The city's blended population of people from South and Central America, the Caribbean and Europe gives Miami a global feel that's both hip and forward-looking. The largest meeting facilities include the Miami Beach Convention Center, the multi-purpose James L. Knight International Center and the DoubleTree Hotel & Miami Airport Convention Center. Other major convention hotels include the Fontainebleu Miami Beach, Loews Miami Beach and the JW Marriott Marquis Miami.
Most people think of Miami as a nightlife and fashion capital first, but it offers amazing cultural amenities and active options for groups. Planners might be surprised to learn that this major convention destination also rolls out the welcome mat for small groups. In fact, the Greater Miami CVB has a Meetings Express program to handle groups of 100 rooms or less, and a wealth of unusual venues and distinctive hotels cater to that market. Some transportation options are surprisingly affordable: There's a free trolley that runs through downtown Coral Gables. You can get around South Beach for 25 cents or get from the airport to South Beach aboard the Airport Flyer in less than 30 minutes for $2.35.
For more information or planning assistance, contact the Greater Miami CVB.
The Greater Miami CVB’s Convention Services department can help planners connect with nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity to build playgrounds, beautify neighborhoods, clean up beaches, assemble bicycles for children and more. Miami Tourism 4 Haiti is a citywide program that helps raise money for aid efforts in Haiti.
The Savoy Hotel charms with art deco design and its quintessential South Beach vibe. Each of the 75 guest rooms/suites are different in design and décor and offer a city, pool or ocean view. Choose from indoor or outdoor meeting/event spaces: an 850-sq. ft. boardroom; the 500-sq. ft. Fendi Room; a 2,000-sq. ft. ballroom; or the 3,640 square feet of the Ocean View Sundeck. The Savoy also has 12,000 square feet of space for poolside gatherings. All indoor meeting areas have their own terraces. This classic hotel, listed on America’s Official Register of Historic Places, also offers attendees private beach access and complimentary beach towels and chairs, two restaurants with indoor/outdoor dining and a landscaped two-acre courtyard.
Find everything you need and then some at the oceanfront Loews Miami Beach Hotel, from first-class meeting facilities to off-hours entertainment, activities for spouses and children, and plenty of fun in the sun. The particulars: 65,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space for groups up to 3,000; 790 guest rooms/suites; a full-service business center run by Xerox; a 900-ft.-wide beach plus an oceanfront swimming pool with Jacuzzi and cabanas; a spa and fitness center; five dining options, including one poolside; an aquarium wall in the lobby; the Loews Loves Kids program; and pet-pampering accommodations. The Loews is in the heart of South Beach’s Historic art deco district.
Thriller Miami Speedboat Tours give attendees a unique view of the city’s mansions, architecture and islands. The Coral Castle offers guided tours that explore the impressive and mysterious architectural achievements of one man who, although he was small in stature, was able to quarry, carve and place mammoth slabs of coral in complex arrangements all by himself in the dead of night. Other group activities can include Miami Food Tour walking tours of South Beach, Everglades airboat tours, Biscayne Bay boat tours by yacht or catamaran, art deco architecture tours and bowling parties at Lucky Strike Lanes.
Miami has many Florida Green Lodging-certified hotels and a countywide sustainability initiative that aims to conserve water at hotels and restaurants. A comprehensive list of eco-friendly venues, activities and initiatives is available from the CVB. DecoBike Miami Beach gives planners a green alternative to the traditional shuttle or tour — and the bikes allow groups to explore nooks of the city that aren’t accessible by taxi or car. Bikes may be picked up and dropped off at multiple locations. GoCar, a certified carbon-neutral company, offers GPS-guided electric cars that deliver customized directions and stories to passengers as they pass significant sites.
Each of Miami’s eclectic neighborhoods have a distinct vibe and dining district, which works well for planners who want to do a progressive dinner or dine-around. In Miami Beach, restaurants are concentrated around Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive. In downtown Miami, look at Mary Brickell Village and Brickell Avenue. Coral Gables has its Miracle Mile and Coconut Grove has Main Highway and Coco Walk. The same districts offer nightclubs for after-dinner entertainment or atmospheric meeting/reception space.
Stuff goodie bags or decorate buffets with tasty reminders of Miami’s diverse flavors — Cuban pastelitos from El Brazo Fuerte Bakery, Key lime cookies from Floribbean or mango jams from the Kingston-Miami Trading Co. Create a dessert centerpiece with chic cakes or cupcakes from LA Sweets, which has such offbeat flavors as guava and pina colada alongside more traditional favorites.
The Hard Rock Café Miami has a living museum of rock ’n’ roll memorabilia and three function spaces for music-centric or themed meetings/events, including the 100-person Sanctuary and a 500-person outdoor patio. The entire venue can be rented out to accommodate up to 525 guests reception-style. Wings Over Miami,an aviation museum and educational center that showcases classic and current aircraft, flying warbirds and World War II military memorabilia, hold 400 guests reception-style. An outdoor area can seat 1,000. Attendees can go wild at Jungle Island, a popular tourist attraction that has event pavilions and an indoor banquet facility plus more than 900 animals and 500 species of trees and plants.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery, believed to be the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere, was built in Segovia, Spain, between 1133 and 1144 for Cistercian monks. William Randolph Hearst bought it in 1925 and had it dismantled stone by stone and shipped to the United States. Due to financial troubles, he was never able to rebuild and the dismantled property stayed in a warehouse until it was purchased in 1952 for use as a tourist attraction. The medieval building is home to the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church and an event facility with reception space for up to 250. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Deering Estate at Cutler operates as a small conference center, special-event facility and conservation site. It has multiple indoor and outdoor event spaces, including a 150-person ballroom, several meeting rooms and 2,000-sq. ft. event lawn. It also houses permanent and rotating art exhibits, an artist’s village, an artist-in-residence program and a creative arts camp. Tours are available.
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, once the winter home of American industrialist James Deering, was built to resemble a 400-year-old Italian Renaissance villa. It has 10 acres of formal gardens and fountains and 34 rooms of 15th– to 19th-century furnishings and art. The estate is now a National Historic Landmark with event space for up to 200 people indoors and 2,000 outdoors. As old as Miami Beach itself, The Villa by Barton G. (formerly Casa Casuarina) is best known as the former home of the late designer Gianni Versace. The mansion is now a 10-suite luxury boutique hotel, restaurant and special-event space. A mosaic garden accommodates up to 450 attendees; an interior courtyard holds up to 350. Intimate rooftop event space and a 30-seat dining room also are available. Miami also is home to some of the country’s best spas, including The Spa at Doral and Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, Canyon Ranch and The Spa at the Four Seasons Miami.
The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, a visual and performing arts academy with five buildings, includes a 200-seat theater, a 300-person atrium, a 75-person art gallery and a 3,000-person outdoor reception area. The Bass Museum of Art was Miami’s first public facility for fine arts exhibitions. It still operates as a gallery but has since been redesigned and has several spaces for groups up to 300. Soho Studios in the Wynwood Art District is a contemporary art deco-style warehouse with open floor plans that accommodate an array of small to large-scale functions. It regularly hosts weddings, film shoots, concerts and corporate events. The artsy WhereHouse 2016 has space for up to 300 people. Decorated as a life-size work of art, the space includes floor-to-ceiling wall murals, handmade light sculptures and custom-painted furniture and floors. It’s equipped with audiovisual technology, an adjustable stage and a catering kitchen.
The 1,567-seat Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts is a restored 1926 atmospheric theater that resembles a Moorish courtyard, complete with a “sky” of twinkling stars. Planners can organize lectures, receptions, awards ceremonies or create an onstage banquet for up to 220 people. The 2,461-seat Filmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater, next to the Miami Beach Convention Center, is another theater with unexpected banquet space. The 1950s-era theater’s orchestra pit can seat up to 390 guests in rounds.
The Frank Gehry-designed New World Center was conceived as a living laboratory for the way music is taught, performed and experienced. It is home to the New World Symphony and has more than two dozen rooms wired for AV recording and Internet2 capability plus a large multipurpose room with a terrace, an editing suite and a 2.5-acre public park. The performance hall offers flexible seating and a 7,000-sq. ft. projection wall. Group tours are available for up to 50 people at a time. The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is Miami-Dade County’s premier arts and entertainment venue. The 567,000-sq. ft. center has several spaces for groups up to 6,000, including its 2,400-seat Ziff Ballet House, the 2,200-seat Knight Concert Hall, the 3,500-sq. ft. Peacock Education Center and the Thompson Plaza for the Arts, an outdoor performance/event area that connects the concert hall and the ballet house. The 28,000-sq. ft. James L. Knight Center is a multipurpose entertainment complex connected to the Miami Convention Center. It has a 5,000-seat theater and its Riverfront Hall accommodates 4,000 (reception) or 1,800 (banquet). It can be divided into smaller classroom-style settings.
One of the only hotels on Ocean Drive located directly on the sand with private beach access, the chic Savoy Hotel South Beach Miami is a 75-suite resort without peer on America's sun-drenched Riviera — South Miami Beach's Art Deco district.
Great occasions call for a great venue. Whether you're planning an awards banquet, anniversary, fund-raiser, planning meeting, reunion, or birthday bash, we can easily accommodate up to 2,000 of your closest friends.