It may be the land of sun and fun, but Florida is uniquely positioned to host meetings and conventions as well. A lush subtropical landscape and endless ocean vistas help break down the barriers that often exist in the everyday office environment, and indeed, once you cross the Florida state line, it’s almost impossible not to relax and bond with colleagues, as many groups have discovered when gathering in the Sunshine State,
But carefree doesn’t mean work-free, and among the palm trees, Florida is filled with state-of-the-art facilities suited to virtually any group size and budget – from the country’s second largest convention center down to polished board rooms set within intimate boutique hotels.
Meanwhile, offsite venues for breakout sessions and other group events push the boundaries of creativity and imagination. Ever host a reception beneath a 6.2 million-pound moon rocket? Or a cocktail party in an ice lounge complete with ice bar, chairs, pedestals and frosty works of art? How about a breakout session overlooking a championship-level pool where Olympic swimmers train? Or an awards ceremony surrounded by winning NASCAR vehicles and other racing memorabilia? All this and so much more is open to planners bringing groups into the Sunshine State. Even those experts in recreation and family fun – the theme parks – get down to business with exclusive areas and themed events just for groups, including behind-the-scenes activities and experiences not available to the general public. If a more tranquil atmosphere suits your agenda, parks and nature preserves throughout the state welcome groups with facilities like classrooms, outdoor pavilions and amphitheaters.
Of course, once the power points have been packed away, meeting attendees are just like any visitors to the Sunshine State – eager to hit the golf course or the beach, paddle a pristine inland waterway, indulge themselves at a sumptuous spa and sample a culinary variety that ranges from savory specialties from the Caribbean in South Florida to Southern-fried favorites in North Florida. Small wonder that planners report increased attendance when the meeting is set here, and why so many attendees return with their families later. Must be the sunshine.