Outlook: Sunny and Bright

Fort Lauderdale, Miami, The Palm Beaches and the Florida Keys are growing meeting destinations

By JT Long

Tourists and groups are breaking records for flocking to South Florida, a destination consistently rated as one of the most popular in the country for its fabulous weather, unique, luxury venues and proximity to the East Coast. From expanding convention centers in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale to a push for a second headquarter-hotel in The Palm Beaches Convention Center district and new and renovated resorts in The Florida Keys, there is always something fresh to discover.

Local Expert Tips: “South Beach is crushing it by all measures, but in addition to being the greatest leisure destinations, our goal is to have the number one convention center partly because of what happens beyond those four walls.” –David Whitaker, president and CEO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

 “Leverage the intellectual capital around sustainability, wellness and diversity via a Discover The Palm Beaches program called Destination Champions.” Kelly Cavers, Chief Sales Officer, Discover The Palm Beaches


5 Reasons Meeting Profs Love South Florida

Wishing Tree at The Square Water Pavilion, West Palm Beach
Wishing Tree at The Square Water Pavilion, West Palm Beach, Photo: The Square

Green Resources: Planning a sustainable event in a destination focused on maintaining its stunning scenery and wildlife is as easy as asking. The entire City of Miami achieved LEED Gold certification partly due to its abundance of green spaces and has pledged carbon neutrality by 2050. In The Palm Beaches, 4ocean works with volunteers to remove trash from beaches, open waters and reefs. That same CSR approach enhances meetings on the beach at recently remodeled Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan.

Holistic Wellness: The city of Boca Raton is the headquarters for Orangetheory Fitness, the reigning champ of HIIT workouts. Founder Ellen Latham is a powerful keynote speaker. Miami Beach County Convention Center led the way with enhanced health and safety upgrades such as EPA-registered disinfectants, touch-free surfaces in bathrooms and a high-efficiency air purification and filtration system. A $620-million makeover and expansion unveiled a 60,000-square-foot ballroom along with an 800-room Hyatt headquarters hotel still to come. MBCCC is actually a cultural campus with a botanical garden and museums 3 blocks from the ocean.

A World of Edible Culture: From authentic Cuban food in Miami’s Little Havana and upscale sushi at Nobu Miami in Eden Roc Miami Beach Resort to an underwater mermaid (and merman) tiki-themed dining experience in Fort Lauderdale and conch fritters at Playa Largo Resort & Spa, An Autograph Collection, Florida is awash in memorable meals.

The Art of Meeting: Miami’s fresh Wynwood Arts District accessible from Kimpton Epic Miami is known for its colorful murals and artistic graffiti at Wynwood Walls, an open-air museum of sorts. Trump National Doral Miami makes meeting an art with four championship golf courses, Har-Tru tennis courts, a Royal Palm Pool and stately surroundings. Key West Film Festival at the historic Tropic Cinema is an invitation to celebrate the islands on the big screen.

Water Ways: From airboat races in the Everglades to yacht receptions in Miami, just add abundant water for team building that is a breeze. Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach (a Rentyl Resorts property) is the easy way to arrange post-meeting access to deep sea fishing at nearby North Beach. The Florida Keys is home to the United States only living coral barrier reef, making it an ideal scuba diving destination. From pristine, shallow coral reefs to epic wreck dives, the Keys offers something for every level of diver.

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