What’s new in the events world?
We’re getting a new show called “Grand Basel” in 2019, which is going to be the art of automobiles. We host the largest boat show every year: the Miami International Boat Show. We host an amazing wine and food festival annually: South Beach Wine & Food Festival. An amazing tennis tournament, the Miami Open, is moving from its current location on Key Biscayne and we’re building a new facility in Miami on the grounds of the Hard Rock Stadium where the Miami Dolphins play. Those are annual events, and on top of all the annual events, we’ve got some incredible, very high-profile events that are scheduled to take place in the city. We may very well be hosting the highly coveted Formula One race, in 2019. In 2020 we’re going to be hosting the Super Bowl once again. In 2021, we’re going to be hosting the College Football National Championship. In 2026, we’re part of the World Cupp bid, and we’re looking forward to hosting multiple matches in Miami in 2026. You can see why I never sleep, because there’s something going on 24/7, 365. We’re the only city in the United States that combines a tropical atmosphere and a cosmopolitan setting.
What are some of the challenges the CVB industry is facing?
There’s a lot of competition out there. Even though we feel like we’re one of the premier destinations, we’re always wanting to make sure we continue to stay on top of it, because all of the other cities want to keep up, and so we always want to continue to reinvent ourselves. It’s one thing to be the leader in the industry, it’s another thing to maintain that high level.
What are some of the ways the Greater Miami CVB does that?
It’s listening to the customer and finding out what’s important. These days, technology seems to be one of those areas that everyone wants the newest and the finest. The other thing these days that’s important is art. Everyone wants a sense of place and we want to create a sense of place for people coming into the city. Art is very big in Miami, so everywhere you go you’re going to see art. We call it art in public places. It’s in the park, on the streets, in our venues and part of our convention center renovation. The other important thing these days to our customers is how are you as a city, as a bureau, as a hotel community, at taking care of the environment. The convention center has a whole sustainability program, the hotels all have sustainability programs, so everyone’s really focused on that.