APR 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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MARKET SEGMENT REPORT: MEDICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL MEETINGS ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ A P R I L 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 14 CORPORATE MEETINGS every element accessible creates an efficient workspace. At GameStop's annual Field Leadership Meeting (FLM), "success revolves around agenda and content management. The venue flow plays a huge role in our success, and we often look for venues that can enhance our agenda flow for this meeting," she said. Picking The Right Venue Picking the right venue for just the right mix of business and pleasure can definitely help create an ideal atmosphere. "Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa in Florence, Ala., is an excellent location for corporate meetings," said Selena Miller, director of sales and marketing for the hotel. "The hotel boasts 196 sleeping rooms all under one roof. All sleeping rooms have views of Wilson Dam and the Tennessee River, as well as the incredible pool. All rooms have private balconies for guests to truly relax and unwind after a long day of meetings. The conference center has more than 30,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate most any size meeting. With two on-site restaurants and the additional culinary team in the conference center, attendees will have a variety of menu options for any type of event." When it's time to wind down from a corporate meeting, attendees simply want to relax and enjoy themselves, an easy feat at the Marriott Shoals. "Alabama's only rotating restaurant, 360 Grille, is a wonderful location for a private reception or to simply dine and see beautiful views of the Tennessee River and the entire area," said Miller. "The property also has an incredible spa with both men and women's sides, featuring whirlpools, steam rooms and quiet treatment rooms to truly enjoy your massage or facial. There is also a lovely salon for mani/pedis as well as professional hair stylists." In addition, the area of Muscle Shoals has an important musical history and was known as The Hit Recording Capital of the World with artists including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin recording their famous tracks at studios around town. And the 2013 film "Muscle Shoals" has revived musical interest in the region. "Studios have been refurbished and are making a tremendous comeback with artists such as Jason Isbell, The Black Keys, Gregg Allman and so many more returning and bringing new sounds from the studios," Miller said. "There is live music every night in the hotel at Swampers Bar & Grille." Sightseeing adventures can be a great way to help attendees let off some steam and have fun in a social setting after a day of corporate meetings. "Our events team is well established at coordinating music tours of the studios, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and W.C. Handy Birthplace. There are also historical tours such as Helen Keller Birthplace, The Rosenbaum House which is a Frank Lloyd Wright design, The Florence Indian Mound and Museum, and much more," Miller said. "The events team also works with groups to have dinners and receptions at off-site venues. And to make it as easy as possible, Marriott Shoals coordinates everything so the group only has one master bill, making it so much easier." Making sure attendees are engaged, especially when it comes to corporate meetings, can be a challenge, according to Vogel, but it's also a way to get creative and produce a great event while saving money. "Sometimes when attendees are forced to attend, the level of engagement is lacking," Vogel said. "We are always looking for new and innovative ways to ensure our attendees have an exciting experience year after year. For instance, providing attendees dinner on your own gift cards – that we also get sponsored – gives them an opportunity to get out on the town with their colleagues, while also cutting the cost of $120 for a ballroom dinner down to $30 a person. It's a way we get them engaged with the city we're in, engaged with each other, engaged with our sponsor of the gift card and a way to help cut costs by over $1.2 million. It's a win-win!" n Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa Photos courtesy of Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa Swampers Bar & Grille at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa

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