Event managers share what cities and meeting properties have impressed them with pleasantly surprising site visits.
“I have never been more surprised than when I toured Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It is truly a hidden gem, tucked away in a residential community. Its grounds are tropical, and then you have your own walk out to a private beach. We have booked an event there for 2017. I can’t wait to share it with my convention attendees.”
—Alan R. Jobe, Executive Director, Claims Prevention and Procedure Council Inc.
“I went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and took my first hot air balloon ride. It was awesome! I had never been to the city. I think Albuquerque would make a great destination for small to midsize meetings of under 1,000 attendees.”
—Venus Kent, Global Accounts Manager, HelmsBriscoe
“I was surprised by The Nines in Portland, Oregon. The guest rooms make you feel like you’re in a Tiffany & Co. jewelry box. Our food orders—even something like a simple deli lunch buffet—were delivered to us so much fresher and tastier than [in other hotels]. Ice cream bars for an afternoon snack were handmade in the kitchen rather than rolled out in the typical Haagen-Dazs freezer!”
—Jennifer Crouse, Director of Meetings and Services, American Seed Trade Association
“One of the most surprising destinations for me was Columbus, Ohio. I did not have any expectations upon arriving. When we walked outside the convention center, which flows directly from the Hyatt, my mouth dropped. There are restaurants in all directions, which my group loves; it’s clean and bright; and there is an amazing public market called North Market one block from the center. Columbus was by far one of the greatest surprising cities I’ve sited and booked.”
—Wendy Sullivan, NABC Planner, American Contract Bridge League