Groups arriving in Tampa Bay are discovering a meetings destination that keeps getting better.
Thanks to Tampa Bay’s ability to safely welcome events—including such high-profile gatherings as Super Bowl LV—numerous organizations have moved their meetings to the destination.
“The relocated events have not only all been successful, but they’re interested in returning,” says Adam DePiro, Vice President of Convention Sales at Visit Tampa Bay.
As an added bonus, Tampa Bay’s sunny weather, vibrant downtown, cultural attractions and water-based activities have enticed meeting attendees to book pre- and post-stays—adding to record-breaking hotel revenue in June and July.
In late August, more than 2,000 attendees—including hundreds of event professionals—gathered at the Tampa Convention Center for Connect Tampa. “It was the largest industry showcasing event we’ve ever hosted,” says DePiro. “The feedback was incredible.”
As the new home of the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine, downtown Tampa is attracting more medical groups—such as the American Academy of Dermatology, which brought more than 2,000 members to Tampa in early August.
And new high-end hotel openings are giving meeting planners more options than ever. Highlights include the five-star JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, which opened in February; the boutique Hotel Haya in Ybor City, Tampa’s historic Latin quarter, named one of USA Today’s 10 Best New Hotels in 2020; and the luxurious Tampa EDITION, slated to open in spring 2022.
After a refresh completed in 2020, the Tampa Convention Center is expanding, too. In spring 2023, 18 new waterfront meeting rooms will debut.
To help groups offset unexpected hybrid technology expenses, Visit Tampa Bay has extended its hybrid meeting grant through 2022. “We’ve had a great response to the grant, including from groups that weren’t previously considering Tampa Bay for events,” says DePiro.
To learn more, visit www.tampameetings.com.