convention to Miami Beach wooed with meeting-planners in wings
tourism officials are gearing up to play host to the most prestigious
convention in the meeting-planning industry.
the same time, Miami Beach officials are trying to seal a deal for
a Microsoft convention that would bring 10,000 people into the area
hand is the Professional Convention Management Association, which
will hold its 45th annual convention here Jan. 12-15.
group, known as PCMA, will bring together nearly 4,000 convention
and meeting planners representing most major national associations,
said Mavie McHale, vice president of convention sales for the Greater
Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
immediate economic boost of playing host to the meeting is put at
$2.8 million, she said, and it could generate hundreds of millions
in future convention business here.
people have influence on the decision of where future business will
go," Ms. McHale said. "From a meetings-and-convention perspective
it's the most important audience we can ask to have."
convention planner, she said, selects the city, convention center
and hotel to host a meeting. A planner can authorize hotel packages
and prepare a contract.
was last in Miami in 1965. Its most recent meeting was in San Francisco.
association, Ms. McHale said, began with primarily meeting planners
in the medical industry. But the group, which will soon move its headquarters
from Birmingham to Chicago, has been expanded to encompass almost
all industries and disciplines, she said.
session will be at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Headquarters
hotels include the Loews Miami Beach, the Fontainebleau Hilton and
the Wyndham Miami Beach.
convention, Ms. McHale said, will open with a reception at Bayside
important for us to show that there are many kinds of venues to enjoy
in Miami," she said.
officials rate the meeting as important as the annual Pow Wow for
travel planners that was held here last year. Pow Wow, which attracted
more than 3,000 delegates and was rated as having an economic wallop
of $7 million, is touted by industry insiders as the world's most
prestigious tour and trade convention. Bureau officials will contend
to be Pow Wow's host again in 2006.
Beach also is bidding to play host to Microsoft's international meeting
in July 2001, said Michael Aller, Miami Beach tourism director.
said meeting planners for the company were in town last week to evaluate
facilities and hotels. Among them was former Miami Beach resident
Spero Kafarakis, now senior director of events for Microsoft.
convention contract has not been signed yet," Mr. Aller said.
Microsoft meeting is expected to bring its host city $40 million in
business and more than 10,000 delegates, he said.
executives, Mr. Aller said, will pick the convention's venue soon.
would come right in the heat of our summer season," he said.
"We are moving forward with our program of work to continue to
make Miami and Miami Beach a year-round destination."