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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Jacksonville awaits SMM Conference

Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

In 2005, Jacksonville, Fla., pulled off the ultimate in small-market feats. It was the site of the Super Bowl, the smallest market to ever host what many say is the world’s largest sporting event.

Jacksonville’s ability to pull off such a huge and high-profile event is testament to the verve and versatility of the northeast Florida city, site of this year’s Small Market Meeting Conference, Oct. 28-30.

The conference will bring qualified meeting planners to Jacksonville for three days of one-on-one meetings with suppliers, educational seminars, tours of the area and special events at spotlight venues.

Attendees will spend much of their time on the St. John’s River, Florida’s longest river, which flows north through downtown Jacksonville.

“We’ve chosen the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront as our headquarters hotel,” said Joe Cappuzzello, president and CEO of the Small Market Meetings Conference.

“From an aesthetic point of view, the hotel’s location, on the St. John’s River, is very appealing. Walk out of the hotel and you are steps from a riverwalk that stretches more than three miles along the river in downtown.

“Walk past the Main Street Bridge and you’re at Jacksonville Landing, an entertainment complex on the water with nine restaurants that cover the gamut—sushi, an Irish bar, steak and seafood, Italian. Walk a few blocks away from the river and you’re in Jacksonville’s burgeoning restaurant and entertainment district.

“The Hyatt also is downtown’s largest hotel, with 963 guest rooms and enough meeting space at 110,000 square feet, to easily handle our conference.”

The river seems to be always in view at the Hyatt. A rooftop pool provides a panoramic view. A number of meeting spaces and prefunction areas overlook the water as do four terraces, popular for receptions and dinners.

Qualified meeting planners who attend the conference will receive two nights’ lodging at the Hyatt, complimentary meals, receptions and tours and reimbursement of up to $400 for travel.