|Jennifer Ross – Regional Partnership – BrandUSA & (left); Dianne Turner- Global Partnership – BrandUSA (right)|
The Florida Huddle tourism event took place January 14 to 16 in Palm Beach County. This year the show was newly acquired and revamped by Visit Florida.
2014 also marked the first time in several years that Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando participated.
“With our reinvention of Florida Huddle, we’re proud to welcome back these three Strategic Alliance Partners to help showcase Florida to the world,” Seccombe said.
Here's what was new about the show this year:
- Expanded opportunities for appointments, allowing two full days of one-on-one meetings between buyers and suppliers
- Scheduling of appointments to begin weeks earlier than in years past, for more effective planning
- New platform for media to schedule appointments with buyers and suppliers
- Increased attention to niche buyers, such as destination weddings and incentive travel
- State-of-the-art conference site at the Palm Beach County Convention Center
- Full range of digital and support services provided by VISIT FLORIDA
- Opening night festivities at The Breakers Palm Beach, a Florida icon built by tycoon Henry Flagler, father of Florida tourism
|Fernando A. Harb - Vice President Tourism Sales - Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (right); Neil Strickland – Questex (left)|
Here are some key stats from the show:
- Qualified buyers from more 20 different countries
- 12 percent increase in buyer delegates, which topped 200
- Appointment-taking buyers: 125 companies with 183 buyers
- Appointment-taking suppliers: 177 companies with 190 sellers
- Total registered attendees: 345 companies with 595 delegates
- Media: 30+ publications from the U.S., Canada, the UK, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, Argentina, Venezuela and Costa Rica.
- Average number of appointments per delegate increased to 40, from 27 in prior years.
- The appointment-scheduling goal of a 1:1 ratio between buyers and suppliers was achieved, with 183 buyers and 190 suppliers.
- Number of appointment requests made: 16,969
- Number of appointments scheduled: 10,575
- Percentage of appointment requests that were mutual: 94 percent
- Percentage of requests that resulted in appointments: 62 percent