Prevue September-October 2017 - 30

Above (l-r): Numbers in Nature Mirror Maze at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago; Meeting space rendering at The Hotel at the
University of Maryland; Madrid Rio Park (photo credit: Madrid Convention Bureau)

World's Columbian Exposition, is a big draw for creative events.
Here, groups can dine beside a World War II German submarine,
stand inside a 40-ft tornado or get lost in "Numbers in Nature: Mirror
Maze," an interactive exhibit exploring the geometric patterns of
nature. Culinary tours that dive into the city's multicultural heritage-
deep dish pizza to a chaat and henna experience on Devon
Avenue-are always a hit with visiting groups. Legend holds that the
brownie was purportedly invented at the Palmer House Hotel-no
one will want to miss out on that.
An increase in MICE programs is adding new dimensions to
Chicago's cultural side while also giving a gust of revenue to the
Windy City, which has experienced record-high business in the first
half of this year largely due to new hotel development. The revenue
lift will only continue its upward momentum when The Collection
at McCormick Square-containing the 2.6 million-sf McCormick
Place convention center and newly renovated Hyatt Regency
McCormick Place-connects to the new Marriott Marquis
Chicago and a new 10,000-seat, 22-suite sports and entertainment
venue, the Wintrust Arena, this fall via pedestrian promenades and
sky bridges. Once completed, more than 2,460 hotel rooms will be
available to groups; the 1,205-room Marriott Marquis will add an
additional 93,000 sf of meeting space to the mix, not to mention
sweeping views of the lakefront from 40 stories high.
Hilton Worldwide, in partnership with the First Hospitality
Group, is also setting up camp near McCormick Place with its first
tri-branded hotel development that will include a Hilton Garden
Inn, Hampton Inn by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton when it
opens next year. Highlights include rooftop dining and 7,000 sf of
combined meeting space. All of these projects hold the extra perk of

proximity to iconic attractions such as Millennium Park, Navy Pier,
Soldier Field and shopping on Magnificent Mile.

NEW ZEALAND
This year's edition of New Zealand's business events exhibition,
MEETINGS, began for us with a nose-to-nose hongi (traditional
Maori welcome) by Ngahi Bidois, a Maori cultural ambassador for
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand. The greeting added
a new dimension to the usual business handshake; lasting only
seconds, the shared breath symbolized the opening of a door not
only into Auckland's ASB Showgrounds, but the Maori whanau
(family) and way of life. Maori traditions and values created a nimbus
of magic around the conference-from karakia (prayers) by Bidois
that blessed the exhibition space and attendees to a fusion of
culinary nuances from 19 represented regions. This is the norm for
New Zealand business events: a sense of place and authenticity that
"entices people to do things beyond the conferences they are here
for," explains Tourism New Zealand's Director of Trade and Major
Events, Rene de Monchy.
The magic will most likely begin for groups in Auckland, the
gateway of 70 percent of all international arrivals. Here, groups
can sail former America's Cup racing yachts with Corporate
Explore, bungee jump from or take a stroll around the outdoor
walkway of SkyCity Auckland's SkyTower, the tallest man-made
structure in New Zealand at more than 1,000 ft. SkyTower's orbiting
restaurant-a hot spot for intimate cocktail receptions-will unveil an
aesthetic refresh this fall.
South of Auckland in Rotorua, rustic venues like the
Agrodome mark the spot for hyperlocal team building-sheep

prevuemeetings.com | 29


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue September-October 2017

Prevue September-October 2017 - CT
Prevue September-October 2017 - 1
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