JUL 2018

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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ J U L Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 4 ConventionSouth (ISSN 1074-0627) is published monthly by Covey Communications Corp., P.O. Box 2267, Gulf Shores, AL 36547. It is mailed under Standard mail rates. POSTMASTER: CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED TO ConventionSouth Subscription Office, PO Box 16868 North Hollywood, CA 91615. Editorial and advertising offices are located at 2001 West First St., Gulf Shores, AL 36542. Editorial ideas, photographs and content suggestions are welcomed; however, the publisher and editorial team retains the right to edit all content in print and online. Photos are typically obtained from direct sources and credits are given at the discretion of the editorial team. Copyright 2018 by Covey Communications Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without express written permission of the publisher or editor is strictly forbidden. Small Markets Are Thriving Centers Of Activity I remember when small and mid-size communities seemed to have lost their centers. The older, downtown areas often had abandoned storefronts and there wasn't a great deal of activity going on. Even those parts of town where people worked during the day tended to be deserted at night and on the weekends. Many towns weren't even making good use of their waterfront areas. Fortunately, lots of small and mid-sized cities have seen their downtowns make a comeback. In many cases, they are turning into thriving centers of activity where people both live and work. Historic structures are being renewed and transformed, green spaces are being created in the city center, waterfront areas are being redeveloped and there are lots of dining, entertain- ment and recreational activities close at hand. This is especially true in the South, where small and mid- size destinations are becoming increasingly popular spots to host meetings and events. From attractive pricing to unique attractions to the welcoming atmosphere that these des- tinations provide, they offer a number of advantages to groups, especially those seeking such elements as walkable downtowns and offbeat experiences. In our feature on small markets, Contributing Editor Selena Chavis takes a look at the elements that make these places so appealing for meetings and other events. Additionally, we also offer a closer look at a number of the South's small and mid-market destinations. The South's big cities are also stepping up their game, so this year's look at Hot Spots to hold winter events focuses on 10 large metropolitan areas of the South, where groups can expect to find warm weather even as other parts of the country deal with ice and snow. Thanks to the participation of our Facebook friends who voted for their favorite meeting sites within these cities, we have identified some of the "Hottest of the Hot" places to gather next winter. So, here's to getting those winter meeting plans made and then enjoying the rest of summer! perspective putting it in Senior Editor Convention South EXECUTIVE OFFICES 2001 West First Street Gulf Shores, AL 36542 MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 2267 Gulf Shores, AL 36547 TELEPHONE (251) 968-5300 (800) 968-0712 E-MAIL FAX (251) 968-2033 WEBSITE PUBLISHER J. Talty O'Connor ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Ashleigh Osborne (251) 968-5313 RELATIONSHIP MANAGER Nikki Grayson (251) 968-7023 SENIOR EDITOR Marcia Bradford DESTINATION EDITORS D. Fran Morley T. Wayne Waters CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Adrianne Bowen Selena Chavis Shannon Rasmussen DESIGN SERVICES MANAGER Kelly Williams MANAGER, TRAFFIC Dorothy P. Miller AND PROMOTIONS CIRCULATION MANAGER Ashley Strickland FINANCE MANAGER Mandi Morrison EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Jenny Anderson, CMP National Association of College & University Business Officers David Bruce, MMP, HTS CMP Meeting Services Jeff Hurt Velvet Chainsaw Consulting Robert Mandelbaum PKF Consulting Meg Slentz, CMP Meetings To Order Sue Walton May & Williams Ltd. James Hobbs Meeting Expectations Loriann White, CMM, CMP American Express Meetings & Events Joggers on the Riverwalk at Wilmington, N.C.'s Port City Marina, part of the city's revived River District.

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