MAY 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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Page 14 of 85

M A Y 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 13 SMERF MEETINGS Especially in the case of groups whose members fly to their destinations, onsite events can ease transportation logistics. The Wisp Resort, one of the properties located in Garrett County, finds that on-property activities present a huge draw for the groups that visit. "It's a huge draw to be able to do everything onsite at one location," said Lisa Ratliff, director of sales for Wisp Resort. "Participants can get outside, disconnect from the outside world, and reconnect with each other." "We find that meeting planners are trending away from sitting at a table for eight hours a day," she said. "Instead, they are seeking opportunities to interact with the attendees. Being out in the woods really offers groups a chance to relax and connect with each other." Wisp has established coffee-break areas that provide refreshments to guests taking part in on- site activities such as hikes. Additionally, Ratliff said, the resort has adjusted its menus to reflect a trend toward healthier offerings. That kind of flexibility is vital for these kinds of group events. Chere Brooks, learning events manager for Habitat for Humanity International, assembles a global confer- ence each year for more than 2,600 attendees from 44 different countries. The event includes about 40,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, a huge general session and 34 concurrent learning sessions. "One of our biggest challenges is accommodat- ing dietary restrictions and making sure all of our cultures are getting the food they are accustomed to having," Brooks said. "Being flexible with menus and dietary restrictions, and being knowl- edgeable about the available options, helps us ► Habitat for Humanity Inter- national Global Conference MEET IN THE CENTER OF IT ALL. Greensboro offers the perfect combination of small town charm and big city appeal. See what's new in Greensboro! You will be surprised by all it has to offer.

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