A “Boutique” Conference Experience Like No Other…
By Sherri Middleton
SportsEvents Media Group is anticipating its most exciting event ever at S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference, September 18 – 21 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
S.P.O.R.T.S., hosted by Go Cedar Rapids, is a relaxed event designed to bring the nation’s top sports events owners and rights holders together with a limited number of destination organizations and industry suppliers to create lasting relationships in a “boutique” conference experience.
“Everything about S.P.O.R.T.S is geared toward creating meaningful relationships,” said SportsEvents Media Group Founder and Publisher Talty O’Connor. “The S.P.O.R.T.S. conference is a perfect way to create relationships because we limit the size of the audience so you have more time to share experiences, have conversations with substance and enjoy fun times together that bond us with new industry acquaintances. In the end, everyone walks away with new, long-lasting and valuable industry connections.”
Mary Lee Malmberg, CSEE, director of sports tourism for Go Cedar Rapids, said, “Cedar Rapids is an emerging location for sports events and conventions, and the Go Cedar Rapids team is unbelievably excited to host S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference!”
While many conferences are focused almost exclusively on volume, the quaint S.P.O.R.T.S. experience allows attendees to share numerous relationship-building opportunities during and after educational sessions and appointments while relaxing and enjoying all that Cedar Rapids has to offer, including the Czech-inspired New Bohemia (NewBo) Main Street District and unique markets and shops in the heart of downtown, all within walking distance from the hotel and meeting headquarters.
U.S. Cellular Convention Center and the connecting DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex is the home base for the conference and housing.
“Attendees will love the close proximity of the DoubleTree by Hilton to locally owned bars and restaurants in downtown Cedar Rapids,” Malmberg said. “If you are looking for a special place to entertain clients on the ‘open’ night, there are several excellent choices, including a restaurant owned by the 2015 Best Chef Midwest Semifinalist. A few blocks beyond the downtown area is the vibrant NewBo District with its distinctive restaurant and bar scene. Go Cedar Rapids is also excited to make available its new Ale Trail app to delegates of the S.P.O.R.T.S. conference.”
Activities during S.P.O.R.T.S. include team-building options, a pre-conference golf scramble, a progressive party with human foosball, dinner at Veterans Memorial Stadium and dessert while watching a group curling competition at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
“We are working hard to provide a fun-filled and action-packed opening-night progressive reception at three of our sports venues. Get ready for some healthy competitions, as we’ll have opportunities for you on the court, on the field and on the ice,” Malmberg said.
During the conference, participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other sports planners in open-format town hall sessions and small group gatherings where planners and rights holders can collaborate.
The number of supplier attendees is limited to a three-to-one ratio to allow participants to meet in lengthy pre-scheduled, fully qualified appointments with host organizations that are 15 minutes long in order to ensure that there is ample time to conduct business and make a meaningful presentation.
In addition, educational sessions, prominent speakers and town hall meetings provide opportunities for learning and conducting business.
And finally, to close the event, attendees will enjoy dinner at Bloomsbury Farms. The Iowa-style party will include zip lining, pig races, zombies, pumpkin shooting, hayrides and a corn maze.
“Cedar Rapids is absolutely the perfect destination for our group,” O’Connor said. “There are fabulous restaurants and nightlife downtown within a block or two of the convention center and our hotel is connected to the convention center for convenience. From past events, I know we are going to create some amazing experiences and have a great time in unexpected ways that will be remembered for years. Attendees will walk away with new friends and new business connections. This is a relationship business and S.P.O.R.T.S. is genuinely all about relationships.”
Visit www.TheRelationshipConference.com to learn more or register for S.P.O.R.T.S. 2017.