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.