Call it a spring break for an association.
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Rockville, Md., has held its annual meeting in Greater Fort Lauderdale every spring for the past 10 years—and it recently committed to the destination through 2015. Booking a destination for 21 consecutive years is, to say the least, a bit unusual.
“We tend to like longevity in a destination,” explains Joanne Angle, ARVO executive director. “Once members become familiar with the site, they become wedded to it.” Prior to Fort Lauderdale, ARVO had a 25-year relationship with Sarasota, Fla.
Attendees like the sun and the sand as a setting for the scientific exchange of ideas, Angle says. The 600,000-square-foot Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center is just the right size for the 9,200-member delegation, she adds, because the group doesn’t like to share a facility. Fort Lauderdale’s accessibility is another plus.
It’s a commitment that apparently works both ways: The most recent ARVO meeting, which took place April 25 to 29, generated more than $9.1 million to the local economy, according to the CVB.