Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

February 15 2016

8 Great Reasons To Consider Hosting Your Next Meeting Offshore

Jeanna Hofmeister

Planners are constantly searching for their next great meeting destination, but many don’t consider off-shore options viable. Concerns with expense, expertise, facilities and attendee experience weigh heavily when it’s time to decide. But overseas meetings can be closer to home than many domestic destinations. In a matter of hours, your attendees can enjoy your convention or event and get some international flavor as an incentive. Why should you consider meeting outside the US? Let’s delve into some of the advantages from a financial and philosophical standpoint as we explore Montego Bay, Jamaica.

1) Rooms with a view – Meetings are more than exhibit halls and breakout spaces. The Montego Bay Convention Centre offers panoramic views of the Caribbean Ocean from nearly every window. The Centre sits adjacent to the crystal blue waters and white sand beaches that make Jamaica legendary. With an average annual temperature ranging from 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit, indoor meetings can easily move to the scenic and unique outdoor spaces at the centre. Located just 15 minutes from Sangster International Airport, this 127,000 sq. ft. facility offers flexibility and state-of-the-art options for meetings and events.

2) Reduced exhibitor costs – Let’s face it: saving money matters to everyone in the meetings industry. When exhibitors can reduce their costs, demand will likely increase to exhibit at your event. Overall, Montego Bay presents a significant cost savings over many other meeting destinations. Because the Montego Bay Convention Centre allows exhibitors to carry, or wheel-in equipment, exhibitors can perform their own booth set-up and dramatically decrease service costs.

3) Lift – While many destinations are challenged by too little, too difficult or too expensive airlift, nearly 3.8 million passengers were served by Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport. Airfares are comparable to a cross-country flight between east and west coast US cities. The airport is served by 36 different carrier, from destinations around the world, and has been named the "Caribbean's Leading Airport" by World Travel Awards for the past six years in a row.

4)  Food – Great food can make your conference, meeting or event more successful. While the boulevard that runs directly in front of the Montego Bay Convention Centre leads you straight into the heart of Jamaican street food, the Convention Centre’s chef, Randie Anderson, is the first Caribbean chef to receive the prestigious James Beard Foundation scholarship for the Le Cordon Bleu Master of Gastronomic Tourism program. Cooking from the tender age of six, Anderson is often referred to as the “chief whipper-upper” of extraordinarily delicious Caribbean dishes. He’s prepared feasts for meetings with up to 23,000 attendees.

5) All-inclusive hotels and resorts - When planning for meetings and events, the cost of hotel rooms can make or break a company’s travel budget. In Montego Bay, Jamaica, there are 4,000 rooms available and many are all-inclusive, meaning tips, taxes, meals and even some alcohol are included with your booking. This means your delegates can focus on the experience, rather than on their per diem.

6) Indigenous culture – There’s no argument about the fact that international travel informs the way we learn and fosters a more comprehensive understanding of the globe. Your delegates can experience everything from the spirit of Reggae to plantation tours and ocean adventures. Montego Bay serves up a host of attractions to educate, inform and delight.

7) Shopping – No matter where you meet, your attendees want easy and plentiful options for shopping. With local crafts people and artisans lining the streets outside the Centre, Montego Bay also offers lively markets and retail shopping plazas. From the Shoppes at Rose Hall where you’ll find fine jewelry and upscale gift shops, to downtown gift shops featuring traditional Jamaican clothing and Rastafarian-themed merchandise, it’s easy to take the feel of Jamaica back home. Did we mention “DUTY FREE?”

8) Pre- and post-convention vacations – A key selling point for many convention destinations is the opportunity for delegates to extend their stay and bring along their families to share the experience. Montego Bay is the perfect resort destination to enjoy great weather, the Caribbean, Jamaican food, Rastafarian culture, Reggae music and more once the education program ends.

To discover more about Montego Bay or to find out how easy it is to host your next meeting or event in Jamaica, contact the professionals at mobaysales@mobaycentre.com.

Brought to you by Montego Bay Convention Centre


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