The Best Event Venue in Every American City #2: Memphis, Miami, Nashville, Cleveland, and Dallas

The Best Event Venue in Every American City (according to them). Volume 2

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As previously described in Volume 1, my job is to introduce you to the best of the best. I asked the CVBs from every major American city to tell me about ONE really cool (or amazing, or different) event venue in their city…the Top 1 List… their choice…pick one… and I would investigate and if I thought it was something you might want to know about would tell you..

Volume 1 had five “first-choices” and the reader response was so positive, here’s five more (and I will keep adding the CVB recommendations to future threads). In the meantime, you can keep browsing through our Meetings Resource Library to find other venues, hotels, team building ideas, online resources for planners, and whatever else we threw in there.

Big Cypress Lodge, Memphis, TN

This place is so unique, I do not know where to start. This rustic themed luxury hotel is inside the Memphis Pyramid. Memphis, of course, makes you think of Pyramids because the original Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the original name for lower Egypt… except you already knew that.

In 2015 the pyramid-shaped arena was transformed into Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid with Big Cypress Lodge taking up the top floors inside. It boasts the country's tallest free-standing elevator (28 stories to the peak), that leads to a glass observation deck overlooking the city of Memphis, Arkansas and the Mississippi River.

The hotel features 103 rooms, some suspended from hundred-foot cypress trees and are designed to resemble tree houses while others decked out like vintage duck-hunting camps. Presumably the ancient Egyptians hunted ducks. They also have seven private spaces and centered at the very top of the pyramid is The Lookout at The Pyramid restaurant, the perfect place to host a reception. Check it out. https://www.big-cypress.com/

Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is South Florida’s premier waterfront event space featuring sweeping views of Biscayne Bay, award-winning architecture, and a variety of both indoor and outdoor spaces for special events.

You can rent the entire 200,000 square foot venue (it’s big), or any one of the smaller event spaces, hanging gardens, terraces, boardrooms, galleries or auditorium. It’s state-of-the-art. https://www.pamm.org/

All Things Meetings is also preparing a survey that will go out to approximately 4000 meeting planners asking them to give us their recommendations and we will research, write about them, and publish the results. So… if you are in our database, look for that… and if you are not, please sign up so we can ask you to participate.  Signup Form Link

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN

Built in the late 1800s by a steamboat captain (and anything to do with steamboat captain is automatically cool), the Ryman Auditorium has hosted many of entertainment’s biggest acts including the likes of Charlie Chaplin, John Philip Sousa, Anna Pavlova, Harry Houdini, Bob Hope, the Grand Ole Opry show (until 1974), Elvis Costello…and everybody else. The building was dignified as a National Historic Landmark in 2001.

Cocktail parties on stage. Backstage tours, private concerts, corporate award shows, product intros… you can even record in their on-site recording studio. You can rent the whole place (up to 2300 people) or just a part of it. It’s one of those places where your attendees are continually ooh-ing and ah-ing. Check it out. www.ryman.com

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, OH

This was easy because when you say “Venue in Cleveland” the first response is always… the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Designed by internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is one of Cleveland's most striking (and recognizable) pieces of architecture. The 150,000-square-foot building has a glass-enclosed, double pyramid adjacent to a 162-foot tower looking out over Lake Erie with seven levels and all sorts of nooks and crannies to explore. And after all, it’s Rock & Roll. https://www.rockhall.com/

Southfork Ranch, Dallas, TX

The marketing blurb says… “Often called the World’s Most Famous Ranch”. Although that may be true… how does anyone know that? OK… I digress… yes, it’s the same ranch made famous by the Ewing Family in the Dallas TV series and your guests will love that… plus they can enjoy 63,000 square feet of conference and event space, plus 300 acres of Ranch. Their marketing blurb also says “the perfect place to mix Boots with Business” and I have a feeling that may be true. They can take groups up to 2,000, plus a ton of outdoor space for teambuilding etc. https://www.southforkranch.com

More to come. Talk to you soon. :)

Oh, by the way… if you already have a 2019 calendar. Mark Monday, April 8th, 2019 as the date of the next All Things Meetings San Francisco Reception & Trade Show. This year will be at the Exploratorium and is going to be great. Invitations for official Registration will go out in early February. Did I say it is going to be great? If you are not already on the invitation list you can request to be added at https://www.allthingsmeetings.com/add-me-to-the-invitation-list/

 

Donna Cohen

I have decades of experience creating and producing online marketing. I left the corporate world to work independently with people who need help establishing and maintaining their online presence. Not everyone knows how, has the aptitude, or time to learn how to use online marketing tools, and nor should they have to try. Those people who need help and/or don't want an in-house marketing team work with me. Each client has different needs, goals and expectations. I do custom work for each of my clients. I get to know each person and know their voice, their style, rhythm and budget. 

I have a large skill set that covers the range of tasks for online marketing. It is both easy and cost efficient to work directly with me. I can get the whole job done. 

Website Design, Build and Optimization, SEO, Keywords, Hashtags, PhotoShop, Email Marketing and Newsletters - Mailchimp, Google Forms (Registration & Surveys), Survey Monkey, SquareSpace, Wordpress, Square, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, PowerPoint, Acrobat, Facebook Ads, Pinterest, Instagram, Word, ePub, Excel, Audience Development, and more.

Book Production; Print and eBook, Design, coding, Marketing and building Audiences.

The Best Event Venue in Atlanta, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Scottsdale, Washington D.C.

The Best Event Venue in Every American City (according to them)

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My job is to introduce you to the best of the best. Want to start a conversation in which everyone wants to volunteer their opinion? Ask someone for their Top 5 List (about anything). We rate stuff 1 to 5 stars every day. Competition is in our DNA and everybody loves a winner. The idea came to me… why don’t I ask the CVBs from every major American city to tell me about ONE really cool (or amazing, or different) event venue in their city…the Top 1 List… their choice…pick one… and I would investigate and if I thought it was something you might want to know about would tell you.

The responses began to flow in and since there are, well… so many cities… I am breaking them into a new thread and adding these recommendations (as chosen by each city) to our ever-expanding searchable Meeting Resource Library for your edification (and I got to use the word edification in a sentence).

So… here are a few of the “first responders” (but not in any particular order of preference). I will add more as they come in. :)

I experienced the infield at the 1973 Derby and although I only saw some unrecognizable horse flesh for about half a second through a tiny opening in the crowd… I assume I had a good time. Here’s what they can offer your group (and they too will have a good time); Over 30,000 square feet of event space, Private Behind the Scenes Tours of the Barns and Racetrack (either on foot or in vans), and a 360 degree 18-minute “media experience” ( I assume that means a movie with sound) about the horse culture and the Kentucky Derby (described as thrilling). If you are going to Louisville (and maybe you should), check it out. www.derbymuseum.org

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of those rare individuals who was always about 50 years ahead of his time. If you happen to be in Scottsdale and are looking for a really cool venue for up to 120 guests, consider Taliesin West where the famed architect entertained. Set on a 491-acre Sonoran Desert Preserve in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, it’s not only Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark. it’s a wow. https://franklloydwright.org/taliesin-west/

The PEC is a 27-acre complex (near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) offering four separate test modules, a training facility, a Classic Restoration Center and special event space. Your attendees can get behind the wheel or ride alongside professional drivers in various Porsche vehicles and browse classic cars in the Center’s collection. Their business center offers conference and board rooms which overlook the Porsche Driving Experience and can accommodate groups up to 150 people. Porsche Experience Center also provide a stunning backdrop for special events. If your people like fast cars… these are Porsches. www.porschedriving.com/porsche-experience-center-atlanta/experiences

There are a zillion amazing venues in DC so the folks at the CVB didn’t even try to pick the best but instead sent me a long list and essentially said… “you choose”. Since there are so many obvious ones (see the Smithsonian), so I picked one you may not yet be familiar with… it’s for smaller groups, but if you can fit, it looks amazing.

Founded by Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood is set on 25 acres of gardens and woodlands in northwest DC and includes one of the premier art collector’s museums in the US. The largest indoor dining room only holds 40 (max), but there is a lot of other stuff going on. Check it out too. https://www.hillwoodmuseum.org

The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

Yes, Andy Warhol was from Pittsburgh. Whether or not you like his art you have to admit, he was one of those guys that changed things. The Museum is the largest single artist museum in the US (there’s a factoid for you) and is dedicated to his life (it was complex to say the least), his art (he liked to push the envelope) and influence on contemporary culture (more than you think).

The museum’s entrance space is available for a 120-person seated event or a 300-person cocktail reception. The Warhol theater is available to host business meetings or symposia and there are options to add gallery floors, guided tours, and studio activities to your event. Try it. www.warhol.org

I will keep adding the CVB recommendations to this thread and publish whenever I get a few together. In the meantime, you can keep browsing through our Meetings resource Library to find other venues, hotels, teambuilding ideas, online resources for planners, and whatever else we threw in there.

All Things Meetings is also preparing a survey that will go out to approximately 4000 meeting planners asking them to give us their recommendations and we will research, write about them, and publish the results. So… if you are in our database, look for that… and if you are not, please sign up so we can ask you to participate.

Talk to you soon. :)

 

Donna Cohen

I have decades of experience creating and producing online marketing. I left the corporate world to work independently with people who need help establishing and maintaining their online presence. Not everyone knows how, has the aptitude, or time to learn how to use online marketing tools, and nor should they have to try. Those people who need help and/or don't want an in-house marketing team work with me. Each client has different needs, goals and expectations. I do custom work for each of my clients. I get to know each person and know their voice, their style, rhythm and budget. 

I have a large skill set that covers the range of tasks for online marketing. It is both easy and cost efficient to work directly with me. I can get the whole job done. 

Website Design, Build and Optimization, SEO, Keywords, Hashtags, PhotoShop, Email Marketing and Newsletters - Mailchimp, Google Forms (Registration & Surveys), Survey Monkey, SquareSpace, Wordpress, Square, Twitter, Blogger, Tumblr, PowerPoint, Acrobat, Facebook Ads, Pinterest, Instagram, Word, ePub, Excel, Audience Development, and more.

Book Production; Print and eBook, Design, coding, Marketing and building Audiences.

New Luxury Hotels Meeting Planners Want To Know About

New Luxury Hotels Meeting Planners Want To Know About

Every so often I take a moment and write about new hotels that may be of interest to you (my meeting planner readers). Here are a few new hotel openings (either just opened in 2018 or scheduled for 2019), but just a few because there are so many you will get bored and so I will break them into a series of blogs…. #NewYork #Barcelona #Aspen #PuertoRico #Georgia #LasVegas #Massachusetts

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One side point… when deciding what is the most appropriate gift, amenity, or swag item, remember that it is not about you. It’s about them.

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After hurricane Maria in Houston they sent in one of their old school busses and when it was all over, she needed a volunteer to drive it back to San Francisco. I said why not… a road trip sounded like fun, plus I could stay at some nice hotels along the way and write about them.

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If you don’t care about time, money and your effectiveness, then relationships don’t matter. If you do, they do.  

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I really loved my experiences in Costa Rica. It has everything a planner could want, plus lots of “critters” (I like critters) and great photo opportunities (I like photo opportunities). I asked Mauricio Arevalo (a really nice guy) with Costa Rica DMC (costaricadmc.com) to suggest an event for a group that has limited time to really explore the amazing diversity that is Costa Rica. He suggested…

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(All Things Meetings Visits Paso Robles)

Can’t decide if your northern California people should meet with their southern California counterparts “up here” or “down there”? Getting tired of the back and forth thing and want something different (that is also an excellent option)? Want to make the people who are unhappy with either choice, happy (once they get there)?

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