ALABAMA ARKANSAS FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY LOUISIANA MISSISSIPPI NORTH CAROLINA OKLAHOMA SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE TEXAS VIRGINIA WEST VIRGINIA
Meeting Site Showcase
INSIDER'S GUIDE By Adrianne Bowen
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in Macon is the country's largest state sports museum & offers 14,000 square feet of high-energy exhibit space.
Middle Georgia Including Augusta, Macon & Columbus
Georgia's Lake Country beckons with scenic lakes, rivers, forests and other natural wonders, and it also happens to teem with meeting options in the cities of Augusta, Macon and Columbus. "Augusta's rich history is what makes it unique,
but the fact visitors can experience this as a group makes it fun for a meeting planner," said Peggy Seigler, vice president of sales and marketing of the Augusta Convention and Visitor Bureau (CVB). "It could be boarding your group on the Petersburg boat for a tour along the Augusta Canal before din- ner in a historic cotton mill, or maybe a cocktail reception in the garden of the Boyhood Home of President Wilson, or a private tour of the James Brown Exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History lead by one of his daughters."
Along with the historic charm of the city, Au- gusta's biggest draw for meetings in 2012 is the grand opening of the New Trade, Exhibit, and Event (TEE) Center, a 38,000-square-foot facility, slated to open late in the year. "The center will be attached to 49,000 square feet of existing meeting space and the 372-room Augusta Marriott at the
42 ConventionSouth FEBRUA RY 2012
Convention Center," Seigler explained. The city of Columbus is utilizing its unique mix of natural resources intermingled with its urban setting by creating a new recreation project, accord- ing to Peter Bowden, president/CEO of the Colum- bus CVB. "Within the next 18 to 20 months, Columbus will complete the longest urban whitewa- ter course in the world, which will change the makeup of the Uptown area and region, and bring a new audience—from kayakers to meetings and conventions—that support the whitewater industry." Other exciting news for meetings held in Columbus is the new Meeting District Plan. "We've identified four distinct meeting districts— Northlake, Midtown, Uptown and Victory—to include primary meeting facilities, hotels that sup- port these meeting sites, plus amenities such as retail, restaurants, entertainment, etc., so that we can achieve any planner's need," Bowden said. "We're not forcing a group into a space that's too big, small and so forth. The meeting planner has options, lots of options, and couple that with the CVB's dedication to customer service and the one-stop shop approach to meetings, and events will always lead to success."
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