The best meetings have a flow, a way of putting attendees in a productive state of mind from the moment they arrive on property. Smart Meetings asked the event experts at JW Marriott Tampa Water Street for tips on how to achieve that magical state.

Keep it Fresh

The view from 6th floor Terrace Bar and Restaurant is the backdrop for a fresh approach to meeting in the Sunshine State. With craft cocktails and light bites served poolside, the mood is decidedly relaxed. Designers rethought the feel of the 42 event spaces and 100,000 sq. ft. of room for more than 2,000 attendees to make meeting new again. Even the fitness center and 519 guest rooms were reimagined with streamlined, modern layouts, sophisticated decor, plush bedding and water or skyline views.

Planners looking to keep attendees engaged have a partner in finding creative ways to approach agendas and menus that take advantage of the refreshed spaces and abundance of light.

Offer Lots of Options

No one wants to be forced into doing what everyone else is doing. That is why giving your guests clear options for how to spend their free time—aquatic activities such as boating and kayaking or cultural options such as world-class museum hopping, for example—is the best way to empower them for the learning ahead. From one of the country’s largest water education centers, The Florida Aquarium, to one of the world’s longest waterfront promenades, Bayshore Boulevard, attendees can explore on their terms.

Also nearby is Amalie Arena, home of the NHL Tampa Bay Lightning, which hosts names such as Elton John and Jimmy Buffett. It is a short stroll to Riverwalk and Sparkman Wharf dining area. Local nightclubs, breweries, bars and an emerging culinary scene allow guests to find something that fits every taste.

Now attendees don’t even have to leave the property to find their path to enrichment. A Spa by JW offers personalized pampering.

Make It Easy

Even when the convention center and all those amenities are nearby, offering passes to local transportation, such as streetcars, water taxis and bike share programs makes it easier for attendees to explore farther afield. In Tampa that could include stand-up paddleboards, pedal-powered water bikes, group cycleboats or a ferry equipped with lounging areas for seeing the sights. Suggest a free afternoon before a final banquet, giving attendees the chance to enjoy these magnificent attractions.

Linked to Tampa Marriott Water Street via glass skybridge, guests can enjoy a combined 1,256 guest rooms and suites, and planners have even more space to host the meetings they desire in the more than 150,000 sq. ft. of seamless event space, connected on the 3rd floor.

End on a Watery Note

The sound of water can transform moods and bay views put everyone in a more relaxed state. Leverage that calming influence by scheduling a sunset yacht cruise or welcome dinner on a patio overlooking sun-dappled currents.