ConventionSouth

JUN 2012

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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Home Planning Directory SMERF PLANNING GUIDE MILITARY TREND: More and more soldiers are return- ing home these days and military reunions are on the rise as they gather to honor their service, reconnect with each other and remember those they lost. Non- military cities like Wilmington, N.C., and military cities like Norfolk, Va. (both are home of the USS battle- ships) are hot reunion spots. be used for spectacular special events and these unique spaces are not always found in many freestanding venues. And, you can cap- italize on the ambience of various locations throughout the hotel to create diversity. In order to transform the grounds into a "sparkling oasis," we hung LED votive can- dles in the trees of the courtyard surrounding the hotel to create a beautiful light garden. Adding lounge furniture, incredible food and live entertainment transforms the space into a breathtaking outdoor oasis. Or, we have used the urban courtyard at the hotel with its sizzling fire pit surrounded by lush foliage as a backdrop to create out-of- the-ordinary functions such as an outdoor after dinner whiskey and cigar lounge or a great spot for a barbecue. Guests have also assembled on the beauti- ful outdoor terrace at the spa for photographs with the picturesque Lookout Mountain in the background. There is also the opportunity to "buy out" the hotel's restaurant, lounge or other public area to create a semi-private event with in- stant pizzazz, atmosphere and energy—much of which is created by the hotel guests. Want to host more than just a reception or banquet? How about creating a fun game show night with games tailored to fit your group? Such as a "Family Fued" type of com- petition or a "Jeopardy" trivia contest. For this, you use a space that's typically geared for a business function such as an amphithe- atre with a large screen projection. If using a ballroom for an event, think about doing things a little different. Use drap- ing to magically change the entrance of the ballroom to create a dramatic entrance, rather than just focusing on decorating the room it- self. Or, use draping to turn a meeting room into a romantic spot for a wedding. Guests can extend their visit and take ad- vantage of the hotel's "extras" such as live entertainment in the lounge or poolside. This Planner Resources Meeting Site Showcase 18 ConventionSouth JUNE 2012 www.con v entionsouth.com

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