Small Market Meetings

NOV 2016

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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Page 9 of 35 www.sma ll mar k etmeet i Conference Report 10 T he Small Market Meetings host city always puts on a show for convention delegates. That was true at previous conferences in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Mesa, Arizona; and Little Rock, Arkansas, to name a few. Huntsville, Alabama, was no dif- ferent. On the first evening of the conference, del- egates enjoyed dinner at the amazing U.S. Space and Rocket Center, sharing space with a massive Saturn V rocket inside the museum hall, along with vast amounts of space mem- orabilia. German, Mexican and Italian dinner buffets filled everyone up, yet many people still found time to hit the dance floor. "I thought it was wonderful," said Jackie Blue from the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. "I had never been here before, and it was great to tour the museum, and the food was fantastic; so it was a lot of fun." "Being from New Mexico, we have quite a history with the space program, too," said Julie Hughes of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. "What you don't think about is the size of everything, all the space rockets and hardware. For me, it was also great to hang out and meet new people. I liked the different nationalities of food." Day two brought a choice of tours in Huntsville, including a historic home tour near downtown, a visit to two craft breweries and a venue at a renovated former high school, and for some, a return to the Rocket Center. That evening, everyone enjoyed food and musical variety at the Lumberyard. A By Dan Dickson used. The breakout of all the different venues inside is terrific. This proves tonight that any- body could have an event here." Sherry Rushing of the Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau in Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, agreed: "It's an awesome venue. I think meeting planners will be absolutely intrigued to bring their groups here for a special event. I love it." "Look! I'm an astronaut!" A t t e n d e e s E n j o y R o c k e t C i t y Attendees Enjoy Rocket City October 2-4, 2016 O b 2 4 2016 O b 2 4 201 6 thriving lumberyard a century ago, the prop- erty has been transformed into restaurants, bars, stages, patios and other cool entertain- ment spaces. "This is an absolutely awesome event space, and I would love to move it to our area," said Beverly Stewart of the Pinehurst-Southern Pines-Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau in North Carolina. "It's a wonderful use of a facility that probably wasn't being

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