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September 26, 2016

Monday Roundup: New Georgia Conference Center, GBTA India Symposium

barnsley resort

From a new Georgia venue to the start of New York City’s MICE roadshow, here are the three headlines to watch in today’s meetings and events industry news. 

New Inn and Conference Center in Georgia

Georgia’s Barnsley Resort has announced plans for a new 54-room inn and conference center with more than 19,000 square feet of additional indoor and outdoor meeting and event space, with construction slated to begin immediately for a planned fall 2017 opening. Upon completion, the resort will have a total of 150 guest rooms and suites as well as 15,500 square feet of indoor meeting space. 

The new Georgian Hall Conference Center will have more than 10,500 square feet of indoor space and 8,350 square feet available outdoors, providing space for meetings, weddings and other special events in the resort’s historic district. The 5,000 square foot Savannah Ballroom can host events from 240 to 500 guests, with design details including vaulted ceilings with exposed, stained hand-scraped scissor trusses; painted millwork; dormer windows allowing ample natural light; and a floor-to-ceiling brick fireplace. The ballroom is also divisible into two smaller event spaces, with 2,000 square feet of pre-function space leading into the ballroom. The al fresco Savannah Terrace will offer dedicated outdoor space for up to 215 at one end of the ballroom.

The 680 square foot Augusta Room will offer views of the rolling meadow and iconic 19th century manor house ruins visible in the distance. For smaller receptions and board meetings, the Oglethorpe Room will have a barrel-vaulted ceiling, brick detailing, terraced floors and private entrance. Additional indoor meeting and event space will include the 1,440-square-foot divisible Dalton Room with a dedicated pre-reception area.

Outside, a covered verandah will be available for receptions and gatherings. For larger outdoor events, the Estate Lawn will be equipped with full lighting and sound capabilities for up to 300 for seated dining or 370 for receptions. 

In terms of new accommodations, the 54-room Inn at Barnsley Resort will have a Living Room gathering area, as well as bedrooms ranging from 378 to 528 square feet with a mix of king and double queen beds. On the third floor, guests can enjoy additional features such as dormer windows, sloped ceilings and window seats. Three unique suites range from 813 square feet to the 1,650-square-foot Presidential Suite complete with an expansive master suite, living room, dining room, butler-pantry and spacious terrace.

The resort will remain open throughout the expansion. 

New York City’s MICE Roadshow

In destination news, NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization for New York City, has kicked off its 2016 European MICE Road Show, visiting Leeds, London, Copenhagen and Munich. Through September 29, members of NYC & Company’s Convention Development team will showcase New York’s MICE offerings to European buyers. 

Highlights will include new and newly renovated hotels, including the Four Season Hotel New York Downtown, The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, in addition to meeting spaces such as the newly resort Weylin B. Seymour’s venue in Williamsburg, which can host events for up to 1,000 guests, and Convene Park Avenue, Midtown Manhattan’s newest dedicated meeting space. Updates will also be available on the Jacob K. Javits Center’s $1 billion expansion, with construction to begin by the end of the year, adding more than 1.2 million square feet of additional event space, including the largest ballroom in the Northeast at 60,000 square feet. Adjacent to the Javits Center, the Hudson Yards development will be the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center when complete in 2025. Hudson Yards will offer planners additional event space, a new Equinox hotel, cultural activities, restaurants, shops and more. 

Organizations joining the 2016 European MICE Road Show include Lotte New York Palace, New York Hilton Midtown, YOTEL New York, InterContinental New York Barclay, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Lexington New York City, Spring Studios and New York Marriott Marquis.

gbta india symposium

GBTA India Hosts Business Travel Symposium

Finally, GBTA India just hosted its flagship Business Travel Symposium, which drew 300 attendees for a day of education, research and networking, as well as a tradeshow. 

At the event GBTA India Regional Director Gaurav Sundaram presented the GBTA Foundation’s business travel forecast for the region showing India is poised to be a top six business travel market by 2019, with double-digit growth on the horizon. Neal Rogers, APAC-MEA Travel Head, CSC, moderated a panel on best practices for self-booking technology, including experts from Unilever, Serko, Amadeus and Thomas Cook. Program management best practices were highlighted in the next session moderated by Chandresh Natu, APAC Procurement Lead, AON Hewitt, with panelists from Jones Lang LaSalle, Adobe Systems, Accor India and United Airlines Business Services Pvt Ltd.

Additionally, GBTA Global Board Member Bhart Sarin led a Procurement Master Class to share global perspectives on procurement best practices. Bhart also moderated a panel of representatives from Wipro Limited, Hilton Worldwide, AON Hewitt and Ernst & Young for a discussion on best practices in procurement and strategic sourcing. 

Finally, the event closed with a final panel led by Gaurav on payment systems and expense management best practices. That panel included experts from Wipro Travel Services, dnata, CSC and Diners Club International

Have a tip on major meetings and events industry news, or an inspiring story you’d like to share? Reach out at [email protected]

And keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for the latest meetings and events industry news, trends and updates. 

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