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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J U L Y 2 0 1 6 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 15 in the industry is compliance, and it's getting more prevalent and important that planners and hoteliers/suppliers are cognizant of what these rules and regulations are. That's why we held this course, for not only planners but also our hoteliers," she said. "We have all the physical attributes plus we have our hospitality team that is cognizant of all the regulations and it's a really good match." Proximity To Medical Facilities Location is also an important part of where medical meetings are held. Wilmington, N.C., is a popular destination for meetings within the life-sciences industry due to the research and development programs and companies in the region. These companies range from environmental consulting services and medical and diagnostic laboratories to pharmaceutical preparation manufacturing and biological product manufacturing. The city was also selected as one of the core cities for a collaborative two-year project with InnovateNC that will further ongoing innovative developments in the marine and biotechnology sector in the coming years. "The Wilmington area is rich with dozens of large companies and small entrepreneurial ventures in the local clinical research industry cluster, with great potential for expanding industrial biotech commercial opportunities throughout the region, and combining marine biotech strengths with healthcare, food and energy benefits," said Randall Johnson, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center Southeastern Office. BioMarine, an international investment platform dedicated to marine bio resources, selected Wilmington for its 2015 convention, the first time the event was held in the United States since the convention began in 2008. Each year, the event targets CEOs and investors from around the globe. Last year, attendees from more than 17 countries attended. "The opportunity to reach a wide, international audience and showcase Wilmington's marine biotech assets was a major coup for the area and North Carolina as a whole," said Deb Mosca, CEO for Marine Bio-Technologies Center of Innovation. Moving further south, Miami Beach is growing its medical meeting options thanks to Mount Sinai Medical Center, which ► The Complete Package For Medical Meetings The Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) in Orlando, Fla., is no stranger to medical meetings. In fact, according to Gwen Wilson, public relations manager for the OCCC, Orlando is the "complete package" for medical meetings when combined with the Orlando International Airport, hotels and area attractions. The center is only 15 minutes from the airport and has a hotel package of more than 10,700 rooms in the Convention Center District, she said. The center also offers a vast number of meeting rooms, with 141 in the West Building alone. Throughout the years, numerous medical associations and companies have held their meetings at the OCCC, including the American Society of Hematology, American Heart Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Oncology Nursing Society and more, said Wilson. She mentioned that services at the center, such as a complimentary shuttle service known as the Center Line Circulator, are really what make it shine for medical meetings. "During the American Association of Osteopathic Surgeons, the OCCC implemented the Center Line Circulator," she said. "The objective of the circulator program was to enhance the attendee experience and improve mobility within the OCCC Campus and Convention Center District at no expense to the guests. Connectivity of the OCCC campus itself will become seamless after improvements and additions to the above-ground bridge system are completed." The OCCC currently links with neighboring hotels via four pedestrian bridges. A fifth pedestrian bridge, spanning International Drive between the West Concourse's third-level lobby and the sidewalk in front of the Hyatt Regency Orlando, will open in early 2017. Noted trends in medical meetings so far this year include increased exhibit space rentals and strong attendance, Wilson said. "Events are using more technology today to communicate with their attendees and buyers," she added. n MEDICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL MEETINGS OCCC