President National Association of Women of the Church of God Chicago
Daytona Beach. The CVB staff and hotel staff were a help to us. They knew each other very well. They had more than a working relationship; they knew each other, so they could communicate on a business and personal level.
The venue was ideally suited for our program. We were also hosting an opera, and I wanted to hold it in an auditorium rather than the hotel ballroom. The Peabody Auditorium hosted us, and it was just a block and half from our hotel. Most of us just walked over on the traffic-free beach. The staff was very cooperative and made it very affordable.
Our women were able to combine a holiday in a resort convention center with the benefits of our convention, which are spiritual renewal and networking.
Edgar N. Sutton
Director, Meeting Arrangements American Baptist Assn. Alexander, Ark.
Springfield, Illinois. We just met there. It's a wonderful place for a meeting. There are two major hotels across the street from another. One, the Renaissance Hotel, you can go through a tunnel to the convention center, and the other is literally across the street. We had 575 rooms in two hotels and people could just be there.
Also, they've just opened the new Abraham Lincoln Museum, and it was exciting for our attendees to see. The CVB, city, and hotels were all very cordial and wonderful to work with. And the rate was good.
Travel Planner Greater Refuge Church and Bibleway Worldwide Richmond, Va.
We usually look for larger cities because we have groups of 1,500 to 20,000 people, but this March we went to Virginia Beach, Va. We're going back in October for the women's council. We stayed at the Cavalier Hotel, which was able to house 1,500 in theater-style seating for our night sessions and had breakout rooms for our day sessions. For the women's council, which will have 6,000 attendees, we'll be using the new pavilion there, so that will be exciting.
Some of our people walked down to the beach. We had a nice ocean view. I really enjoyed Virginia Beach.
Student Ministries Team Facilitator Evangelical Free Church of America Minneapolis
We have a large — 6,000 to 6,500 people — gathering of high school youth, and by far our favorite place has been Salt Lake City, Utah. But for our small gathering, it's Fort Walton Beach, Fla. We take 100 adult leaders there to get away, refresh, and relax. It's not touristy, it's off by itself, and they have wonderful, sandy beaches. It's convenient, and the prices are 30 percent less than other places. It's Florida on a budget.
The hotel staff has helped a lot; they've definitely given us personal attention. The other good thing is that it's been the same people working there during that time. That's also been the good thing about Salt Lake — the same people have been working at the CVB. You don't have to explain who you are each time.
Jimmy O. Terry
President National Inspirational Youth Convention Church of God Columbus, Ohio
Charleston, S.C. We've been there twice for meetings — we feel a personal connection with the city, from our visits, meeting planning, and the continuum. The facilities, the kind of meeting we have, they all worked out.
We have 4,000 to 6,000 attendees in our family conventions. It's a ratio of about 60/40 youth to adults. We'll use a hotel if it's big enough, or else the convention center. Charleston has opportunities for both adults and kids.
The CVB was helpful. For our group, Charleston is not humongous; we don't feel as if we're getting lost in the city. And our meeting is in December, so weather is a factor. Small cities are different in that they let you know they want your business. That's a deciding factor for me.