Meeting in Paradise Added Woo-Hoo to RFP Process

Marin Bright, CEO

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Posted by Smart Meetings on Monday, August 19, 2019

When 200 event professionals gathered at the newly expanded and renamed JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort on Paradise Coast in Florida, they left with an enhanced LinkedIn network and strategies for dealing with stress by laughing at the things you can and disrupting everything else.

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Look for the Woo-Hoo in Life

Speaker Tim Gard set the stage for the group by encouraging attendees to shrug off the things you can’t change that go wrong at an event (such as rain at an outdoor reception) with a mental “bummer.” He advised that for the rest of the program, participants find the joy in them and celebrate with a “woo-hoo.” From boarding flights to managing partnerships and relationships at home, Gard suggests everyone “find the fun.”

Make Yourself Relevant

New ALHI President and CEO Michael Dominguez has his own suggestions for disrupting in the face of a changing economy. “You don’t have to blow everything up, just modernize it to stay relevant,” he said.

Steal Tricks from Experts

Jeff Haden, author of The Motivation Myth, has interviewed top performers in every field for his TED Talk and concluded the secret to success is to live an unexamined life, contrary to what Socrates may have said. “Figure out the couple of things you do that matter and keep doing them consistently,” he said.

Find the Best Partners

Smart Meetings is legendary for connecting top planners and suppliers in efficient, fast-paced meetings that lead to triple-digit numbers of RFPs changing hands. In addition to making these valuable connections, attendees got a first look at JW Marriott’s $320 million expansion, including adult-only Paradise by Sirene, with 94 guest rooms served by a beach butler and virtual concierge. The addition brought the total number of guest rooms to 810 and added an upscale tapas restaurant and rooftop pool. The expansion also included 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space optimized for light and flow.

Next door, attendees visited Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa, which recently completed a $60 million renovation, including the installation of the Gulf Front Great Lawn. The two-phase reimagining included all 310 guest rooms and 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space with a warm, beach vibe.