Bermuda Meetings, 2002

July 11, 2011 by Paris and John  
Filed under Sample Articles


Association planners might worry about the possibility of hurricanes during a September meeting in the islands but last year the Society of American Travel Writers faced not only a storm but disruptions caused by September 11th. “The amazing job the Bermudians did was incredible,” notes Michigan-based Cynthia Boal Janssens, past president of the association who served as program chair. “We had a very elaborate convention planned and then had to change everything because of the weather. We moved a dine around with one day’s notice.”

Although the hurricane caused rescheduling of most evening events, day activities went on as scheduled with both seminars and tours for delegates. “Bermuda really is well suited to a convention because attendees can stay in a compact area but have so much to do. There’s great golf, good beaches, and the buses and ferry system provide safe transportation.” The Fairmont Southampton Princess served as the conference hotel, and the 450 attendees stayed at the property as well as several others on the island.

“People who hadn’t been to Bermuda before are always surprised how upscale it is and how much British influence there is on the island,” says Janssens.

Weather –good weather — was also a factor in the planning of the February meeting of the Pennsylvania Veterinarian Medical Association. The group has enjoyed many Caribbean destinations for its February conference; St. Thomas was selected for the 2002 convention. The group met at the Renaissance Grand Beach Resort for five days of lectures. Ted Robinson of the Unique Seminar Vacations for the Veterinary Medical Profession division of Frost and Robinson selected St. Thomas following an extensive site inspection and planned the meeting for 90 veterinarians. Although this was a working meeting, Robinson built free time into the middle of the day so attendees could enjoy the island’s attractions. “People went touring, shopping, fishing, golfing, snorkeling, and took trips over to nearby St. John,” said the Richboro, Pennsylvania-based planner. “It’s an expensive island. That’s the only drawback.” One factor that attracted the group to St. Thomas was the ability to deduct the meeting as if it were held on the mainland.

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