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Tore Fiore, executive director of Destination Delco, praises the county for its small market meeting prospects and convenience. “We know our niche - and our niche is small meetings. I urge planners to compare price points at our profusion of venues with those in major metropolitan areas. And parking is free here, which is a big plus.”


With 214,000-square feet of space inside and 10 miles of sandy beaches outside, it has much to offer.


During their stay in Ocean City, small groups can enjoy 17 championship golf courses, more than 200 restau- rants, some the best fishing on the East Coast and myriad national outlet stores, boutiques and antique shops. In addition, Ocean City was recog- nized this summer as a Gold-Level member of the HEAL (Healthy Eating and Active Living) campaign by the Institute for Public Health.


David Jackson, vice present of sales for the Poconos Mountain Convention and Visitor Bureau, has two essen- tial tips for small meet- ing planners: “There are no bad questions, so ask us anything; and never be afraid to be vocal about your budg- et. We’re here to make that budget work.”


4­ 6 November­z December­2017


Executive director of the Roland E. Powell Convention Center, Larry Noccolino, is strategic in working with small groups, making an effort to schedule several small meetings and events in concert.


Local condominium associations hold monthly meetings at the center. “Most condos don’t have meeting rooms, and I generally have them all here on one day. We do something similar with cer- tain conventions. The Maryland State Realtors Association Convention brings in 3,000 to 5,000 people. In con- junction with this event, we like to have a number of related sub-groups, such as local real estate entities or the Maryland State Rental Association, to meet at the same time.”


“On the weekend of Treasures of the Earth, gem, mineral and jewelry show, we had a wedding for 200 guests,” adds Regina Brittingham, regional sales manager for the convention center. “On Thanksgiving weekend,


the


Holiday Shoppers Fair will take up 50,000-square feet of space. At that time, we’ll host the much smaller Fiber Fest. The result will be like a mini- shopping mall.”


David Jackson, the Poconos Mountain Convention and Visitor Bureau’s vice president of sales, welcomes 26.2 mil- lion visitors to the region each year. Many of them come for small meet- ings or events. “A lot of our smaller groups are made up of families and church members holding retreats or reunions. We work with planners to arrange special tours, team building or family-oriented outings. In addition, we provide brochures and a two- minute video to help them market their meeting.”


The video, which promotes the beauty and versatility of mountains, took Gold Honors at the American Advertising Awards.


“We’re a planner’s partner for no extra charge,” continues Jackson. “As the authority in the area, we can assist in finding the perfect venue for a small meeting... We know where construc- tion and road closures are and share our information to avoid frustration.”


The Pocono Mountains, a four-season meeting destination, is fully equipped with conference facilities featuring high-speed wireless Internet, state-of- the-art audio-visual equipment, and countless amenities. When not in ses- sion, participants can play golf, ride horses, ski, snowboard or try whitewa- ter rafting among numerous other


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