Smart Meeting East National by the Numbers

When does one plus one equal more than two? At a Smart Meeting Conference. Over three days in May, providers gathered for a networking and educational conference at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, and the impact was magnitudes greater than any of those individuals could have achieved on their own in that time.

1,500 personalized one-on-one meetings: Hospitality providers spent quality time with almost 70 event planners without the cost of scheduling individual appointments, driving from place to place and weeks on the road. In the space of a few hours each day, suppliers shared the latest options for creating unique experiences with up to 25 qualified planners chosen just for them by the Smart Meetings team with the help of Conference Solutions—all without leaving their chairs.

154 new BFFs: The beehive of business meetings and all the RFPs that originated there are just the beginning. In addition to discussing ballrooms and room nights, attendees had the chance to work with the professional connectors at Play with a Purpose to form real friendships. Whether it was finding a life-size Lego block dragon during a scavenger hunt at Disney Springs, coming together to form letters in a human Scrabble game or taking selfies in front of Brad Pitt at the I-Drive 360-hosted Madame Tussauds Wax Museum backstage event, planners and suppliers learned to trust one another and work together in ways that may last longer than a contract.

Three speakers to remember: Shift Your Brilliance author Simon Bailey shared countless helpful tips with attendees willing to be their own career architects by committing themselves to embracing lifelong learning and new ways of thinking, and fostering an emotional commitment to shared goals with everyone that they meet.

The Fine Art of Small Talk author Debra Fine helped attendees laugh at themselves and the games we play to be more effective event networkers.

Set Yourself Free: Daydream it…Believe it…Achieve it! author Mike Lyons returned with his insights on how to follow up after the conference and make lasting connections with fellow attendees.

One big roasted pig: Over the three days, attendees enjoyed the best that Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek had to offer, including a colorful, tropical Havana Nights Celebration, a healthy guacamole and smoothie action station during the breaks, breakfast and lunch at the sophisticated Blue Fin Restaurant, and a lobster mac and cheese from the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive that had everyone coming back for multiple servings.

As the ultimate connector, Smart Meetings Founder and CEO Marin Bright told the group that when we come together, make new friends and share ideas, we accomplish more than any one of us could do alone. The value of connecting at a Smart Meeting is beyond measure because it is a gift that continues to compound in interest over the lifetime of a career.

“The highlight of the meeting was networking with other planners. The transfer of knowledge and energy was motivating.”
–Brenda Chauncy, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Thank You to Our Sponsors

  • AIC Hotel Group
  • Airstar America
  • Caesars Entertainment
  • Castelli, a division of The Magnet Group
  • Conference Software Solutions
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • etouches
  • Florida Keys & Key West
  • Folktale Winery & Vineyards
  • Frans Chocolates
  • Kiehl’s
  • KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn
  • Play With a Purpose
  • Ponte Vedra Beach Resorts
  • PSAV
  • RedPropeller, LLC–A Lauterbach Company
  • Simon T. Bailey International, Inc.
  • Smart Meetings TV
  • The Fine Art of Small Talk
  • Visit Franklin, TN–Nashville South
  • Visit Orlando
  • Visit Virginia Beach
  • Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
  • Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive


Be sure to attend our next event, Smart Meeting Mid-Atlantic, on July 20 at Landsdowne Resort & Spa. Register at smart-events.