F&D 2021 SuperBook

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EDITOR’S NOTE

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GROWING POSITIVITY FROM PLANNERS

uch has been made in the meetings media about how venues are faring in this challenging environment: the health and safety protocols they have implemented, the business they have lost, and more encouragingly, the business they are now booking for 2022. A prime example is the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, the focus of our cover story. Sacramento’s renovated and expanded convention center awaits a robust calendar of events in 2022, and has achieved GBAC STAR certification in order to safely host those incoming groups. The venue perspective is important, as convention centers and hotels are integral to in-person meetings. But thanks to MPI, we now have the latest perspective from the meeting planner side. And it’s a very positive one. MPI members polled for the Meetings Outlook Summer 2021 Edition convey a bright future for the industry: 93 percent project favorable business conditions throughout 2022, compared to only 36 percent making that prediction in last summer’s study. In addition, 73 percent expect business to return to prepandemic levels by the end of 2022. And by “business” we mean in-person meetings: Survey participants are more bullish than ever on live event attendance, and more than 81 percent indicate that they anticipate holding their next fully in-person event this year. Katherine Frost, Founder and CEO of event-planning software ORO and a contributor in this issue, also predicts a ramp-up in face-to-face meetings this fall, coupled with a corresponding decline in hybrid and virtual meetings (page 63). But planners are not only positive about the future, they’re also well prepared for it — both from a personal safety standpoint and professionally. The MPI survey reveals that 84 percent of respondents indicate they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (7 percent partially). Professionally, many have taken the downtime during the pandemic to acquire new skills, including how to effectively run hybrid and virtual meetings. Even though these formats are becoming less prevalent than they were a year ago, it remains advantageous to have the ability to pivot to different event models without any learning curve. F&D is here to support the return to in-person meetings with the latest venue updates, including in-depth interviews with the executives behind major convention center projects. This data is essential for planners who are, at long last, getting back to one of their breadand-butter tasks: site searching. – George Seli Editorial Director, Facilities Media Group gseli@facilitiesonline.com

FACILITIES & DESTINATIONS sUPERBOOK For Association & Corporate Meeting Planners & Tradeshow Professionals

2021

Volume 28 No. 2 Chief Operating Officer David Korn Editorial Director George Seli Contributing Editors Anthony Bilden Laura Janelle Downey Debi Lander Deborah Shapiro

Creative Direction & Design AR Design Business Operations David Mermelstein © Copyright 2021 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., PO Box 1807, New York, NY 10150-1807. Telephone: (212) 532-4150. Fax: (212) 213-6382. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Facilities, PO Box 1807, New York, NY 10150-1807. Printed in U.S.A. Cover ad space is available by contacting a Facilities advertising account executive at (212) 532-4150.

DEPARTMENTS

In Brief......................................................................................................................................................................... 4 FORUM Joseph Marinelli, President, Visit Savannah.................................................................................... 15 Trisha Tatro, Director, Austin Convention Center Department........................................... 16

CONTENTS

PERSPECTIVES Getting Your Sponsors Excited Again, by Katie Bell....................................................................62 The Meetings Industry’s Immediate Future, by Katherine Frost...........................................63

FEATURES

2021 Prime Site & Top Destination Awards....................................................................................... 18 DESTINATIONS Sacramento............................................................................................................................................................26 IMEX AMERICA SPECIAL SECTION............................................................... 30-39 Aruba......................................................................................................................................................................... 32 Orlando....................................................................................................................................................................34 Puerto Rico............................................................................................................................................................. 37 VENUE REVIEWS Chautauqua Harbor Hotel........................................................................................................................... 40 Four Seasons Resort Orlando..................................................................................................................... 41 The Hamilton Alpharetta, Curio Collection by Hilton............................................................... 42 W Punta de Mita................................................................................................................................................. 43 Site & City Profiles.................................................................................................................................... 47-60 Advertiser Index................................................................................................................................................ 64

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ON THE COVER Debuting the renovated and expanded SAFE Credit Union Convention Center are Matt Voreyer (center), General Manager, and Mike Testa (right), President & CEO, and Sarah Atilano (left), Chief of Strategy & Market Growth, Visit Sacramento. Read the cover story to get their perspectives on this gamechanging development in Sacramento’s meetings industry. FACILITIES & DESTINATIONS 2021 SUPERBOOK