by Derek Miller
Competition is rife between salesmen, businessmen and academics both in the States and worldwide for the chance to win a trip to Miami for a convention from their bosses. People sitting in offices watching the snow or rain outside may well wish they had worked a little bit harder last year so that they could be one of the lucky few to be chosen for a week in tropical sunshine during the northern winter.
Miami, Florida is one of the most famous and popular convention centres in the States. For keen workers it's a question of Miami-or-bust as an annual excursion if you are good enough at your job. The annual pilgrimage sorts out the "sheep from the goats", and to be left out probably means that you have failed to reach last year's target.
For the academics a freebee in the sun chatting jurisprudence and meta-physics, Egyptology, pure maths, geomorphology or Greek philosophy with someone who actually understands what you are talking about is a tonic which brings them back to their students mentally and physically refreshed.
Miami certainly has the facilities available to cater for large parties of businessmen. A long list of hotels offer conference facilities, and often the larger companies will book a whole 3/400 bed hotel for the duration of a particular convention.
The largest Convention Centre runs to half a million square feet, whilst many smaller venues are always in use all around Miami and the surrounding areas.
The variety of Miami conventions and conferences is truly staggering. These include such topics as Treasury Management in Latin America, Career Fairs, engineering shows, legal conferences, many medical conferences and trade shows, other trade shows for every conceivable product, travel, entertainment and fashion shows. The list goes on and on.
If you've managed to persuade your superior that your attendance at the convention is vital, there is plenty to do in the hours between lectures, speeches or meetings. Many people like to experience the famous South Beach with its miles of sand and upbeat nightlife. Zoos, aquariums and outdoor activities abound if you have a day off, and the shopping is of a high standard.
The choice of restaurants to suite all tastes and budgets and the tropical temperatures in winter also encourages many employers to favour Miami for its company's trade fair, or to send its employees there as an annual bonus for good performance. Major clients of any trade or profession like to do business in pleasant surroundings with all the relevant comforts.
Miami is likely to remain as one of the most popular convention centres due to both long established use and its ability to cater for the numbers without losing its identity.
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