Cvent’s Tampa meeting planning guide is an extensive city guide for Tampa meeting planners. Sunny, warm weather and tropical flora and fauna set the stage for visitors to be welcomed by Tampa's friendly, fun-loving citizens. Encompassing a 600,000- square-foot waterfront convention center, 20,000 hotel rooms, 190 hotels and more than 100 unique Tampa event venues, this city is an ideal location for Tampa meeting planning professionals to consider for conferences and conventions. With a large international airport, AMTRAK service and several public transportation options available, guests will have no trouble finding convenient and affordable travel to and around the city.
Expecting to enter its final phase in 2013, the Tampa Riverwalk is one of the newest destinations in the city, conveniently connecting the Florida Aquarium and Channelside Bay Plaza to the History Center, Marriott Waterside and convention center. Named one of the top 25 art destinations in the U.S., according to American Style magazine, Tampa is proud of its cultural heritage, which can easily be incorporated into Tampa meeting planning. Tampa's public art collection is made up of more than 100 works of art. Art work is dispersed amongst buildings, parks and streets, including Bayshore Boulevard, which is the site of a 145-foot-long mosaic tile mural dedicated to the history of Tampa in addition to one of the most scenic roadways in Florida.
Planners would be remiss not to incorporate dining into Tampa meeting planning. Formed by many small, diverse communities, this multi-cultural city is the location of some of the best Cuban, Spanish and Italian restaurants around including Columbia Restaurant, the largest Spanish restaurant in the world. Its proximity to the coast also makes it a hotspot for restaurants serving fresh, local seafood. Reserve a table at Oystercatchers and sip on a buttery chardonnay while overlooking the sparkling blue Bay and watching birds at the adjoining bird sanctuary. Choose from an array of perfectly prepared fresh fish including grouper, tuna, snapper, swordfish or salmon. As is the case with most dining establishments in Tampa, dress is not jeans casual, but not extravagantly upscale either.
Tampa is both affordable and ripe with activities to entertain visitors of all ages. Area attractions include Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens and the Museum of Science and Industry, which houses the largest children's science center in the nation. Any sports fan - whether football or hockey or baseball - can root for one of Tampa's home teams in what Sporting News Online ranked as the 14th best sports city in the country. Fashion aficionados will enjoy high-end retail shopping comparable to that of larger metropolitan areas at International Plaza, Bay Street and WestShore Plaza. Many of the top U.S. beaches can be found in the Tampa Bay area such as Clearwater Beach, Madeira Beach, Indian Rocks Beach and Indian Shores. Golfing, boating and fishing are also popular outdoor activities.
Five main industries form the main contributors to Tampa Bay's economy: service, retail, insurance, finance and real estate. Several Fortune 1000 companies call Tampa home, including OSI Restaurant Partners, parent company of Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill, WellCare Health Plans, Inc., and Raymond James Financial. Tampa acts as the 7th largest port in the United States and is the largest tonnage port in Florida. Almost 50 percent of all seaborne trade that passes through the state of Florida is handled by Tampa's port. Tampa is also the port of call for several notable cruise lines, ranking second only to Miami in terms of Florida cruise travel. Holland America's MS Veendam, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas and Carnival's Legend Inspiration all make Tampa their port of call.