Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2012

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the Needs of Your Meeting or board meeting. Back in the day, organizing those occasions was more of a Meeting It's time to decide which destination and venue to book for your next event, conference, convention routine task - make some phone calls, prepare an agenda, assemble the minutes, reports and documents and put them all in a neat little binder. That was then, this is now. TALLAHASSEE "Where It All Comes Together Beauti- fully. Tallahassee's signature phrase is, " After investigating, it turns out the slogan is more than fitting Aerial view Tallahassee with flag flying in fore- ground on top of capitol building. By DARLENE DONLOE Meetings have taken on a life of their own. A lot more details are involved in making them a success. Bells and whis- tles aside, what meeting planners need to be armed with is information, information and more information. This column aids meeting planners in their decision-making process by providing vital information on specific destinations. Highlighted in this column are Tallahassee, Florida; Philadelphia, PA; Indianapolis, IN and Reno,Nevada. beaches, hunting adventures and more. LETS MEET Don't want a status quo meeting at a Tallahassee, which has an African- American population of 86,610 or 31% of the populace, offers everything from world-class nature-based experiences and rich history and heritage sites, to art and film festivals and unique shopping and dining. Highlights include a wildlife habitat, museums of history, plantations, fishing, 18 status quo venue? Choose froma number of venues for groups of 10-1,200 people. Some choices include: The Florida State University Conference Center with 47,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meeting space. For the more traditional route, check out conference hotels like Tallahassee's newest boutique property, Hotel Duval.The venue has eight meeting rooms including a roof top ballroomover- looking downtown.Other venues include: Mission San Luis, Southwood House and Cottages, Monroe Street Conference Center,GoodwoodMuseumandGardens and more. The Turnbull Conference Center has 14 meeting rooms, a large room capacity of 375, total exhibit space of 3,100 sq. ft. and room for 20 booths. There are about 1,200 hotel rooms near- by. There is also the Tallahassee-Leon CountyCivicCenter,which has 54,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a spacious exhibition hall (35,000 sq. ft.) and versatile arena (18,000 sq. ft.). There are six meeting rooms, one of which can accommodate up to 1,000 via theater style or can be portioned into three separate spaces. WHERETO STAY There are 6,000 sleeping rooms in more than 58 hotels andmotels.Whether it's a blend of Southern-style inns, rustic campsites, family-owned economy lodges or corporate hotels, it can be found in Tallahassee where every need and budget can be met. "I think one of the biggest draws to Tallahassee is our location in the south east, " says Janet Roach,CGMP Meetings & Conventions director forVisit Tallahassee. "We really speak to niche markets. Whatever the group is looking for we will customize. We accommodate a lot of groups.We work with associate groups, corporate groups, social and religious. There is no shortage of festivals in the " Florida capital. Plan it right and you can include any one of the following into your next meeting: the Downtown Getdown (Seasonal), First Friday festivals at Railroad Square, Greek Food Festival, Red Hills Horse Trials, Seven Days of Opening Nights, Southern Shakespeare Festival, Springtime Tallahassee, Tallahassee Film Festival, Tallahassee Wine and Food Festival or theWinter Festival. Need to figure out what to do and where to go? Here are some thoughts: Mission San Luis, Tallahassee Museum, Historic Capitol and New Capitol, Museum of Florida History, Mary Brogan Museum of Art and History, Challenger Center,Wakulla Springs, FSU Flying High Circus, Tallahassee Automobile Museum, Bradleys 1927 Country Store and Canopy Roads,Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Governors Mansion and the John G.Riley Center ofAfrican History and Culture. Black Meetings & Tourism May/June 2012:

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