This Year’s Winner
Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Super Bowl is returning to Houston in 2017 and Mike Waterman, CEO for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, is helping count down the days. Check out the countdown clock for yourself at Discovery Green Park downtown, and while you’re there, get a sneak peek at the dramatic transformation of the convention district. The $1.5 billion project is currently underway and is slated for completion before Houston welcomes the Super Bowl in 2017.
−Mike Waterman, president
Seoul Convention Bureau, South Korea
Seoul has stood tall as Korea’s capital for hundreds of years, and in a similar way, the Seoul Convention Bureau is here to ensure your Seoul event is a towering success. From ancient royal palaces to the shiny, new 1,820-foot-tall Lotte World Tower, Seoul is a city where you can experience the past, present and future. Enjoy hiking along ancient city walls in the surrounding mountains and hills, indulge in global and local shopping options housed within renovated traditional Korean houses, partake in a traditional tea ceremony with monks at a Buddhist temple, and enjoy fantastic global and local cuisine in this city that never sleeps—all while connected to the world’s fastest internet speeds. Come and experience our heart and Seoul today.
−Jin-Hyeok Park, director
Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau, Idaho
This panoramic view of the city of Boise is from the Boise Depot, a historic Spanish-style structure opened in 1925 for use as a Union Pacific railroad depot. Even on an overcast day, the gorgeous Boise Foothills meet our vibrant downtown—where recreation fuses with urban. You may notice the cranes in the distance, working on the Boise Centre expansion and three new downtown hotels. The Boise Depot is a unique historic setting for weddings, corporate parties, business receptions, luncheons, meetings and community events. While at the Depot, you can explore the grounds, including Platt Gardens, pathways and koi ponds. It’s only fitting to enjoy a glass of Idaho wine (Sawtooth Skyline Red Blend is pictured) when taking in this beautiful view of Boise.
–Carrie Westergard, executive director
Meet Minneapolis’ new Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet Mall is home to a true gem, a statue of Mary Tyler Moore tossing her hat in the air! She’s the most famous fictional resident of our city, and Mary’s hat toss on the streets of downtown Minneapolis is a truly iconic image for many people. The statue has long been a draw for visitors and locals on Nicollet Mall, and while the street is under construction, Mary has moved inside the new visitor center, where she can continue to be a favorite selfie subject for visitors. The Nicollet redesign is just one of the major projects that’s transforming Minneapolis, and new event venues, green spaces and public amenities are coming to life all around the city.
–Melvin Tennant, president and CEO
Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau
Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Dan Lincoln is standing in front of the Pinocchio (Emotional) statue by Jim Dine at the Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM). The statue, which was unveiled in 2012, stands 12 feet tall. Located in scenic Eden Park, CAM features an unparalleled art collection of more than 65,000 works, spanning 6,000 years. The museum has been in the same location since 1886. CAM was a centerpiece recently in U.S. News and World Report when Cincinnati USA was featured in “10 Underrated Cities for Art Lovers.”
–Dan Lincoln, president and CEO
Visit Sacramento, California
The Golden 1 Center, the cornerstone of Sacramento’s downtown redevelopment, opens in early October, just a short walk from the Sacramento Convention Center and downtown hotels. A new 250-room Kimpton property, The Sawyer, will be completed in early 2017 adjacent to the arena. The new home of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, it is the most technologically advanced arena in the country and will source 90 percent of its food within 150 miles, a given in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. Beyond sports, the arena will showcase concerts, theater and meetings. Adjacent to the Golden 1 Center is Downtown Commons, nicknamed DOCO, a 3-acre outdoor plaza featuring concerts, entertainment, innovative restaurants, boutiques and a stunning $8 million Jeff Koons sculpture. The Visit Sacramento team is ready to book your next meeting.
–Steve Hammond, president and CEO
Ready, set, smile! Visit Seattle’s selfie shows just how easy it is to have a little fun and see one of Seattle’s most beautiful locations. For pleasure or business, Chihuly Garden and Glass is a top venue for meeting planners. Nestled below the Space Needle, this gorgeous indoor and outdoor space sets the tone for an only-in-Seattle experience. Located within walking distance from the newly refurbished Washington State Convention Center, more gems like these await your next meeting.
–Rob Hampton, senior vice president
Greater Palm Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau, California
So, you think Greater Palm Springs is merely a phenomenal golf destination with hundreds of sexy resorts, world-class dining options and one of the easiest airports to get in and out of? Well, you’re kinda right…but hold on! We’re also an outdoor wonderland with hundreds of miles of trails surrounded by majestic mountains just waiting to be scaled. Take your meeting to new heights in one of our nine diverse and wonderful cities that make up Greater Palm Springs, and you’ll have memories you’ll hold onto for the rest of your life.
–Rick Blackburn, vice president of convention sales and destination service
Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri
Branson now has a 360-degree perspective on group events. Our CEO, Jeff Seifried, took to the skies to grab a 360-degree selfie on top of the Branson Ferris Wheel. This iconic attraction recently moved to Branson from Chicago’s Navy Pier. Our many unique venues, like the Branson Ferris Wheel, offer amazing options for offsite events. Many people may remember Branson as the place their grandparents came to visit, but our destination has now developed into a hip, cool destination with extreme outdoor adventures, moonshine distilleries, world-class golf, amazing live shows and modern hotels, resorts and venues. We recently announced new flight options available at the Branson Airport, which makes it easier than ever to get here. Come explore the new #notyourgrandmasbranson.
–Jeff Seifried, president and CEO
Visit Tampa Bay, Florida
Hop on board the brand new Pirate Water Taxi, steps from Tampa’s waterfront convention center. Spot dolphins on your way to the Florida Aquarium, take a sunset cruise to waterfront dining, or wrap up your evening walk along the Tampa Riverwalk with a scenic boat ride back to your hotel. They might even let you drive.
–Santiago Corrada, president and CEO