the second quarter of 2018. “The new room product not only brings us a stronger ADR, but more than that it brings us a level of convention client that myself and all of my associates are really

“Since 2014 we have renovated 50 percent of our room product here in Las Vegas, and the goal is to get to 90 percent before 2020.” —Don Ross, Vice President of Catering, Conventions & Events, Caesars Entertainment

excited about,” Ross adds. Groups will also appreciate Caesars’ newly renovated suites. More than 2,000 suites and villas are available to view and book via a comprehensive new website, www. CaesarsSuites.com. To match the quality of the room product, Caesars has also been upgrading its meeting spaces. The Flamingo Las Vegas is currently undergoing a full renovation of its convention space, and convention spaces at the 2,814-room Bally’s Las Vegas and the Jubilee Tower at Caesars Palace have already been renovated. The 3,792-room Caesars Palace is “doing unbelievable numbers” that account for nearly half of Caesars Entertainment’s meetings business in the city, says Ross. “We were able to capture four to six groups that probably wouldn’t fit in our property unless we had the Colosseum, which gives us the ability to handle a 4,000-person meeting and then also facilitate F&B, breakouts, etc. And the Garden of the Gods pool helps to facilitate evening events.” Another option for large groups is the combination of Bally’s and the 2,916-room Paris Las Vegas. “We sell them as a unit because Paris has an 88,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, which some Continued on page 60

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

Flamingo Las Vegas


Flamingo Las Vegas burst into lush and colorful life when the infamous Bugsy Siegel got the dice rolling in 1946. Though much has changed since then, the vibrancy, allure and exceptional guest service remain the same at the iconic hotel. Today, you’ll discover classic Vegas style beautifully combined with a modern-day sophistication that’s as welcoming as it is hip. The property’s spectacular versatility offers meeting planners an appealing array of accommodations — including the innovative Fab and Go Rooms — superb meeting facilities, the finest amenities, culinary diversity and a group of experienced professionals who can help you plan an event beyond compare. After the completion of a $100 million room and meetings space renovation in 2017, the updated rooms will boast a new, chic look. The room redesigns at Flamingo Las Vegas are part of an extensive renovation plan by Caesars Entertainment. More than 50 percent of Las Vegas rooms at Caesars properties will be upgraded by the end of 2017. The Flamingo’s 73,000-sq.-ft. Corporate Convention Center and Executive Conference Center will feature sleek, fashionable decor and offer the latest in communications and presentation technology. The facility will offer two spacious ballrooms and six individual meeting rooms that may be configured into additional smaller spaces, as well as two large banquet kitchens, two foyers and a self‑service business center. The spaces offer an exceptional opportunity for flexible configurations, accommodating both large and small meetings quickly and simply. The facility’s design thoughtfully incorporates convenient and inviting seating areas

outside many of the meeting rooms, featuring comfortable sofas, chairs and tables perfect for pre-function lounging, breaks or even mini‑breakouts. Attendees at the conference center will surely appreciate the convenience of wireless Internet access and the useful Internet junction, which is a self-service, multi-functional work area. The area features desktop computers, printers and laptop ports, and is located at the heart of the meeting facilities but uniquely situated so that there are no distractions from the meeting rooms. A grand piano graces a large foyer, offering the option of adding a musical interlude to your event. This apt attention to detail is evident everywhere. The Flamingo’s convention area offers plentiful natural light throughout the common areas with views overlooking the spectacular pools and renowned Wildlife Habitat. The Special Venues at the Flamingo present almost limitless possibilities for creative event planning. Consider hosting a luau at the pools and Wildlife Habitat, add a theatrical twist to your general session in the Flamingo Showroom, or put on your own production in Bugsy’s Cabaret. Uniquely, the 2,726-sq.-ft. outdoor Garden View Terrace is well designed for cocktail receptions or smaller banquets. The Terrace has lovely views of the tropical gardens and the Wildlife Habitat below, offering the perfect opportunity for starlit special events. For over 70 years, the Flamingo has been creating memorable experiences for groups of all sizes. From the space, accommodations and endless array of world-class amenities, Flamingo Las Vegas has everything for large or small groups and can accommodate any request.

3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 • (855) MEET-CET • CaesarsMeansBusiness.com Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook


Terry Jicinsky Senior Vice President of Operations Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority The LVCVA has embarked on a long-term project that will add 600,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space and complementary meeting rooms within a new building, as well as renovate the Las Vegas Convention Center’s existing property. Terry Jicinsky discusses the thinking behind the new facility, expected to be completed in early 2021, and the logistics of the renovation, scheduled for completion in early 2023. How did client feedback influence the design of the new space? Many of our clients referred to this idea of “flex space.” They’re really looking for an improvement in convention center layout that allows more flexibility in how they use the lobby and the public space, and how they use the meeting rooms. They may want to use meeting rooms for exhibits, receptions or educational sessions. So one of the terms we heard over and over again is “multiuse.” When the building was original designed, we assumed our meeting rooms would be used 99.9 percent of the time for educational sessions. The current trend is to move away from that. We also want to design [the facility] in such a way that there is better movement of the crowd from the exhibit hall to a meeting room, and from the exhibit hall to a lobby or a mezzanine. Meeting rooms tend to have a set of two pedestrian doors, so in the redesign it may be a bank of doors, where you can open up one whole side of the meeting room to the lobby and create more of a reception area. It’s a very tangible example of rethinking how you use a meeting room, and it all comes back to this idea of flex space. And in Centerplate’s new concept, there is a lot more flex space related to F&B that will allow for pop-up, social type of meetings [in both the current facility and the expansion]. What are your goals for transportation logistics? One of the things we’re very connected to now is this idea of creating space for multimodal transportations in our infra-

structure. It prevents gridlock so they are not crossing each other’s paths. For example, when most buildings were designed, including ours, Uber and Lyft didn’t exist, so there is no dedicated space for those [services]. We’re designing dedicated, permanent spaces for busses, taxicabs and public transportation that may include a monorail program, as well as a dedicated space for Uber and Lyft, which makes it easier for them to connect to their customers on our 200-acre site. How will you ensure the expansion affords groups the latest technology? The buzzword that we hear is the “adaptability” to technology. While we’re designing a building for today, we also know that it’s going to be used five, 10 years from now. So if you use history as an example, we didn’t really know how technology would evolve today, which means we may not know how it’s going to evolve 10 years from now. But we do know it’s going to evolve. So [we want to] build a technology platform whose size, strength and coverage [is adaptable]. We recently installed a distributed antennae system [DAS], and that’s really positioned the Las Vegas Convention Center as one of the most highly wired venues in the market. The DAS has brought us forward in the reliability of how people are using their handheld devices, even when we have 150,000 people in the building for a large tradeshow. Can you share what the aesthetics of the new facility will be like? With the caveat that we are in the process of hiring the architect — a procurement process that will probably conclude at the end of this year — from a staff perspective we want [the facility] to be representative of Southern Nevada and the dynamics of the Las Vegas market. How that manifests itself is yet to be determined. Will there be any disruptions to show operations during the project? We believe there will be very little impact to our existing clients, based on how we’re phasing the construction. It’s probably the strategy we’re most proud of. The expansion is across the street and away from our existing building, and will have no business disruption on the three existing halls. And when the expansion is completed we will do a phased renovation approach where we take individual halls offline and then move that client usage to the new hall, and block off the hall that’s under renovation. As we skip from hall to hall, those client usages always move to the expansion during the period that the renovation is happening, which separates the construction from the tradeshow business.

Continued from page 58

groups will use for general session and then go over to Bally’s for the F&B,” Ross explains.

from the resort’s master chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and artisans through a variety of interactive classes.



Another dynamic pair of meeting hotels consists of the 2,716room Wynn Las Vegas (200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space) and the 2,043-room Encore Las Vegas (60,000 sq. ft.). Wynn Resorts plans to complement these luxurious properties with a 20-acre lagoon, boardwalk and other waterfront attractions at the $1.5 billion Paradise Park. Scheduled to break ground by the end of 2017/early 2018, the park will be built on what is now an 18-hole golf course just east of the two resorts. Beachfront meeting space will also be part of the development, projected for completion in early 2019. In the mean time, groups looking for new experiences at Wynn Las Vegas can take advantage of the recently introduced Wynn Master Class Series. Participants go behind the scenes and learn 60

Several of Las Vegas’s newest event venues are ideal for sports- and competition-oriented groups. Following are three options in this vein, followed by a multipurpose venue and a museum some groups may find intriguing. The new Esports Arena Las Vegas, located at Luxor Hotel and Casino, will become the first permanent esports venue on the Las Vegas Strip when it opens in early 2018. The multilevel arena includes a competition stage, LED video wall, telescopic seating, daily gaming stations, a customized F&B offering and a state-of-the-art streaming and television-quality production studio. Topgolf International, Inc. has opened its state-of-the-art flagship location at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip. The

Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

Esports Arena Las Vegas opens next year at Luxor Hotel and Casino. and ping pong, as well as trendy games such as QuadAir Hockey, Bubble Hockey, Sigma Derby and Giant Pac-Man. Additionally, guests can experience the Golfstream Suite, billed as the world’s first indoor laser golf course and private lounge. Enclave is a new $15 million high-tech corporate and social event venue located a mile from McCarran International Airport. The 75,000-sq.ft., multipurpose facility has 22 rooms of various sizes and functions, including ballrooms, conference rooms and dressing rooms. Services include event production, F&B and branding for corporate events, product launches and tradeshows. The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, offers a variety of rentable venues as well as full buyout options. The museum began a capital improvement program early this year, bringing additional exhibits, interactive venues and a brand-new integrated retail and food service experience.

four-level, 105,000-sq.-ft. Topgolf Las Vegas sits on eight acres and overlooks a 215-yard outfield. The venue offers 108 climatecontrolled hitting bays among four levels, hundreds of HDTVs, a stage for live concerts, water features with cabanas and dynamic event spaces. Opened in December, LEVEL UP offers interactive, skill-based fun in a social atmosphere. Located between Hakkasan Nightclub and the MGM Grand Race and Sports Book, the 12,000-sq.-ft. LEVEL UP features traditional activities such as pool, foosball

The LVCC expansion will surely introduce new attendees to Las Vegas with the corresponding increase in attendance numbers. But for those conventioneers who are Las Vegas “regulars,” it’s a boon to have an ongoing proliferation of event venues and attractions. There is always something new here for groups to experience, and for creative planners to book.

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Cusco and the Meeting groups visiting Peru can expand their horizons beyond Lima


ack in October 2015, the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) held its Autumn Conference in South America for the first time, choosing Peru — a country where IMGL is seeing significant membership growth. It was also the first time IMGL and the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) held their conferences jointly, bringing nearly 200 attendees to the 288-room JW Marriott Hotel Lima. “The JW Marriott has big conference rooms [15,069 sq. ft. of function space, 10 meeting rooms] and an excellent location in Miraflores. It’s a very safe, tourist-friendly area,” says Conference Chair Jaime Varela, Partner at Lima-based Varela y Fonseca Abogados. “And you have the ocean in front that you see from [guestroom] windows.” The district surrounding the JW Marriott is known for its cultural, dining and entertainment venues. IMGL arranged a city tour for delegates and held its Gala Dinner at Club Nacional, a civic association housed in a 161-year-old architecturally impressive building. According to Varela, the local cuisine is among the country’s primary attractions, and he recommends both La Rosa Nautica and Panchita restaurants for business groups in Miraflores. The Autumn Conference concluded with a party on the beach of the Pacific, highlighted by folkloric dances. Given the upscale hotels, exceptional restaurants and wealth of culture in Lima (detailed in the F&D 2016-2017 Winter issue’s feature story, p. 51), a group can certainly hold a successful program without arranging any activities beyond the city limits. Of course, many attendees would then be making their own plans to visit “one of the principal attractions of the world,” as Varela describes Machu Picchu. IMGL thus offered a day trip to Cusco and the 15th century Incan citadel, attended by about 45 delegates. Such an outing is effectively a trip through Peru’s history.


While Pizarro designated Lima as the country’s capital in 1535, the capital was Cusco during the reign of the Incas. Amid his journey to conquer the region, conquistador Francisco Pizarro himself was amazed by the city, proclaiming to the Spanish monarch that Cusco was “the greatest and the finest [city] ever seen in this country or anywhere in the Indies. . . . It is so beautiful and has such fine buildings that it would be remarkable even in Spain.” Much of its splendor remains, visible in the city’s still present Incan infrastructure, architecture and archaeology, with many significant sites throughout the city and surrounding Sacred Valley region. Drawing travelers from around the globe, Cusco has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Following the general pattern of Spanish dominance of the New World, Catholicism was implanted in Cusco upon its conquest, and many religious orders came to the region to convert the populace. Churches, monasteries and convents were built upon Incan religious sites either to sanctify what were considered pagan sites, or simply to assert theological superiority. (For instance, in Cusco, the foundations of the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo rest atop the remains of the Incas’ main temple, Coricancha, which was dedicated to their sun god, Inti. This pattern is replicated throughout Peru.) 62

Much of today’s Cusco remains largely unchanged since colonial times. Its town square is still a gathering point, although coffee houses, taverns and restaurants have supplanted the shops and markets of the agrarian society that preceded it. The infrastructure created by the Incas still plays a prominent role in the town’s layout and even architecture. Stones hewed to form walls of buildings and streets in Incan times are visible throughout the city’s narrow passageways. History converges upon itself within Cusco’s prime venues as well. Many of the city’s hotels were crafted from century-old religious sites for various denominations within the Catholic Church, yet also have visible remnants of their Incan predecessors. A pair of adjacent luxury properties operated by Belmond, the 122-room Monasterio (www.belmond.com/hotel-monasteriocusco) and the 55-suite Palacio Nazarenas (www.belmond.com/ palacio-nazarenas-cusco), served as a monastery and convent, respectively. The Monasterio, registered in Peru as a historical landmark, traces its roots back to the 16th century. Corridors in the hotel’s lower levels contain Incan walls, and throughout the property, the décor and design are themed to reflect the life of seminarians — many of the rooms were the actual quarters of members of the monastic order. Consecrated in 1715 after having multiple uses as a private residence and school before becoming a convent, Palacio Nazarenas has a modern feel yet retains a sense of its rich past with traces of Incan architecture as well as an ancient fountain on site. Both properties showcase original works of art from the church facilities and offer decorated chapels and central courtyard gardens for private events. The 153-room JW Marriott El Convento Cusco (www.marriott. com/hotels/travel/cuzmc-jw-marriott-el-convento-cusco) is a former church property built over the 16th century Convent of San Agustin. Declared by Peru as a “National Cultural Heritage site,” the hotel houses archaeological exhibition rooms with Pre-Incan, Incan and Colonial Spanish artifacts. Its architecture blends Incan walls and medieval Spanish styles with a modern, contemporary design. The hotel offers over 9,400 sq. ft. of meeting space. Affiliated with the Starwood Luxury Collection, Libertador Hotels operates the 203-room Palacio del Inka (palaciodelinkahotel.com), which boasts its share of history as well. Built on the grounds of a palace constructed for Pizarro, it is Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

Sacred Valley serve as the springboard for travelers heading via the Sacred Valley along the Urubamba River to the country’s prime World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu. Hotels in the Sacred Valley include Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado (21 rooms/suites, two villas), a boutique luxury property with extensive outdoor facilities. Its lawns and gardens extend down to the Urubamba River, and the hotel’s El Jardin restaurant can host a group barbecue beside the river. The 128-room Tambo del Inka (tambodelinkaresort.com), a Libertador Hotel operated as a member of the Starwood Luxury Collection, is a most impressive resort in the Sacred Valley town of Urubamba. Reminiscent of a rustic ski lodge, a fireplace and high ceilings supported by log pillars welcome guests into the property. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the river and mountainside. A similar design is found in the property’s Hawa restaurant, which extends onto a patio that can host outdoor events. Indoor meeting space exceeds 4,000 sq. ft. The hotel also has a private station from which guests can depart to Machu Picchu via a Peru Rail train.


Machu Picchu (left), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is surrounded by the vibrant culture and wildlife of the Sacred Valley (above and right).

said to have also been the site of an Incan temple. The renovation of the property in 2013 created modern meeting spaces from the Spanish colonial design, crafting restaurants and enclosing courtyards, and updating banquet halls. History is clearly preserved within structures, rooms and suites through era artwork and architecture that not only include a stone wall built by the Incans as part of a lobby lounge space, but also a small cellar where cheeses, meats and wines were aged. In addition to a spa, the hotel houses the city’s only health club. Also of note, culinary classes are offered at one of the hotel’s restaurants to educate on the region’s unique cuisine, which could be an engaging activity for groups. Outside of the historic city center, a recent addition to hotel scene that caters to MICE travel is the 137-room Hilton Garden Inn Cusco (hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/peru/hiltongarden-inn-cusco-CUZGIGI/index.html). Opened in January 2016 and located 15 minutes from Cusco’s airport, the hotel has both indoor and outdoor meeting space, and an onsite restaurant. “Cusco is undoubtedly one of the most important historic sites and tourist destinations in Latin America,” said Tom Potter, Senior Vice President, Latin America and the Caribbean for Hilton Worldwide. “As our first hotel in the area, Hilton Garden Inn Cusco is a great addition to our portfolio.”


The seqe system was a network of roads and paths leading outward from Coricancha to the far ends of the Incan Empire. The empire was divided into four sections, and the nexus of these quarters, known as suyus, still exists within the grounds of the Santo Domingo Church and Convent, built upon the ruins of the Incan holy site. While Cusco may not hold religious significance as the central point of departure to the rest of the world, it does Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

Peru Rail Vistadome train service provides service via comfortable coaches with panoramic views of the countryside, including farms, Incan ruins along the Urubamba River, as well as towering mountain peaks. Travel via rail to Machu Picchu can also originate from Cusco’s Poroy station, as well as in the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo. Once a royal Incan city, its ruins are now a highly visited archaeological site. The town also serves as the launch point for a four-day hike for the bold through the Incan trail to Machu Picchu. A journey aboard the luxury rail Belmond Hiram Bingham is an experience sure to be remembered. A series of amenities come along with a ticket, including VIP Lounge access at the Machu Picchu station, as well as tea at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (see below), the only hotel on Machu Picchu. Designed to have the look and feel of Pullman cars of the 1920s, the trains look like something from a classic film. Passenger seating is in a plush dining car which offers a multi-course gourmet lunch menu heading into Machu Picchu and dinner when returning to Cusco. During the trip, a visit to the observatory car allows passengers to enjoy the Sacred Valley scenery. The bar car, offering musical entertainment, is a great place to stop as well. At the base of Machu Picchu lies Aguas Calientes, a town that developed after the discovery of the citadel atop the mountain’s abandoned Incan site never reached by the colonial Spanish. There is no mistaking that the area’s main attraction is the Incan fortress. Nevertheless, there are sites around the city that include the eponymous hot springs, parks, hiking trails and the Butterfly House museum. Promperu, the government agency that promotes tourism to Peru, reports that a robust and diverse population of butterflies “inhabits the wooded areas of the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary,” with approximately 252 species identified. At the entrance to Machu Picchu, the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge (31 rooms/suites) is the only hotel atop the mountain at the site of Machu Picchu. Outdoor events can be staged on the patios and gardens at the property, which have awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains, green with tropical forest foliage. Additionally, spacious onsite restaurants serve a selection of Peruvian cuisine and international fare, and can be set up to host private events as well. —David Korn 63

The Northeast

Connecticut Convention Center

Defy Expectations

Hartford’s convenient location will attract a record number of attendees, and the revitalized downtown will create an experience they’ll never forget.


pend some time in Hartford and you’ll find a surprise around every corner: the expansive Connecticut Convention Center and connected Hartford Marriott, a vibrant redeveloped downtown, and an innovative food scene. With easy access from the airport and a free downtown circulator shuttle, Hartford is easy to get to and around, leaving you with more time to meet, explore and connect. At the center of it all is the Connecticut Convention Center. Combining ample meeting space with visually stunning touches and unparalleled service the Center is the premier meeting destination in the Northeast. Getting from work to play has never been easier when first-class entertainment and restaurants are just steps from your meeting. Enjoy tantalizing bites at over 40 independent restaurants, see a show at one of the nation’s leading resident theaters, the Hartford Stage, or catch the pulse-pounding action of the Hartford Wolf Pack hockey team at the XL Center. Or better yet, do it all. In Hartford we don’t just meet expectations, we defy them.


• Downtown Hotel Rooms: 1,600 • Attached Hotel: Hartford Marriott (AAA Four-Diamond with 409 rooms)

• Convention Center: 540,000 Sq. Ft. Facility • Nearest Airport: Bradley International (15 miles from downtown) • Downtown Transportation: Free Hartford Dash • Convention District: Front Street (directly across the street from the Center) “The Connecticut Convention Center and Front Street have proven over the years to be the crown jewels of Hartford by boasting excellent meeting facilities, a diverse cross-section of restaurants, entertainment venues and relaxing nightlife.” – Africka Hinds, 2016 Conference Chairman Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

New in Hartford

• The new 6,000-seat Dunkin’ Donuts Park is home to the Hartford Yard Goats Minor League Baseball team. It’s a great option for an offsite reception or teambuilding activity. • The former Goodwin Hotel is being renovated into a new boutique property set to open mid-2017.

100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103 • (860) 249-6000 • ctconventions.com 64

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

PITTSBURGH The Northeast

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


The Northeast

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 boasts numerous museums, including the George Eastman Museum, the Susan B. Anthony House and the acclaimed Strong National Museum of Play. Rochester is also proud to be home to the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, a nine-day event featuring 300+ concerts with 1,500+ artists, 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 high-tech 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 has upgraded to a dedicated Internet connection over fiber optics to meet all of the growing number of technical requirements its customers have. This service, which is selfoperated, is available wireless throughout the facility and is boostable from 200 MB to 400 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 Floreano 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 217-room Holiday Inn; 460-room Radisson; a 106-room Hilton Garden Inn; and a 338-room Hyatt Regency, which is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation slated for completion in August 2017. 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 2017 SuperBook

The Northeast

Whether you have 50 or 5,000 attendees, we have a prime site for you.



123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604 585.232.7200 • www.rrcc.com

The Northeast

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 nine 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.) and Special Events Hall (30,000 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. 68

Vital Facts Total Exhibition Space: 760,000 gross sq. ft. Total Meeting Space: 28,050 gross sq. ft. permanent; 132,000 gross sq. ft. flexible.

11th Ave., Between 34th St. & 39 St., New York, NY 10001 (212) 216-2335 javitscenter.com

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Northeast



W O R L D New York’s Javits Center is busier than ever. With 760,000 square feet of flexible exhibit space, we host more than 170 events, from trade shows and corporate meetings, to benefits and public events. And our new high density Wi-Fi system provides access to over 70,000 users at a time. There are over 30,000 hotel rooms within a one mile radius of the Javits Center, and when it comes to travel options, the metropolitan area’s three major airports, ferry service and public transportation make getting here easier than you ever thought possible. Nowhere else will you find all the ingredients for success on one iconic stage, right in the heart of the greatest city in the world. Ready to elevate your event?

Eleventh Avenue between West 34th and 40th Streets sales@javitscenter.com • 212-216-2000


The Northeast

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 obstruction-free, 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

Convention Center and maintains a full warehouse on the premises, guaranteeing exhibitors a full range of decorating services. In addition, the in-house 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 70

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Northeast

Meadowlands Exposition Center New Jersey’s Premier Event Center

• 61,000 sq. ft. of obstruction-free Exhibit Space, large multi-purpose Lobby and flexible Meeting Rooms • Just five miles from Midtown Manhattan • Cost Effective Alternative to NYC • Dedicated, Professional Staff of Event Coordinators • Minutes away from Newark International Airport • Surrounded by Hotels, Restaurants & Shopping all within walking distance • Free Parking and Public Transportation right outside our door

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.

Planning an Event? Let us know how we can help!

355 Plaza Drive Secaucus NJ 07094 • 201.330.7773 • sales@mecexpo.com

The Northeast

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 over 16,000 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 family-friendly 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 •meetinac.com 72

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Northeast

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Philadelphia: Incentive Package Makes Every Meeting & Convention a Blockbuster


hiladelphia has hosted one blockbuster event after another, including the World Meeting of Families Congress and papal visit in 2015, the Democratic National Convention in 2016 and this past April, the NFL Draft. The next big event in the City of Brotherly Love could be yours. And if the city’s success hosting world-class events isn’t enticement enough, if you book a meetings or convention that takes place in Philadelphia through Feb. 28, 2019 you can receive cash rebates. Get a $1 cash rebate per room night for events that actualize from 10 to 1,000 total room nights. And for events that actualize more than 1,001 total room nights, get a $2 cash rebate per room night, with a maximum cash incentive of $10,000 per event. Need help pulling together your meeting in a short time span? The Philadelphia Convention and Visitor Bureau’s (PHLCVB) awardwinning Convention Services team has decades of combined experience and can help with RFPs, promotional materials, a welcome program, attendance building and more. Plus, the PHLCVB has three business development divisions — PHL Diversity, PHL Sports and PHL Life Sciences — geared toward providing introductions to the region’s experts who are potential sponsors, speakers and attendees. Completing the package is the LEED-certified Pennsylvania Convention Center, professionally managed by SMG. The Center, with one million sq. ft. of salable space, is the 14th largest freestanding facility in the nation with the capability to host larger tradeshows or two conventions simultaneously. It has the largest contiguous exhibit space in the Northeast and the largest ballroom on the East Coast, as well as 82 meeting rooms. The Convention Center is located in the heart of the city, within a 15-minute walk of more than 10,000 hotel rooms. Overall, there are more than 30,000 hotel rooms in the region at every price point, and over the next 18 months, Center City hotel room inventory will increase by 20 percent.

The city also boasts museums, cultural institutions, historic attractions and shopping — all within walking distance of the Convention Center. There’s no shortage of things for your attendees to do in their free time. Interesting venues for one-of-a-kind offsite events, including the newly opened Museum of the American Revolution, are also abundant. Philadelphia’s flourishing restaurant community has garnered attention of Bon Appetit, the Washington Post and Food & Wine, and the city recently brought home four James Beard Awards, the “Oscars” of the restaurant world. The Center is surrounded by oneof-a-kind choices like the 100-year-old Reading Terminal Market with its mix of ethnic foods, small BYOBs and restaurants that have been featured on the Food Network, as well as a vibrant nightlife. Philadelphia is not only easy to get to, but is also easy to get around as the city has a sophisticated regional rail and subway network. Philadelphia International Airport, with 30 airlines and nearly 550 daily departures to 126 cities, also services 39 international destinations.

Make your next meeting a blockbuster — in Philadelphia! For more information about booking your meeting in Philadelphia, contact the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau at (215) 6364401 or discoverPHL.com

1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 • (855) MEET-PHL • meetPHL.com Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook



Events DC


s the official convention and sports authority for Washington, DC, Events DC makes its mission to enrich and activate the city with premier event experiences for residents and visitors alike — while also generating economic and community benefits. Events DC reflects three distinct lines of business — conventions and meetings, sports and entertainment, and special events — and owns, operates and manages nine different venues throughout the city, with the Walter E. Washington Convention Center being the largest. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center, occupying six city blocks, is a 2.3 million-sq.-ft. building in the heart of the nation’s capital. With 703,000 sq. ft. of prime exhibit space and 198,000 gross sq. ft. of meeting room space, the Center has hosted numerous notable organizations and events, such as the Society for Human Resource Management, American College of Cardiology, Association of the US Army, the USA Science and Engineering Festival, the Washington Nationals’ fan fest, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress, the annual Washington Auto Show, numerous Presidential Inaugural Balls and more. As a world-class convention facility, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center has hosted more than 15 million attendees, with an average of 200 events and one million attendees per year. Events DC remains focused on short- and long-term efforts to remain competitive, stay ahead of innovative trends and enrich the attendee and event experience. Since opening its doors in 2003, the Center has seen many major development projects totaling over $1 billion in enhancements to the building’s immediate internal, external and surrounding neighborhood footprint. These projects range from the flagship Washington Marriott Marquis Washington, DC Convention Center headquarter hotel, to technology improvements, carpet replacement, strategic investments in the surrounding retail space, ongoing sustainability efforts and additional streetscaping plans. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center team has focused efforts on improving energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption. Even though building occupancy has increased by 10

percent over the past three years, energy costs have remained constant, year over year. The Center has upgraded and fully integrated building management and operations systems into a single unified system line aimed at achieving an additional 10 percent reduction in building operation costs over three years. Exhibit hall metal halide fixtures have been all been replaced with more efficient highbay fluorescent fixtures, and management teams will continue to replace incandescent lighting fixtures with LED fixtures throughout the building for further reductions in energy consumption. Events DC continues to work with Smart City, its exclusive technology services partner, to offer building improvements such as Wi-Fi enhancements, replacing of in-house audio systems, placement of more than 200 digital signage displays, and interactive wayfinding kiosks. By extending free Wi-Fi services across the entire building, Events DC has enabled attendees to be able to complete routine tasks such as checking email, utilizing social media tools and navigating online platforms hassle-free, while enriching the guest experience. With a continued commitment to supporting local businesses, Events DC has opened DC-based, Compass Coffee to the building’s grand lobby retail space. To further support local businesses, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center has leased all of its exterior retail space. This retail strategy has the power to further invigorate the surrounding neighborhood with services and act as a prime example of the power of small businesses driving the betterment and growth of a city. The building’s retail space has welcomed Top Chef finalist Marjorie Meek-Bradley’s Smoked & Stacked, Composition ID, a diagnostic health center, Cuttin’ Up Barbershop and Union Kitchen Grocery. Coming this summer and fall, new retailers include Morris, a craft cocktail bar; Unconventional Diner, a locally owned high-end diner concept; and Urban Athletic Club. Recently announced streetscape plans, with phased delivery starting in 2018-2021, will transform the façade of the Convention Center through lighting, signage, canopies and furniture, as well as activate and enrich the sidewalks and the exterior streetscape.

801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001 • (202) 249-3311 • eventsdc.com 74

Facilities & Destinations 2017 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. The new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center 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 Wi-Fi 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 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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The Southeast

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 • bjcc.org 76

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Southeast

GETTING HERE IS EASY. IT’S THAT WHOLE LEAVING PART THAT’S TOUGH. Not only is Birmingham centrally-located, but so are our meeting facilities. And while having space that’s all in one place and just 10 minutes from the airport is reason to come here, it’s the food, drink and after-hours entertainment that make it so hard to leave. Book your next convention in the place where business meets pleasure. In Birmingham.


Jackson, Mississippi is anew! New properties: Westin Jackson/Residence Inn. New museums: MS Civil Rights Museum/MS Music Experience. New venues: Cathead Vodka Distillery (tasting tour offered)/Underground 119. Coupled with James Beard award-winning chefs and restaurants, great music, complimentary professional planning assistance, affordable meeting space, including a 330,000 sq. ft. Convention Complex, and warm hospitality, your event will be unforgettable! Contact us today! 1-800-354-7695 or www.meetinjackson.com

City with life. City with style. City with soul .

The Southeast

Visit Knoxville Knoxville Will Surprise You


or 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-50 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, from conventions to sporting competitions. The Knoxville Convention Center serves as the cornerstone of Knoxville’s meeting facilities. The beautiful, 500,000-sq.-ft. center is one of three cityowned, SMG-managed facilities. The Convention Center is positioned alongside the picturesque landscape of World’s Fair Park, between the urban core of the city and the campus of the University of Tennessee, and now offers free Wi-Fi. The Convention Center is centrally located in the city center among upscale hotels and Market Square, the heart of Knoxville’s vibrant and walkable downtown. This popular area is home to eclectic shopping, exquisite cuisine, entertainment and more. Many nearby hotels and attractions are located on the free shuttle route provided by Knoxville Trolley Lines. Knoxville is home to a variety of festivals, loads of live music, highly acclaimed museums, a world-class zoo and a unique Urban Wilderness. Located just three miles from downtown, this

1,000-acre stretch connects parks, battlefields, a Nature Center and other points of interest to more than 50 miles of mixed-use trails for all levels of hiking, mountain biking and trail running. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of nearly half the U.S. population. McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) is located just 12 miles from downtown and offers more than 20 nonstop destinations, including Chicago, Dallas, Washington, DC and Denver. Trust the Visit Knoxville Sales and Services team to assist you from start to finish with lead distribution and site selection assistance to promotional materials, visitor information and customized tours. To learn more, download a meeting planner guide at meetingplanner.visitknoxville.com.

301 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 • (844) 786-7702 • convention.visitknoxville.com

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


The Southeast

Little Rock Where Meetings are better with a Southern Accent


anked among the Top Ten “Best Value Destinations in the US” for the last three years by Trivago.com, 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. Since the Center’s opening, Little Rock has experienced more than $3 billion worth of revitalization and development that has produced new attractions, award-winning restaurants and entertainment venues, a burgeoning adult beverage scene 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 convention center is the Little Rock Marriott, which features 418 rooms and nearly 35,000 sq. ft. of recently renovated meeting space. The Little Rock metro boasts approximately 9,800 hotel rooms, accommodating a variety of groups. If your conference or meeting fits, you owe it to yourself to visit and see why so many people are bringing their events to Little Rock. Getting here is a breeze — located less than 10 minutes from downtown, the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport offers service from six airlines with 50 daily flights to major hubs and 334 destinations around the world. Discover the pleasant surprise of Little Rock, and see why “Meetings Are Better With a Southern Accent.” For more information, visit www.littlerock.com and follow Little Rock at www.facebook.com/experienceLR and www.twitter.com/littlerockCVB.

101 S. Spring Street, Little Rock, AR 72201 (501) 370-3251 • (800) 844-4781 littlerock.com Like seeing the city’s beautifully illuminated bridges for the first time, our meeting in Little Rock was unforgettable. Attending an elegant opening reception in the Clinton Presidential Center. Riding the METRO Streetcar to explore the breweries, clubs and restaurants in the River Market. Filling the Statehouse Convention Center with applause. Our meeting here felt different – and such a pleasant surprise. All centered around the personal attention and charming hospitality of Little Rock.





< River Lights in the Rock To see more, go to LittleRock.com



Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Southeast

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 Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


The Southeast

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 GulfportBiloxi 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, including the National Maritime Museum of the Gulf Coast. 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. 82

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Southeast

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 Peabody Auditorium, offering concerts, Broadway shows and other entertainment throughout the year.

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

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


The Southeast

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 no exception. 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, a large outdoor pedestrian plaza and a grand entrance. State-ofthe-art, energy efficient lighting systems 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. Plans for the exciting transformation of Convention Center Boulevard in New Orleans, which will connect the bustling Warehouse/Arts District with the historic French Quarter and dramatically transform the guest experience at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, are becoming a reality. A new $65 million linear park will update the urban environment with a tree-lined pedestrian plaza, bike lanes, moving walkways, sleek overhangs, fountains, green walls, water walls and shaded sitting areas for visitors. Two key components of the transformation are a multi-modal transportation hub where shuttles will more efficiently move attendees to and from the Center, and improvements to several roads and intersections within the Warehouse District that are the normal shuttle route. More than 1,400 restaurants in the city mean 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 award-winning chef Donald Link.

After business ends, the Center is just a stone’s throw from the newly renovated Outlet Collection at the Riverwalk, the historic Warehouse District and French Quarter, and the National World War II Museum. 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’ 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 including shipping, high volume copying, faxing, badge chains, etc., are available.

900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 19107 • (504) 582-3023 mccno.com 84

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The Southeast

The Southeast

Orange County Convention Center

Experience the New Orange


he award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), 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 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 newly remodeled Valencia Ballroom, the Sunburst signature meeting room with outdoor terrace along with the Honeybell and Hamlin boardrooms.

Destination Lounge

The Orange County Convention Center wants you to experience the Destination Lounge, an all-new, state-of-the-art networking venue, complete with video walls, LED display systems and lighting to support corporate branding and displays. This area is designed for a high-tech, contemporary and sophisticated meeting headquarters. With the need to stay connected, the Destination Lounge offers a space where attendees and exhibitors can sit comfortably and continue to do business. Targeted for small groups, individuals and

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 86

private events, this area will allow for spaces that are technology friendly with comfortable seating and open views, perfect for your next reception or presentation. • Conveniently located in the South Concourse • Over 7,000 sq. ft. of multi-functional networking space - Meetings - Private functions - Receptions - Sponsorship opportunities

Facility Features

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. The North/South concourses are connected by the Oversight Bridge and provide 950,282 sq. ft. of exhibition space, including two 92,000-sq.-ft., acoustically engineered general assembly areas. With its distinctive architecture and tropical ambiance, this facility includes 25 meeting rooms/94 breakout rooms, two full-service restaurants, four food courts, two business centers and 76 covered loading docks.

Onsite Service Partners

The OCCC offers first-rate assistance through our 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 – Audiovisual services Bags – Remote Skycap, valet, bag and coat check SeaWorld® Orlando – Unique and innovative opportunity for offsite meetings and entertainment Universal Orlando® Resort – Unique and innovative opportunity for offsite meetings and entertainment Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Southeast

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 2017 SuperBook


The Southeast

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

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Southeast

The Southeast

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort


he Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is a nationally respected and recognized leader in the convention resort arena. The resort offers more than 329,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, 84 breakout rooms and 2,267 guestrooms and suites, which feature the Westin Heavenly® Bed. In mid-2017 the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Dolphin lobby will undergo a $12 million redesign as the final stage of the largest makeover in the resort’s history. When finished in the fall of 2017, the new lobby will be completely transformed into a sleek contemporary space, and feature new dining and beverage options. “This lobby will mark the final piece of an exciting transformation for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “This space is designed specifically to cater to today’s guests and offer an inviting place where they can come together to relax, network and grab something to eat or drink.” The centerpiece of the new lobby will be a dazzling custom crystal chandelier that will sparkle above the fountain. Other new features will include a geometric ceiling, increased lighting, all-new contemporary décor and furnishings and more than double the amount of seating. The lobby redesign is the final stage of a total $140 million project that also includes the transformation of all 2,267 guestrooms, along with upgrades to the hotel’s meeting space. 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®. The design continues into a completely new bathroom, featuring residential style vanities and a backlit mirror on iridescent glass tiles. When it comes to the business of meetings, the 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, creative opportunities abound. For the adventurous, nothing beats a private event in the theme parks to add that magical touch while supporting the meeting theme. The resort is recognized as a top “Foodie” destination in Orlando featuring 16 world-class restaurants and lounges, including the famed celebrity Chef Todd English’s bluezoo, Il Mulino New York Trattoria and Shula’s Steak House, which serves the best beef money can buy. 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, two health clubs and tennis courts, or indulge at the luxurious Balinese-inspired Mandara Spa. 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 or (407) 934-4290 SwanDolphinMeetings.com 90

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The Southeast


15 Minutes Away From CAK

Staff Is 87% Friendlier Than The Other Guys

8 Out Of 10 Visitors Rate Food “Excellent”

40 Minutes Away From CLE

99% Chance Of A Successful Event*

(the other 2 think it’s “Really Good”)


123,000 Square Feet For Convening, Collaborating, Dining and Even Dancing. 279 Combined Years Of Employee Service

79 Steps To Some Great Guacamole

Whether it’s a one-night event or week-long conference, our professional staff at the John S. Knight Center is here to ensure a top-notch experience both inside and out. Call 330.374.8900, 800.245.4254 or visit johnsknightcenter.org for information and to reserve your space. DOWNTOWN AKRON, OH

* 1% accounts for the unlikely event of a volcanic eruption

THE Midwest



COBO CENTER Centered around you. THE NEW COBO CENTER The $279 Million Renovation was completed in 2015 and brings many head-turning additions:

723,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Space. More robust technology, with Free WiFi and enough connectivity for 30,000 simultaneous users.

The new 40,000 sq. ft. Grand Riverview Ballroom with floor Spectacular Outdoor to ceiling views of the Video Walls – 3X as large Detroit River and over 200,000 sq. ft. of flex space. as billboards. An Outdoor Event Plaza facing the downtown skyline, connected to a terrace overlooking the river.

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.

2. South Atrium Renovation 3. Outdoor Video Walls 4. Shinola City Clock




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

managed facility

Cobo-2017-Advertorial-F+D.indd 1

1. Cobo Center Entrance and Outdoor Video Board

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




Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

Retail is popping, including the first Midwest Boutique for John Varvatos just a few blocks away and Shinola and Filson in Midtown, just a short ride up the soon to open M-1 RAIL Streetcar. (2017)

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

cobocenter.com | Downtown Detroit

4/5/17 1:38 PM


THE Midwest

Greater Columbus Convention Center


Kevin Cross Ellen Dallager

his July, the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) completed a $140 million expansion and renovation project. Now measuring 1.8 million sq. ft., the facility features an additional 37,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, bringing the total contiguous exhibit space to 373,000 sq. ft. and 447,000 sq. ft. overall with the addition of the 74,000-sq.-ft. Battelle Grand — the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio. Nine new meeting rooms and nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space have been added with the north expansion, reaching a new total of 75 meeting rooms. The adjacent Hyatt Regency meeting space was also renovated as part of the project. Already known as one of the busiest convention centers in North America, the GCCC’s 15,000-sq.-ft. Short North Ballroom is named for the nearby Short North Arts District. Both the 25,000-sq.-ft. Union Station Ballroom and the Short North Ballroom feature LED ceiling lighting systems and upscale carpeting, wall coverings and finishes. The ballrooms can be divided into sections. As part of the exhibit hall enhancements, second-level show offices enable show managers to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the tradeshow floor below. The South Café & Marketplace now offers a bright, beautiful destination for guests to visit the shops and quick-service restaurants, catch up on televised programs, recharge mobile devices and relax in a variety of seating configurations. New service providers located on Level 1 are Mills James, the production services company, and Fern, the general services provider. Levy, the facility’s exclusive caterer in collaboration with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, has opened Discovery Café, composed of the Homegrown Market, Columbus Grille, Crimson Cup and the CBUS Tap Room. Discovery Café will soon feature the Smartfarm Green Growth System, which will provide herbs and vegetables for culinary use in the kitchen 75 feet away. Chefs will have the opportunity to specifically grow plantings to meet specific event needs of customers. Live at Lunch, launched in May, is a musical series highlighting the talent of local entertainers to augment the lunchtime experience. The GCCC has nearly 4,000 parking spaces. Both the parking garages and convention center include artwork that is part of the largest contemporary collection of Franklin County art created by school children and established professionals. Parking facilities include the $18 million Goodale Garage that opened in 2016 and is connected by enclosed walkway to the new north expansion, providing a convenient point of entry for festivities. The Goodale Garage features colorful LED exterior lighting, plus local artwork at the elevator vestibules at each level. The unique combination of garage + gallery prompted a dedication ceremony speaker to refer to the structure as a “gallerage.” The facility will achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The GCCC also established a freestanding room exclusively dedicated to nursing mothers. Two Guest Services Center are providing a variety of services within a single location, including mobility scooters. The facility exterior was enhanced by the creation of the Arnold Plaza with a statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger and refreshing of the distinctive Peter Eisenman design. The exterior landscaping is being performed in coordination with the city’s own High Street green streetscape projects to mutually heighten the area’s visual appeal. Event planners are enthused by the flexible, linear space the facility offers, along with the city’s largest contingent of friendly and knowledgeable staff of Certified Tourism Ambassadors ready to assist. Strategically located within one day’s drive or a one-hour flight of the majority of the nation’s population and 10 minutes from John Glenn Columbus International Airport, the award-winning GCCC is nestled within a vibrant entertainment area, including the Arena District and Short North Arts District. Connected to the Hilton, Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, Lofts and Drury hotel properties by enclosed walkway, the GCCC is owned and developed by the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority (FCCFA). The GCCC is one of the largest convention centers in SMG’s portfolio.

400 N. High St., Columbus, Ohio 43215 • (800) 626-0241• columbusconventions.com 94

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THE Midwest

390,000 event space connecting planners, exhibitors and attendees



devices capable of connecting to a network simultaneously at speeds of 1B bps

Hilton hotel rooms connected to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland


of the world’s leading healthcare brands connected to the Global Center for Health Innovation

Why meet in Cleveland?

It’s Good to Have

Connections From small executive meetings to large tradeshows, the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland connects planners with of exhibit space, 140,000 sq. of meeting and event space, a 32,000 Grand Ballroom and 30 breakout rooms. Learn more about Cleveland’s new convention center campus at www.clevelandconventions.com/planners.

The connected Global Center for Health Innovation space, multiple breakout rooms and access to healthcare-related industry resources. Learn more at theglobalcenter.com.

Managed by

Find us at: www.clevelandconventions.com | www.theglobalcenter.com

THE Midwest



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 2017 SuperBook


THE Midwest

Indiana Convention Center

The Setting your Occasion Deserves. Welcome to Indy. The Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium (ICCLOS) is top tier in terms of configurable meeting space, superior amenities, convenience and real hospitality. With 749,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space in the heart of Indianapolis, ICCLOS regularly host events from marching band competitions and concerts to opening sessions, conferences of all sizes, VIP events and tradeshows. Guests enjoy year-round comfort and mobility through climate-controlled skywalks connecting ICCLOS to nearly 5,000 hotel rooms, hundreds of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Culture abounds for outdoor enthusiasts as well on the eight-mile Indianapolis Cultural trail that passes through six Cultural Districts. The downtown’s fab food finds, live music and happening DJs will offer your attendees the opportunity to eat well, bust a move, and make their friends jealous with great selfies. Feel like a VIP with Indy’s renowned Hoosier Hospitality. Whether you are looking for the intimacy of a small room, or a large, impressive space, you are welcome in Indy.

MAKE YOUR NEXT EVENT AS ACCESSIBLE AS IT IS UNFORGETTABLE. 7,100 Hotel rooms in downtown Indianapolis 4,700 Rooms connected to the Convention Center via skywalks 200+ Downtown restaurants within walking distance 15 Minutes to the Indianapolis International Airport

100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46225 • (317) 262-3400 • www.ICCLOS.com 98

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

THE Midwest

THE Midwest

monona terrace Convention Center tendance. t a t pec nce transcendence. x E rie c r o w n e d b y an e paces s p r o ri it you at Monona Terrace. inte Ex n aw a

ing r de o n o n a i s w h er e zzl top ga a ake M f D L f o o o becomes e gr inking hor k y th itin the s s n. v a e n of ctio in on lu sb ’s pla ’ e w y o r a r He tod tomor

Madison, Wisconsin: An Inspiring Place for Smart Meetings.


adison 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 isthmus, earned the prestigious Gold Level LEED status. In 2007, Monona Terrace became the first convention center in the nation to be LEED-EBcertified at the Silver Level by the U.S. Green Building Council. The additional certification at the Gold Level affirms the facility’s commitment to the environment. The facility actively uses sustainable practices such as purchasing 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. Monona Terrace is a symbol of sustainability for the community and an inspiration to all those who choose to visit the city.


More than 8,000 hotel rooms are available to groups in Madison, with 1,000 rooms within walking distance of Monona Terrace. Accommodation styles run the gamut from first-class convention hotels, such as the 240-room 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 that may also be reserved for events {MADISON, WI}

blog.mononaterrace.com ©2017 Monona Terrace

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

100 17357 Transcendence _Facilities and Destinations-3.5x10-v3.indd 1

One John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 261-4000 • mononaterrace.com

4/24/17 9:11 AM

THE Midwest

Explore St. Louis


n the heart of a revitalized downtown, a vibrant new hospitality

that is just steps from the America’s Center Convention Complex.

district continues to grow. With world-class hotels, restaurants,

The museum is an interactive treasure trove of sights and sounds

museums and entertainment venues, you’ll find that St. Louis is a

saluting the country’s indigenous music with numerous galleries

great choice for your next meeting or event. St. Louis is an acces-

and an intimate performance space for concerts to provide

sible and affordable destination that will keep delegates enter-

entertainment for meeting groups and special events. A 2,500-sq.-

tained with magnificent theater, live music, sports and more that

ft. private room offers flexible space for receptions or dining.

are all within reach. St. Louis is a foodie’s delight, with an endless array of diverse dining Located in the heart of downtown, the America’s Center conven-

options along Washington Avenue. Attendees will enjoy Peru-

tion complex provides more than 502,000 sq. ft. of continuous

vian, Italian, French, Mediterranean and more cuisine varieties from

exhibit space with 80 versatile meeting rooms, 1,400-seat Ferrara

around the world, all within walking distance of the America’s Center.

Theatre and the 67,000-seat Dome at America’s Center, providing planners with unparalleled flexibility and accessibility.

Arch 2018 World Premier Program After five years in the making, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch has been

With some of the most premier hotel brands in the industry, includ-

completely transformed with biking and running trails, space for

ing Marriott, Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, Westin and Hyatt,

outdoor concerts and indoor events, and a new state-of-the-art

there are more than 7,000 available guestrooms in downtown St.

museum commemorating the westward expansion of the United

Louis and more than 38,000 rooms in the metropolitan area. If you

States. Through the Arch 2018 World Premier program, planners

are looking for that ideal single hotel or need 4,500 rooms peak for

and their attendees can benefit from VIP experiences at the

your citywide event, St. Louis can accommodate you.

Gateway Arch, as well as a series of incentives from hotels and event venues, and the America’s Center Convention Complex.

St. Louis is filled with unique offsite venues to meet the needs of

To learn more about the program, visit www.explorestlouis.com/

your group. One must-see venue is the National Blues Museum


701 Convention Plaza, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63101 • (800) 916-8938 • explorestlouis.com Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


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Austin Convention Center

Located in the heart of the capital city’s downtown, the LEED® Gold Certified Convention Center spans six city blocks


winner of the Prime Site Award every year since 1995, the Austin Convention Center has emerged as a leader in the convention and meeting industry. The Center offers 369,132 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space, including five column-free exhibit halls accommodating 1,289 10 ft.-by-10 ft. exhibit booths. Seven ballrooms ranging from 3,896 to 40,510 sq. ft. 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 of 1,700 spaces. In January 2017, the Austin Convention Center hosted what is arguably the premier event in the meetings industry, PCMA’s Convening Leaders.

Technological Features

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. 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.


Austin offers more than 33,000 hotel rooms, with 9,000 located downtown, including the 800-room Hilton Austin adjacent to the convention center. Additional nearby hotels

include: Four Seasons Hotel Austin, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown, Radisson Hotel & Suites, Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown, Driskill Hotel, Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin Hotel, the new W Austin, Hyatt Place Downtown Austin, the 1,012-room JW Marriott and the Westin Austin Downtown. The Fairmont Austin is scheduled to open in 2017.

Austin by Night

After conventions and meetings wrap-up each night, attendees can enjoy Austin’s entertainment districts — Second Street, the Warehouse District and famous Sixth Street. The Austin Convention Center is just down the street from the city’s vibrant nightlife, where visitors can also enjoy everything from fine dining in four-star restaurants, to down-home barbecue and authentic Tex-Mex. As the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin is home to nearly 250 venues that echo with the sound of country, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz and Tejano.

Austin by Day

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

Fast Facts: Facility

Location: Downtown Austin Total Area: Spans six city blocks 369,132 sq. ft. of exhibit and meeting space Exhibit Space: 247,052 contiguous sq. ft., column free Ballrooms: 40,510 sq. ft. level 4; 23,418 sq. ft. level 1 Meeting Space: 54 meeting rooms totaling over 58,000 sq. ft. Technology: Gigabit-rated facility, wireless Internet access, plug-andplay capabilities


Hotels: 9,000 downtown hotel rooms; adjacent 800-room Hilton Austin Airport: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, eight miles from facility Nearby Attractions: State Capitol, Sixth Street Entertainment District, Warehouse Entertainment District, University of Texas, LBJ Presidential Library, more than 20 museums including The Texas State History Museum, dozens of art galleries and historical attractions, Lady Bird Lake

Contact Information

Mark Tester, Director of Austin Convention Center Department Paul Barnes, ACCD Assistant Director – Sales, Marketing and Events Amy Harris, Director of Sales

500 E. Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, TX 78701 • (512) 404-4200; Fax: (512) 404-4220 conventionsales@austintexas.gov • austinconventioncenter.com 102

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Boise Centre


lanners looking for a destination that blends a vibrant city with adventurous recreation and convenient air access should take a closer look at Boise. Smart Asset put Boise as No. 11 on the list of “The Best Cities for Conferences in 2016.” In the heart of the city, a $47.5 million convention center expansion is wrapping up and three new hotels are opening this year to accommodate a growing number of visitors. With nonstop air service from 20 major cities in the United States, getting to Boise is a breeze and the airport is just seven minutes from the convention center in downtown.

Convention Center Expansion Nearly Complete

Located in the heart of downtown is Boise Centre, Idaho’s premier location for conventions, tradeshows and events. A convention center expansion was completed this July, bringing the venue’s total square footage to 86,000. Boise Centre features 31 highly flexible meeting room and event spaces, all with a modern, contemporary design complemented by the latest in technology. Many of the new spaces added in the expansion feature natural daylight with views of downtown and the nearby Boise Foothills. Boise Centre’s professional event team has built a reputation for providing the highest levels of guest service, and logistics are the team’s specialty. Boise Centre offers full-service catering with a diverse menu, audiovisual and technical services, high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi connections throughout the facility.

Energetic Downtown

A compact, walkable downtown surrounds Boise Centre, filled with cultural attractions, entertainment venues, more than 100 shops, 80 restaurants, and a number of microbreweries. Boise is also home to a lively nightlife, giving the city a fun and hip vibe. Historic and cultural food tours, wine tasting, free outdoor concerts and a farmer’s market are just a few of the city’s highlights.

Location. Location. Location.

As for accommodations, the city has a wide variety of lovely hotels ranging from luxury, to modern and boutique. Three new hotels are opening within walking distance to Boise Centre this year, increasing the total number of hotel rooms in downtown to 1,200. Another hotel recently broke ground close to Boise Centre and will open in 2018. Thousands more hotel rooms are available within a short distance of downtown.

Get Outside and Explore

Nature is just a few steps outside Boise Centre. Within 10 minutes attendees can enjoy the Boise Greenbelt, a 25-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that follows the Boise River through the city. Golf, skiing, white-water rafting and wineries are all available within an hour. With so much, so close — it is easier than ever to host your next convention or conference in Boise. To learn more or view interactive floor plans, visit www.boisecentre.com or contact Cliff Clinger, Director of Marketing and Sales, at (208) 489-3680 or cclinger@boisecentre.com.

850 West Front St., Boise, ID 83702 • (208) 336-8900 boisecentre.com If you’re looking for a unique location for your next meeting, conference or special event, then we invite you to discover Boise Centre. Boise Centre is Idaho’s premier convention facility and features: • An ideal location in downtown Boise, just 7 minutes from the airport, and surrounded by restaurants, shops, hotels, culture and entertainment • 86,000 sq. ft. of flexible/customizable event space • A newly completed expansion with 8 additional meeting rooms and ballroom • Exceptional culinary services and a diverse menu with many locally sourced ingredients • The meeting space, atmosphere and professional event staff to deliver unforgettable experiences

Visit boisecentre.com to view interactive floor plans or to submit an event inquiry. Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


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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 canalside restaurants, clubs and attractions. In addition, the expanding Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River provides exciting activities for attendees and their families. Since 1993, Oklahoma City has seen more than $5 billion of public and private investment in quality-of-life projects and improvements throughout the city. 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.

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

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





of meeting space.

1 Myriad Gardens

of exhibit hall space.

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

15K seat arena.

Phone (405) 602-8500

The West

Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

LONG BEACH — California Fresh, Urban Coast

The Pacific Room, one of the region’s premier venues, revolutionized the platform design for event spaces. The “loft-style” ballroom utilizes the 45,000-sq.-ft. floor space of the Long Beach Arena. This completely customizable event space uses a floating tension grid ceiling and moveable, floor-to-ceiling curtain walls to create the perfect environment for any group. The adaptable, electronic walls are able to accommodate groups of all types, from an intimate gathering to a grand and lavish 5,500-person reception.

A campus atmosphere in downtown Long Beach encourages the development and sharing of ideas. This campus includes newly renovated hotels just steps from the convention center and the surrounding waterfront entertainment district, which includes shopping venues, entertainment and nightlife. More than 125 quality restaurants, many with spectacular oceanfront views, are within a compact, very walkable eight-block area surrounding the Convention Center.

A built-in, $1.6 million state-of-the-art sound, light and video system is included in the rental of the Pacific Room, providing substantial cost savings. The Pacific Room’s catchphrase is “Your Canvas! Your Show!”

Long Beach is an innovative leader in creating “a new essence of meeting style” with its $50 million renovation of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center. Using many of the concepts pioneered by the revolutionary TED conference, which Long Beach hosted for five years, the city created an open, collaborative and comfortable, all-inclusive environment where people can easily connect.

WalkScore.com rates Long Beach among its top “Most Walkable Cities in America.” Spacious palm-lined pedestrian promenades and bike paths are well-lit at night with colorful LED light displays. The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, with more than 400,000 sq. ft. of modern, versatile exhibit and meeting space, is located in the center of the downtown waterfront with sweeping harbor views and is designed to give guests a warm, stylish and welcoming social experience offering flexible and multiple event options. Recent renovations and upgrades at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center bring new and versatile special event options such as Bogart & Co. (a sophisticated and stylish space to relax and recharge), plus outdoor tropical plazas and patios, highlighting the best in innovative “plein air” event space decor. The newly revamped Pacific Lounge includes chic pod seating with customized lighting.

Long Beach is LA’s “Urban Waterfront Playground,” located in the center of Southern California. All of the attractions of Los Angeles and Orange County are just minutes from the downtown waterfront. But Long Beach has its own world-class attractions: The Queen Mary and the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Pike Outlets at Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Village, harbor cruises, whale watching tours, every type of boating and on-the-water activity imaginable, plus four distinctive museums and two historic ranchos. Getting to Long Beach is a breeze thanks to the newly modernized Long Beach Airport, which offers a resort feel while welcoming daily nationwide commercial flights. A 2013 renovation and major building project created a modern gateway to better accommodate the airport’s three million annual passengers, who can enjoy a relaxed, resort-like atmosphere as they walk through an open courtyard with fire pits, lounge-style seating, a wine bar and a garden walkway with California native vegetation. A new Food Marché provides travelers a taste of Long Beach, offering local eateries at street prices. Guests can order and have meals delivered gate-side through the iPad Bar. Long Beach is guaranteed to please visitors looking for those special experiences that create lasting memories.

301 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1900, Long Beach, CA 90802 • (562) 436-3645 • visitlongbeach.com 106

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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 hosts more than 300 events annually, ranging from the LA Auto Show to E3 to Anime Expo to USGBC’s Greenbuild to medical conventions and 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. In 2016, $20 million in CIPs were 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 first convention center of its size in the United States to achieve LEED – EBOM Gold recertification. The venue has continually grown sustainable practices and procedures, obtaining an impressive 75 percent average waste diversion rate for 2016. 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 largescale, global environmental events such as American Recycles

Day, Earth Hour and Earth Day. “The LACC is committed to taking advantage of its position in the community to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire others to take action. We invest heavily in sustainable products, technology and practices to reduce negative environmental impact,” 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 full-service business center operated by Los Angeles-based Image Quest Plus.


Experience the L.A. Difference. Discover the allure of cosmopolitan L.A., where culture, history and innovation fuse to provide clients and guests with an unparalleled experience. Conveniently located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Convention Center is minutes from 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 team today to learn how they can bring your event vision to life.

1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90015 • (213) 741-1151 • lacclink.com Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


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Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Meet L.A.

The entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles rolls out the red carpet for meetings and events, from intimate gatherings to large-scale conventions. As one of the world’s most dynamic destinations, L.A. presents endless meeting possibilities that will keep attendees both engaged and inspired.

Arrive Early, Stay Longer

L.A. is a collection of more than 30 diverse neighborhoods, each one brimming with unique experiences, acclaimed dining, endless entertainment and world-class attractions. And with nearly 300 sunny days, L.A. is the perfect meetings destination for pre- and post-getaways. Escape to Malibu, Marina del Rey or Venice and enjoy miles of stunning shoreline and signature SoCal beach vibe. Create everlasting memories with the family at must-see attractions such as “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood, Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center or Battleship USS IOWA.

A New Downtown

The pulsating heart of the city’s core, Downtown L.A.’s renaissance has created a walkable, dynamic urban center featuring scores of new and refreshed hotels. Discover energy at the anchor of the Downtown experience, L.A. LIVE. Located adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center and STAPLES Center, L.A. LIVE features several event venues including the 7,000-seat Microsoft Theater; the 2,300-seat Novo; an 800-seat Premiere House; the Target Terrace, a space with skyline views; a 1,000-person-capacity nightclub and several restaurants. Dining hotspots across the Downtown area such as Bestia, Baco Mercat and Redbird are making waves in the ever-evolving culinary scene. A thriving arts and culture scene, exceptional nightlife and several outdoor parks make Downtown a thrilling setting for meetings and events.


From restored classic theaters to signature landmarks and everything in between, a robust collection of only-in-L.A. experiences allow for creativity to thrive. Myriad unique programming options include celebrity appearances, TV show tapings or real working movie studios such as Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood, The Studios at Paramount and Sony Pictures. Relive moments created by Hollywood’s biggest stars and capture the magic of the world’s most prestigious award ceremonies at iconic host venues such as the Microsoft Theatre, home of the Primetime Emmys; and Dolby Theatre®, home of the Academy Awards®. Take in a stunning Los Angeles sunset and epic city views at The Getty Center or OUE Skyspace LA, perched nearly 1,000 feet above Downtown L.A. Customizable for groups of any size, these only-in-L.A. experiences deliver an authentic destination experience like no other.

Meet the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board provides personalized service to ensure a seamless experience when holding any meeting or event in L.A. As destination experts, Discover L.A. serves as a comprehensive one-stop shop whose No. 1 priority is to help planners make informed decisions and create experiences that are professionally rewarding and personally enjoyable. L.A. Tourism has elevated the destination meeting process with first-to-market, innovative and free platforms designed specifically for meeting professionals. Virtual Discovery L.A. offers immersive 360-degree viewing experiences of more than 50 venues and locales across Los Angeles — making it the most comprehensive virtual tour of any destination in the world. The Meet L.A. app features virtual tours, insightful neighborhood and hotel videos, and rich content about meetings in Los Angeles, all accessible from any mobile device.

333 S. Hope Street, Floor 18, Los Angeles, CA 90071 • (888) 733-6952 Meetla.com • Twitter: @MeetLa • Facebook: Meet L.A. 108

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Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

Colorado Street Bridge, Magnolia House and Pasadena Convention Center


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 110

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NOMINATION FORM CVB Executive of the Year 1. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________ 2. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________

Convention Center Executive of the Year 1. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________ 2. Name:_____________________________________________ Company:__________________________________________

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

Nominated By: Name, Title:___________________________________________ Organization:_________________________________________ Phone:_______________________________________________ Email:________________________________________________ May we contact you?  Yes____ No____

Fill Out Form & Mail, Email or Fax Your Vote: Facilities & Destinations 152 Madison Avenue, Suite 802, New York, NY 10016 Fax: (212) 213-6382 Email: ballots@facilitiesonline.com 112

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Phoenix Convention Center


lanners, you should expect more from your meeting space. Located in the heart of downtown, the Phoenix Convention Center promises more than 900,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, various meeting rooms, and best of all, a dedicated team to ensure your meeting is successful. Just minutes away from vibrant city life, bars and restaurants, live events and art galleries, the Phoenix Convention Center is poised to be anything but conventional and always eventful.

Chef-inspired tasting kitchen You read that right. The Innovation Kitchen lets you build and sample your own meals for your meeting with an in-house chef. Dull food is too often the norm for meetings and conventions of any size. The convention center opened a tasting kitchen nearly 10 years ago along with the expansion of its buildings to ensure that every corner of the service offerings were taking meetings from good to great. Plan a meeting with the Phoenix Convention Center, and you’ll get connected with the chef to create unique menu options your attendees will enjoy.

Truly versatile meeting spaces From national conventions to more niche audiences, the Phoenix Convention Center can accommodate your event. The facility’s flexible meeting space includes a 312,500-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall and a 46,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. Not to mention 99 meeting rooms, 61 loading docks, exhibit halls with pre-scored floors and an Executive Conference Center. Need something to better fit the arts?

The center is complemented by a 2,312-seat Symphony Hall and the 1,364-seat historic Orpheum Theatre. Your options abound.

Partners to turn your vision into reality Don’t let the convention center’s size fool you. Though the physical space is sprawling, a team of hosts will welcome guests and attendees from the moment they walk through the doors. The staff takes pride in offering you an assigned event manager to see your plans to fruition, from start to finish. Timelines, guidelines and always-open lines of communication are the staff’s forte. They work with meeting planners one-on-one, and can answer any questions during the planning process. Bring the Phoenix Convention Center your vision, and the staff will take it from there.

100 North Third Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004 • (602) 262-6225; (800) 282-4842• phoenixconventioncenter.com Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


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Sacramento Convention Center


acramento is America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital and the only star on the map of California. With a character all its own, California’s State Capital fuses together urban farms, farm-to-fork dining, a hip and modern central city historic landmarks and natural beauty to create an exciting and down-to-earth meeting experience for any size group.

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, Embassy Suites Waterfront and Kimpton Sawyer Hotel (opening Fall/Winter 2017).

Convention Center Complex

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.

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.


Food & Beverage

Award-winning Classique Catering is the celebrated caterer at the Convention Center and manages onsite Starbucks coffeehouse. Classique Catering is a division of Centerplate and pride themselves on excellent service and quality product. The center is located at 1030 15th Street, Ste. 100, Sacramento, CA 95814. For more information, call (916) 808-5291 or visit sacramentoconventioncenter.com.

1030 15th Street, Ste. 100, Sacramento, CA 95814 • (916) 808-5291• sacramentoconventioncenter.com 114

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The West


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

The West

San Jose McEnery Convention Center

Danny Dong

The Mountain Winery in nearby Saratoga, CA, offers a scenic outdoor function space complementing the convention center’s indoor spaces (right).


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 F&B, 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 offer great wine-tasting venues, 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, 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; 850 of those rooms are con-

nected to the convention center and another 2,000+ 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, Frankfurt via Lufthansa, Shanghai via Air China and 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, have signed on to the initiative, called Hunger at Home. Recently, in appropriate Silicon Valley-style, Team San Jose partnered with the City of San Jose and Waste No Food to continue this work. Waste No Food provides 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 provided nearly one million meals. The center is located at 150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113. For more information, call (800) SAN-JOSE or visit sanjose.org.

150 West San Carlos Street, San Jose, CA 95113 • (800) SAN-JOSE • sanjose.org 116

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The West

Spokane Convention Center


he Spokane Convention Center is one of the most beautiful meeting locations in the country. Situated on the south bank of the Spokane River gorge, the Convention Center’s floor-toceiling windows offer attendees sweeping views of the river in its Riverfront Park setting. The 100-acre park is home to the country’s second-largest urban waterfall, and, to be sure, the Spokane Falls will stop attendees in their tracks as they experience the jawdropping beauty. The Convention Center, which is 100 percent wind powered, is a recently renovated 500,000-sq.-ft. facility. There are 40 breakout rooms, three ballrooms, two connected hotels and a direct connection to the 2,700-seat INB Performing Arts Center. The Convention Center is bigger and better thanks to its $55 million expansion in 2015. An additional 20,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space was added along with 12 meeting rooms, an executive boardroom, a new ballroom and a skybridge to a second connected hotel. A section of the 40-mile long Centennial Trail and riverbank were also completely updated as part of the renovation. The Center is surrounded by three unique hotel experiences. The DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane City Center, the Hotel RL Spokane at the Park and The Davenport Grand — three more reasons that make meetings in Spokane a breeze. In addition to the usual meeting spaces, the convention center has a rooftop deck for hosting events. A floating river stage with stairs that seats more than 1,000 people is also available. Art and sculptures created by local artists are scattered throughout and around the facility. Planners can count on a Convention Center District that is in a safe, walkable downtown core. In their free time, attendees can take a bite of Spokane’s nationally recognized culinary scene. The Wall St. Journal named Spokane one of 6 Great Small Cities for Food Lovers. With so many great restaurants to choose from,

attendees will long for more free time. They can sip their way through the downtown Cork District with its 15+ tasting rooms, or tap the Inland Northwest Ale Trail, which features 40+ local craft breweries. Take a break and listen to live music at local venues or wander down to the Spokane Comedy Club to catch big-name acts. Spokane has local professional theater, the Spokane Symphony in the iconic Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, or Best of Broadway at the INB Performing Arts Center. Want to shop? Spokane has locally owned boutiques and major stores any selective shopper will love. With the ease of access to the outdoors, attendees can be biking, jogging, paddle boarding or hiking within 20 minutes of stepping out of the hotel. Go zip lining at Mica Moon Zip Tours. The 2.5hour zip trip in Liberty Lake, just outside Spokane, offers group tours and even nighttime tours. Rock climbing or whitewater rafting also abound in the region. With a state-of-the-art convention center, luxury hotels, fine dining and a multitude of activities in a safe, walkable city, it’s easy to see why Spokane is truly the perfect meeting place.

334 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201 • (509) 279-7000 • spokanecenter.com Facilities & Destinations 2017 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; Trevor Graham, Vice-President of Sales; 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 Greater Akron – where metropolitan amenities meet breathtaking natural vistas just steps away in Ohio’s only national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The John S. Knight Center is located in the heart of downtown Akron and boasts a team with more than 270 years of combined experience. Features include: in-house culinary department; 30,000-sq.-ft. exhibition hall; 12,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 17,000 sq. ft. of additiona breakout rooms; and 3,000-sq.-ft. two-story glass rotunda with spiral staircase. 5,500+ guestrooms county-wide. Let’s Start Planning!


Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau

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


Atlantic City is a hidden gem along the New Jersey shoreline, offering visitors much more than a seaside destination. Atlantic City is made up of more than 15,500 first-class hotel rooms that will suit the perfect accommodations for your attendees’ complete comfort and relaxation. The Atlantic City Convention Center is located within a few hours’ drive of nearly one third of the nation’s population and 20 percent of the country’s business addresses. The Atlantic City Convention Center provides 600,000 contiguous sq. ft. of exhibit space, as well as 45 meeting rooms, ample pre-function space and all the amenities you PAGE would expect. 33

new Jersey

Atlantic City Convention Center

1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (609) 449-7136; (888) 222-3683; Fax: (609) 345-3685 meetac.com President and CEO: Jim Wood Your Northeast Business Address


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. 17 Pedestrian walkway connects 3rd and 4th levels. Close to 9,000 downtown hotel rooms.

Austin Convention Center

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

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, 1,000-seat theater and 276-seat theater, 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.


Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex

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


Come experience the newly expanded Boise Centre, offering 86,000 sq. ft. of highly flexible meeting/event spaces. The facility houses 31 highly flexible meeting/event spaces all with a modern, contemporary design and the latest in technology; largest room is 24,426 sq. ft. Full-service catering services; professional event services team to assist with every detail. Located seven minutes from the airport in downtown Boise with multiple hotels within walking distance. A compact, walkable downtown surrounds Boise Centre with over 100 restaurants, shops, microbreweries and activities.


Boise Centre

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

PAGE 103

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. 92


Century Center South Bend

120 South Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., South Bend IN 46601 (574) 235-9711 centurycenter.org Director of Sales & Marketing: Jacob Hamman Unique Architecture. Exceptional Experiences. michigan


Cobo Center

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


COBO CENTER Greatness comes from within.

Connecticut ConventionTHECenter NEW COBO CENTER 100 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103 (860) 249-6000; Fax: (860) 249-6161 We are not done yet – $279 Million Renovation ctconventions.com is nearly complete and brings with it lots of Director of Sales & Marketing: Michelle Hughes head-turning additions: The new 40,000 sq. ft. The CENTER of it all Grand Riverview


723,000 sq. ft. of Exhibit Space. More robust technology, with Free WiFi and enough connectivity for 30,000 simultaneous users. Ballroom with floor 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.

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. 2



The views are stunning, the space is immense, and the ease of booking an event is superior. 205,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibit space; dramatic riverfront setting; accessible to 23+ million people within a two-and-a-half hour drive; 19 meeting rooms; 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom; 180,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space/140,000-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall; 3,200-seat ballroom; SO, WHAT WE WANT TO SAY IS THANK YOU. attached to 409-room Marriott Hotel; 1,600 rooms (downtown); 6,500 rooms (within 30 FOR BELIEVING IN THE ABILITY OF AN miles). Attractions: Front Street District, Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Connecticut Science Center, ENTIRE CITY TO TURN AROUND. The Old State House, Wadsworth Atheneum, Mark Twain House, Bushnell Park, PAGE New England Air Museum. 35 1 Rendering of Cobo Center Riverside Entrance (now open) 2 South Atrium Renovation 3 Outdoor Video Walls 4 Shinola City Clock



Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

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



Worldwide Leader in Convention Center Management

Cox Convention Center

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


David L. Lawrence Convention Center

1000 Ft. Duquesne Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (412) 325-6174; Fax: (412) 565-6104 pittsburghcc.com Built Green. Working Green. Every Day!

on Centers



Cross Insurance Center Springfield, MassMutual Center antic City, Atlantic City Convention Center 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 ara Falls, Conference Center Niagara Falls 742-6500; Fax: (616) 742-6590 ndiana, Kovalchick(616) Convention & Athletic Complex, rsity of Pennsylvania devosplace.org

DeVos Place


Director of Sales: Kathy Bart, CMP

Beach, Miami Beach Convention Center lm Beach, Palm Beach County Convention Center 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

Duke Energy Convention Center duke-energycenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Justin Markle

With Us Today!

8.456.2599 or email alsales@global-spectrum.com North Carolina spectrum.com

Durham Convention Center

301 West Morgan Street, Durham, NC 27701 (919) 956-9404 durhamconventioncenter.com Downtown Durham’s Premier Meeting & Event Destination

washington, DC

Events DC

801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001 (202) 249-3311 eventsdc.com salesinfo@eventsdc.com Events DC: Powerful City | Unforgettable Events missouri

Explore St. Louis

America’s Center Convention Complex, 701 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101 (314) 421-1023; (800) 916-8938 explorestlouis.com President: Kathleen Ratcliffe


Flamingo Las Vegas

3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89109 (855) MEET-CET CaesarsMeansBusiness.com

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

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; Convention Center 100,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall; 15,000-seat arena. Free WiFi available; Internet access speeds up to oneOH Gb; 1,400 of Oklahoma City’s 15,000+ hotel rooms are across the Cincinnati, street. From arts and adventure to cowboy culture and family fun, Oklahoma City PAGE offers an eclectic mix of heritage and hotspots. 105

Duke Energy

Located in downtown Pittsburgh’s cultural district along the Allegheny River, the enviExhibit Hall: 195,000 sq. ft. ronmentally smart, Gold/Platinum LEED® certified, SMG-managed David L. Lawrence Ballroom: 40,000 sq. ft. Convention Center features 313,000sq.sq.ft.ft. of exhibit space with 37 loading docks, 53 meet& 17,500 ing rooms and a 31,000-sq.-ft. ballroom. The center’s dynamic architectural design offers Breakouts: 30 breathtaking views, open terraces and column-free space. Technology: Recently refreshed Meeting Space: 96,600 ft. CISCO infrastructureTotal supporting complimentary WiFi forsq. attendees and a full catalog of exhibitor products and services from3,500 high-density wireless buyouts to customizable Hotel Rooms: walkable PAGE live streaming options. 65 Downtown: Located in heart of downtown Cincinnati, the

Duke Energycenter Convention DeVos Place is a premier convention located in Center downtown Grand Rapids. Nestled on Midwestern hospitality the banks of the Grandbrings River, DeVos Place offers flexible space for meetings, conventions in the Center of a vibrant and tradeshows as wellto aslife performing arts and touring events, and has the capability of City core full of shopping, hosting a variety of events simultaneously. The convention center features an exhibit hall restaurants, culture and big league space, attractions. with 162,000 sq. ft. of uninterrupted a 40,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, 26 sub-dividable meeting rooms with over 32,000 sq. ft. of space, a 2,404-seat performing arts theater that is home to four performing arts groups, accessible and spacious loading docks and PAGE “Not only has the Global Spectrum team onsite parking.delivered, they have succeeded in 14 developing a relationship where we feel

The Spectra-managed Duke Energy Convention Center isare located in the heart of Downtown our input, suggestions and expertise Cincinnati, andvalued.” can be easily accessed from I-71, I-74 and I-75. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is just 10 minutes Featuring over 750,000 sq. ft. of Wandaaway. Bowling, Director, exhibit, meeting and entertainment space, the DukeMeeting Energy Convention Center is flanked & Convention Planner, by more than $2 billion in new infrastructure, including the new Fountain Square entertainWestern Southern Financial Group ment district and more than 3,000 hotel rooms within three blocks of the Center. Onsite Green Team dedicated to sustainability initiatives. PAGE 25

The Durham Convention Center offers 35,000 sq. ft. of flexible space to accommodate duke-energycenter.com 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 global-spectrum.com Convention Center is located steps away from the Carolina Theater and near the Durham Performing Arts Center, a nationally respected arts center. Attendees can enjoy unique restaurants, shopping, art galleries, museums or a baseball game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. A 189-room Marriott is available for groups, and a 125-room 21C hotel and PAGE 53-room Durham Hotel recently opened. 29 The Walter E. Washington Convention Center offers five exhibit halls totalling 703,000 sq. ft., 198,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space with a total of 77 breakout rooms, and the largest ballroom in the region. The facility is connected by an underground pedestrian walkway to the 1,175-room Marriott Marquis, which offers 105,000 sq. ft. of meeting space (83 meeting rooms), five retail and restaurants spaces, and LEED Silver Certification. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is also the first convention center in the country to launch a mobile ordering platform. Other tech features include complimentary PAGE Wi-Fi available in common spaces and digital signage throughout the building. 37 With world-class hotels, restaurants, museums and entertainment venues, you’ll find that St. Louis is a great choice for your next meeting or event. St. Louis is an accessible and affordable destination that will keep delegates entertained with magnificent theater, live music, sports and more that are all within reach. The America’s Center Convention Complex offers 502,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 80 meeting rooms, a 28,000-sq.-ft. ballroom, the St. Louis Executive Conference Center and the 67,000-seat Dome at America’s Center. There are more than 38,000 hotel rooms in metropolitan St. Louis. Downtown St. Louis has 7,000 hotel PAGE rooms, with more than 1,750 of those rooms within steps of America’s Center. 5 The iconic Flamingo Las Vegas is where The Strip began. Its rich history, dating back to 1946, makes it a special location for groups. Flamingo’s 75,000-sq.-ft. Corporate Convention Center and Executive Conference Center features sleek, contemporary decor and offers the latest in communications and presentation technology. The Wildlife Habitat is a unique venue option for groups and offers a 15 acre tropical playground. In addition, the Flamingo Showroom can be used for receptions for up to 750 people and features headliners such as Vegas’ favorite brother and sister act Donny and Marie Osmond. In 2017, Caesars Entertainment is PAGE expected to invest $100 million in renovations at Flamingo Las Vegas. 13 121


Global Center for Health Innovation 1 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 928-1600 clevelandconventions.com Director of Sales and Marketing: Judy Kent (216) 920-1449

A focal point for healthcare meetings, the Global Center for Health Innovation is home to 45 of the world’s leading healthcare, health IT and medical innovation brands. Connecting meeting planners with industry leaders, the Global Center’s Tenant Partners provide access to healthcare-related content and speakers for educational programming. In addition to providing industry resources, the Global Center offers 20,000 sq. ft. of ballroom and atrium space along with multiple breakout rooms. The facility is connected to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. PAGE 96


Greater Columbus Convention Center

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


Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

701 Brickell Avenue, Ste. 2700, Miami, FL 33131 (305) 539-3071 miamimeetings.com SVP, Convention Sales: Ita Moriarty ita@gmcvb.com Virginia

Greater Richmond Convention Center

403 North Third Street, Richmond, VA 23219 (804) 783-7335 richmondcenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Linné DiIorio Where Virginia Meets the World ohio

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


Indiana Convention Center

100 South Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46224-1071 (317) 262-3361 ICCLOS.com Convention Center Director: Debbie Hennessey

Ontario, canada

The International Centre

6900 Airport Road, Suite 120 Mississauga, ON. L4V 1E8 (905) 677-6131; (800) 567-1199; Fax: (905) 677-3089 internationalcentre.com Director of Sales: Sandra Martin There’s Something Happening Here! Iowa

Iowa Events Center

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


The SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center will complete its $140 million expansion and renovation in July. Located near John Glenn Columbus International Airport, across the street from entertainment districts and within an hour’s flight or a day’s drive of the majority of the nation’s population, the GCCC is connected to five hotels and 4,000 parking spaces. GCCC offers 373,000 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space and 447,000 sq. ft. overall, 75 meeting rooms and upscale ballrooms with LED-lighting. Levy, the facility’s caterer, is installing the Discovery Café Smartfarm Green Growth System, growing vegetables and PAGE herbs to be included in culinary selections. 95 Greater Miami is a vibrant area whose renowned neighborhoods include South Beach, Coconut Grove and Little Havana. Among the area’s major attractions are American Airlines Arena, Pérez Art Museum, MiMo in North Beach, Bal Harbour and two national parks: Biscayne National Preserve and Everglades National Park. There are a total of 50,134 hotel rooms, and the Miami Worldcenter 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, destiPAGE nation, material, registration personnel services, website, promotions and more. 41 The Greater Richmond Convention Center is Virginia’s largest meeting and exhibition facility. The contemporary facility features 178,159 sq. ft. of contiguous exhibit space, a 30,550-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom, 50,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space and a 258-seat, auditorium-style lecture hall. Wireless Internet access is available throughout facility and webcasting options are available. There are 650 hotel rooms adjacent to the center with thousands more nearby. The Historic Richmond Region encompasses more than 400 years of American heritage.


The SMG-managed Cleveland Convention Center offers 35 meeting rooms, a 32,200-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and 225,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. The downtown offers 5,000 guestrooms. Included in the mix are the Westin Cleveland Downtown and the 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown, featuring direct access to the convention center. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is only a 20-minute transit or cab ride from downtown. Cleveland boasts a flourishing culinary and nightlife scene, as well as the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other points of interest include University Circle, Cleveland Museum of Art, Severance Hall, PAGE PlayhouseSquare and the Warehouse District. 96 The Indiana Convention Center (ICC) is top tier in terms of configurable meeting space, superior amenities, convenience and hospitality. With 749,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 11 halls, three ballrooms, 71 meeting rooms and 49 loading docks, ICC regularly hosts events from marching band competitions and concerts to opening sessions, conferences of all sizes, VIP events and tradeshows. Guests enjoy year-round comfort and mobility through climate-controlled skywalks connecting ICC to nearly 5,000 hotel rooms, hundreds of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. With six Cultural Districts along a Cultural Trail, fabulous food finds, shopping, PAGE live music, DJs and more, there is something for everyone here. #icclosconnect 99 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 Wi-Fi in the Grand Lobby. Forty brand-name hotels nearby, providing over 10,000 rooms. Recently completed Phase 1 of a $7 million improvement PAGE project that renovated Hall 1, added a new Connector building to Hall 5 and more. 118 The Iowa Events Center is a state-of-the-art venue flexible to meet the needs of events of all types and sizes. The facility offers excellent service, catering, onsite AV and an in-house marketing agency. To top it off, the convention center facilities are tax-exempt. 286,300 sq. ft. of overall meeting space, 37 meeting rooms, 150,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall, 28,800-sq.-ft. ballroom, 16,980-seat arena. Attached hotel opening spring 2018. 1,900 rooms in one-mile radius. 12,500+ rooms in Greater Des Moines Metro area. Des Moines offers a Downtown Farmers’ Market, live music venues, endless trails and familyPAGE friendly attractions. 26 Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

New York

Jacob K. Javits Convention Center 655 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001 (212) 216-2000; Fax: (212) 216-2588 javitscenter.com SVP Sales & Marketing: Doreen Guerin Marketplace for the World

New York City is the cultural, finance, fashion, publishing and entertainment capital of the world with 28,000 restaurants and 100,000+ hotel rooms citywide. The Javits Convention Center’s glass-enclosed structure, located in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, stretches five city blocks and divisible into nine self-contained halls. The addition of a column-free exhibit hall increases the total gross square footage of exhibition space to 760,000 on four levels; 160,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; 40 permanent, 53 multi-purpose meeting rooms. Wi-Fi service is available throughout building.


New York

Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center 123 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604 (585) 232-7200; Fax: (585) 232-1510 rrcc.com


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


Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

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

Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

301 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1900, Long Beach, CA 90802 (562) 436-3645 visitlongbeach.com President & CEO: Steve Goodling


Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 (213) 741-1151 lacclink.com Director of Sales: Sandra Lady


Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

333 S. Hope St., Los Angeles, CA 90071 (800) 228-2452; (213) 624-7300 discoverlosangeles.com/meetla Senior Vice President, Sales: Darren K. Green

New Jersey

Meadowlands Exposition Center 355 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 07094 (201) 330-7773; (800) 400-3976; Fax: (201) 330-1172 mecexpo.com Regional General Manager: Robin Cuneo Your cost effective alternative to NYC

Convenient upstate New York location, situated on the Genesee River. 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting/exhibition space; 22 meeting rooms; 10,208-sq.-ft. ballroom; 49,275-sq.-ft. main exhibit hall with 266 exhibit booth capacity or 5,000 seating capacity; dedicated Internet connection over fiber optics with wireless access throughout facility. 1,100+ hotel rooms in a quartet of major hotels connect to the venue, surrounded by entertainment districts with restaurants, cafes, pubs, dance clubs, music halls and theaters. Rochester offers planners a compact convention district and New York State’s only one-stop PAGE convention facility. 67 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. 130 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, completed a $70 million PAGE re-imagining and expansion in November 2016. 80 The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, with over 400,000 sq. ft. of modern, flexible exhibit and meeting space, is located in the center of the downtown waterfront with sweeping harbor views. Groups have 4,500 hotel rooms at their disposal, 3,000 within walking distance of Convention Center. With more than 11 miles of sandy beachfront, inland waterways and bays, Long Beach is a watersport paradise. Attractions include The Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, The Pike Outlets, Shoreline Village, Whale Watching and Harbor Tours, Musuem of Latin American Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, PAGE Belmont Shore, Retro Row, and downtown dining and nightlife. 3 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; and a newly renovated 299-seat theater. Neighboring the LACC is PAGE downtown L.A.’s sports and entertainment district, L.A. LIVE. 15 Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) is the official tourism marketing organization for Los Angeles, a dynamic city attracting more than 47 million visitors annually. L.A. Tourism is the ultimate resource on where to stay, play, shop, dine and meet throughout the city, from Hollywood and Downtown to the Valley, Westside and the Beach Cities. The entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles rolls out the red carpet for meetings and events. Meeting professionals can think outside the box at spectacular “only-in-L.A.” experiences and dynamic locales including iconic gardens, world-class attractions, thriving cultural PAGE institutions and stunning resorts, just to name a few. C4 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 71

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


New Jersey

Meet AC

1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (609) 449-7136; (888) 222-3683; Fax: (609) 345-3685 meetac.com President and CEO: Jim Wood Your Northeast Business Address florida

Miami Beach Convention Center

1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (786) 276-2600; (305) 673-7435 miamibeachconvention.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Ileana Garcia


Mobile Convention Center

One South Water Street, Mobile, AL 36602 (251) 208-2001 mobileconventions.com Director Sales & Marketing: Cheryl Ann Gee Service, Style, Success

Atlantic City is a hidden gem along the New Jersey shoreline, offering visitors much more than a seaside destination. Atlantic City is made up of more than 15,500 first-class hotel rooms that will suit the perfect accommodations for your attendees’ complete comfort and relaxation. The Atlantic City Convention Center is located within a few hours’ drive of nearly one third of the nation’s population and 20 percent of the country’s business addresses. The Atlantic City Convention Center provides 600,000 contiguous sq. ft. of exhibit space, as well as 45 meeting rooms, ample pre-function space and all the amenities you PAGE 33 would expect. The Miami Beach Convention Center is undergoing a $615 million renovation and expansion, which will set a high standard of excellence and redefine meeting and entertainment solutions when hosting large-scale business, trade, civic and cultural events. Built in 1957, the center has expanded from its original 108,000 sq. ft. to its current size of 1.2 million sq. ft. The new 1.4 million-sq.-ft., LEED-certified facility will include a 60,000-sq.-ft. grand ballroom, additional meeting rooms, a 20,000-sq.-ft. glass rooftop junior ballroom, advanced technology, and new versatile indoor/outdoor public spaces. The reimagined Miami PAGE Beach Convention Center is unveiling in 2018 but open for business now. 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 mononaterrace.com Sales/Event Services Manager: Laura MacIsaac, CMP Where Business and Inspiration Meet jamaica

Montego Bay Convention Centre Half Moon P.O. Box 4058, Rose Hall, St. James, Jamaica, West Indies (876) 622-9330; Fax: (876) 622-9360 mbconventioncentre.com General Manager: Dittie Guise A World Class Convention Centre in the Heart of Jamaica Louisiana

New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center 900 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 19107 (504) 582-3023; Fax: (504) 582-3032 mccno.com Director of Sales: Elaine Williams, CMP Florida

Ocean Center Convention Center

101 North Atlantic Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32118 (386) 254-4524; (386) 254-4512 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 occc.net Director of Sales: Rodney Gutierrez, CMP


Located in the 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., 315seat 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/exhibit PAGE area and expansive areas for registration/information needs. 100 A beautiful, lively city, 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 139,000 sq. ft. of meeting, exhibition, ballroom and plenary space, including: 57,525 sq. ft. of dedicated exhibition space; a 18,684-sq.-ft. ballroom; nine meeting rooms; 6,000-seat theater; a large, full-service kitchen within the facility; and more than 4,000 PAGE hotel rooms nearby. 119 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. The Center houses 1.1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space; a 60,300 sq. ft. divisible, column-free ballroom; 140 meeting rooms; a 4,000-seat theater; and a 1-gigabit per-second fiber-optic Internet backbone that is 100-percent redundant. Plans are currently underway for a new $65 million linear park that will update the urban environment with a tree-lined pedestrian plaza, outdoor event space and fountains. Plans also call for a multi-modal transportation hub where shuttles will collect and attendees will PAGE experience a grand new covered entrance with a series of moving sidewalks. 85 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. 39 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 47

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook


Oregon Convention Center

777 NE MLK, Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232 (503) 235-7575; Fax: (503) 731-7802 oregoncc.org Director of Sales: Cindy Wallace, CMP, CMM


Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau

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

Pennsylvania Convention Center 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (215) 418-4700 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 PhoenixConventionCenter.com Director of Sales: Debbi Foshee In the Heart of Downtown: Enjoy Our Space, Explore Our City Maryland

Roland E. Powell Convention Center

4001 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, MD 21842 (800) 626-2326; Fax: (410) 289-0058 ococean.com


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


Shreveport Convention Center 400 Caddo St., Shreveport, LA 71101 (318) 841-4000; Fax: (318) 841-4040 shreveportcenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Erika Roberts

Oregon Convention Center (OCC) features a one million-sq.-ft. campus with 255,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 52 meeting rooms, two VIP suites, and two grand ballrooms. High ceilings accommodate audiovisual, high-speed Internet/Wi-Fi and ample electrical connections throughout. A wide variety of concessions, two Portland Roasting cafes and the Stir Bistro & Lounge serve the exhibit halls and lobbies. A LEED Platinum-certified building, OCC has installed one of the largest solar power arrays on a convention center in the U.S. and recently upgraded many lighting fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs. The new 600-room block PAGE Hyatt Regency Portland hotel is scheduled to open across the street by fall 2019. 109 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 111 Stadium, Pasadena Playhouse, Norton Simon Museum and Pacific Asia Museum. 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 112 Orpheum Theatre. 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. 75 Small-town friendly with big-city amenities, Sacramento hosts over six 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; Starbucks. 115 The Shreveport Convention Center is a multipurpose, state-of-the-art 350,000-sq.-ft. facility designed to accommodate any event, from major conventions and tradeshows to intimate gatherings. The Center houses 100,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a 18,212-sq.-ft. ballroom and 10 meeting rooms. It’s located just blocks from restaurants and clubs in the Red River Entertainment District, the dancing water fountains of River View Park, and the familyfriendly entertainment at Sci-Port Discovery Center. The 313-room Hilton Hotel Shreveport is connected to the Shreveport Convention Center. PAGE 12


St. Charles Convention Center

One Convention Center Plaza, St. Charles, MO 63303 (636) 669-3000; Fax: (636) 669-3001 stcharlesconventioncenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Katie Conoyer, CMP Your Experience is Our Promise

Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

Managed by Spectra Venue Management since opening in 2005, the Saint Charles Convention Center boasts 154,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, accommodating a wide range of events from 10-3,000 attendees. An IAVM Venue Excellence Award Winner, the Center offers 1,200 free parking spaces, 21 meeting rooms and breakouts, two elegant ballrooms, and an expandable exhibit hall with carpet and drape options. In-house services include delicious F&B, experienced event planners, audiovisual, decorating, onsite security, marketing and more. Attached to the 296-suite Embassy Suites – Saint Charles Hotel, part PAGE of the 2,100 hotel rooms within one mile of the facility. 29 125


Team San Jose

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

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). Rather than handing planners off to other organizations once the meeting is booked, Team San Jose does it all, from housing, convention center and facility event PAGE services to customized F&B menus, permits and special events. 7


Utah Valley Convention Center

220 W. Center Street, Provo, UT 84601 (801) 851-2200 Fax: (801) 851-2220 UtahValleyConventionCenter.com Director of Sales & Marketing: Tennille Wanner We make meetings matter!


Visit Jackson

111 E Capitol Street, Ste. 102, Jackson, MS 39201 (800) 354-7695, (601) 960-1891; Fax: (601) 960-1827 visitjackson.com Vice President of Sales: Shun Hatten Where Mississippi Meets the World


Visit Knoxville

301 South Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 (844) 786-7702 convention.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 SavannahMeetings.com VisitSavannah.com VP Business Development & Services: Jeff Hewitt


Spokane Convention Center

334 West Spokane Falls Boulevard, Spokane, WA 99201 (509) 279-7000 spokanecenter.com Director of National Accounts: Jessica Deri


Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

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


The Utah Valley Convention Center is located just 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City in the historic downtown Provo. Surrounded by over 1,300 hotel rooms, the LEED Silver-certified building offers flexible exhibit and meeting space (16 meeting rooms, 20,000-sq.-ft. exhibit hall) as well as a 17,000-sq.-ft. Grand Ballroom and rooftop garden that offers panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains. The Utah Valley Convention Center provides complete in-house services that include food & beverage, audiovisual, complimentary Wi-Fi, electrical and tradeshow decorating services. More than 55 unique restaurants are within PAGE walking distance of the convention center. 28 Jackson offers one of the region’s lowest tourism taxes, and provides one of the best complimentary meeting services packages in the nation. With new properties like the Westin Jackson and the Residence Inn, two new museums — the Mississippi Museum of History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, and a smorgasbord of restaurant offerings, Jackson is revitalized. The Jackson Convention Complex features 330,000 sq. ft. of flexible exhibit, ballroom and meeting space. A LEED-certified facility, the Complex offers first-rate amenities, state-of-the-art technologies and in-house catering services by SAVOR…Jackson. There are 4,300 hotel PAGE rooms citywide, including four convention hotels with 968 total guestrooms. 78 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, Historic Gay Street, Old City and the Urban Wilderness. The city boasts nearly 9,000 hotel rooms citywide. Ten 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 250 hotel rooms PAGE by the end of 2018, with a dual property build debuting late 2018. 79 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 89

Spokane is one part urban, one part raw, natural beauty. This gorgeous, bustling city connects meeting attendees with a walkable downtown filled with stores, restaurants, tasting rooms and craft breweries. Spokane offers planners and attendees what many cities can’t: luxury and affordability. You’ll find some of the most beautiful hotels and fine dining that rival anything you’ll find in bigger cities, but at a better value. With three hotels connected to the Convention Center, it’s simple to stay, work and play. Traffic isn’t an issue. Spokane International Airport (named one of the Top 10 most efficient in the country) is less PAGE than 10 minutes from downtown Spokane and the Convention Center District. C3 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. 49 Facilities & Destinations 2017 SuperBook

The Meeting Planner as Influencer

Learn powerful skills that build relationships and get results By B. Kim Barnes

Why do I need to be an influencer?

A successful meeting requires support, actions and resources from a variety of stakeholders — C-suite executives, vendors, hotel personnel, procurement, IT and others on your team. As a meeting planner, your day is filled with both the opportunity and need to get others to take actions that will help you succeed — actions you’re not in a position to take yourself or to demand that others take. In other words, you’re an active influencer. Imagine this scenario: You’re about to meet with a C-level executive, your internal client for an upcoming sales meeting. You’ve been asked to book the meeting in a luxury hotel in a prime location, but the budget you’ve been given is unrealistic. You have another location in mind that is less costly yet still attractive, and you hope to influence the executive to accept your recommendation. Successful influence requires a set of tactical behavioral skills that can move others to action in a respectful, non-manipulative way. Some of these skills are expressive — letting others know of your ideas, needs, suggestions, rationale, offer or vision of success. Others are receptive — drawing information, ideas, needs, concerns or commitments from others. Expressive influence tactics include: Telling: letting the other person know what you want, need, intend or recommend Selling: showing your influence target why it’s wise or beneficial to take certain actions Negotiating: offering a fair exchange for taking actions that seem difficult or costly Enlisting: generating enthusiasm for participating by describing a positive future result

• • • •

Receptive influence tactics include:

• Inquiring: asking for information, stimulating the person to think about a specific topic • Listening: paraphrasing to check understanding or to emphasize specific points • Attuning: identifying with the other person or disclosing information that builds trust or increases openness • Facilitating: asking challenging questions or summarizing in a way that invites the person to make a commitment to action

Influence behaviors are communication tools you consciously choose and use to execute your tactics and achieve your objectives.

How do I prepare to influence a key stakeholder?

First, be clear that you are intending to influence another person, not just hoping that the other will easily agree. Next, identify the observable action you want the other person to take. This will be a clear influence objective and will guide your approach. Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook

Successful influencers “think themselves into” the mind of the person they are hoping to influence. Below are some things to consider, once you have clarified your objective: What is currently “top of mind” for the other person? What is he or she most concerned about right now? What issues are likely to be raised by your objective, once the person is aware of it? What are some areas of common interest related to the action you’d like him or her to take? What possible conflicting interests might arise, given the issues that are raised by your objective? What might the person fear losing? What practical needs does the other person have that might drive his or her decision-making about this issue? What could you offer or how might you frame your approach to respond to those needs? For example, ask yourself: Time: How flexible am I willing to be? Alternatives: To what degree am I willing to consider other options that might work reasonably well to meet my needs as well as those of the other person? Resources: What can I offer that would make it less costly for the person to do what I am asking of him or her? Assistance: What can I or others do to make it easier? Support: How can I help the person to justify or explain the action to other stakeholders? Education: What does the person need to know in order to take this action?

• • • • •

So, what should I do once I’m ready to influence?

When you’re clear about your long-term goal, your objective for a specific influence opportunity, and the other’s needs and issues, you can think about which tactics and specific behaviors will be most effective in addressing those needs and issues. Influence is a two-way process, so you’ll always be open to new information and opportunities while continuing to move toward your influence objective. Maintaining a balance between expressive and receptive tactics and being willing to be influenced yourself make it more likely that you and the other party will arrive in the same place, though it may be different from the place either of you expected to end up.


So let’s return to the scenario described at the beginning of this article: You’re about to meet with a C-level executive, your internal client for an upcoming sales meeting. You’ve been asked to book the meeting in a luxury hotel in a prime location, but the budget you’ve been given is unrealistic. You have another location in mind that is less costly yet still attractive, and you hope to influence the executive to accept your recommendation. Continued on next page



Continued from previous page

Your objective is to influence the executive to agree to change the location for the upcoming meeting. Before you meet, you’ll consider what you know about the exec’s priorities, preferences and vested interests. You’ll make an educated guess about his or her needs that might be relevant to the meeting venue and how you might respond to them. You’ll identify a few influence tactics that should be useful under the circumstances. In this situation, you may want to use Inquire and Listen to gain or confirm information and Tell and Negotiate to help you create a good agreement. Of course, you will be alert to any information or feedback that would lead you to modify your approach. Once you are with the executive, your meeting might develop something like this: You: I need to let you know that the hotel you prefer has raised its prices and is not going to be within our budget for the meeting. (Tell) Exec: That’s bad news. I’ve already committed to specific amenities as part of the plan. Can’t you negotiate a better deal with them? You: They are quite busy, so they weren’t interested in negotiating. What are the most important amenities, from your point of view? (Inquire) Exec: The venue needs to be away from distractions, so not in a city. It should have a pool, golf course, high-end dining, great climate, and both indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. You: So you’re looking for a place where you can keep the group focused, present, and enjoying themselves — do I have that right? (Listen) Exec: Of course. But it needs to be in a place that won’t disappoint my top sales folks.

You: If I can provide an alternative that meets your criteria for a luxury location, activities and spaces, would you be open to considering it? (Negotiate) Exec: If you can find something that good for less, I’ll be surprised, but I’m willing to look at it. So it looks as if you’re on your way to an agreement. By inquiring and listening, you not only obtained useful information, but also created a clear set of criteria that you can use to support the option you have identified. By telling and then negotiating, you have established clarity about the issues and a pathway to a solution. No influence approach will work every time, but behavioral skills, empathy, flexibility, and the willingness to prepare will help you succeed more often. The goal is to develop long-term, collaborative influence relationships, which ultimately facilitate your work as a planner. B. Kim Barnes, CEO of Barnes & Conti Associates, Inc., has over 30 years of experience in leadership and organization development, working globally with organizations in many industries. She is the author of Exercising Influence: Making Things Happen at Work, at Home, and In Your Community, Third Edition (Wiley, 2015) and many other books and articles. For more information on the course, Exercising Influence: Building Relationships and Getting Results, go to www.barnesconti.com. The Influence Reference App can be downloaded from the iOS App Store or Google Play.



Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook

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Secure Your Meeting

Thoroughness is critical when assessing venues and vendors By Kevin Mellott


oreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs), economic espionage agents, activists, cyber hackers, street criminals, disgruntled current and ex-employees, and competitors have all identified meeting and events as viable and preferred targets for their aggression and illegal acts. These humaninitiated acts along with natural disasters, accidental emergency threats, and new federal regulations requiring the protection of Personal Identifiable Information (PII) all impel the professional planner to develop Safety & Security Plans (SSPs). Developing a proper SSP requires the assessment of many different factors. One of the primary factors, which greatly influences other points of consideration, is the security of the venue(s) the group is utilizing. In this article, we are going to review several key aspects of a facility that you should be looking at when conducting a site inspection. I highly encourage you to share with the venue’s sales representatives the fact that your site selection process will include a focus on safety and security. They need to communicate to their safety and security contact that “cooperation” with you is key to closing the deal. Second, we’ll look at criteria to use in hiring security service providers.

will have to secure in order to stop unauthorized access to your area. Determine if the site has security officers who can intervene, or if their personnel function only in a “loss control” role. Also find out what their policy is for outside security personnel working at the facility. Review the site’s Emergency Management Plan with venue management and note the last time the plan was updated. If the plan is out of date or inaccurate, you have a problem!


If you need to hire security officers, you must determine what you want them to be able to perform. The security industry is regulated, and various duties require different levels of training and licensing. Think through heck the inspection what you need to protect and explain it your potential vendors. The general tags on the venue’s fire to areas of protection are: (a) access control extinguishers. Out-of- to your space, (b) theft prevention (including intellectual property), (c) date tags, or no tags, maintaining public order (prevention disorderly conduct by intoxicated indicate that safety is of or hostile individuals), (d) fire watch detail, (e) protection of financial assets a low priority. (registration and silent auction funds, valuable gifts, etc.) and (f) VIP/speaker/ dignitary protection. A word of caution on the consideration of price when dealing with SITE SELECTION AND INSPECTION security vendors: Evaluate the cost of the service in the context of the There are two main categories of efforts to protect people and risk you need to manage. If you are trying to protect $10 million worth property: of trade secrets on a computer overnight and it doesn’t work out, how Passive systems refer to built-in countermeasures such are you going to explain that you paid minimum wage to oversee as an automatic fire sprinkler system, access control systems, that level of value? If you have high-value items, get well-trained and emergency power generators and surveillance systems. equipped security personnel to assist you. Active systems refer to people-based operations such as preventive security patrols, credential checking at the door to your Here are some important points to consider when selecting a meeting room, and ongoing physical and electronic sweeping of security vendor: your meeting room for unauthorized listening devices. Ask the site management team about what type of passive A general liability and workers’ compensation insurance policy safety and security systems they have in place. Have them brief for at least $1 million in coverage, with the ability to add you as you on these systems before you walk the site. an additionally insured A good tip is to check the inspection tags on the venue’s fire Experience in working your type of event. A corporate meeting extinguishers. By law, each fire extinguisher must be inspected is not the same as stadium security for a sporting event with the at least annually. Out-of-date tags, or no tags, indicate that safety public is a low priority. In addition, surveillance system technology The qualifications, experience and equipment to provide the needs to be current, including digital color video, quality type of services you require resolution and appropriate coverage of facility. Out-of-date Use of written post orders for their security officers systems demonstrate that security is a low priority. Also, inquire Knowledge of the venue layout prior to the start of your event whether the surveillance system is monitored or only used for All security officers working at your event need: CPR, first recording purposes. An unmonitored system will have very little aid and fire extinguisher training; quality verbal and written intervention value. communication skills; a two-way radio and cell phone; and Evaluate the design of the building for access to the exterior license/registration as required by the regulatory authority from your event area. Assess how many doors/control points you Continued on page 132


• • • • • •

Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook


6 Strategic Planning Tips for Hybrid Events Reap the benefits of a virtual component with the right “roadmap” By Matthew Marcial, CAE, CMP


eveloping a comprehensive strategy for the delivery of content and deciding on the most appropriate format of delivery can be quite an undertaking. With virtual meetings and online learning platforms becoming more mainstream, there is a need to determine what type of content is best suited for face-to-face engagement versus online delivery. Online content may be delivered via webinars, rebroadcasts and even livestreaming. At MPI’s 2017 World Education Congress (WEC) in Las Vegas this June, we offered a hybrid event experience and virtual pass option to attendees who were unable to join the event in-person. This gave virtual participants an opportunity to experience all the general sessions and concurrent education live throughout the event. MPI offers myriad tools and resources to help meeting planners and event designers to plan their own hybrid events, which have been shown to increase sales, improve performance and gain more attendees. Here are tips on how to create a strategic roadmap for hybrid meetings from the MPI research report “How-to Guide: Hybrid Meetings,” by Jenise Fryatt, Rosa Garriga, Ruud Janssen, CMM, Richard John and Samuel J. Smith.

• Reduce meeting/budget costs • Improve employee satisfaction • Extend the life of our face-to-face event • Keep revenue-producing staff in the field • Expand education • Support sustainable initiatives • Generate revenue • Bring speakers together who can’t travel


For hybrid events,

Creating a remarkable hybrid event requires meeting planners to get involved in the messaging, content, technology and logistical execution. For some, it means getting more involved in the development of content than ever before. When you start the planning process, develop a strategy and business case for the event. This strategy will be a roadmap that you can share with your stakeholders. Here are the six elements of your strategic roadmap:

Define Meeting Objectives

Hybrid technology creates new types of experiences for attendees and professional challenges for meeting organizers. In order to create an experience that excites and motivates, you need to establish well-defined objectives. As you develop these objectives, be clear about your priorities. This will help later on when you need to make trade-offs in the scope, quality and the design of the event. Here are some examples of objectives:

• Expand our reach to a broader audience • Include attendees who are unable to travel 130

External factors may affect your event, so examine them before moving forward. Circumstances relating to technology, politics and law, for example, may influence decisions about when and where to hold your event, what kind of hybrid event will work best for you or even whether or not to produce your you have hybrid event at all.

four types of attendees (face-to-face, Pod, online and on-demand). Look for opportunities to create exclusive experiences for each group.



Consider External Factors


Develop a Budget

For most meeting professionals, hybrid event costs are rolled into the larger event budget. To the greatest extent possible, try to separate the costs so you can later determine business value. Here are some budget categories to consider for your hybrid event:

• Video production • Internet connectivity • Streaming services • Virtual platform • Décor • Content development and delivery • Consulting and labor When you don’t have to bring attendees onsite, you save on hospitality and logistical costs such as travel and transportation, hotel and food and beverage. In addition, for attendees that are sales representatives or consultants, hybrid events reduce out-ofthe office travel time, allowing them to maintain productivity.


Measure Success

Hybrid events create new opportunities for you to collect statistical data and measure the digital tracks of participants and content. Rather than just taking base-level reports, consider the measures that are important to you. What are your key success factors? How will you measure these? Will you look at future sales generated? Will you look at employee satisfaction surveys and compare them to historical data? Do you care how long attendees stay, as compared to the content available to them? Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook


Analyze Your Audience

Most meeting professionals manage delegates in a single group or in a few segments. For hybrid events, you have four types of attendees (face-to-face, Pod, online and on-demand). Each of these groups has different needs and will experience your event in a different way. Map out the needs and experiences of these attendees. Then, look for opportunities to create exclusive experiences for each. For example, at a live event you control lighting, sound, visuals and focal points. By comparison, you only control one window for online attendees, so it’s more difficult for you to retain their focus. And with audiences in different places, time creates opportunities and challenges. Consider the following: Local time of delegates (time zones) Time that you can expect various audience types to be engaged. Planning white space and buffers between programmed items can be critical to the success of the program. Options to view content live, in near-real time and asynchronous or on-demand.


• • •


Outline Your Event Execution Strategy

Now that you know your objectives, audience, budget and measurement plan, you can select the hybrid meeting “building blocks” that you should use. These are the most common ones: Live main event + individual events Studio + virtual Live + Pods Live + Pods + individual events Multiple connected live events

• • • • •

Matthew Marcial, CAE, CMP is Vice President, Education & Events for Meeting Professionals International. To view the full report, “How-to Guide: Hybrid Meetings,” and access additional MPI research on hybrid meetings, visit www. mpiweb.org/Research.

F&D’s next issue will feature:

Special Section • IMEX F&D Forums: Q&As with • industry leadersIn-depth on the move from the pros on event marketing and • Tips planning teambuilding programs reports on Atlantic City, New • Destination York and Arizona, plus coverage of value destinations latest domestic and international meeting • The industry news To subscribe, see page 128 in this issue.

For more information about the Kansas City Convention Center, please call 816-513-5000 or visit www.kcconvention.com Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook



between the facility personnel and the planners so that both sides are properly informed and protected from unnecessary risks.

Continued from page 129


One of the big areas of contention between planners and facilities is that many security personnel do not want to share with planners their Emergency Management Plan, or information on the surveillance systems, cyber security protection programs, etc. The problem is that with the new “duty of care” programs that the general counsels are pushing out, planners are on the hook if they don’t check these various security systems out — especially if they are taking intellectual property out of headquarters and placing it in an unsecured venue. We need to further the cooperation

Kevin Mellott is President of ERASE Enterprises, a leading provider of safety and security services for meetings and events, high net-worth individuals and corporate C-suites. He was a primary witness in the U.S. Congress for the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act, served as the Director of Security for the White House Conference on Travel & Tourism, and consults often with businesses and associations. Mellott is the author and lead presenter of “Conducting Secure Meetings & Events,” a text and ERASE seminar.

advertiser index Akron Convention & Visitors Bureau.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................91 Atlantic City Convention Center.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 22 Austin Convention Center............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 17 Greater Birmingham CVB............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 77 Greater Columbus Convention Center.................................................................................................................................................................................................................95 Greater Miami CVB.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................41 Greater Richmond Convention Center.................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Boise Centre................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 103 Caesars Entertainment..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Century Center................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................92 Cobo Center......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................19 Connecticut Convention Center..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................35 Cox Convention Center............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 105 David L. Lawrence Convention Center..................................................................................................................................................................................................................65 DeVos Place........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................14 Duke Energy Convention Center.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 25 Durham Convention Center.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................29 Events DC........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 Explore St. Louis................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 5 Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.....................................................................................................................................................................................................96 Indiana Convention Center.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................99 Iowa Events Center........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 26 IMEX......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................31 International Centre...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 118 Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................69 Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center...................................................................................................................................................................... 67 Kansas City Convention Center..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................130 Little Rock CVB............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 80 Long Beach CVB................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 3 Los Angeles Convention Center................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 15 Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board...........................................................................................................................................................................................................C4 Meadowlands Expo Center.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 71 Meet AC..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................33 Miami Beach Convention Center.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................24 Mobile Convention Center.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................82 Monona Terrace Convention Center................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 100 Montego Bay Convention Center............................................................................................................................................................................................................................119 New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center..........................................................................................................................................................................................85 Ocean Center Convention Center..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................39 Orange County Convention Center........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 47 Oregon Convention Center......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................109 Pasadena CVB...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................111 Philadelphia CVB...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................C2 Phoenix Convention Center.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................112 Roland Powell Convention Center/Ocean City CVB....................................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Sacramento Convention Center...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................115 Shreveport Convention Center.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 12 SMG........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 8 Spectra.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................20 St. Charles Convention Center.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................29 Team San Jose.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................7 Utah Valley Convention Center................................................................................................................................................................................................................................28 Visit Jackson...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 78 Visit Knoxville.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 79 Visit Orlando....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Visit Savannah...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................89 Visit Spokane....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................C3 Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin....................................................................................................................................................................................................................49


Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook

The Evolution of Medical Meetings Planners must continue to embrace the changes in this highly regulated field By Eli Sananes


s I assess the state of the meetings industry as it relates to healthcare professionals, it’s ever more apparent that the pharmaceutical segment continues to be a lightning rod. The pharmaceutical industry is maligned and scrutinized for what is perceived to be ever-increasing drug prices. As a result, meetings attended by healthcare professionals (HCPs) are managed far differently than they were three to five years ago. With the passage of the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, pharmaceutical companies were required to report transfers of value (ToV) to all registered HCPs. As a result, the meeting industry was faced with a new reality: interpreting what a transparent and compliant meeting would look like. PhRMA provides guidelines and recommendations on best practices, but companies were responsible for policies internally. Many companies, including third-party vendors, created new departments to oversee compliance and reporting. Among the added tasks third-party vendors were charged with, capturing and reporting HCP spend data was the most critical. The list below illustrates the ongoing changes over the years to HCP meetings: Avoid properties with “resort & spa” in their name Avoid destinations that do not give the appearance of an educational meeting (e.g., Orlando, Miami, Las Vegas, Arizona) Make sure the hotel is considered modest (three or four star) and not extravagant (Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons) Invitation is to HCP only, no spouse or guest Spend caps for food & beverage functions Sign-in sheets for all meeting and meal functions

• • • • • •

Adding to these changes and the challenges they can bring, states including Vermont and Minnesota have stricter laws in place that preclude doctors from attending certain meetings or accepting specific ToV, therefore limiting meeting attendance or overall meeting spend. Apart from the stress and workload brought on by U.S. regulations, pharmaceutical meeting planners must understand and navigate international regulations and country codes for HCP meetings. For the most part, meetings are categorized by the specific region of the world (European Union, Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Canada) in which they are held, and each country and/or region has specific governing bodies, such as the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, Health Canada or national health authorities operating by region in Latin America and Asia. As a result of all these changes, the pharmaceutical industry has taken a commanding lead as it relates to managing compliant and transparent meetings. It’s only a matter of time before other industries, such as banking and technology, follow suit and adopt similar procedures. Healthcare continues to be controversial and on the forefront, which leads me to believe the nature medical meetings will continue to evolve. Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook


In order to adapt to this ever-changing environment, meeting planners should adopt a series of measures to operate compliant and transparent meetings: Develop a standard operation procedures manual spelling out detailed company guidelines on meetings attended by HCPs. Make sure your compliance and legal personnel are engaged and help structure the final document. Identify best-in-class technology that allows your department to capture and report back critical meeting spend data for individual HCPs and in aggregate. Educate key stakeholders within your organization Educate your key vendors on policies and procedures specific to HCP-attended meetings: Hotels: Spend caps for all meals Ground transportation: Individual transfers on arrival and grouped at departures Third-party planners: Scanning for all sessions, sign-in sheets, expense reimbursements and consulting contracts In an effort to limit perception issues, use airport properties and/or second- or third-tier cities.

• • • •


HCP engagement prior, during and following the meeting is extremely important to their overall experience. This includes components such as the following: Save-the-date invitation Web registration Consulting agreements Airline ticketing Final agenda and program confirmation Ground transfers and hotel check-in Onsite support Seamless departure Program recap and expense reimbursement

• • • • • • • • •

Medical meetings will continue to evolve and challenge planners, vendors and meeting attendees globally. It’s important to embrace these changes and ensure that HCP-attended meetings not only adhere to the law, but also are consistent with internal guidelines set forth by your company. Ultimately, the meeting team is key in keeping the stakeholders compliant, and thus the company compliant with the laws and regulations related to engaging HCPs. Eli Sananes is President of Boca Raton, FL-based Global Meetings & Incentives (GMI). He brings over 20 years of industry experience to GMI, a leading meeting logistics provider with emphasis on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. GMI has gone from a company managing 25 domestic meetings from inception to over 200 in a few short years. Sananes often speaks at industry events about strategic sourcing initiatives and industry trends. 133

Subtle but Effective Branding 3 design tips for engaging attendees intelligently By Greg Weiss


heming an event is a natural instinct and a traditional way to connect with guests. When we were younger, almost every birthday, bar mitzvah, prom or fraternity party had a theme. Now that we’ve grown up and stage events in a professional setting, we call the process “branding.” Great branding will create anticipation going into the event, delight during the event and fondness afterward. Conventions and tradeshows are huge undertakings in enormous venues, and the tendency is to do everything big. Yes, some things have to be large: signage has to be visible, wayfinding has to be readable and exhibitors have to be seen. But to create a truly connective brand, we take the subtle approach.

the guest experience. A subtle message written on the bottom of a bag or the back of a sign can be clever and effective communication. A quotation on the floor can be an inspiration. And you don’t have to stay within your industry or within business — a quote from Aristotle can be more meaningful than a quote from a leading CEO.



When making your message small, think about making it smart. We mentioned quoting Aristotle, and we mean it. Don’t be concerned about going over people’s heads or having an aesthetic too sophisticated for guests. We once created a brand story for a convenience store, and upon showing our work to the client, THINK SMALL reating something they asked, “But will Bubba get it?” They When holding a convention in a vast space like that some of their most important big and flashy might explained McCormick Place, there is a natural desire to fully customers were blue-collar, working class fill the space and communicate what you have people who may not have any education fulfill your need to to say in a large, loud way. We find that creating high school. They affectionately communicate, but it past something big and flashy might fulfill your need to referred to these customers as “Bubba” and communicate, but it doesn’t necessarily help you were concerned about telling stories these doesn’t necessarily connect with guests. What helps connect to the customers could not relate to or understand. delegate is an intimate experience. help you connect Our response was to not worry about Think about the experience of attending the Bubba. Bubba will probably get it, and if he with guests. Olympics. You can go to the Olympic village and doesn’t, no harm, no foul. Attendees come see a thousand red umbrellas and you are aware that from all walks of life, but they all live in this Coke is there, but those umbrellas don’t make you world and experience many of the same things. feel any more connected to Coca-Cola. Now, find a place where pins We may not listen to the same music or watch the same shows, but are being traded — these people are passionate, and the excitement popular culture is everywhere and more people understand cultural is easy to get caught up in. The pins themselves are small and references than you may think. Even if a guest does not understand tangible. Once you touch and hold one, you feel ownership — you a reference or a quotation, it won’t do any harm if it is well done. For feel like a part of something larger. It is something that you take example, we once referred to Popeye’s chicken as having “Big Easy home that brings back fond memories when you see it. Flavor.” If you understood that “Big Easy” was another name for New Such small-scale branding is what truly creates a connection Orleans, then you got the reference. If you didn’t, you just thought the between a guest and an event. It need not be something tangible flavor was big and easy. that delegates take with them; it can be an experience, an The initial wow factor of convention’s sheer size certainly makes unexpected sign, something that evokes a small smile and yet an impression on attendees, but what stays with them are the little makes big impression. moments and connections organizers make with them every step along the way. And that’s one of the motivators for delegates to return year after year. “DISCOVER AND DELIGHT” At Adrienne Weiss Corporation, we like to couple the idea Greg Weiss is the President of Chicago, IL-based Adrienne of making things smaller with the concept of “discover and Weiss Corporation (AWC), which has developed awarddelight.” This concept is about letting a brand slowly unfold so winning brands and identities for some of America’s most iconic guests do not experience everything right away. We like to hide some companies over 30 years. Weiss has spoken about branding at of our messaging in places where it may not be seen until the third Chicago’s tech startup hub 1871, the University of Chicago or fourth visit. Letting your brand unfold gives attendees the feeling Booth School of Business and Kellogg School of Management. that your brand has depth and there is a lot to experience. That depth He holds a BA in Economics from Johns Hopkins University creates the connection with guests, giving your event a personality and a JD from George Washington University Law School. and making it feel like a friend rather than a faceless organization. Weiss worked as an attorney in the corporate law department of Creating “discover and delight” does not have to be complex or McDermott, Will & Emery before joining AWC. expensive, just smart. Hidden messages can be a great way to expand





Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook

Why Not a Wine Tasting? Organize one for your attendees with the help of a professional educator By David Wrigley, MW DipWSET


Courtesy of Wine & Spirit Education Trust

ost successful conferences include social time that brings people together in an informal way, and many event organizers are finding creative ways to maximize this communal time. Holding a wine tasting is one such option. As a topic, wine checks a lot of boxes: Many people enjoy wine, but may not know much about it. As an unexpected offering on a conference schedule, wine tastings attract a good audience who are thirsty for a fun experience. is table seating with the requisite number of glasses in And, best of all, wine is front of guests, pre-poured with a controlled amount. inherently social, so it will While this requires more glassware, it ensures a get the audience talking seamless experience and no unnecessary distractions. to each other in a fun, WSET educators follow a “Systematic Approach to memorable way. Tasting,” which gives everyone an easy-to-follow To add this kind of framework for describing the characteristics of a wine. event to the conference This helps the educator to teach the basic skills of schedule, keep some tasting technique along the way. key points in mind: First Other logistics to keep in and foremost, employ a professional educator — mind: Don’t forget the spit cups! someone who has expertise in the subject and professional educator Corporate responsibility really is experienced in leading and teaching adult it, and any professional groups. A professional educator can bring the can bring the wines to life demands educator should automatically wines to life and create that feeling of discovery demonstrate their use, and and create that feeling among the attendees, and knows how to get them lead by example. Also, while it involved and smiling. Done wrong, a wine class of discovery among the is better to taste on an empty just trots out dry facts about wine that only the stomach, providing something attendees, and knows geekiest of geeks will enjoy. A professional wine neutral to eat between samples, educator knows which information to provide and such as saltine crackers or plain how to get them involved how to link it to your audience. In addition, this bread, is also wise in case guests person knows how to keep the tasting on track. and smiling. forego spitting. Water is also a The educators associated with the Wine & Spirit necessity to maintain a clean Education Trust (WSET), the world leader in wine palate between tastes. Lastly, spirits and sake education, know how to select wines that will provide a list of the wines with a bit of space for notes to let guests excite people’s minds and palates, and understand the needs of keep a record of what they tasted for future reference. Work with learners in different settings. your event venue to coordinate these elements. To successfully create a compelling tasting, work with the One last but important word: Remember that not everyone, for professional educator on key factors, such as identifying a religious or personal reasons, drinks alcohol, or is even prepared theme that will complement your conference. Also, strategize the to taste and spit. Make sure you have an opt-out or an alternative optimal time of day and duration of the tasting. It’s always wise activity to offer. But for those who do, a well-run tasting will have to hold the tasting after the day’s business is done, but before any them chatting away happily as they head off in the direction of evening meal — tasting is much easier and more productive on an dinner. empty stomach. Aim for a tasting session that is approximately 45-60 minutes long and features four to six wines. David Wrigley, MW DipWSET, is the International The tasting format is another critical factor to consider, as it Development Manager for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. has a big impact on your control of the event. The ideal setting


Facilities & Destinations 2017 Superbook



General Manager Lynnwood Convention Center, Lynnwood, WA ara Blayne, CMP, has been General Manager of the Lynnwood Convention Center for the past two years. She formerly worked for Compass Group for 14 years managing Microsoft’s private meeting space. Blayne serves on the board of the Snohomish County Tourism Bureau and will be serving her second term as President of the MPI Washington State Chapter starting in July.



Director of Events Virginia Beach Convention Center Virginia Beach, VA very Burgess oversees the event planning, services and safety at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, bringing fresh ideas to the team. A 15-plus year industry veteran, she previously served as the Associate Director of Performance Services at Lincoln Center in New York City. She is a graduate of Oglebay Venue Management School and active in IAVM and ILEA.



Robin Cuneo

Executive Director Meadowlands Exposition Center Secaucus, NJ or over 20 years, Robin Cuneo has overseen operations, sales/marketing and administration for the Meadowlands Exposition Center and SMG Exposition Services, a full-service decorating company. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce where she is the 2016 Legacy Award Honoree. Cuneo previously served as the Vice President of Sales for the World Trade Center Boston.



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.



General Manager Fredericton Convention Centre Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada athy Pugh has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including sales positions with Destination Halifax and the Delta Fredericton Hotel. She was instrumental in the opening of the Fredericton Convention Centre in December 2010. Pugh is an active member of MPI, the Canadian Society of Association Executives and Rendez-Vous Fredericton.




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. Hennessey previously served as Director of Events at Live Nation.



Director of Event Experiences St. Charles Convention Center, St. Charles, MO pectra’s Angie Teel, CMP, has been selected to become a member of the IAVM Executive Committee by Chairman of the Board Mark Mettes, CFE, for 2016-2017. She will be working closely with IAVM senior leadership during the upcoming year on various projects for the association. Teel has been with the St. Charles Convention Center and Spectra for just over nine years.



General Manager Pueblo Convention Center, Pueblo, CO essica Corona, CMP, began her career in the events industry in 2003 and has since served in many different roles that have continued to broaden her passion in the industry. Since passing the rigorous Certified Meeting Professional exam in 2015, Corona has led study groups for other aspiring event planners through the Heartland MPI Chapter to help prepare them for the exam.


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 Event Industry Council honored her as an inductee to the EIC Hall of Leaders.



Director of Event Services David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA amie Huckleberry joined the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in 2002 as Senior Event Manager before being promoted to her present position as Director of Event Services. Prior to joining the Convention Center, Huckleberry was an Event Manager at the Atlantic City Convention Center as well as the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel and Convention Center. Huckleberry serves as First Vice President of the ESPA.



Executive Vice President/ General Manager San Diego Convention Center Corporation San Diego, CA aren Totaro, CFE, oversees the operations of the San Diego Convention Center and all customer-facing experiences within the facility. Previously, she served as the General Manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center for Spectra. Totaro recently held the position of Chairman of the Board of IAVM, as well as first and second Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.


Facilities & DESTINATIONS 2017 Superbook

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