SEP 2014

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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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 4 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 33 ➤ "We recommend double setting a larger meeting room so that both meeting and meal can be conducted in the same space, utilizing drapery, greenery and props to divide the room into more intimate areas," says Mary Hutchcraft, director of sales and marketing for the B Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. That way, she explains. "the space is 'full' even though the size of the group is small. We also recommend including teambuilding activities during breaks in a dedicated area of the room so that the group is utilizing the whole space throughout the day." ➤ Provide an atmosphere where attendees are free to move around and take a break in order to keep attendees from getting antsy, suggests Kathryn McAllister, banquet manager for the Windward Passage Hotel in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. "Provide water for all tables, or water stations in the room, provide wireless Internet access, as well as pens and pads. Offer bathroom and refreshment breaks—at least coffee and tea service for morning sessions and basic refreshments in the mid-afternoon. Give plenty of time for lunch and establish a definite ending time." ➤ Small groups are more mobile, says Callie Summerlin, the director of sales for the Port Arthur (Texas) CVB, noting that groups can spice up their agenda with unique activities such as dining expe- riences and memo- rable tours. She sug- gests places such as Port Arthur's restau- rants where groups can "get their hands dirty while eating succulent, spicy crawfish" or dining along the riverfront then strolling through a garden while viewing thousands of nesting birds. ➤ I D E A S F O R S M A L L G R O U P S Don't Stick To The Same Spot, #SightSee Don't Go From Room-2-Room, #ChopChop Don't Control Time, #BeFree

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