LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Meeting planners and suppliers who attend the 2011 Small Market Meetings Conference Sept. 26-28 in Little Rock, Ark., will find the Arkansas capital easy to reach by car, airplane or train.
An accessible and interesting location was of primary importance in the selection of a site for the second Small Market Meetings Conference.
“We realize a central location, with good air access, is critical,” said Joe Cappuzzello, president of the Small Market Meetings Conference. “In our post-conference poll after last year’s inaugural conference in Shreveport, La., 65 percent of respondents said they would attend this year’s conference, but a number of others, who didn’t commit, said the conference location would be a determining factor in their decision. Our experience in Shreveport showed us that a lively location with good access would pay off.
“At that conference, we had meeting planners from 18 states and suppliers from 21 states.”
Little Rock is near the center of Arkansas, at the junction of interstates 30 and 40. It is within a day’s drive of a number of major cities in the South, Midwest and West.
The city’s airport, Little Rock National, is the sixth-largest small-hub airport in the country. As the state’s largest commercial airport, it serves more than 2 million passengers each year.
Currently, the airport has 124 arrivals and departures each day on American Airlines, Continental, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and U.S. Airways to 13 hub cities. With the exception of Southwest, the airlines offer regional jet service to Little Rock.
The airport also recently welcomed low-fare carrier Vision Airlines, which is offering service to Fort Walton Beach, Fla., three days each week.
For those who live near Chicago, St. Louis or Dallas, train service is also an option. Amtrak’s Texas Eagle serves the city, delivering passengers to downtown Little Rock.
No matter which form of transportation meeting planners choose, they will be reimbursed for up to $400 for travel expenses.
The conference, all meals, social functions, education sessions and a two-night stay at the AAA Four-Diamond, Forbes Four-Star Peabody Little Rock are complimentary to qualified meeting planners.