where to sleep photo: The Setai, Miami Beach; what to eat photo: Chef David Plonowski
Surrounded by palm trees in the heart of Miami Beach, FL, the 52-acre campus of the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) recently completed a three-year, $620 million renovation and expansion. The revitalized exterior features a stunning roofline with more than 500 fin-like forms that turn the facade into a sinuous wave that shades the interior, much like a pergola. Inside, the expanded 1.4-million-square-foot space now boasts nearly 500,000 square feet of exhibit facilities, 84 breakout rooms totaling 183,000 square feet, and four new ballrooms ranging from 10,000 to 60,000 square feet. And, of course, the MBCC remains a mere two-block stroll from the beach.
WHERE TO SLEEP
More than 7,500 hotel rooms are within one mile of the MBCC. For chic business-class digs, The Setai is an intimate art-deco gem along the beach, while the nearby Gale South Beach and Cadet Hotel offer boutique surrounds for reasonable prices. Adding to the area's distinct flavor, most hotels in South Beach are independent properties.
WHAT TO EAT
For lunch, take a short walk to Lincoln Road, where every manner of fare can be found. Havana 1957 offers Cuban cuisine with a mid-century flair. Treat special clients to opulent dining at The Forge, and entertain private parties of up to 125 with views of the city skyline and the ocean at Delano South Beach's rooftop solarium.
HOW TO GET THERE
Miami International Airport is approximately 12 miles from the MBCC, though in traffic the trip can take 45 minutes. The most economic route is to hop on the Miami Beach Airport Express bus that stops within a couple blocks of the convention center and costs $2.35. Taxis are available for a flat rate of $35, or catch pool rides with Uber or Lyft starting at approximately $15 per passenger.
The venue has exclusive union agreements for staging, production, and audiovisual work, and labor must be done in accordance with these agreements.
Centerplate is the exclusive caterer at the MBCC, and Smart City Holdings LLC is the venue's exclusive provider of telecommunication services including voice, data, and internet.
MBCC prohibits the use and distribution of helium-filled balloons, glitter, and adhesive-backed decals.
Exhibitors may hand-carry items through the center's lobby to their exhibits, but material-handling equipment such as dollies and flat carts may not be used.
Covered exhibit areas are required to have smoke detectors, and covered areas measuring larger than 300 square feet must have fire watch services.
MBCC has a business center on the third-floor skyway that provides printing, computer rental, and shipping services.
MBCC employees are not permitted to accept gratuities of any kind.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the lobby areas at speeds up to 786 kilobytes per second.
Exhibit-hall power is turned on 30 minutes prior to show opening and shut off 30 minutes after closing. All other electrical requirements are subject to quotes from the venue.