Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: January/February 2020

Major regional medical conventions, hemispheric financial conferences, and international professional gatherings have been held at beachside resorts and venues for years.

But increasingly — thanks to the availability of meeting rooms and exhibit space, together with today’s modern telecommunications network, frequent airline connections, and unmatched tourist attractions — many of the beach destinations across the world are being recognized as the locations of choice for businesses, organizations and professional groups that want to complement the usefulness of their meetings and conferences with pleasure.

Beach Resorts are especially prevalent in Central America and the Caribbean. Closely related to these resorts are convention and large meeting sites. Generally these occur in cities where special meeting halls, together with ample accommodations as well as varied dining and entertainment, are provided. Typically, in these cities there might be several hotels that are located close to each other, allowing for multiple functions at different spots.

Many of the beach resorts/hotels around the world offer a comfortable and fun environment for functions such as weddings, family reunions, bachelor/bachelorette parties, fraternal organization conferences and many other types of group meetings. Because of the all-inclusive aspect of most of the beach resorts planners have the option to offer their clients reasonable package deals that could save money in the pocket book in the long run. And we know EVERYONE likes a deal!

Planning a meeting at the beach can be a very exciting venture. The experienced planner has the option to make efficient use of your group's time by interweaving substantive business meetings with entertaining “theme nights,” intriguing excursions, visits to cultural attractions and, of course, lots of simple leisure-time fun. Trips to historic sites, or natural attractions, or championship golf courses, or world-class shopping centers, or magnificent beaches, can be easily integrated with the formalities.



Waterfront location brings the warmth and light of the Florida sunshine right into your meeting rooms. Treasure awaits you at the Tampa Convention Center, a 600,000-sq. ft. meeting and convention facility with unique architectural designs and spectacular waterfront views that provide an ideal setting for your next meeting. The convenience of a vibrant downtown, adjacent first-class accommodations and Florida's largest variety of destination offerings allows you to pan and execute with ease.

The Tampa Convention Center makes it easy to do business with well-appointed, comfortable spaces, Wi-Fi access, an on-site business center, audio/visual services, and in-house receiving and shipping. Also featuring an extensive guest services program, waterfront meeting rooms, an award-winning food purveyor and outdoor dining areas on the water, The Tampa Convention center provides all the keys to a successful event. Two of the Center's most popular amenities are the historic streetcar stop adjacent to the center and the boat docks that create interesting off-site event possibilities. The Center sits in the heart of downtown Tampa, offering a mix of flexible indoor and outdoor space to accommodate meetings and events of all sizes.

The facility features an Exhibit Hall that’s divisible into 75,000, 100,000, 125,000 or 200,000-sq. ft. sections, and can accommodate up to 1,000 10’x10’ booths.  The hall also boasts two show offices and four cafes.   The Center’s 36,000-sq. ft. Ballroom is divisible into four sections, can accommodate up to 3,600 theater-style, 2,080 for banquets, and up to 170 10’x10’ booths.   Additional function space is located in 36 breakout rooms (including 10 waterfront rooms), as well as in over 84,000 sq. ft. of flexible pre-function space.

Tampa’s walkable hotel package offers more than 3,000 rooms across familiar brands with appealing variety in product and price points.  Attendees may access the waterfront convention center along the scenic Riverwalk, by streetcar, water taxi, trolley or other modes of  transportation .  The neighboring Westshore Business District includes an additional 8,000 rooms within close proximity.

For booking contact Alex Kaptzan at (813) 218-3838..



Located in the heart of South Beach, the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) boasts over 1,000,000 sq. ft. of flexible space, including; over 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, a stunning new 60,000-sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, a new 20,000-sq. ft. Junior Ballroom, 84 breakout rooms, and the latest in AV technology and soundproofing.  The dynamic and international City of Miami Beach is a unique, sophisticated, urban paradise, offering world-class business amenities and cosmopolitan facilities in a laid-back tropical atmosphere.   Visitors of the Miami Beach Convention Center reap the benefits when they choose to meet in this city, where combining business with pleasure is as effortless as convening a conference on a waterfront terrace.

Spanning four city blocks of palm tree lined streets and located in the heart of the electrifying and historic South Beach/Art Deco District, the Miami Beach Convention Center is a meeting, convention, tradeshow and consumer show paradise.  White sandy beaches, warm ocean waters, terrific shopping, award winning restaurants, cool cafes and exciting nightlife make Miami Beach a premier choice for your next event.   In addition, with over 2,000 hotel rooms within walking distance of the Miami Beach Convention Center and warm Atlantic Ocean, and only a brief 15 minute drive from Miami International Airport, your group will be sure to enjoy our world famous weather and cosmopolitan lifestyle throughout their entire visit.

For all your business needs please visit the UPS Store Business Center and Self Service Kiosks located on the 3rd Floor Skywalk above Halls A and B.   You can go to the Visit Miami Beach - Visitors Center permanently located in the lobby of Hall C for all your information and sundry needs, including motorized scooter and stroller rentals.   Other amenities include for board room, cyber café, box offices, concierge desks, concession stands, show offices and a uniquely designed skywalk that features a center pod with a buffet & cocktail lounge and an unrestricted view of all four exhibit halls

For booking, contact the sales & marketing team at (786) 276-2607.


Norfolk Waterside Convention Center

The Waterside Convention Center is located in the downtown waterfront area and is attached on three floors to the Waterside Marriott Hotel.   The Marriot Hotel's impressive Downtown Norfolk meeting facility features 60,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space. This is an innovative, state-of-the-art space with high-speed Internet access and on-site audio-visual services. There are 26 full-size event rooms, capable of being broken up to provide a maximum of 36 breakout meeting rooms. The hotel's largest meeting room is the Norfolk Ballroom, with a maximum seating capacity of 2,400.

Located on the picturesque Elizabeth River waterfront, the Waterside Marriott Hotel provides ample lodging for conference attendees in Norfolk. From its convenient connection to the Waterside Convention Center to the nearby Children's Museum of Virginia, Norfolk Naval Station or the Virginia Zoo, this Marriott location is ideal for business or leisure guests.

Conference attendees and leisure travelers alike can enjoy the beautiful seas of Norfolk by simply boarding the American Rover Norfolk Harbor Sailing Cruises. Set Sail with the friendly and experienced crew of this 125 passenger Sailing Schooner. This service offers daytime and sunset harbor cruises under sail on the smooth waters of the Elizabeth River and the Port of Virginia. Help hoist the sails, take a turn at the helm, or just relax as the captain points out the sights of the historic Norfolk Harbor.

Just one town over in Alexandria, visitors can explore the some of Virginia’s rich history at The African-American Heritage Park. This natural habitat was designed to co-exist with the original landscape of the cemetery and preserves the interesting and varied plant life on this site. The park's innovative plan also sustains a wetland area that provides a home for mallards, painted turtles, beavers and crayfish in their natural habitat. The focal point of the park is a sculpture group of bronze trees called "Truths that Rise from the Roots Remembered" by sculptor Jerome Meadows. This formation acknowledges the contributions of African-Americans to the growth of Alexandria.

For booking contact the sales team at (757) 627-4200.

Greater Ft. Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center

Ft. Lauderdale’s conference facilities provide a great venue to host your conference, meeting or event. The location of the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center is irresistible. This Florida convention center is nestled on the Intracoastal Waterway, and surrounded by all that South Florida has to offer. The Fort Lauderdale Convention Center will help you through each step, from event booking and planning to exhibitor setup, ensuring a great conference, trade show, company meeting or event.

The high-tech 600,000-sq. ft. three level meeting and exhibit conference facilities feature state-of-the-art technological services, including teleconference capabilities, high speed wireless internet access, digital phone lines and business grade telephonic services. The conference venue technical service team is able to provide you with the latest in technology to ensure your conference or event runs as smoothly as possible.  With four exhibit halls, two ballrooms and 31 meeting rooms, the venue’s flexile space can be configured into a variety of ways to meet the needs of and group size.

In the near vicinity of the convention center conference attendees have many options of outdoor fun in the sun activities. Plunge into a culture as deep as the ocean which frames the city. Experience a culture characterized by Seminoles and Broadway shows. Tasty jazz and art festivals fill the city streets all year round. And like the horizon here, the list goes on and on and on. Be sure to check out the concert schedules at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in the downtown Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, Hard Rock Live in Hollywood and the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

The Best Boat Club offers travelers a boating experience they will never forget! Rent for the day, or join the club and save year-round! Captain your own boat as you navigate South Florida's waterways and see firsthand why it has been dubbed the "Venice of America." Choose from the largest fleet in Broward to Ski! Fish! Dive! or simply relax the day away.

For booking contact the sales team at (954) 765-5900.



Whether you are planning a tradeshow, convention, corporate meeting or special event, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is an ideal location.

Located in the heart of downtown Long Beach, the Center is within walking distance to first-class accommodations (more than 5,000 rooms citywide, most within the downtown area), shopping, dining, attractions, sightseeing along picturesque bays and 5 1/2 miles of sandy beach.

The Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center is a spectacular multi-purpose complex - one of the few waterfront facilities nationwide, featuring more than 400,000 square feet of flexible exhibit and meeting space, two theaters, an arena and 34 meeting rooms. The glass concourse and lobby offer expansive views of the scenic harbor and downtown skyline. A pedestrian promenade links hotels, shops, restaurants and attractions with the Pacific Ocean.

The beautiful Terrace Theater is a full production theater that seats 3,051. The orchestra seating is shaped in a comfortable continental style. There are spaces for wheelchair seating. The Terrace Lobby contains a full glass front with a view of the Terrace fountain. There is an ocean view on the East side of the facility and a downtown cityscape view from the front of the Theater.

Long Beach is one giant playground located right in the heart of Southern California. Conference attendees have many options for entertainment and leisure in this sunny destination. Here you can experience it all from a deep sea adventure at the Aquarium of the Pacific right on the bay and a voyage in time aboard the historic Queen Mary to lively guided tours through downtown and the colorful East Village. Within an hour’s drive, you can explore the fabulous worlds of Universal Studios Hollywood, Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure and every major Southern California attraction.

Visitors are also encouraged to catch a musical masterpiece at the waterside Long Beach Performing Arts Center, home to the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Long Beach Opera and International City Theater.

For booking contact Pamela Still at (562) 499-7508.


It’s obvious that group travel and leisure travel at beachside venues and resorts is definitely an extremely cost effective and convenient method of getting away from it all and still upholding a sense of professionalism all in one location. There is a lot of controversy in the world now and folks want something to smile and be happy about through it all. Bringing your group to a fun tropical location to hold a meeting could be just that relaxing fix that will put your attendees at ease and gives them a chance to escape from it all but still be productive for working purposes.



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