OCT 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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²ConventionSouth ² O C T O 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. Investments In The Future While working on this issue, which features meeting industry trends as well as a look at new and renovated properties in the South, I have noticed a consistent sentiment from destination profes- sionals who provided input to our articles. In discussions about the many reasons for building or renovating properties that host meetings and events, they cite the need to accommodate growing demand or to refresh the look of a property. These reasons are good indications that the meetings industry is strong, but they are somewhat predictable. What's more interesting are the remarks from destination managers realizing that they need to be more creative about designing venues in a way that provides unique experiences for meeting goers. They recognize that other destinations and meeting sites are stepping up their game and have determined that upgrading technology and adapting to new trends is necessary in order to remain competitive. As a result, destinations are reaching out to architects, interior designers, artists and chefs as never before to develop proper- ties that attract, entertain and engage meeting-goers. They are paying attention to the elements that meeting planners are demanding and investing in infrastructure, design elements and pro- gramming to meet and surpass those demands. These efforts not only attract new groups but keep repeat groups loyal to a property or community, as one director of sales and marketing related, pointing out that "groups appreciate that we are investing in our product to make sure they have the best experience possible." These industry investments are significant, but so are the investments of time and money made by meeting planners and meeting participants year after year. Whether required to attend training and educational sessions or deciding to participate in social, non-profit or fundraising events, or- ganizations and meeting participants are traveling, staying in hotels, dining, shopping and explor- ing the areas where they gather for various purposes. When added together, these investments make a big contribution to the overall economy, hav- ing a major impact on such sectors as construction, travel, tourism, hospitality, technology and services, just to mention a few of the most noticeable. In a larger sense, investments made by des- tinations and by meeting groups are truly investments in the future; they enhance local economic growth by bringing meeting business to town and they enhance educational and social progress by providing inspiring places for people to gather, exchange ideas, gain motivation and develop new products, programs and processes. One additional aspect of investing – and reinvesting -- that comes to mind as we go to print is the need for communities to rebuild, refresh and renew following extreme weather conditions. Fortunately, we are hearing that many destinations in North and South Carolina have weathered the wrath of Hurricane Florence without significant setbacks, but our thoughts and best wishes are with the people throughout this area as they go through what we hope is a speedy recovery process. 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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