GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (March 28, 2023) - Visit Lauderdale, the official destination marketing organization for Greater Fort Lauderdale, is championing the rallying cry that “Meetings Matter” on Global Meetings Industry Day, an international day of advocacy held on March 30 to showcase the extraordinary value created by business meetings, trade shows, conferences and conventions.


This year’s theme, “Meetings Matter,” highlights the numerous benefits of in-person meetings, such as positive economic impact on the region, jobs, forging of business connections and sharing of information that positively impacts the regional economy and benefits businesses of all sizes.


One of many premier conferences Greater Fort Lauderdale is hosting is Seatrade Cruise Global, an international cruise industry expo held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center from March 27-30, 2023.


Prior to the COVID pandemic, business events ranging from small conferences to major trade shows typically attracted more than 1 billion attendees nationwide annually, according to the U.S. Travel Association. When global trade shows and conferences were shuttered and replaced by virtual gatherings in an effort to curtail the virus, convention center revenue around the world plunged, thousands of workers lost their jobs and vendors struggled to stay afloat.


In 2022, the industry began a positive trajectory and generated nearly $100 billion in travel spending nationwide, accounting for 38% of all business travel spending and directly supporting 600,000 American jobs with businesses of all sizes, according to the U.S. Travel Association. In Greater Fort Lauderdale, revenue from overnight visitors of conferences and expos climbed to over $295 million, thanks to a more than 88% year over year increase in overnight accommodations utilized by guests who travelled to the destination to attend in-person meetings and events.


“The meetings and conventions business is essential to Greater Fort Lauderdale’s economy,” said Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “Conferences and trade shows introduce our destination to new visitors who stay in hotels, dine in local restaurants and shop in neighborhood stores. Whether people travel to Greater Fort Lauderdale for business or pleasure, we wholeheartedly welcome everyone to experience our tropical paradise that’s so rich with culture, flavor and unique experiences. Our diversity is our strength.”


Visit Lauderdale recently unveiled its vibrant, new “Everyone Under the Sun” brand campaign which reflects Greater Fort Lauderdale’s authentic, welcoming vibe and its inclusive community.


Greater Fort Lauderdale is poised to soon welcome even more business travelers with the highly anticipated $1.3 billion expansion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.


With the first phase now complete, work is rapidly progressing on a new eastside expansion with waterfront ballrooms, meeting rooms and kitchen facilities, and a six-acre outdoor waterfront plaza. Also on the horizon is a brand new 801-room, five-story Omni headquarters hotel connected to the convention center. When complete in late 2025, the facility's size will increase to 1.2 million square feet.


About Greater Fort Lauderdale 

Greater Fort Lauderdale boasts an average year-round temperature of 77˚F and has 3,000+ hours of annual sunshine and is known as the Venice of America and Yachting Capital of the World. Explore 4,000+ eateries, 300+ miles of navigable waterways, eight distinct beaches, a thriving arts and culture scene, craft breweries, rooftop bars, diving, fishing and other outdoor adventures, world-class shopping and boats, yachts and superyachts moored at the area’s many marinas – all conveniently located in the center of South Florida. Made up of 31 municipalities, the destination boasts more than 38,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts and boutique properties, reflecting a cosmopolitan vibe. Upon arrival at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), it is just five minutes to the beach, Port Everglades, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and downtown. 


About Visit Lauderdale 
Visit Lauderdale is the official destination marketing organization for Greater Fort Lauderdale and serves as the tourism department for Broward County, Florida. Visit Lauderdale promotes the area’s 31 municipalities to a global audience of leisure and business travelers as the ideal place for Everyone Under the Sun in recognition of the area’s diverse and welcoming vibe, and books conventions into the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center and area hotels and resorts. Find more information follow @VisitLauderdale on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube