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he COAST TPACIFIC g n i l l a is C Working With Local Volunteers Chapel Hill, North Carolina Spectra Meeting Guide S E P T E M B E R

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Visit Wichita For Your Next Meeting • Brick-lined entertainment district for after-hours fun • Spacious convention center with attached Hyatt Regency • All conveniently located in downtown Wichita It’s time to explore your options. It’s time to explore Wichita. 800.288.9424


Courtesy Huntsville CVB

Volume 17

Issue 9

September 2016

Huntsville’s Time to Shine


Rocket City USA readies for Small Market Meetings Conference.


Working with Volunteers CVBs have local workers available for meetings.

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Bring the Family These destinations pack family appeal for meeting delegates.


Courtesy Visit Cheyenne


Checking In on Chapel Hill This North Carolina college town is smart and energetic.

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Go Northwest! The states of the Pacific Coast offer a world of outdoor wonder.

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Learn about the national meetings services offered by Spectra

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On the cover: Seattle’s Great Wheel is a fixture of the Pacific Northwest coast.

SMALL MARKET MEETINGS is published monthly by Pioneer Publishing, Inc., 301 E. High St., Lexington, KY 40507, and is distributed free of charge to qualified meeting planners who plan meetings for groups of five to 500. All other meeting industry suppliers, including hotels, conference centers, convention centers, destinations, transportation companies, restaurants and other meeting industry-related companies may subscribe by sending a check for $39 for one year to: Small Market Meetings, Circulation Department, 301 East High St., Lexington, KY 40507. Phone (866) 356-5128 (toll-free) or (859) 225-1452. Fax: (859) 253-0499. Copyright SMALL MARKET MEETINGS, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of editorial or graphic content in any manner without the written consent of the publisher is prohibited.

For Sales Call

Kelly Tyner

Mac T. Lacy Publisher/Partner

Brian Jewell Editor

Herbert Sparrow Executive Editor/Partner

David Brown Art Director



Spectra Special Section Courtesy Emerald Coast CVB




Stacey Bowman Eliza Myers Account Manager Online editor Christine Clough Copy editor Kelly Tyner Account Manager Rena Baer Proofreader

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Kimpton Morrison House in Alexandria Reopens After Multimillion-Dollar Renovation added 985-square-foot Watermark Ballroom. Ideal for events of up to 80 guests, the Watermark Ballroom features tones of celadon, silver and gray; a feature wall with heron wallpaper and hand-painted gold-leaf accents; 10-foot-high ceilings; natural light; and a modern interpretation of Colonial hand-hooked rugs in a custom diamond pattern. Best for Courtesy Kimpton Morrison House small meetings and private dinners, the The reopened Kimpton Morrison House features 2,800 square feet of event Chapter Boardroom accommodates up to 25 and features wood-paneled walls space. with midcentury lighting accents and ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — Kimpton Hotels modern brass shelves stocked with books. and Restaurants has reopened Kimpton Located in the heart of historic Old Town Morrison House after extensive renovations Alexandria, just steps from bustling King and the debut of adjacent Ashlar Restaurant Street and just six miles from downtown and Bar. Washington, D.C., the Kimpton Morrison Kimpton Morrison House plays host to corHouse is a boutique hotel renowned for its porate meetings, weddings and social events award-winning service as Alexandria’s only of up to 100 guests. The hotel features more AAA Four Diamond hotel for 30 consecutive than 2,800 square feet of event space, includyears. ing the Chapter Boardroom and the newly The hotel’s new design, brought to life by


Industry News

David Hill of Los Angeles-based DH Designs, was inspired by beloved American literary masterpieces set on and around water, a modern take on Morrison House’s original bookish concept that also incorporates the hotel’s proximity to the banks of the Potomac River. Guests will be welcomed with designs featuring botanical and water elements and original artwork inspired by the storytelling in beloved classics, from “The Great Gatsby” to “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” A new upscale neighborhood tavern and cocktail bar, the 50-seat Ashlar Restaurant and Bar brings a rustic-meets-fine-dining approach to Mid-Atlantic cuisine from executive chef Bobby Surdham. Named for the “perfect ashlar,” symbolizing a high degree of mason mastery, Ashlar Restaurant and Bar pays homage to craftsmanship through a menu that includes dishes such as snapper crudo with jalapeno, spring onion, and baby beet chips, and port city beer-braised pork cheeks with pickled maitake natural jus.

Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel And Conference Center Opens sophisticated design, appealing dining options and convenient access to the city’s most charming attractions. The conference center offers a range of layouts and pricing options for events from small social gatherings to extravagant weddings and corporate meetings. The center has 30,000 square feet of functional meeting space, including a 16,000-square-foot ballroom with 10 distinct sections and four breakout rooms, including a state-of-the-art boardroom. Featuring an upscale Lone StarCourtesy Sheraton Georgetown Texas The new Sheraton Georgetown Texas is located about 27 miles away from inspired design, the hotel aesthetic captures the charm of Georgetown, Austin. with paintings and sculptures from GEORGETOWN, Texas — Sheraton Hotels local artists displayed throughout the buildand Resorts has opened the Sheraton ing. The Lobby Lounge serves as an open hub Georgetown Texas Hotel and Conference for meeting, eating and connecting. During Center, a 222-room hotel located in the heart the day, the Lobby Lounge offers a relaxed of Georgetown, Texas, and just 27 miles outsetting in which to work and mingle. In the side of Austin. evening, it transforms into a social atmoThe hotel offers ample meeting space with sphere, with the Lobby Bar featuring Sheraton’s

signature Paired program with premium wines by the glass and local craft beer. The hotel’s signature restaurant, Brix and Ale, serves classic comfort cuisine complemented by a menu of local wine, beer and cocktails. “There is no doubt this is a game-changing project for our city,” said Dale Ross, mayor of Georgetown. “Sheraton Georgetown Texas Hotel will allow us to introduce the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas, our park system, and other places that make our city unique to visitors outside our region. This project is positioned for the highest level of success, and we couldn’t be more excited to have this first-class facility located in Georgetown.” The Sheraton Georgetown Texas is located about 27 miles north of Austin and anchors The Summit at Rivery Park, a new upscale residential and entertainment district. Guests can enjoy convenient access to shopping and dining in Georgetown’s Town Square.

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Use these tips to improve your telephone presence By Vickie Mitchell


Phone nerves stem from the fear we’ll go blank, forget our point, stutter or stammer. So prepare for a phone call as you would prepare for a meeting. Jot down points to cover, and keep them by the phone. Stay focused, and don’t try to read your emails or respond to texts in the middle of a phone call. The person on the other end of the line can’t see you, but they can feel your distraction.

Practice, Practice, Practice

From voicemails to conversations, keep it short and on point. Long, overly detailed voicemails try our patience. Sum up what you need in a short sentence or two. Don’t talk too fast, and because some voicemail systems don’t give much time to leave a message, give your name and phone number at the beginning of the message, and repeat the phone number at the end. If your message is urgent and requires a response by a certain day or time, say so.

Studies of successful people show they all do one thing a lot. They practice. Granted, using the phone doesn’t require as much skill as writing a symphony or hitting a three-point shot. Still, like anything else, the more we use the phone, the better we get at it. So instead of texting a friend or a family member, call them. Instead of emailing a question, make a call. If you send 10 emails for work a day, try making a phone call for a quarter of them. Odds are your confidence will improve, and you might even save some time as you bypass the back and forth that email often requires.

Listen to Yourself

Nothing is as eye opening as listening to yourself on the phone. I record a lot of my phone interviews, and like most people, I want to pull out my ears when I hear myself talk. What’s especially troubling is when we hear ourselves repeating certain words: “like,” “really” and my apparent new favorite, “Wow!” Really? Wow. Oh well. At least I can limit my wow moments now that I’m more aware.


Make Some Notes

few weeks ago, I had dinner with a couple of 22-year-olds. Both are hard at work in their first jobs, and they are on the phone a lot. Those business calls make them a little anxious: They disconnect callers on hold, call folks who aren’t thrilled to hear from them and try to sound confident, businesslike and older than 22. I assured them we’ve all been there, flummoxed by a wacky phone system or blasted by a cranky customer. But I also admitted that because I often use email or social media now instead of the phone, I too feel a little uneasy when I pick up the receiver. I’ve done a lot of reading lately on the subject, and my research shows that we aren’t on the phone any less than we used to be; we just have a lot more communication options. The phone is still a very important one and is often the fastest way to straighten out confusion, get consensus and get things done. So in business, having phone chops is an asset. Here are some ideas to enhance your phone skills.


Mind Your Manners

Sit up straight, spit out that gum, and don’t even think about sneaking one of those potato chips. Don’t talk too loud or too low. Say please and thank you, and yes and no, not yeah and nah.

Be Crystal Clear and Perfectly Polite

Always provide your name, your company and the purpose of your call. Ask if it is a convenient time for the person to talk to you. If not, offer to call back at a better time.

Keep It Short

Don’t Drop the Call

In my book, there are two excuses for not returning a phone call. You are seriously ill or you are dead. And even in those cases, someone should step in to return calls for you. I’m always shocked when people in the hospitality business don’t call back. How inhospitable is that? And sadly, I can’t help but think less of them and of their business or destination. Vickie Mitchell is the former editor of Small Market Meetings. If you have ideas for future columns, contact her at


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Huntsville Ready to Welcome Small Market Meetings Conference By Dan Dickson


October 2-4, 2016

untsville, Alabama, is a gem for professional planners looking for a city to host their company or organization’s next meeting, conference or special event. Located in northern Alabama near the

Tennessee line, Huntsville has emerged as both a technology and a research hub and as a fun city that offers a lot to do. To discover the benefits of meeting in Huntsville, planners simply need to start asking questions. If they do, the staff at the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau will do an impressive job of selling them on this surprising Southern city. About 100 meeting planners and 175 travel industry representatives will find out why Huntsville is a smart choice when they gather at the downtown Von Braun Center, October 2-4, for the annual Small Market Meetings Conference. “Small Market Meetings will use the South Hall ballroom for most of its activities,” said Marie Arighi, director of sales and marketing at the Von Braun Center. “It is at the end of the skywalk that connects it to the official conference hotel, which is the Embassy Suites by Hilton.” Huntsville bills itself as Rocket City because of its close association with the U.S. Space program, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at the Redstone Arsenal. In the 1950s and 1960s, famed German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun and his team developed the Redstone, Jupiter and Pershing rockets here, which played a key role in getting Americans to the moon.

Special Dinners

Courtesy the Lumberyard

Small Market Meetings Conference attendees will enjoy an evening of dining and entertainment at the Lumberyard in Huntsville.


Conference Report

The dinners on the opening night of the Small Market Meetings Conference and the night after are always fun, interesting and wonderful opportunities for attendees to network with fellow professionals. The opening night event for this year’s conference will be staged at the spectacular U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Imagine dining in a space museum dominated by a massive Saturn V rocket, the kind that propelled U.S. astronauts toward the moon. Talk about acknowledging the elephant in the room. The rocket, by the

Photos courtesy Huntsville CVB

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is Huntsville’s signature attraction.

September 2016


Montesano State Park offers outdoor opportunities not far from Downtown Huntsville.

way, is a National Historic Landmark. “The Saturn V Hall can handle 1,000 people for receptions, 800 for buffets, and we have a traveling exhibit area that is good for cocktail receptions,” said Claudia Jones, director of special events at the Space and Rocket Center. In addition to the music and delicious food they will get to enjoy, attendees will also be able to walk around the center and check out the spectacular historic exhibits that detail the U.S. space program from its earliest days right up to America’s involvement in the International Space Station. There’s also a glimpse into the future, when the United States launches a manned mission to Mars sometime in the 2030s. The second night of the conference takes attendees to an unusual open-air dining and entertainment complex known as A.M. Booth’s Lumberyard. “Our history goes back to the 1800s, when this site was a lumberyard that supplied many building materials for the first settlers in Huntsville,” said Jessica Bolling, the event manager at the Lumberyard. Today, the Lumberyard is a prime destination for visitors and has a cool restaurant, five bars and multiple stages for live music. There

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are patios and verandas and other spaces for groups to use. There is always something going on at the ever-changing Lumberyard, such as organized games and a wide array of activities including arts classes and festivals. Bob Rogers, the CVB’s vice president of conventions, is no TV meteorologist, but he promises some pleasant evenings when conference attendees come to Huntsville. “The weather should be wonderful when they are all here because it is just the beginning of the fall season,” he said.

FAMs for Fun

A handful of FAM tours are always booked when a group comes to the Small Market Meetings Conference, and the Huntsville gathering will be no different. “We just had a FAM tour in town last week, and after it, the people said, ‘I had no idea how much there is to do,’” said Rogers. So far, more than a dozen people have arranged to go on tours in Huntsville either before or after the conference. “There are four things that people seem to be most interested in,” said Rogers. “One is space, which is why we are called the Rocket City. We’ll have some behind-the-scenes looks

FAM tours at the Small Market Meetings conference will highlight the variety of visitor experiences around Huntsville.


Small Market Meetings! We can’t wait to host you in the Rocket City in 2016

While you’re in Huntsville, be sure to fill your free time with some visitor favorites:

Explore the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, home to Space Camp, and visit the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house nestled in the beautiful 120-acre Huntsville Botanical Garden. Take in the gorgeous views from Burritt on the Mountain and enjoy any of our 100+ miles of hiking and biking trails. Don’t miss out on Huntsville’s 20 plus food trucks and eight craft breweries that call our community home!

Stay updated and share your Huntsville experiences & questions! iHeartHsv HuntsvilleCVB VisitHuntsvilleAL

September 2016




inside the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. For those people who love history and old architecture, we’ll offer a look at our historic district.” That will include the largest group of antebellum houses in Alabama. Two neighborhoods will be featured — the Twickenham Historic District and the Old Town Historic District — both located a few blocks from downtown Huntsville. Another tour stop will be at the city’s restored Constitution Village, which is where the Alabama Constitution was signed and where Alabama essentially became a state. Huntsville was the site of Alabama’s first general assembly. Today, Montgomery claims the title of state capital. A third FAM tour option for delegates will be a visit to the fascinating Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment. This was an abandoned industrial site, an old cotton mill, until recent years. A clever investor had a vision and helped convert the space into an artist enclave and an entertainment center for the community. The facility now houses 130 studios with 200 working artists in them. There are six fine-art

Visitors mingle at the Lumberyard, a Huntsville entertainment district.


From five attendees to a hundred thousand, we’ll put your meeting in the Winner’s Circle. Our 28 hotels add up to over 2,800 rooms. Here, you’ll find world-class venues, convention space and services fit for champions.

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Conference Report

galleries to visit, a multipurpose theater and other performance venues. One of them is the factory’s old loading dock, now a bandstand overlooking an open area where audiences can gather to listen to live music. Concert on the Dock is a popular musical series, as is the annual Cigar Box Guitar Festival. Art fans among the conference attendees will also enjoy strolling through the 13 galleries and the collection of 2,500 pieces at the Huntsville Museum of Art, located in Big Spring International Park. The last FAM tour option will be Campus 805. The site is a former city high school and middle school. Now, it is a fast-emerging restaurant, entertainment and retail district par excellence. Developers worked hard to preserve the legacy of the old school campus, and signs of it show up everywhere. In addition to the two craft breweries, the bandstand is a busy place with music and other performances that entertain crowds by the thousands.

Pep Talks

A highlight of the annual Small Market Meetings Conference is the presentation of industry speakers whose messages are

Live music can be found at venues around the city.

Courtesy The Lumberyard



SOUTHERN-HOSPITALITY-BURG. You’ve probably heard of Spartanburg if you’re into live music, history, craft beer, and driving luxury cars really fast on a test track. But in case you haven’t, let us introduce ourselves. We’re Spartanburg. Where your day can start working in one of our many meeting spaces and end touring the BMW Performance Center, exploring historic Revolutionary War landmarks, tasting some of our local flavors, or exploring our local breweries and distilleries.

This only happens in a place that’s truly revolutionary. Come see for yourself.

September 2016


The Wernher Von Braun Convention Center is the primary venue for large events in Huntsville.


Conference Report

insightful and helpful. The keynote address on Sunday evening will be delivered via Skype by Jonah Berger, an expert on how some people, products, phrases and behaviors catch on and why others don’t. Berger is a college professor in marketing and a lecturer and a best-selling author on the above subject. “This fall, I’ll be talking about the power of word-of-mouth to grow our businesses and organizations,” he said in a recent interview. Berger believes that word-of-mouth ideas, often shared through social media, can be 10 times more effective than traditional advertising methods. He will explain why and offer tips to conference attendees who are wondering how best to get their messages across. We all know how quickly something can go viral in this internet age, “but it’s really about understanding the psychology of sharing,” Berger said. Jonathan Howe is a Chicago attorney who is an expert on the travel, hospitality and meetings industries. He will be making a return visit to the conference to discuss a wide range of issues. They will include the constant changes taking place in those industries and how planners must stay current on developments to help their companies and organizations adapt. Howe will also talk about “lift” and how planners must ensure that their meeting attendees have smooth travels into and out of cities. He’ll address the motivation it takes to convince a potential delegate to attend a meeting in a certain market rather than simply stay home. Some cities need to better sell t hemselves as meeting destinations, he believes. Cybersecurity seems to be on everyone’s mind. But if it isn’t, it should be, says Howe. With so many planners handling online reservations and payments, he encourages meeting planners to examine how safe and secure their internet connections and payment systems are. Also on the roster of speakers for the Small Market Meetings Conference is another familiar face: James Spellos, founder of Meetings U, a tech training center. He plans to bring an overview of new technologies that attendees can use in their work. Spellos said many people are intimidated or confused by rapidly changing technology, so he will demystify some of it with hands-on components for everyone to try. “The tech conversation we will have will have a wow factor, a fun approach,” he said. Spellos will emphasize that no one knows it all and that learners shouldn’t pressure themselves to master a new technology the first time they use it.





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Schedule Your Tour Today

The Volunteer Difference CVBs can provide meeting planners with a vital local workforce

By Gabi Logan


t the last major convention you attended, was there a smiling face with local destination expertise there to greet you at the airport or at the front door of the convention center? Or was there, perhaps someone not from the conference team, but a local from the CVB excited to share their destination with incoming attendees? While they go by many names, these CVB volunteer corps members can form the backbone of a meeting planner’s welcome committee at no cost to the planner in many destinations. The key is to understand how these programs differ from one destination to another, what the cost of the additional staffing is and in what ways planners can use these additional feet on the ground.

Volunteers Versus Paid Staff

To meeting planners, these extra helping hands are often lumped together under the heading of “volunteers,” but some CVBs classify


Managing Meetings

Courtesy Visit Cheyenne

Visit Cheyenne volunteers can help staff various stations during meetings.

these additional staff as volunteers while others pay them and view the cohort as more of a temporary staffing pool. The latter case creates more opportunities for meeting planners, as paid workers can be easier to schedule. “Many CVBs, including us, have a temporary staffing agency as part of what we do,” said Marcy Roitman-Booth, director of destination services for the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The meeting planners and organizations that we serve think they’re volunteers, but they’re actually paid staff.” Her “Burgundy Brigade,” so named for the burgundy blazers or burgundy polos the team dons depending on the formality of the event, is available to help organizations with whatever task they need to get done, from registration to bag stuffing. But one of the advantages Roitman-Booth has found of having paid staffers is the ability to train them in high-level customer service tactics. “We have ongoing training and staff meetings throughout the year to make sure the messaging is clear and check in on how to interact

c Courtesy Little Rock CVB

Little Rock CVB staff and volunteers greeted Small Market Meetings Conference delegates at the airport.


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September 2016





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Managing Meetings


Courtesy Grapevine CVB


Local volunteers often help attendees find spots to entertain guests, such as a wine bar in Grapevine. with visitors and customers,” said Roitman-Booth. “We cover how to find people that are standing there and clearly lost but not asking for help, and how to zero in on them and extend the hand of hospitality, or how to be conscious of little words like ‘no problem,’ which subliminally say there was a problem that we didn’t know existed in the first place.” Though Grapevine has 75 members in its paid staffing program, some CVBs, like the one in Little Rock, Arkansas, use a combination of paid staffers and volunteers; others, especially smaller operations like that in Cheyenne, Wyoming, use a fully volunteer-driven solution. “Our staff is limited to seven to eight people, so when we get a conference like the governor’s association, to provide the services that we’re promoting we call on volunteers that we can rely on,” said Jim Walter, director of sales and marketing for Visit Cheyenne. In Cheyenne’s case, this cohort comprises former CVB board members or employees, along with people from the larger local hospitality community who have self-identified as interested in welcoming guests to the city. “Former board members work well for us because they know our mission and services,” he said. “You’re often dealing with out-of-town visitors who are having an allergy attack and in need of the nearest Walgreens or looking to take six guys out for dinner, and you want someone who can say, ‘You want to go to the Chophouse, and here’s the number, and you’ll need to get a reservation, and here’s the table you should ask for.’”

September 2016


The status quo doesn’t get to be extraordinary. But you do. Centrally located and insanely affordable, Nebraska’s capital has the venue selection, entertainment value, small-town hospitality, and big-city amenities that planners and attendees come home raving about.

Plan for more at


How to Get the Most Value From Your Volunteers

CVBs use different methods to calculate the number of volunteer hours available to meeting planners. Sometimes, it is based on the number of peak nights booked in room blocks or as a combination of factors contributing to economic impact. In other instances, a base number of volunteer hours is offered, and then meeting planners have the option to book additional staffing at an hourly rate. Many CVBs with volunteer programs outline the availability of this option well in advance — sometimes even a year or more — to ensure planners can take full advantage of the volunteers’ unique skill sets. But planners don’t always get in touch with their needs until a few weeks before the event. Though CVBs are able to respond in most of these situations, such as a recent instance in which Roitman-Booth received a request four weeks out and was able to staff 98 percent of the request in three days, the earlier you interface with CVB staff about your volunteer needs, the better the results, especially in cases where the staffers are unpaid. In cases where volunteers are unpaid, Walter also advises meeting planners to be cognizant of

CVB volunteers cover conference welcome booths in Cheyenne.


Managing Meetings

Courtesy Visit Cheyenne

Courtesy Visit Cheyenne

Local volunteer hosts welcome meeting attendees to sites around Cheyenne.

From traditional hotel properties with conference centers and meeting rooms, to college campuses, historic buildings and museums with lake views, the Kenosha Area is prepared to welcome your next conference or special event with a touch of unexpected charm. Go to to ďŹ nd out more.


E5336_KVB_Small_Market_Meetings.indd 1

September 2016

8/5/16 9:25 AM


Courtesy Little Rock CVB

Local volunteers often make the first impression for a host city. the amount of downtime volunteers get. “If people are volunteering their time for you, make sure they have something to do when they get there, because if they arrive and stand there and watch everyone else work, they wonder, ‘Why am I giving up my time?’” he said. One of the best ways to create a winwin-win — an ideal staffing situation for your volunteers, your staff and your attendees — is to take advantage of the high skill level of these volunteer corps and integrate them into your event in more ways than the usual registration staffing, way finding and swag-bag stuffing. Roitman-Booth had one program in which the event staff did not have enough of their own organization’s volunteers to introduce speakers and breakout rooms, so she selected some of her more eloquent members, who had had previous professional careers involving public speaking and set them up to intro-


Managing Meetings

duce speakers and be the emcee running each room. The Little Rock CVB prides itself on training its team to integrate into incoming meeting groups by asking the right questions of both event staff and attendees, whether it’s giving restaurant recommendations or serving as greeters in the convention center lobby to welcome attendees with a beverage and a smile. But one of the most creative and highly appreciated ways it has incorporated volunteers into events is for the final send off. “We have them at the airport on the day of departure, so they are the last face you see when you leave, saying, ‘Thank you for coming. We hope you’ve enjoyed your stay and that you’ll tell someone else about it,’” said Alan Sims, vice president of sales and services for the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.







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Bring the Kids

Delegates arrive at these destinations with families in tow By Gabi Logan


t’s official: “Bleisure” is on the rise. Combining a business trip with a leisure trip is the latest wave in family travel of the trend of taking “staycations,” vacations taken at home, or exploring close to home with short road trips. Rather than planning separate family vacations, more and more families are taking advantage of one spouse’s conferences or business trips to create vacations. Family attendees experience a clear savings combining these trips, and meeting planners are reaping benefits as well. “We have found an attendance lift whenever a conference has optional attendance and they choose a location like Wisconsin Dells, because the kids are excited and want to come,” said Tifani Jones, director of sales for the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau. If you’re looking to boost attendance at an upcoming meeting, consider selecting one of these destinations that appeal to families.


Meeting Ideas

Courtesy Ocean City CVB

Family members can spend time at the beach in Ocean City while parents are in meetings.

Ocean City, Maryland

Just north of otherworldly, uninhabited Assateague State Park and east of Maryland’s quiet, fishing-village-lined Eastern Shore, Ocean City is where the state wakes up, puts on its beach gear and a smile and goes for a good time. Although the summer season offers nonstop beach concerts and events, some of the area’s best festivals take place during the fall, an ideal time to bring a meeting to the area. In late September, Sunfest brings major musical acts and plenty of arts, crafts and edible fun to the beach, and the Winterfest of Lights, with 1 million LED lights incorporated into 400 displays viewed from a 12-minute boardwalk tram ride, begins in mid-November and runs through the holiday season. For a festivallike experience any time of year, groups can rent out a local amusement park, like the popular Jolly Roger.

Courtesy Visit Mesa

Goldfield Ghost Town is a popular family attraction in Mesa.

#Networking #BestMtgEver #KansasCityKS

Kansas City Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.

September 2016




Meeting Ideas

Ocean City’s Roland E. Powell Convention Center offers panoramic views of the bay, but groups looking for a family-type setting have several full-service boardwalk options. The largest hotel in terms of meeting space is the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel, which includes 40,000 square feet of meeting space spread over 40 meeting rooms, followed by the Princess Royale Resort Hotel and Conference Center, which has 30,000 square feet of meeting space. The Grand Hotel and Spa, which sits directly on the boardwalk,

features 10,922 square feet of meeting space and 249 guest rooms.

Emerald Coast, Florida

In northwestern Florida, along the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Florida’s Emerald Coast offers meeting planners a low-key beach destination where they won’t feel like their group gets lost among large leisure and convention groups. “With any kind of meeting here, people


There are numerous indoor and outdoor adventure options for families in Wisconsin Dells. want to bring their family, and the reason why starts with the beach — there’s 200 miles of sugarwhite beach here in northwest Florida,” said Emerald Coast CVB executive director Ed Schroeder. “But what separates us as a destination is what to do when you get off the beach. The HarborWalk Village in Destin feels more like an authentic Mediterranean beach town. You have

September 2016


Bring a meeting to Dubuque and get a FREE meeting! Contact Julie Kronlage at 563.845.7698 to learn more.

800.7 98.8 8 4 4


the largest charter-boat-fishing fleet in North America in a place like one of the theme parks in Disneyworld, except that it’s authentic.” With 11,000 sleeping rooms and nearly a dozen meeting hotels serving groups of up to 500, the Emerald Coast is well geared toward small and medium groups looking to carve out their own stretch of sand. The 15-acre Palms of Destin Resort and Conference Center is a stalwart, with a mix of standard hotel rooms, suites and villas, and 6,000 square feet of event space with the option to also rent the 11,000-square-foot lagoon pool area. New in the area is the 208-acre The Henderson, a Salamander Beach and Spa Resort, which is set to come online in September with 171 rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

Branson, Missouri

Courtesy Branson/Lakes Area CVB

A wealth of live entertainment gives family members endless activity options in Branson.



Branson is an ideal choice for many types of meetings. Its major venues include the 220,000-square-foot, glass-front Branson Convention Center overlooking Bull Shoals Lake; the 301-room Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa and Convention Center, with 43,500 square feet of meeting space; and the 260-unit Big Cedar Lodge, with its own 21,308-square-foot conference center. But it particularly shines for groups looking to offer attendees a destination for the whole family.

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).



Meeting Ideas



“Branson has so many attractions, and we’re getting so many new attractions this year and next year that it’s amazing how many we’re adding right now,” said Deborah Cohen, director of meeting and convention sales for the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The new 15-storytall Branson Ferris Wheel, which had stood on Chicago’s Navy Pier for the past two decades, can be reserved by groups as part of a package with the adjacent go-kart tracks. A new mountain coaster and an 80,000-square-foot indoor climbing adventure park called Fritz’s Adventure, which will also include an event space, are set to open this fall. While the summer holidays bring the highest leisure visitation to Branson, Cohen recommends January to May for availability or the fall for groups looking to soak up a special type of Ozark scenery — gold leaves on the brilliant blue lake.

Mesa, Arizona

For meeting planners looking to organize a family-appropriate meeting in the West, Mesa, Arizona, home to one of the 10 coolest parks in the country, according to USA Today, transcends classification as just a suburb of Phoenix. Mesa’s $8 million Riverview Park is next to the newly opened 180-room Sheraton Mesa Hotel at Wrigleyville West with 37,000 square feet of meeting

Courtesy Emerald Coast CVB

Kids can get to know local sea life at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Fort Walton Beach.

come see what’s brewing Strategy. Solutions. Creativity. High Spirits. That’s what’s brewing in St. Tammany.


Meet on the Northshore and bring your appetite – for great Louisiana cooking, and for living. Chat up Zondra at the conference to learn more about Northshore meeting opportunities. Only 45 minutes from New Orleans.

NORTHSHORE 1-800 - 634 -9443

September 2016

w w w.L o u i s i a n a No r t h s h o r m /s m m 31

space, on the Salt River, or Rio Salado. The park includes features such as state-of-the-art playgrounds for young ones, a 300-foot-long natural climbing wall for teens, a 50-foot-tall rope climbing tower that will also give adults a rush and a 75-foot splash pad to keep everyone cool together. As a group team-building activity or on their own as a family after the event, group members can fish in the five-acre urban lake stocked with fish by the city. Organized sports fans can check out the Chicago Cubs spring training facility next door at Sloan Park, where planners can hold receptions on the patio outside of training season. Groups looking to take their meeting or reception outside have several other options just outside the city on Mesa’s Fresh Foodie Trail. Highlights include an olive-pressing tour and lunch at the Queen Creek Olive Mill, which has been featured on the Food Network, and Schnepf Farms, a working peach farm that is one of the largest peach growers in the Southwest and offers “dinners down the orchard,” family-style meals amid the peach trees.

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Young visitors enjoy the outdoor art installation at the Mesa Art Center.

Courtesy Visit Mesa

Going green is easy when meeting in Dublin. The City with Irish Attitude offers plenty of unique meeting spaces, Irish-experiences for the entire clan and free event planning assistance. Contact us today!

Discover your Irish Attitude at | 614.792.7666


Meeting Ideas

Billing itself the Waterpark Capital of the World, the Dells features 200 waterslides in its 19 square miles and welcomes more than 4 million visitors each year from all around the Midwest and beyond. As water features are a given, Wisconsin Dells’ resorts all offer planners a different themed environment for their events. Groups can go Western at the 620-room Chula Vista Resort, with 100,000 square feet of meeting space and several indoor and outdoor options with views of the Wisconsin River, or at the 1,163-room Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness. An Africa-inspired experience awaits at the 756-room Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, which has 100,000 square feet of meeting space. And although it has less meeting space than some other area hotels, the Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells is the brand’s original property, so it is a popular choice with families. For an evening reception or a day meeting outside of the typical resort setting, groups can take over the Swan Barn Door, a new rustic-themed venue nestled in the woods, or the Cold Water Canyon Pavilion, an island venue reached by boat with an option for catering during the boat ride. Due to the destination’s popularity, Jones encourages planners to book further in advance to secure their preferred dates. “July and August are very high occupancy, but with decent lead time, we do have groups that get in, especially smaller groups,” she said.

EVERYBODY HAS A GARY. Great guy, hardworking, difficult to please. Gary wants the best of both worlds – a great place to meet and lots of stuff to do when the meeting ends. That’s no problem in “The Waterpark Capital of the World!®” where you’ll find thousands of square feet of meeting space, along with all the rides, slides, scenery, and golf Gary can handle. He’ll thank you, and so will everyone else. Contact one of our destination specialists for complimentary planning assistance. | | (888) 339-3822, ext. 345

GET SMART IN CHAPEL HILL This college town brin gs energ y and excitement to mee tin gs By Gabi Logan

Top of the Hill Distillery is a popular attraction in Chapel Hill.


Destination Showcase

“The university itself holds a lot of national meetings, but as a destination, we are better for small meetings, meetings under 150 attendees; but we can do up to 400.”


ollege town, tech hub, top foodie city: Though it’s difficult to skylight-lit atrium. Renovations have added the ability to easily pinpoint exactly how to define Chapel Hill, North Carolina, all arrange video recordings of meeting or conference proceedings or of its common descriptions underscore the area’s incredible incorporate teleconferencing, as well as touchpad controls of audioviundercurrent of energy, evolution and exciting spaces. It is a Southern sual systems. city, among others, that makes headlines for its newness and trendiThe Kenan-Flager Business School also includes two buildings availness without betraying its glorious history, which creates an ideal able for outside meeting and event rentals: the Kenan Center and the backdrop for planners looking for a setting for events with class as well Rizzo Conference Center. The Kenan Center offers a dining room for up as the best modern amenities. to 220 guests, a tiered conference room for up to “Orange County has the highest concentra150 guests, three breakout rooms and two extetion of PhDs in the country, which creates a rior terraces. The IACC-certified Rizzo Conference great mix of people and draws a lot of internaCenter centers on the DuBose House, a Georgian tional folks to the university,” said Marlene home listed on the National Register of Historic Barbera, director of sales for the Chapel Hill and Places, and features 21,000 square feet of meetOrange County Visitors Bureau. “The university ing space spread over 41 light-filled meeting itself holds a lot of national meetings, but as a rooms. The Rizzo Conference Center also destination, we are better for small meetings, includes 116 guest rooms. meetings under 150 attendees; but we can do up Major Hotels to 400.” On the UNC campus, the elegant 185-room, Chapel Hill’s strength in the small meetings AAA Four Diamond Carolina Inn looks much arena comes in part from its venues, which tend older than its 90 years — in a good way. When toward boutique hotels and atmospheric spaces, an alumnus of the class of 1889 opened the and its walkability, as most of the city’s meeting hotel in 1924 at the cost of approximately venues are in and around the University of University of North Carolina $250,000, it included all of the top amenities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus, which the time in an exterior meant to evoke George lies on the city’s main drag, Franklin Street. “You have four craft beer places, award-winAll photos courtesy Chapel Hill/Orange Co. VB Washington’s home at Mount Vernon. Historic portraits in gilded frames line the walls of its ning restaurants, James Beard Award-winning meeting and dining rooms between drapery chefs, a comedy club and all kinds of other that wouldn’t look out of place in a Baroque things groups could do right on Franklin Street. LOCATION French castle. [That’s why] we like to see the destination as Central North Carolina The hotel and its restaurant, which both have super-small-town charm with big-city flair,” Forbes four-star status, are fresh from recent Barbera said. ACCESS renovations. The major renovation to the hotel, Interstate 40, Major Meeting Venues completed in 2013, breathed fresh air into all Raleigh-Durham International Airport As a small meeting market with a major uniaspects of the hotel’s infrastructure and gave a versity, Chapel Hill is not home to a traditional fresh look to all guest and meeting rooms and MAJOR MEETING SPACES city convention center as the hub for its larger public areas. Last fall, the Crossroads Chapel Friday Center, Rizzo Conference Center meetings. Rather, several conference centers on Hill restaurant updated its menu and layout, HOTEL ROOMS the University of North Carolina (UNC) campus, adding new outdoor spaces and a fire pit, and 1,208 which ranks every year as one of the most migrating the bar and dining spaces to create a beautiful college campuses in the nation, serve cozier lounge environment and increased OFFSITE VENUES the same function while offering every visiting North Carolina Botanical Garden, Southern opportunities for private dining. Following rengroup the feeling that they are the only ones ovations, the Carolina Inn features 14,365 square Season, Barn at Valhalla, Morehead holding an event that day. feet of indoor event space and 15,035 square feet Planetarium and Science Center, The William and Ida Friday Center for of outdoor event space. Ackland Art Museum Continuing Education, within walking distance On Franklin Street and two blocks from UNC CONTACT INFO of the Courtyard by Marriott, is the largest in the heart of downtown, the 67-room Franklin meeting venue in town, with 25,000 square feet Chapel Hill and Orange County Visitors Bureau Hotel Chapel Hill, recently added to the Curio 888-968-2060 of recently renovated, state-of-the-art meeting Collection by Hilton, features modern meeting space that includes 25 meeting rooms and a rooms with built-in features like fireplaces and

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

September 2016


Visitors enjoy the giant chess set at North Carolina Botanical Garden floor-to-ceiling windows in more than 7,800 square feet of event space, including its Windows restaurant. At the other end of downtown, the hypermodern Aloft Chapel Hill offers 130 guest rooms and three meeting rooms geared toward board meetings and retreats, two combinable 500-square-foot “ex:change” meeting rooms and a 600-square-foot “tactic” meeting room. At the eastern end of Franklin Street, outside of downtown Chapel Hill, the AAA Four Diamond Siena Hotel Autograph Collection was created as a labor of love. Inspired by the original owners’ trips to Italy, the hotel is true to its Italian namesake, the Tuscan hill town Siena. It features rare Italian antique furnishings and wall decor that displays the neighborhood flags of Siena’s “contrada” on the hotel’s interior, and fountains and bocce ball courts on the “terrazza.” The hotel’s 79 guest rooms feature touches like marble showers and balconies, and its 3,000 square feet of meeting space offers natural lighting and Italianate chandeliers. The newly renovated Il Palio restaurant features multiple opportunities for semiprivate dining.

Unusual Venues

One of Chapel Hill’s most popular and unusual locations for an offsite or team-building event is Southern Season, a gourmet specialty


Destination Showcase

store with facilities for private dining and cooking classes. The culinary center began in Chapel Hill 1975 with one 800-square-foot location and has grown to include locations in Raleigh and Asheville, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina. Its original location features everything from an old-fashioned soda fountain to four distinct meeting spaces: the oak room and adjacent garden patio; the 12-seat boardroom; and the mezzanine, which overlooks the main restaurant and store. Planners should also build in time for attendees to explore and shop, as the extensive store features deep selections in gift items from coffee to chocolate. “Their wine store is bigger than the visitors bureau,” said Barbera. Just outside the city, providing a sharp contrast to the high-tech, modern facilities now common throughout Chapel Hill, the Barn at Valhalla allows groups to step away from projectors and smartphones and focus on a glamping meeting or reception in the great outdoors. Spread over 30 acres, the Barn at Valhalla offers groups opportunities for outdoor team building, lakeside picnic lunches and retreats for up to 150 attendees. In addition to more traditional meeting spaces at the Carolina Inn, the Rizzo Conference Center and the Kenan Center, the UNC campus also includes several unusual venues. Spreading out in an imposing

blocklong brick edifice just off Franklin Street, the Ackland Art Museum includes an 18,000-piece collection that spans the centuries and continents. Groups can take over the entire museum outside of operating hours, either in the evening or during the Monday or Tuesday closings. The museum gives rental priority to university groups and other nonprofits, and outside groups must pay an additional fee to become museum sponsors in order to reserve the space. Groups can also rent the rotunda, the state dining room and the 220-seat full-dome theater of UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, one of the largest planetariums in the United States. When it opened, it was the most expensive building in North Carolina and only the sixth planetarium in the United States. The planetarium has similar guidelines for for-profit rental groups. The North Carolina Botanical Garden, also affiliated with the university, features a variety of event spaces in its LEED Platinum-certified James and Delight Allen Education Center as well as throughout its gardens. For an unusual meeting setting, groups can use the 1,595-squarefoot Reeves Auditorium, which is flooded with natural light and has 28-foot ceilings, space for up to 200 attendees and a private, covered deck. The center also includes two classrooms that seat up to 50 guests and an antique-outfitted seminar room for up to 15 guests. In season, the Forest Theatre, with open-air amphitheater seating and a natural stone wall as a backdrop, can be used for a fresh take on a general session or award show. The gardens and patio adjacent to the Education Center are available for rental for larger groups, and smaller groups can take their cocktail reception into the botanical garden’s display gardens, which include wide-ranging collections of ferns and carnivorous plants and plants used in horticultural therapy.

Successful is an understatement. Winston-Salem was near perfection! — Dr. Linda H. Gilliam, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Meeting planners can take advantage of venues at the University of North Carolina, including the Friday Center for Continuing Education.


• • • • •

More than 4,800 hotel rooms Multi-Million Dollar Renovation of downtown Benton Convention Center Over 100 downtown restaurants and shops Named a Forbes’ Top 10 Best Downtown Centrally located in North Carolina

FOR DETAILS, CONTACT: Christian Schroeder, Director of Sales and Services 336-728-4218 •

September 2016



THE WHITE BARN INN is a Maine classic! Famous for its international award-winning cuisine, the post-and-bean interior with window of walls overlooks the lush gardens from where dinner is sourced. Enjoying their signature cocktails is relaxed with on-site, luxuriouslyappointed rooms awaiting at the adjoining ‘chateau.’ Great for groups and meetings, the Inn, which some say is even more magical in winter, boasts yearround service.

AN EYE FOR AN ISLE The Calendar Islands provide postcardworthy retreats, perfect for working lunches or relaxed corporate meetings. Complete with golf, tennis, biking, and world-class cuisine at resorts like the Victorian-era CHEBEAGUE ISLAND INN, your seaside escape is only a short ferry ride from Portland.


THE BREAKWATER INN & SPA is luxury beyond summer– open throughout the year! This waterfront resort can host small as well as large groups in elegant rooms, or outdoors on an expansive lawn, while the full-service spa relieves the stress of a day. Built in the 1880s, its original Shingle-style Cottage architecture solidifies it as one of the Kennebunkport’s most historic properties.


Convenient to Portland are high-end venues that will cater to your every need. Your group can enjoy urban amenities in Maine’s critically acclaimed metropolitan center while indulging in quiet luxury at this unexpectedly unique destination.




INN BY THE SEA is a relaxed oceanside beach retreat complete with luxury hotel amenities – a stylish contemporary take on traditional coastal ambiance. This year-round meeting venue includes a full-service spa, acclaimed farm-to-fork cuisine, and ocean-view rooms. It’s located on an expansive mile-long sand beach. Feel like you’re a million miles away yet only minutes from downtown Portland.

Portland’s CLARION HOTEL AIRPORT is steps from Thompson’s Point Concert & Event center– the region’s exciting new hotspot. Stepping off the Amtrak train, bus, sipping wine at Cellardoor’s tasting room, hosting a conference, enjoying a concert, leading a meeting, or ice skating, this convenient airport hotel will be a convenient base for your party.



ROOM FOR FORE HOLIDAY INN BY THE BAY boasts over 30,000-square feet of event space – the largest convention facility in Maine! Conveniently located in Portland’s Arts District, this Portland institution has 239 rooms with sweeping city and harbor panoramas to accommodate groups, as well as a fitness facility and large indoor pool. From the Old Port to the airport, it’s an ideal location.

THE MARRIOTT AT SABLE OAKS in South Portland is minutes away from downtown. Large event space, over 225 rooms, and a premier Geoffrey S. Cornish-designed golf course makes this hotel a keystone to business meetings in Greater Portland’s metro area.

DPI Events offers creative event planning & destination management services for corporate and social gatherings. With a stellar team of professionals, their experience will ensure your event will surpass expectations. MEETINGS. EVENTS. SPORTS. Greater Portland Convention + Visitors Bureau 207.772.4994


Hardy Farm has been nestled in Maineʼs White Mountains since 1750. Originally a working farm, this updated luxurious venue hosts weddings, meetings, events, and reunions. The setting inspires organic, authentic, and sustainable cuisine while the residence comfortably accommodates guests.

THE NONANTUM RESORT is a riverside resort that makes your group outings effortless. It offers sailing, biking, shopping, dining, and meeting in the seaside hometown of two Presidents. Live large while you host your confab in luxury and style.

The Gem of Old Portland By Kristy Alpert


he scent of hot buttered lobster rolls fills the salty sea air surrounding the Old Port district in Portland, Maine, where cobblestone streets lead through a series of wooden fishing piers and 19th-century buildings like the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa. On the outside, not much has changed about this idyllic fishing port, where the old armory building still stands next to red-brick warehouses and buildings as it did when it was built in 1895. At the time, the State of Maine Armory building was renowned as the finest and best-equipped armory in New England, and the National Guard proudly used the space until 1941. During World War II, the building became a refuge for soldiers, marines and sailors, and over the course of the war, more than 4,000 men spent the night there during their transient time in Portland. It wasn’t until 1984 that the building began its internal transformation into a fully operational hotel. In 1987, the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa opened with 95 rooms, and today it is a member of Historic Hotels of America.


Hospitality Showcase

Photos courtesy Portland Regency Hotel

The hotel underwent a five-month renovation for its 25th anniversary in 2012, during which the guest rooms were updated with modern furnishings and state-of-the-art technology while preserving charming architectural touches such as detailed fireplaces and turret windows. The only structural change over the years occurred during that renovation when the hotel replaced the skylights on the fourth floor with outdoor decks to offer guests a breathtaking view of the city and harbor. Today, the hotel is the prime meeting point for small groups looking to get the full essence of Portland’s maritime heritage without compromising on modern amenities or features. It has become a hot location for corporate meetings, conferences, retreats, weddings, receptions, pre-wedding brunches and more. The hotel can host groups of five to 200 in its more than 6,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes six variable meeting rooms, the most meeting space in Portland’s Old Port, and the event staff takes care of all the details from start to finish.

Portland Regency Hotel and Spa Location Portland, Maine Size 95 rooms Meeting Space 6,000 square feet of flexible space Access Located 15 minutes from the Portland International Jetport Contact Info 207-221-5914

Meeting Space The Portland Regency offers six event spaces that make it easy to host anything from small seminars to grand banquets. The Atlantic Room is the largest of the spaces and features Art Deco lighting throughout the versatile ballroom space, which holds up to 200 guests. The other spaces are the Regency Room, with its intimate and dimmable lighting, for up to 150 guests; the Portland Room, with its domed ceiling and mahogany walls, for up to 100 guests; the Armory Room, with its elegant settee area, for up to 100 guests; the Longfellow Room, with its natural lighting, for up to 20 guests; and the Boardroom, with its cherry conference table, for up to 14 guests.

September 2016

Left: The hotel offers full-service catering for meetings. Right: The rooftop at the Portland Regency is an ideal space for evening happy hours. Opposite page: The Portland Regency Hotel occupies a former armory building in historic Old Portland.

Catering All food service is handled on-site through the Portland Regency’s team of culinary professionals, who have created a series of menus from which guests can choose for events and meetings. Homemade granola and smoothie shooters are favorite healthy choices on the breakfast buffets, and the fresh Regency bakeshop cookies offer a sweet indulgence for meeting breaks. The staff also packs boxed lunches, serves plated luncheons or sets up luncheon buffets for afternoon events, and organizes passed hors d’oeuvres, plated dinners or dinner buffets to satisfy eveningevent guests. Alcohol is allowed with cash bar, open bar and punch bowl options.


Extras Each meeting package can be personalized at the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa, where complimentary wireless high-speed internet connection is always available, as is complete audio and visual equipment during events. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service to and from the Portland International Jetport as well as nearby train and bus stations. The events staff can arrange other local shuttle services for groups and will work with event and meeting planners to arrange off-site teambuilding events in the Portland area. Guests also have access to the hotel’s fitness studio, day spa and on-site dining options at Twenty Milk Street or the Armory Lounge.

After Hours

Guests can dine al fresco at the hotel’s Garden Café.

The hotel’s central location to all of downtown Portland’s most iconic activities and sites makes it an attractive choice for guests. In their downtime, guests can try their hand at lobster fishing aboard the Lucky Catch Lobster Cruise, shop the sales at Maine’s largest shopping mall, or peruse Monets and Picassos at the Portland Museum of Art. A visit to the Regency isn’t complete without a ferry ride on the Casco Bay Lines to explore the stunning Casco Bay Islands. The ferry offers sunrise trips, moonlight excursions and daytime scenic cruises.

Leadthe charge

Nothing emphasizes the values of teamwork and leadership like standing in the location of one of our nation’s most important victories. Gettysburg, PA’s historic sites, leadership programs and activities will inspire and energize your team. Our unique venues, contemporary cuisine, and easy access to Harrisburg, Baltimore and Washington, DC will lead your event to success.

Let Jenny at Destination Gettysburg help plan your next leadership development meeting or retreat in Gettysburg, PA!

Leadership Program • 877-874-2478


Hospitality Showcase • 717.338.1053 Make Your Own History.

Meet Outdoors in the Pacific Northwest Courtesy Travel Lane County

By Rachel Carter


n the Pacific Northwest, the outdoors are at your doorstep: salty waves of the Pacific Ocean or wild wetlands of coastal marshes, the gritty sand of seaside dunes or the rocky slopes of mountainsides, towering redwoods in dense forests or fruit orchards at fa m i l y- ow ne d farms.

September 2016

Oregon’s rugged coast offers an abundance of outdoor opportunities for meeting groups.

In Washington, Oregon and northern California, planners have a plethora of ways to bring the outdoors into their meetings and events.

Eugene, Oregon

Lane County embodies some of Mother Nature’s most impressive extremes, stretching from sea-level sand dunes along the Oregon coast to the soaring peaks of the Cascade Range. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area encompasses 40 miles of the Oregon coast, but people driving by can’t grasp the impressive expanse — or the height — of the dunes, some of which are 500 feet high. Both Sand Dunes Frontier and Sandland Adventures offer tours in smaller “sand rails” for four to eight people, and larger groups can tour the dunes in buggies that can seat 20 people. Although the big buggies are slower than the sand rails, they still deliver plenty of gritty thrills when cresting the dunes. Sand Master Park is a 40-acre commercial sandboarding park in Florence, where team building can include sandcastles and sand sculpting, sandboarding lessons and sand sledding, as well as dune buggy tours. When the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons brought its annual meeting to Eugene last summer, most of the doctors brought their families. The group loaded up on outfitter-led activities, including whitewater rafting, a fly-casting class, a cycling tour and a guided hike, said Angie Riley, digital marketing manager for Eugene, Cascades and Coast, the Lane County

CVB. Group hikes and walking tours allow visitors to explore the Cascades, including any of the region’s “Seven Waterfall Wonders.” Although it’s challenging to reach some falls, the dramatic Sahalie Falls observation deck is wheelchair accessible, and an easy 2.6-mile loop takes people to Koosah Falls. During the National Institute for Direct Instruction’s 42nd annual conference in Eugene this summer, the group did a geocaching tour and held its opening picnic at Skinner Butte Park, which sits on the Willamette River and is “perfect for group picnics and outdoor dinners,” Riley said.

Snohomish County, Washington

The saltwater of the Puget Sound, the dense forests of the Cascade mountains and, in between, the lush farmland of Snohomish Valley: Although Snohomish County is just north of Seattle, close enough for some to consider its cities suburbs, it encompasses a spectrum of spectacular nature. On the sound side, groups can take in a range of wildlife, including bird- and whale-watching boat tours. Sea kayaking outfitters along the coast can take smaller groups onto the sound. In the coastal city of Edmonds, groups can explore Edmonds Marsh on interpretive trails, and docents will lead group tours at the Northwest Stream Center in Everett. The city of Everett also operates a free ferry in the summer to Jetty Island, where visitors can enjoy beaches and nature trails, said


Courtesy Eureka-Humboldt VB

Above: Hiking among the giant Redwoods is a popular activity for visitors to Humboldt County, California. Opposite page: A park service ranger gives a presentation at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Brad Zorich, Snohomish County Tourism Bureau group sales manager. On the county’s mountain side, the Outdoor Adventure Center is snuggled into the foothills and offers guided river-rafting, biking, hiking, kayaking and horseback riding, and has an outdoor area that works well for tented events. The outfitter is located in the tiny town of Index, which “is on the river, and the mountains are hanging over you, and it’s amazing,” Zorich said, and is also home to a restaurant with indoor meeting space for 40 people. Several other outfitters lead rafting trips on the Sauk, Skykomish and Snohomish rivers. In the valley between, several farms offer function space: modern event halls and rustic barns with indoor-outdoor areas, mountain views, space for tents and lawns for games. In the fall, groups can set up picnics at or buy out one of seven pumpkin farms where they can pick pumpkins, wander in corn mazes and bump along on hayrides.

Humboldt County, California

You can’t talk about Humboldt County in northern California without talking about its most famous residents: the redwoods. Redwoods National and State Parks is on the north end of the county, Humboldt Redwoods State Park is on the south end, and both are


Pacific Northwest Meeting Guide

less than an hour’s drive from the coastal county seat of Eureka. To enjoy the redwoods, “anyone can stop and take a hike — more like a guided walk,” said Tony Smithers, executive director of the Eureka-Humboldt Visitors Bureau. “I shouldn’t even say ‘hike’ because you don’t need to break a sweat to enjoy the redwoods.” Park rangers or a Humboldt Redwood Interpretive Association volunteer lead narrated walks and teach visitors about the ecology, environment and natural history. Groups can also take advantage of several visitors centers, including the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center in Orick and the Prairie Creek Visitor Center along the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, both of which offer a park film, exhibits and ranger-led activities. Redwood Creek Buckarettes will take groups through the redwoods on guided horseback rides, an experience that is “so beautiful and such a different way of seeing the redwoods,” Smithers said. Both Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge and Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary are renowned for bird-watching, and guides can lead walk-and-talk tours. Whitewater rafting is another popular group activity, and options range from white-knuckle rapids to lazyriver floats on Willow Creek and the Trinity River. In Humboldt Lagoons State Park, Kayak Zak’s takes groups into Stone Lagoon by kayak or stand-up paddleboard. The Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center offers several

Courtesy NPS

classrooms and a 50-person conference room, as well as group kayaking, paddleboarding and sailboat lessons. Groups can take a 75-minute narrated cruise in Humboldt Bay on the Madaket, a 106-year-old passenger ferry. Pamplin Grove county park and Patrick’s Point State Park both offer scenic outdoor settings for events.

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon, is surrounded by national parks, national forests, national monuments and lakes — lots of lakes. Crater Lake National Park is about 40 miles north of the city, making it a huge draw for Klamath Falls visitors. Because of the region’s abundant lakes and rivers, water sports such as paddleboarding, whitewater rafting, kayaking and fly-fishing are plentiful, and outfitters can lead groups in hiking, road cycling and mountain biking, said Lisa Galloway, group sales and advertising manager for Discover Klamath Visitor and Convention Bureau. The bureau often partners with ROE Outfitters for fishing trips, guided hikes and group kayaking, Galloway said. Crater Lake Trolley Tours takes 25 passengers per trolley on two-hour narrated tours that circle the lake and include stops at areas of interest. Volcano

September 2016

Seattle Southside makes the perfect home base for your next stay. With convenient access to highways and light rail to downtown, it’s easier to get to everything on your must-see list. Download a free travel planner at



Klamath Lake and the surrounding national forest. At Lava Beds National Monument, groups can explore most of the lava tube caves and volcanic geologic features without a reservation, but ranger-led tours, walks, talks and programs are also available. Groups can also visit the historic Modoc War sites and the visitor center to learn how the Modoc people used the caves to hold off U.S. Army troops. The Lake of the Woods Mountain Lodge and Resort and the Harriman Springs Resort and Marina both have function space and group recreation. The Running Y Ranch Resort’s 82-room lodge, 7,000 square feet of event space and 18-hole Arnold Palmer golf course are just some of the 3,600-acre resort’s amenities.

Spokane, Washington

Courtesy Visit Spokane

ROW Adventures takes guests paddleboarding in Spokane.

Boat Cruises leave from Cleetwood Cove, and the guidenarrated voyages showcase the caldera’s geology, ecology and history. Crater Lake Zipline is a tree-to-tree canopy tour 30 miles northwest of Klamath Falls with nine zip lines, two sky bridges and views of Upper

Uncomplicated. Uncongested. Unspoiled.

Situated between San Francisco and Sacramento, Fairreld is just minutes from wine country. Book your next meeting, conference, tradeshow or social event in Fairreld, California.

Contact Christian at /VisitFairreldCA



Pacific Northwest Meeting Guide


No one has to leave the city to enjoy the outdoors in Spokane, Washington; the two are inseparable. “We say we’re ‘near nature and near perfect’ here,” said Amy Cabe, director of convention services for Visit Spokane. “We have a wealth of great opportunities to take advantage of the outdoors.” The Spokane River winds through the heart of the city, and visitors can be on it — on a raft, a kayak, a canoe or a paddleboard — just minutes from the city’s downtown core or steps from the 650,000-square-foot Spokane Convention Center. The 100-acre Riverfront Park is an outdoor recreation mecca, and the tiered Huntington Park, with cascading views of the lower Spokane Falls, opened next to City Hall in 2014. The city has 17 bridges crisscrossing the Spokane River, but one of the best ways to experience the rushing thunder of the falls is on the Spokane Falls SkyRide tram. Cable cars descend 200 feet, taking passengers through rainbow-striped mist to get close to the crashing water below. The 90-acre Manito Park has five manicured gardens and a conservatory, and at Riverside State Park, a few minutes from downtown, groups can play disc golf, take horseback rides and explore the extensive trail system, which features a suspension bridge. Green Bluff is a collection of family-owned farms and orchards a 15-minute drive north of Spokane where groups can pick produce, eat lunch and have tastings. Arbor Crest Wine Cellars has function space and stunning views, and Chateau Rive is an event hall housed in a historic flour mill on the Spokane River. Although Lake Coeur d’A lene is just over the border in Idaho, it’s only 30 miles from Spokane. Lake Coeur d’A lene Cruises offer both public tours and private charters and can do a “triple boat float” for several hundred people by hooking three boats together.

First Year of Spectra Brand Successful All photos courtesy Spectra

By Dan Dickson

Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, managed by Spectra, hosts a wide variety of entertaining events.


Karen Totaro

September 2016

ne year ago, sports and entertainment giant Comcast Spectacor blended three of its divisions into a new, more efficient brand called Spectra. The unit includes three new sectors identified as venue management, food services and hospitality, and ticketing and fan engagement. The company segued from being merely a “house of brands” to a “branded house,” according to company executives. Spectra hosts and provides complete entertainment management for more than 750 clients and hundreds of properties large and small all around the world, most of them in the United States. The first year of Spectra operations has been a proven success for those who run those properties and for their satisfied customers. “It has worked wonderfully for us,” said

Karen Totaro, general manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center. “We have smoothly incorporated both our food service and our venue management into one tight unit. It has helped our clients get a better feel for what we can do for them.” Totaro and other venue managers rave about how many companywide resources they have at their disposal. Information sharing is a prime example. Totaro and her staff never hesitate to reach out to a company colleague if they experience a success story. An example of that might be when a show is working well in several cities and could potentially go over big in several additional cities as well. “That way we are already ahead of the game even before a client walks in the door,” said Totaro. “We begin to see what is important to them and what their hot buttons are.”


Big and Small

Shura Garnett

A large craft show takes place annually at the Iowa Events Center.


Spectra Special Section

Spectra may be big and far-flung, but one executive thinks it still manages to operate like a much smaller company. Shura Garnett is division vice president for Spectra Venue Management, and Food Services and Hospitality. “Even though we are large in the number of venues we manage, we think our greatest wheelhouse is in the many midsized venues within our family,” said Garnett. “We grew our company by using a grass-roots approach. The basic fundamentals we use in running meetings, for example, have not changed. We have not veered much from that model or mind-set. Even though we are owned by a large corporation, we still stick to the basics for managing meetings and filling our spaces, just like any other smaller company would.” Spectra can offer meeting planners a wide range of options from large cities and

venues like Miami Beach, Florida; Cincinnati; Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Richmond, Virginia, all the way down to smaller cities like Enid, Oklahoma, and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Not to be outdone, Kevin Boryczki, general manager of the newly renamed Central National Bank Center in Enid, thinks small cities can offer a refreshing change to groups wanting to meet or entertain. Spectra is right there ready to serve them. “We are doing local and regional events and statewide conferences and conventions, but on a somewhat smaller level than other larger facilities around the country,” he said. “Our events and conferences are still staged the same way. It’s great to be able to share and network with our people around the country who have done an event like we want to do, only on a bigger scale.”

Local Touch All three of the managers agree that people like to deal locally. Even though Spectra is part of a huge company, any of its small market venues can offer that “hometown touch.” “A client might initially be scared off by a big national company, but our goal is to be in touch with and be part of the community so everyone feels comfortable around us,” said Boryczki. “We live here too. We are not here just to run a facility but to be an integral part of the city. We want locals to feel that this is their building because it is, and they should be proud.” Boryczki said he and other managers nationwide go through the same company training. “We have staff that attends the same education meetings, so that ensures that we are all doing what we can.” Rebecca Goodman, director of public relations for Comcast Spectacor, said that

September 2016

Above: Staff pass gourmet hors d’oeuvres at the St. Charles Convention Center. Left: Spectra offers a full range of catering services at many of its venues.


Kevin Boryczki Spectra offers ticketing and event management at several of its properties, including Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. Spectra makes sure its clients enjoy the highest level of customer service possible when they book an event. “Our overall company motto is ‘Together we transform events into experiences,’” she said. “We really take that seriously, whether it’s in our venues that we manage around the country or in our convention centers.”

For an extraordinary meeting, start with an amazing place. Glendale & Arizona’s West Valley have plenty of unique spaces for groups of 7 to 70,000. Our year-round golf, world-class entertainment, professional sports and endless outdoor recreation raise excitement to a whole new level. And best of all, we’re just minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in one of the nation’s top travel destinations. Ready for a meeting that’s hard to top? Contact the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau today. 877-800-2601 #VISITGlendaleaz


Spectra Special Section






Spectra Highlights Destination Attributes By Dan Dickson


eeting planners often need variety in the destinations they select for their gatherings. Sometimes it’s for practical reasons, other times simply because their delegates would enjoy a change of pace. For example, a planner who booked a convention center and its facilities in the Midwest one year may feel it’s time to better represent its national influence by holding the convention in an Eastern or Western city the following year. That’s what makes Spectra so valuable. The Philadelphia-based entertainment and sports company manages venues of every size and description in all corners of the United States. And it has three areas of expertise with which to serve clients: Food Services and Hospitality, Venue Management, and Ticketing and Fan Engagement. Spectra is also known for working with local convention and visitors bureaus to make their convention properties more appealing to meeting delegates. “We really work as one team when we are trying to bring in new business,” said Karen Totaro, general manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center. “Long ago, many of these convention centers were like big, blank boxes. There was no personality to them, and they didn’t reflect what part of the country visitors were in.”

September 2016

Spectra’s venue clients, such as the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati, work closely with local communities to help create memorable experiences for meeting groups. That has changed. In Spectra venues, there are more local connections and a show of pride for the local community. For example, Atlantic City staff is working on a big event in the fall and wants to serve “New Jersey Fresh” products at mealtime, like delicious scallops from Cape May, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, or the fresh local blueberries. “Anything they can do to make it farm-totable fresh helps clearly label the event ‘New Jersey,’” said Totaro.

Unique Experiences The off-site events being planned for the Atlantic City event must reflect the uniqueness of that region for out-of-town meeting and event attendees. For example, there will be a special night on the famed boardwalk with all the lights and the huge Ferris wheel in operation. “I think that is what we try to do in all of our Spectra cities,” said Totaro. “Working with the CVBs is one of the most critical elements in creating a successful event,” said Shura Garnett, division vice president for Spectra Venue Management, and Food Services and Hospitality. The CVBs are the experts in promoting their cities, and Spectra leans heavily on them to help make an event sparkle.


Spectra is heavily involved in the local communities where it manages venues. Garnett is based in St. Charles, Missouri, a historic Missouri River town 25 miles northwest of St. Louis. The city has charming and historic cobblestone streets, trolley cars and many interesting thing to see and do along the waterfront. Garnett said a great way to highlight any city’s culinary choices is to stage a progressive dinner through that city’s entertainment district. Visitors can enjoy an appetizer in one place and walk or ride to a second location for an entree and to a third for dessert or a nightcap. Of course, Spectra can provide food and entertainment services at its many venues nationwide. In a smaller market like Enid, Oklahoma, which is another Spectra partner, the staff of the Central National Bank Center runs the local CVB. “We work with them daily,” said Kevin Boryczki, the convention center’s general manager. His staff often sets up tours and events at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid, a historical museum that details the captivating story of the settlement and development of northwest Oklahoma, which started with the famed Land Run in 1893. The staff also organizes dinners, for a full experience that can involve the whole community.


Spectra Special Section

Community Involvement There is also a company directive that the operators of each Spectra property must get involved in making their communities better places to live and work. “We are charged by our company to help our local nonprofits and charitable organizations,” said Garnett. That may include anything from hosting holiday events for the needy to stuffing backpacks with useful items for disadvantaged kids to picking up trash along highways and waterways. The staff at each Spectra property will perform several of these activities each year. Garnett said it is a wonderful opportunity for a conference group to participate in some public service work when it comes into a town for a meeting. This has become quite a trend nationwide, especially among church and religious organizations. Many believe that they should not just take from a city; they should also give something back to it before they leave. Spectra believes wholeheartedly in that generous philosophy.

Corporate and Convention Business Rebounding By Dan Dickson

Conventiongoers enjoy themselves during a break at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.


he annual industry forecast released by Carlson Wagonlit Travel seems to support the belief that corporate business, particularly when it involves convention centers, is on the rebound across the United States. While some companies may still be searching for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency, North America is considered a seller’s market, and the number of meetings and the number of attendees per meeting are increasing, according to the travel company. Comcast Spectacor and its Spectra brand are taking advantage of a stronger economy and the willingness of companies to stage meetings of all types and sizes. Spectra provides venue management, food and hospitality services, and ticketing and fan engagement to 300-plus clients globally at more than 400 properties that host millions of visitors annually. “We were definitely affected during the downturn in the economy in 2007-2009,” said Shura Garnett, a Spectra division vice president operating out of the St.

September 2016

Charles, Missouri, market. “Now, we have seen a full rebound in business.” Being near the metro St. Louis area, St. Charles handles a lot of corporate business. Garnett has spotted a trend: Planners who used to book meetings and events a year or more out are now doing so only about three to six months ahead of time. Tighter budgets and less desire to lock in commitments too far in advance are possible reasons. However, Spectra staff say they are flexible and can work with any budget and situation. Being a large, multifaceted company, Spectra has the resources to help corporations and organizations get the most for their bucks. Information sharing is the main reason. “Since so many of our venues at Spectra host meetings that tend to rotate from the East Coast to the Midwest and then to the West Coast, we share recommendations with our clients that highlight other Spectra venues they could use,” said Karen Totaro, general manager of the Atlantic City Convention Center. “It


The rebound in corporate meetings has brought bigger budgets for evening entertainment. is a win-win situation because the client has a smooth transition and knows the quality they can expect in a comparable Spectra venue. Spectra ensures that there will be another great piece of business for one of the Spectra venue clients. This doesn’t happen in a stand-alone venue.” Another example of Spectra corporate business increasing is the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. The bundled Spectra services approach is credited with helping to increase business activity. Convention revenue, the number of events, food and beverage revenue, and total number of event tickets sold have increased dramatically. The timing of the downfall and resurrection of corporate business was a little different in Oklahoma compared to other regions of the country. “Our downturn was a little later than most others because we’re a very big oil state,” said Kevin Boryczki, general manager of the Central National bank Center in Enid, Oklahoma. “When the price of oil dropped, it affected our corporate business and hurt. But we did see an uptick with other clients we serviced.” The old convention center building in Enid was rebuilt, and a second new building was constructed and attached next door. All together, it’s called Central National Bank Center. “It has been an exciting seven years here in the city of Enid,” said Boryczki.


Spectra Special Section

W H AT M A K E S U S U N I Q U E M A K E S YO U B E T T E R With a variety of managed Convention Centers, Spectra works with event planners to turn events into experiences with proven methods, innovative concepts, responsive customer service, and passionate industry professionals.


Penticton Trade and Convention Centre

Edward D. Hansen Conference Center

Cross Insurance Center

The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls

Sioux Falls Convention Center

Utah Valley Convention Center

Pueblo Convention Center

Salina Bicentennial Center

Duke Energy Convention Center

Gateway Center

Atlantic City Convention Center

Sharonville Convention Center

Greater Richmond Convention Center

Saint Charles Convention Center

Berglund Center

Owensboro Convention Center

Muskogee Civic Center

Clovis Civic Center

MassMutual Center

Dayton Convention Center

Iowa Events Center

Overland Park Convention Center

Enercare Centre

Enid Event Center

Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center


Pontchartrain Center

Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

Crown Complex

Donald L. Tucker Civic Center Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center

Palm Beach County Convention Center

Ocean Center The Lakeland Center

Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds


Sevierville Convention Center

Birmingham -Jefferson Convention Complex

Las Cruces Convention Center


Durham Convention Center

Miami Beach Convention Center

Contact Us at or 888.456.2599 L E A R N











Saint Charles, MO

SAINT CHARLES CONVENTION CENTER Total Meeting Space: 80,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 35,700 sq ft Grand Ballroom: 16,200 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 21 Hotel Rooms: 296 attached; 1,300 hotel rooms within five miles of the SCCC. Parking: 1,200 Complimentary Located 10min west of Lambert St. Louis International Airport. Easily accessible from all major highways. Walking distance to the Streets of St. Charles and one mile from Historic Main Street.

1 Convention Center Plaza St. Charles, MO 63303


Total Meeting Space: 52,153 sq. ft. Exhibit Hall: 26,000 sq. ft. Ballroom: 16,000 sq. ft. Meeting Rooms: 11

Bangor, ME

Hotel Rooms: over 300 hotel rooms within walking distance; 1,500 within seven miles Airport: Minutes from Bangor International Airport Located one hour from Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. Maine’s newest and largest convention center is centrally located, with easy access to I-95, the downtown district and Penobscot riverfront.


515 Main Street Bangor, ME 04401


Total Meeting Space: 84,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 20,000 sq ft Ballroom: 17,000 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 10

Provo, UT

Hotel Rooms: 331 adjacent, 1,300 rooms with shuttle service One of the most technologically advanced, architecturally pleasing, functionally superb venues in the West.


220 West Center Street Provo, UT 84601


Total Meeting Space: 286,300 sq ft Exhibit Hall: 150,000 sq ft Ballroom: 28,800 sq ft

Des Moines, IA

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. 11,000+ hotel rooms in Greater Des Moines Metro area Facility renovated in January 2012. Attached hotel opening Spring 2018. Tax-exempt convention center facility.


730 Third Street Des Moines, IA 50309


Total Meeting Space: 25,000 sq ft Ballroom: 16,000 sq ft Meeting Rooms: 7

Pueblo, CO

Hotel Rooms: 163 attached, and another 105 within a one mile radius Located in the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk. Walking distance to historic downtown Pueblo, dining, shopping, and entertainment. Expansion Coming Soon!


320 Central Main Street Pueblo, CO 81003


Total Meeting Space: 35,000 sq ft Grand Ballroom: 14,000 sq ft Jr. Ballroom: 11,000 sq ft (divisible into 8 sections)

Durham, NC

Meeting Rooms: 4 Board Rooms: 2 Hotel Rooms: 400 hotel rooms in walkable three block radius Newly Renovated. New Kitchen & Culinary Program. Winner of Readers Choice Award Convention South Magazine 2014.


301 West Morgan Street Durham, NC 27701


GIVE US A MINUTE OF YOUR TIME Meeting Planners, talk to us for your chance to win an Apple Watch

Scan QR code to direct you to the entry form for Apple Watch drawing, or via the web at

Contact us to learn how Spectra can help turn your event into an experience.

888.456.2599 or





Southwest Missouri’s


Profile for The Group Travel Leader, Inc.

Small Market Meetings September 2016  

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