SEP 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 ┬▓ S E P T E M B E R 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. Sites That Surpass Expectations Whenever I get ready to travel to a new place, I like to check out information and photos of the property on websites and in printed materials. It helps build the anticipa- tion for my trip and removes the stress of not knowing the essential details about the destination to which I am headed. Usually, this process makes a hotel or event space seem especially enticing and sometimes even intriguing. Of course, the promotional materials are designed to put the best light on a location, but more often than not, the site lives up to my expectations. And then there are those occasions when even the best photos can't do justice to a venue; you really have to see it and experience it for yourself. The properties presented in this issue's feature on the South's grandest venues all have aspects that are certain to surpass the highest expectations of meeting participants, whether those aspects are magnificent architecture, glamorous interiors, iconic design, stunning views, luxurious amenities or all of the above. Additionally, these meeting and event sites all offer curated experiences that are unique to the destination. Ecotourism experiences also set destinations apart, offering ways for groups to get outside and explore the natural environment of an area while also creating opportunities for meeting participants and retreat groups to bond through outdoor team building activities. Our new special feature on ecotourism provides a look at the way some destinations are helping groups appreciate and engage with the environment. Technological sophistication is another characteristic helping many large venues stand out. Our feature on trade shows and expo halls explores the ways that some facilities are specially equipped to transform traditional trade shows into customized experiences where interactive displays and product demonstrations help engage the attendees. Additionally, our special market segment discusses how a growing number of destinations around the South are investing in new infrastructure and adapting existing venues to help their area become known as a sports events and tournament destination. I hope you will be inspired by these Southern venues that often surpass expectations. perspective putting it in Senior Editor ConventionSouth 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 Beth Kujawski 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

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