Black Meetings and Tourism

Nov/Dec 2010

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CCONVENTION BY Doswell Ingram serious business nothing beats the trusty convention center. For groups both large and small convention centers offer an unprecedented amount of flexibility that hotels simply can- not competewith.Enormous exhibit halls,unparalleledtech- nology, massive ballrooms, quiet breakout and meeting rooms, convenient locations, and professional staff make planning at a convention center the first choice for many. Even the food service has improved as many centers utilize professional onsite catering companies and world famous chefs to spice up themenu of their events. What follows is a look at some of the best convention cen- M ters around.When you are looking to book your next big event, look no further than these amazing facilities. CLEVELAND CONVENTION CENTER This Cleveland Convention Center is conveniently locat- ed in the heart of downtown Cleveland, surrounded by first class hotels and restaurants and within walking distance of several entertainment and sightseeing venues. It is only fif- teenminutes fromClevelandHopkins InternationalAirport. eeting planners are faced with many choices when it comes hosting their event, from super luxurious hotels to exotic venues.But for doing With 21meeting rooms accommodating groups from10 to 10,000—including a grand ballroomthat can accommodate 4,000 guests (1,600 for a formal dinner), this venue is popular for fundraisers, conventions, conferences,weddings,and exhi- bitions.TheConventionCenterComplex offers over 375,000 sq. ft. of usable exhibition space which can be arranged to accommodate over 1,500 individual exhibits. The performing arts area of the Convention Center was constructed in the grand opera tradition and features a spa- cious 21,780-sq. ft. registration lobby,a 10,000-seat auditorium, the 3,000-seat Cleveland Music Hall and 600-seat Little Theater.The facilitymaintains 300 indoor Convention Center parking spaces.Additional parking is within a short walking distance andthe facility iswell-servedbypublic transportation. The Cleveland Convention Center provides accommoda- tions for special needs guests, including elevators, accessible seating and restrooms, and a map for those who are visually impaired. Formore information call (216) 348-2211. BIRMINGHAM/JEFFERSON CONVENTION COMPLEX In the heart of thriving, fun-filled Birmingham is the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Here you will find everything you need for whatever your event requires: an array of top-notch facilities, 770 adjoining guest rooms, a helpful event staff and a host of special- ized services. A whopping 220,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space is just the beginning. One of the most compelling features of the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex is that it has all the right components—in one complex.The centrally located,modern facility includes: 220,00 sq. ft. of flexible space in the Exhibition Hall; 100,000 sq. ft. in 74 meeting rooms; the Medical Forum, a conference facility unlike any other in the country that’s equipped with state-of-the-art communications technology; a 19,000-seat Arena; a 3,000-seat Concert Black Meetings & Tourism November/December 2010: 21 ENTER REVIEW

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