Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: February/March 2009
Focus on Florida
By: Norman Mayers

The world is changing at a rapid pace and we are barely able to keep in step. But the more things change, the more some things stay the same. The timeless beauty of Florida is the perfect antidote for the stress that is created in our-evolving world. In this one great state you can experience the excitement of some of the world's best themed attractions and nightclubs, as well as the tranquil waters of the Everglades and some of the world's top rated beaches. Florida has a long history of being a popular vacation and meeting destination and that tradition continues today thanks to a plethora of exciting attractions, diverse destinations, and superior hotels and conference facilities. Every part of the state offers something new and unique and in this era of sweeping change this is at least one thing that you can count on.

ORLANDO

Meetings are about the exchange of ideas. Developing solutions. Driving business. Forming relationships. And Orlando gets it. Our ability to hold creative meetings that keep your attendees productive is what truly separates us from other destinations. We call it ROI - that's Return on Ideas. The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. (Orlando CVB) can help bring your meeting, tradeshow or conference to life with imaginative promotions, innovative programming and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for your attendees.

Hold a brainstorming meeting at an art museum. Reserve the chef's table at a resort for a fine dining experience like no other. Light up the night sky with fireworks for your evening reception. Plan a behind-the-scenes theme park tour. Trust us - all are guaranteed to impress. And more importantly, our creative events keep your attendees engaged.

Sophisticated Pursuits
At the end of a long day, attendees want to relax and recharge. But not all guests play at the same speed. Some may want a late afternoon stroll at a lakeside park, while another group is eager to sample the menu at a hip new bistro. That's why Orlando has entertainment options for nearly everyone to enjoy. Like fine dining. Exclusive shopping. Hot nightlife. Sensuous spas. Endless rounds of golf. Outdoor activities. And of course, our world-famous theme parks and attractions.

Expanding the Basics
But remember, we still have all of the basics covered. Our nearly 450 hotels currently tout more than 3 million sq. ft. of meeting space. Not to mention the Orange County Convention Center, with its 2.1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space. An additional 4,000 rooms and 434,000 sq. ft. of space will become available as new convention hotels debut during the next two years. We're talking about properties opening this year like the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, which includes the first-ever Waldorf=Astoria built outside of New York City. And the 18-story Hilton Orlando Convention Center, with 1,400 rooms and 130,000 sq. ft. of space.

Healthy & Green
With more than 150 biotechnology and life science companies currently calling Orlando home, we have some surprising assets. But when the Burnham Institute for Medical Research opens in just a few months, we're ushering in a whole new era for the destination. And that means nearly endless possibilities for medical meetings in Orlando.

We've also gone green. Many Orlando-area convention hotels have become designated properties in the Florida Green Lodging Program by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Not to mention that the Orange County Convention Center is a global leader in sustainability, and the first U.S. facility of its kind to be ISO 14001-certified for its recycling program.

Book Now & Save
Take part in the Orlando CVB's 25th Anniversary Savings Celebration, featuring more than 25 hotel and resort offers. In return, you may receive 2.5% off your hotel master account. Plus, take advantage of special airline and car rental offers. For more information, go to orlandoconventions/com/25.

CONTACT:
Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
6700 Forum Drive, Orlando, FL 32821-8017
Phone: (800) 554-1542
Web: www.orlandoconventions.com

WALT DISNEY WORLD

Meetings at Walt Disney World have always benefited from a combination of unique attributes that together help planners realize more value than any other destination on earth. It starts with intangibles like Disney's unparalleled creative resources, imaginative settings, story-telling expertise, attention to detail, and wealth of experience. But it doesn't end there - we also bring real savings to the bottom line with something we affectionately refer to as the "Disney Advantage." It starts the moment your attendees touch down in Orlando with no-cost roundtrip airport transfers and luggage delivery right from the plane to your attendee's rooms, all seamlessly handled without service gratuities or hassling with airport baggage claim. And once they get here, your attendees never need to rent a car or spend cab fare with complimentary Disney transportation throughout the Resort.

When it comes to delivering your message, you'll enjoy complimentary creative brainstorming with the Disney Event Group, the world-renowned experts at producing unparalleled meeting & convention experiences. Disney Institute professional development programs take participants behind the scenes to meet with Disney leaders, benchmark proven success strategies and discover ways to adapt Disney best practices into their own work environment - and you don't have to cover the costs of flying them in!

Designed by "Imagineers" who leave no detail unturned, Disney's world-famous Theme Parks offer an unlimited diversity of multi-million dollar event backdrops that simply can't be duplicated anywhere on earth. Where else can your attendees partake in a street party and dinner in the heart of an authentic African village, then travel across continents to enjoy desserts at the base of Mt. Everest while coming face to face with the Yeti, all in the same night? Or enjoy the cultures, customs and cuisine of 11 nations at World Showcase in Epcot, followed by an awe-inspiring nighttime fireworks and laser spectacular? Having a corner of our world all to yourselves is something you and your attendees will never forget.

Walt Disney World is also home to six award-winning convention resorts for groups of virtually every size and budget. Together, they offer 5,072 guest rooms and suites and over 600,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting and function space - including Disney's Coronado Springs, which recently introduced an all-new Business Club level and reimagined guest rooms designed with meeting and business professionals in mind. Imagineered for affordability and convenience, the southwestern architecture perfectly compliments the 220,000 sq. ft. of contiguous meeting and exhibit space. In addition, all Disney hotels are Green-Lodging certified by the Florida E.P.A., and Disney has created an exciting variety of health & wellness options along with Green business practices available for all meeting & convention groups. Each hotel offers amenities found in the world's finest destinations, from award-winning restaurants to relaxing spas and full-service marinas. Beyond the hotels and parks, Disney has championship golf courses, water sports & fishing on sparkling lakes, a world-renowned sports complex featuring the all-new Jostens Center, two water parks and nighttime entertainment districts.

It's all part of the magic of meeting at Disney - where the options are unlimited, and the experiences unforgettable. For more information about hosting a Disney meeting, contact Walt Disney World Resort at (321) 939-7221 or visit disneymeetings.com.


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