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SMM Conference heads to Jacksonville

Courtesy Visit Jacksonville

From a kick-off reception at the beach to the drop of a diamond at the closing luncheon, the Small Market Meetings Conference Oct. 28-30 in Jacksonville, Fla., will be packed with information and insights for meeting planners.

The third annual conference follows the same format as its predecessors but with some exciting additions including a two-night post-conference familiarization trip, which will take interested meeting planners to nearby Amelia Island and St. Augustine.

“Judging from the response we’ve seen from both meeting planners and the hospitality industry, this will be our largest conference yet,” said Joe Cappuzzello, SMM Conference president.

“Attendees — both meeting planners and hospitality industry — are enthused about this conference. I think it is because we build in so much time for networking, in an environment that is easy and relaxed.

“Both of our past conference sites, Shreveport and Little Rock, really understood the kind of unstuffy, but professional climate we were wanted to create with this conference and from the events the Jacksonville Convention and Visitors Bureau has planned for our conference there, I can tell that they get it too.”

The SMM Conference is a mix of education, business appointments and social engagements. Unlike some meeting industry conferences, hospitality industry are not excluded from any events.

Highlights are the pre-arranged, six-minute appointments between planners and suppliers. At the SMM Conference, meeting planners are assigned tables and industry suppliers come to meet them.

In Jacksonville, speakers will cover networking, contracts and improv skills during three educational seminars.

Attendees will tour Jacksonville one afternoon and see other local sites during social events held each evening.

At Tuesday’s closing luncheon, the 2013 site for the SMM Conference will be spotlighted. Sioux Falls, S.D., will host the conference Oct. 6-8, 2013.