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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A 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. Jumping Into Adventure In early April, I had one of the most immersive resort experiences of my life. While visiting the Plantation on Crystal River, I joined one of the group adventures offered and took a swim with the manatees. This area, known as "Florida's Nature Coast" is the only place in the U.S. where people can legally swim with manatees and it's only allowed with certified guides. The resort makes this very convenient by having an Adventure Center on site, which also offers scuba diving, scalloping and paddle boarding trips for small groups. During March, Contributing Editor Adrianne Bowen was fully immersed in the activities at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Ga., taking a horseback ride through the his- toric 3,000-acre estate, feeding the animals at the Barnsley Barnyard, and making a leather bracelet. In mid-April, Destination Editor Fran Morley was engaged in competitive sand castle building while staying at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, as part of her visit to South Walton, Fla. These are just a few of the types of immer- sive experiences that Southern resorts offer groups seeking opportunities to bond and truly interact with the property where they gather for meetings and special events. In our annual focus on Southern resorts, ConventionSouth takes a look at at the growing trend toward adventure activities as well as several other trends that are now part of the resort meeting experience. In addition, we highlight the winners of our recent Facebook contest, which involved voting for the South's Trendiest Resorts. And, we provide a Southern Resort Selection Guide to a number of top resorts in the region. Also, tying into the adventure and immersion trend, our special market segment on SMERF meetings shows that these types of groups are increasingly seeking unique experiences and interaction with the destinations where they gather. As you plan your group's next immersive activities, we hope this information will offer some ideas and inspire your own sense of adventure! 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 NIKKI GRAYSON Relationship Manager (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 Adrianne Bowen at Barnsley Gardens

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