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Conference Events to Showcase Ontario

The Small Market Meetings Conference, to be held September 23-25 in Ontario, California, keeps delegates busy with networking and cementing business relationships in two marketplace sessions. So the conference organizers like to provide pleasant diversions such as sumptuous meals and tours of the host cities. That is exactly what delegates will discover when they get to Ontario.

On the first night of the conference, the Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau will host a reception and dinner in the Ontario Convention Center, with heavy hors d’oeuvres for the delegates.

“We will be providing our guests with some of the wonderful culinary expertise that we have in the Ontario area,” said Larry Kaufman, director of sales for the Greater Ontario Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The second night’s dinner will be at an unusual place called Big Al’s. Kaufman describes Big Al’s as “sort of a Chuck E. Cheese, but it’s for adults.”

The huge complex features arcade games, bowling lanes, bars, food, 55 giant TV screens and much more. It is fantastic for large groups.

Tour Time

The Small Market Meetings Conference always sets aside time for delegates to tour the host city and its attractions. On the afternoon of the conference’s second day, delegates will have their choice of several trips.

One tour involves a distinctive museum that has been refurbished in recent years. The Ontario Museum of History and Art presents local and traveling exhibits. Delegates will learn more about this special part of Southern California, its people and their legacies. The museum experience will enhance everyone’s knowledge of art and history.

A second tour option is a visit to Ontario Mills, one of the largest shopping centers in the country. The mall is so popular that 28 million people visit it every year.

“Many of the world’s travelers flock there,” said Kaufman. “The Chinese even have a name for it — 10 Doors — because there are 10 entrances to Ontario Mills.”

The center is oval and has 10 distinctive shopping “neighborhoods.” The center has more than 200 stores that sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing; footwear; jewelry; sporting goods; and much more.

A third tour option is “a surprise,” said the CVB. Officials will reveal details about it at the conference.

Personalized Post-FAMs

Ontario CVB officials said there will be no pre-FAM tours scheduled. However, the CVB can help delegates with post-FAM tours that they might want to participate in by providing precise contacts for destination cities, sites and attractions.

The CVB’s Kaufman is glad the Small Market Meetings Conference is coming to his city. He wants meeting planners to consider Ontario.

“We are at the crossroads that connect the palm desert communities to the east to all the way into L.A., and we are central to everything there is going on in Southern California.”

Dan Dickson

Dan has been a communicator all his professional life, first as an award-winning radio and TV news reporter for two decades and then as a communications director for several non-profits for another decade. He has contributed to The Group Travel Leader Inc. publications since 2007.