Welcome to Cvent’s Miami event planning guide – a Miami city guide for event and meeting planners. Miami combines unparalleled culture, exuberant nightlife and Miami event venues, set against a backdrop of beautiful weather. The city has now extended well past its original limits, with something new and exciting always on the horizon. From Ocean Drive to the Tamiami Trail, event spaces offer scintillating options for meeting planners.
New projects are de rigueur, and nowhere else is the skyrocketing growth of Miami more apparent than in the abundance of hotel properties dispersed throughout the city. From beachfront to urban retreat, the variety of hotels satisfy a wide range of interests and price points for Miami event planning.
Additionally, Miami continues to sprout numerous oceanfront resorts and world-class hotel high-rises. Named by Forbes as the most anticipated hotel opening of 2012 and recipient of the 2012 AAA Five-Diamond award, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort offers 243 rooms and 11,200 square feet of meeting space. Other recent hotel openings in Miami include the SLS Hotel at South Beach with 142 rooms; and the James Royal Palm on South Beach with 179 rooms, 211 studios and suites, and over 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Other popular Miami hotels for meetings include the the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, which in 2011 completed a major $50 million renovation that refreshed all its 790 guest rooms, added an aquarium wall to its lobby and added two dining options. Also at the end of 2011, Starwood Hotels and Resorts opened the 160-room Aloft Hotel in Miami's Mary Brickell Village, with 3,000 square feet of meeting space. The 405-room Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center opened in 2010 with 20,000 square feet of IACC-approved executive meeting space and a 4,000-square-foot ballroom. The high-tech JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Miami opened with 313 rooms in October of 2010. Meanwhile, other properties have undergone multi-million-dollar renovations, including the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach, downtown's Four Seasons Hotel, and the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.
Miami meeting planning is exciting in that it gives planners an array of Miami event venues that are as diverse as the city itself. With three major convention centers in the area - Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Convention Center and Miami Airport Convention Center - Miami can fulfill the needs of a broad spectrum of conferences. The Miami Beach Convention Center offers over one million square feet of meeting space on prime real estate near the spectacular sands of Miami Beach and within walking distance to sizzling South Beach. Designed with an Art Deco motif, the space complements the unique architectural allure of the surrounding area. The Miami Convention Center is centrally located in the downtown area adjacent to the financial district and overlooking the Miami River. Just minutes away from Miami International Airport and Port of Miami, this versatile space can be configured to accommodate from 20 to 5,000 people. The Miami Convention Center's 5,000-seat James L. Knight auditorium offers superior sound and lighting systems. Following a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) reopened in 2012 with 172,000 square feet of meeting space, making it the second-largest convention facility. Included are 75,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 29,000-square-foot social function ballroom.
In addition to these convention venues, the new 37,000-seat Miami Marlins ballpark features a retractable roof and a natural grass playing field and is the most sustainable stadium in Major League Baseball. Blending history and a modern design, the ballpark can host a variety of events and boasts award-winning catering, on-site parking and extras like customized Marlin souvenirs and corporate batting practice sessions.
Special event venues offer even more options for Miami event planning professionals. The Miami Metro Zoo has numerous colorful and unique venues for groups ranging in size from 20 to 100. For larger accommodations, seating for up to 2,600 is available at the Jackie Gleason Theater, which serves as home to the Miami City Ballet and the Miami Beach Broadway Series, among several other year-round comedy, concert and television productions. Cruises, resorts, gardens, museums - Miami is bursting with sites available to host guests with a distinctive Miami flair. Opened in 2011, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is a $51-million world-class, multi-disciplinary performing arts center. From the main stage to various theaters, there are numerous areas for group rentals.
With an ideal climate and a diverse population representative of a truly multi-cultural city, it is no wonder that Miami is a popular destination in the U.S. for international travelers. There are many one-of-a-kind attractions that convey the city's tropical flavor including Jungle Island, Monkey Jungle, Island Queen Cruises and Coral Castle. Miami also offers several other notable attractions such as the Miami Children's Museum, the Seaquarium, the Florida Everglades and the Miami Metro Zoo.
Miami's downtown area serves as the regional headquarters for the Latin American operations of many multinational corporations such as American Airlines, Cisco, FedEx and Exxon. Several large companies are headquartered in or around Miami, including Bacardi, Brightstar Corporation, Burger King, Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Perry Ellis International, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Ryder Systems and Telemundo. The city is also home to top-rated colleges and universities, including the University of Miami, Florida International University and Miami Dade College.
Often referred to as "The Gateway of the Americas," Miami is a cultural mecca rich with diversity stemming from its proximity to North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. Having a vast Spanish-speaking population in Florida and economic ties to Latin America have elevated the greater Miami area to an international financial and cultural center.
Located on the lower east coast of Florida, Miami and its surrounding area comprise the 5th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Surprisingly, the city proper, with an estimated population of approximately 400,000, has the smallest land area of any major U.S. city at only 35.7 square miles.
Tequesta Indians once populated the lush tropical area that is now Miami for more than a thousand years. Since incorporation as a city in 1896, Miami has been on the rise. The only major city in the U.S. founded by a woman, Julia Tuttle, Miami had just 300 residents at its inception and 110 years later had expanded to 2.2 million residents in its metro area. This miraculous escalation earned the city its nickname as "The Magic City." Continuing in this tradition of rapid growth, the city is currently in the midst of a building boom.
A diverse multi-lingual metropolis, where more than 150 ethnicities reside and over 60 languages are spoken - including the three official languages of English, Spanish and Haitian (or French Creole) - Miami also has the largest Spanish-speaking population in the Western Hemisphere outside of Latin America. It also has one of the largest percentages of population, nearly 75 percent, in the U.S. of residents who speak a language other than English in their homes.
With year-round sunshine, the vibrant city of Miami has long been touted as the ultimate destination for lovers of superior sand and surf. Miami Beach is a long and narrow barrier island adorned by blue water and white sand. Sometimes referred to as the "American Riviera," Miami Beach boasts world-renowned chic hotspot of South Beach. For outdoor enthusiasts, Miami is much more than a beach town, as it is the only major American city to be bordered by two national parks, Biscayne National Park to the east and Everglades National Park to the west.
Miami is emerging as a serious contender on the International Art Scene with world-class museums such as the Bass Museum and the Wolfsonian Museum scattered throughout the city. It is also host to high-profile cultural events including the world-famous Art Basel and Art Miami shows. Moreover, the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the world graces the palm tree-lined streets of Miami Beach's Art Deco District.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Located directly above the Tropic of Cancer, Miami enjoys a subtropical climate. With an average temperature of 76°F, Miami boasts sunshine year-round. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures averaging 87°F in August, the warmest month of the year, but cool ocean breezes quell some of the summer heat.
June through September tends to be Miami's rainy season, characterized by frequent but short, heavy thunderstorms. The average annual precipitation is 46.6 inches with the wettest month being June. Only one snowfall has been recorded in Miami in January 1977. Hurricane season in Miami lasts from August through October, with most hurricane activity typically occurring in September.
The winter months are the best time to visit Miami. With average temperatures in the 60s, it is one of the warmest places in the United States. The driest months are December, January and February.
Miami Beach Convention Center, managed by Global Spectrum
Defined by an unparalleled tropical setting one minute away from the spectacular sands of Miami Beach and situated adjacent to the historic Art Deco District, the Miami Beach Convention Center is one of the most uniquely designed convention facilities in the world. A complement to the artistic architecture of Miami Beach, the Center has been brilliantly constructed in Miami's signature Art Deco motif. Soft pastels and vibrant bursts of color coincide with unusual design elements and tropical landscaping to create a truly distinctive meeting space. Miami voters recently approved a tax increase that would fund expansions, renovations and improvements to the convention center, including the development of a convention center hotel.
Miami Beach Convention Center has 500,000 square feet of continuous and divisible exhibit space on one level, accentuated by a 35-foot-high ceiling. Extremely flexible, its main floor can be configured to serve as one facility or can be divided into four 125,000-square-foot halls, each with its own private entrance. The exhibit area is surrounded by 144,800 square feet of space, which is separated into 68 separate meeting rooms. The convention center is also one of the first in the country to design a Skywalk and pod from which attendees can receive an open view of the exhibit floor. A perfect facility for VIP functions, the Skywalk boasts a raw-bar style kitchen and four open-air lounges.
Amenities abound at the Miami Beach Convention Center, which boasts its own in-house caterer that provides a wide range of services from coffee breaks to lavish banquets, a full-service business center and concierge. Exhibit space comes complete with floor ports for electric, drains and phones along with access to water and compressed air. Adjacent to the center is the Jackie Gleason Theater that has seating for 2,704, perfect for special sessions or award presentations. There are two parking lots in a one-block radius, one with 800 spaces and one with 2,000 spaces. Visitors will find traveling to the center is a breeze as it is conveniently located within a short 18-minute drive from Miami International Airport.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center
Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Miami Airport Convention Center is the city’s second-largest convention center. Adjacent to the 341-room DoubleTree by Hilton located near the Miami International Airport, the convention center features 172,000 square feet meeting space that includes 75,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 29,000-square-foot social function ballroom, the second largest in the region.
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Approximate taxi fare: $26.66 USD
The 3,300-acre Miami International Airport opened in 1928. It is the 12th busiest airport in the United States. Located seven miles from downtown Miami and 10 miles from Miami Beach, it serves more than 33 million passengers annually. Miami International is a premier airport for international travelers and the primary gateway for passage between the U.S. and Latin America. With four runways, three terminals and more than 101 boarding gates, Miami International services flights to 51 domestic and 71 international destinations on 50 U.S. airlines and 46 international airlines.
Miami International Airport is undergoing a capital improvement program that resulted in a fourth runway in 2003. Additionally, it is extending two branches of the central terminal to include an additional four million square feet of space. Additional enhancements have been made to roadways, cargo and parking facilities.
The airport has several options for parking including two long-term parking garages, two short-term lots, a 60-space cell phone lot and a 600-space economy park-and-ride lot. Additional amenities include a 24-hour valet parking service, currency exchange and a wide range of shops and dining options such as Au Bon Pain, Top of the Port Restaurant, The Great American Bagel Bakery and Chili's Too.
Airline carriers serving Miami International Airport
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Approximate taxi fare: $16-25 USD
The 1,380-acre Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport opened in 1959. Today it is one of the fastest growing major airports in the country. Located in Broward County, three miles southwest of the Fort Lauderdale business district and 21 miles north of Miami, it serves over 21 million passengers each year. Its location, fewer than two miles from Port Everglades and 25 miles from the Port of Miami, make it an ideal location for cruisers.
The airport's four terminals offer non-stop service to more than 55 U.S. cities and international service to Canada, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America and South America. On a typical day, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International serves as the gateway for an average of 741 commercial flights and 67,000 passengers.
As a participant in the Broward County Public Art and Design Program, the airport is home to numerous commissioned pieces of artwork including prints, collages, photography and sculpture. These stunning displays, many inspired by the area's tropical landscape, are dispersed throughout the airport welcoming visitors to South Florida. Other amenities include free wireless internet connectivity, as well as recently expanded parking facilities, a new rental car center, a meditation room, business services, numerous gift shops and a wide range of dining options including Chili's Too, Cruzan Rum Bar, Pizzeria Uno and Sbarro's.
Airline carriers serving Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
The Miami Amtrak Station runs Amtrak's Silver Service/Palmetto lines, comprised by the Silver Star and Silver Meteor trains that run from New York City to Miami. The Silver Star makes 37 stops in cities including Washington D.C., Raleigh, Savannah, Tampa and Orlando. The Silver Meteor shares most of its track with the Silver Star, but bypasses Tampa and runs further east through North Carolina and South Carolina. The station is open daily from 5:45 AM to 9:30 PM. Amtrak's Silver lines offer two departures from New York daily. Ticket prices range from $115 for a coach seat up to $711 for a two-passenger bedroom.
Miami-Dade Transit oversees one of the largest public transportation networks in the country and includes the city's Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus services. The transit system in Miami serves over 358,000 riders daily and offers an efficient and scenic way to navigate the city.
The existing Metrorail line, named the Green Line, extends 22.4 miles north to south across the region, offering 22 stops from the Palmetto station to Dadeland South. Construction is currently underway for a new east-west Metrorail line to service stops including Miami International Airport, Florida International University and Dolphin Stadium. This new Orange Line is expected to be complete in 2016.
The Green Line runs daily from 5 AM to midnight. Fare is $1.50 per trip. Reduced fares are available to Medicare recipients, students up to grade 12 and persons with disabilities.
For more information: 305-770-3131
Debuting in 1986, the Metromover provides an easy and free way to traverse downtown Miami. Operating on an elevated track, the Metromover offers 21 stops and serves major office buildings, residential buildings, hotels and points of interest downtown. Metromover consists of three circular routes. The Downtown Loop, or Inner Loop, runs clockwise, while the Omni and Brickell Loops (collectively referred to as the Outer Loop) run counterclockwise. Metromover passengers can transfer to the Metrorail line at either the Government Center or Brickell stations. Metromover runs daily from 5 AM to midnight. Admission is free.
Miami Transit operates 112 Metrobus lines serving most of Miami-Dade County and points in southern Broward County. Riders traveling south of the city can avoid traffic and congestion via the South Miami-Dade Busway. This 14.7-mile road parallels heavily-trafficked U.S. Route 1 and is limited to Metrobuses and emergency vehicles.
Most Metrobuses operate daily from 4 AM to 2 AM, but 21 lines run around the clock. Metrobus fare is $1.50 for regular lines and $1.85 for Express buses. Reduced fares are available for Medicare recipients, students up to grade 12 and persons with disabilities.
The Super Shuttle is a door-to-door shared van service that operates on an on-demand basis. Available on the ground level of Miami International Airport, Super Shuttle provides transportation services between homes, offices and hotels in the greater Miami area. Travelers are encouraged to take advantage of this cost effective and painless way to navigate through airport congestion. Super Shuttle runs 24-7. Rates vary by distance and number of passengers. .
For more information: 305-871-2000
Rental cars in Miami are plentiful, with all major companies represented, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Royal and Thrifty.
Taxis are an ideal way for travelers to reach their ultimate destination. Taxi stands are located on the ground level of the terminals at Miami International Airport just beyond the baggage claim area. Taxis to most areas charge a metered fare, though taxis to some areas are charge a flat rate. Taxi riders are subject to various surcharges, including a $1 per person fuel surcharge and an airport origination fee.
Approximate Taxi Fares from Miami International Airport
Marriotts of Miami and Fort Lauderdale
Experience Sun, Sand and Savings with Marriott in Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Offering dazzling beaches, rejuvenating spas, vibrant downtown activities, award-winning restaurants, and Florida sunshine, South Florida is the ultimate location for your next meeting. Along with a unique experience, Renaissance and Marriott Hotels & Resorts offer renowned service and style, and deliver unforgettable events. Take advantage of our special group offers and value dates, and let us take care of the rest of your meeting needs!
Meet at the Gateway to Miami at the Miami Airport Campus
The Marriott Miami Airport Campus is a dynamic collection of three unique hotels designed to deliver an entirely new brand of service for business travelers and events. The Campus consists of the full-service Miami Airport Marriott, the Courtyard Miami Airport and the Residence Inn Miami Airport. After completing a $76 million transformation, meeting attendees will discover a lush, tropical setting of absolute convenience – with deluxe accommodations, inspired amenities, fabulous cuisine with a Starbucks, Champions Sports Bar and lounge on-site, and plenty of special offers – and a free shuttle to Blue Lagoon offices and the Miami International Airport, only minutes away.
Personalize your incentives at The Westin Beach Resort & Spa
With over 32,000 square feet of flexible function space, The Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Ft. Lauderdale provides the perfect setting for successful meetings and events. Book your next meeting by June 30, 2013 for meetings held by September 30, 2013 and choose up to five incentives from discounted parking and F&B discounts to Double Starwood Preferred Planner Points.
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa
The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa boasts one of the largest and most complete Convention Center and meeting facilities in South Florida offering 209,000 square feet of flexible function space, including a 50,000 square foot Great Hall and 39 breakout rooms, comfortably accommodating groups of 8 to 8,000. Our executive chefs will dazzle your senses with catering services ranging from office lunches to elegant galas. We'll service your group and take care of the details while you relax. The generously spaced and detailed appointments throughout the resort set a rejuvenating tone for your event.
The Address Is The Experience – The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
Exquisitely appointed, we deliver unprecedented excellence in hospitality and elegance. Whether you are planning a social event for a large number of special guests or for meetings with a few select colleagues, you are invited to experience the unique splendor and majestic luxury of our resort. From creatively themed event to flawlessly executed business meetings, our catering and conference service professionals are able to facilitate the creation of your unique meeting or event with precise execution.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour, Miami Beach offers approximately 11,200 square feet of Miami meeting facilities, including indoor meeting and event space along with a wide variety of outdoor venues to accommodate varying sizes that take full advantage of the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean at our doorstep. The hotel's two distinct indoor meeting areas allow for easy access and privacy. The 7,800 square-foot Astor ballroom can be adapted for meeting presentations and special events. The premier ballroom offers an operable partition to divide the room into five (5) sections, approximately three (3) equally divisible thirds and an end section that is divisible by approximately three (3) equal thirds. Thus, when all air walls are in place, offers five (5) distinct sections. The primary pre-function area offers 2,395 square feet and the secondary pre-function area is 1,600 square feet, totaling 3,995, which are ideal for receptions or meeting breaks. Additionally, the secondary pre-function square footage when utilized in conjunction with the entire ballroom expands to 7,800 square feet of total unobstructed event space. On the third floor four (4) elegantly appointed boardrooms ranging in size from 250 square feet to 450 square feet round off the indoor event space options. Additionally, outdoor function space includes select patio pool and beach areas.
If you haven't been to Miami lately,
you haven't been to Miami.
Miami is constantly reinventing itself as the world capital of arts & culture, fashion and food. The city sparkles with new hotels, two new performing arts centers and scores of new restaurants. Lush tropical surroundings and exciting playgrounds cater to high-spirited visitors from around the world.
This year, send your attendees where they really want to go. Miami's got everything they want – fabulous cuisine, sublime weather, beautiful beaches and world-class shopping. And we've got everything you need – 50,000 hotel rooms, our 1,000,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Miami Beach convention center and the Miami CVB meetings team to help expertly manage your event.
Come to Miami and Express Yourself.
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