Prevue March-April 2018 - 10

planner'spick

The Phoenix Benefit
MLB spring training in Arizona's Urban Heart was just the beginning

B

erkshire Hathaway HomeServices
enticed about 4,000 attendees to
meet in Phoenix last March with an
early arrival option to attend Major Baseball
League spring training. But the group
found an impressive convention core that
far surpassed the expectations of even the
biggest baseball lovers.
The annual sales convention of the
company's real estate arm had always
been held in Las Vegas and Orlando,
and the company wanted to bring a new
destination into the mix. Alan D. Shepherd,
CMP and manager of global conference and
meeting services for Berkshire Hathaway
HomeServices, says Phoenix's downtown,
specifically its convention center, sealed the
deal for the group.
The event was held at the Phoenix
Convention Center, with the adjacent
1,000-room Sheraton Grand Phoenix
serving as the host hotel, but all of the other
hotels in the downtown area were also
booked for the event. Shepherd notes that
the 170-room Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix
Downtown was a hidden gem that had
been converted from an old bank.

services to children with cancer, was
another major highlight of the convention.
Every year, the company calls out the top
10 real estate companies that raise the
most money for the Sunshine Kids. Then,
the band Train closed the show by inviting
some of the Sunshine Kids on stage. It was
a really special evening that gave everyone a
good reminder of why they were all there.
Shepherd adds that no weak link
existed between the CVB, hotels and
convention center-even the city's freeof-charge ambassador program was
very robust and well developed. The
ambassadors worked with the event
schedule to help guide attendees during
breaks. After the evening theme party, there
were also 10 or 15 ambassadors positioned

along the route to help attendees get back
to the hotels safely.
The convention services team was also
accommodating with the group's first puppy
playpen on the trade show floor. Dubbed
"Bark Breaks," the program brought in
animals from Arizona Animal Welfare League
& SPCA, Arizona's oldest no-kill animal
shelter, to give attendees some furry love
between sessions.
The overall takeaway for Shepherd's
group was so high that talks are already
underway to bring the Berkshire group back
to Phoenix next year. Expectations were far
exceeded in Phoenix and that's a good fit
for the company.-Jessie Fetterling
visitphoenix.com

The group held its annual off-site theme party at
CityScape, a mixed-use downtown hub that
spans
Picture caption
two city blocks and is within walking distance of the
convention center.

Bob Marley to Bark Breaks
While educational sessions and networking
events were the main priority, the evening
events are where Phoenix truly shined. The
group held its annual off-site theme party
at CityScape, a mixed-use downtown hub
that spans two city blocks and is within
walking distance to the convention center. A
full buyout of the complex created the ideal
setting for an "Urban Street Fair" theme.
Food trucks linked up outside the main
entrance, while attendees also had access
to the complex's various entertainment
venues, including Copper Blues where
stand-up comedian Bob Marley performed
live. Even Lucky Strike gave attendees the
option to practice their bowling or play a
round of pool.
The closing benefit concert for the
Sunshine Kids, a nonprofit that provides

10 | prevuemeetings.com

Sheraton Grand Phoenix (photo credit: Visit Phoenix)


http://www.visitphoenix.com http://www.prevuemeetings.com

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