Miami Beach –A Rarified Coastal City That Never Disappoints

Meeting and event planners often ask me “What’s the next best place to meet?” While I often respond with the names of several unfamiliar but upcoming destinations, lately I also add: “Yes, but don’t forget the tried-and-true!” Often that is a major U.S. metropolis – like Miami Beach for example. That’s because this man-made island has been transformed into a rarified coastal city that is superlative in every way. And, with a 1.4-million-square-foot convention center that was renovated several years ago, wow, is it ever ready to take on the post-pandemic world. In fact, at this writing, ASPEN IDEAS: CLIMATE 2024 and its partners from all over the world are convening there right now to debate the future of our planet. But, Miami Beach is a great location for any type of group to gather, and here are five reasons why meeting and event planners should consider it too:

5 Reasons To Meet in Miami Beach

  1. A Very Versatile Convention Center: With GBAC STAR accreditation and LEED Silver Certification, the center was renovated several years ago and now offers some surprising new stats like four exhibit halls with 500,000 square feet of configurable and contiguous space; a new 100,000-square-foot lobby on the west side of the building for easy registration; two magnificent ballrooms; four junior ballrooms; 84 meeting rooms and plenty of pre-function space, among other highlights and amenities. There is also the new Rum Room & Venu for indoor and outdoor group gatherings, and two parks are right nearby. Add to that the fact that a Grand Hyatt is now under construction as the designated headquarters hotel to the convention center when it opens in 2016. So, right now there’s excitement in the air at every turn in Miami Beach, although that’s always been the case – just a little more so now.

  2. The General Spin on Things: There’s so much happening around Miami Beach, that no one has a chance to ever get bored. For instance, there’s easy access to galleries, cultural sites, businesses, retail shops, museums, cafes, restaurants – anything and everything it seems. And, in this age of diversity, the city’s general populace offers an interesting mix of ethnic groups, speaking more than 60 languages and influencing a lot of fun and excitement in the way of entertainment, shopping, and cuisine.  And, while there are plenty of award-winning tennis and golf options, water sports pretty much head the list in popularity and include the familiar activities of parasailing and jet-skiing, newbie activities like wakeboarding and wave-running, and my favorite standbys like beachcombing and sunbathing.

  3. A Climate That’s Sure to Please: Sealing the deal is Miami Beach’s subtropical climate with an annual average daily temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius). Meeting- and convention-goers delight in the year-round sunshine that’s just right for after-hours exploring, or tacking on a few extra days of vacation time after a corporate conference or association convention.

  4. Getting there and around: Getting to Miami Beach is a breeze – you might even say an ocean breeze – as the Miami International Airport is only 12 miles away from downtown Miami Beach has the highest percentage of international visitors in the world. New flight routes are constantly being added too – airlines like Spirit which recently launched there in 2021 and now has service to 31 cities. Other airlines like Frontier, Air Canada, Lufthansa, Alaska, and Americans have added service routes as well. In addition to an MTA system, other sources of transportation include Brightline, said to be America’s first major private intercity passenger railroad in more than a century, with rail service between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach expanding.

  5. Big Boats: Not to be forgotten is the fact that Port Miami is the “Cruise Capital of the World™.” With more than 20 cruise brands and more than 50 ships, Miami continues to be the departure destination of choice for boating to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, and other exciting destinations. According to cruiseline.com, 11 terminals cater to everything from major cruise lines to small vessels. Some of the big cruise lines include big names such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Virgin Voyages, Disney, and Celebrity, among others.

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