Thursday, 17 January 2013

Whereever I lay my Zonta logo'd baseball cap, that's my home - for Convention at least

The ladies from the Zonta Club of Melbourne, Florida wanted me to be prepared for the scorching sun. (Modelled by Cheyenne the cougar, Snorfy's special friend)
Convention is a time where we all come together from across the globe and conduct our Zonta business, catch up with beloved friends and make merry with the gossip and the wine all night long!

So we need a venue that can stand up to all we demand of it. Besides the main business room, the number 1 demand is: places to chat with friends. From 6am until about 3am there are groups of ladies clustering around a beverage supply enjoying a good ol' chinwag.

ZI Convention Italy 2012 053
District 24 ladies in pre-chat preparation at Torino

If there is one thing I can promise you about the Marriott World Centre, there are more places to chat than you can ever possibly use. Let's take a gander at where Convention will be held - both the business end and the party end

Firstly, I have already given you the official glimpse of the Marriott Conference Centre, now I have seen it for myself. It's HUGE! It is easily bigger than anything I've seen before.

When playing the board game "Risk" always best to start with pink and work your way outwards. (source: Marriott)

That main beige "Cyprus Ballroom" has the ability to sit 16,000 theatre style. It is the nation's largest pillar free ball room - ummm... WOW!

Invite all your friends! Let's fill this baby! otherwise it will be a sad with only 2000 of us jammed in a corner. (source: Marriott)

The 3 other main areas can hold roughly 5,000 each! Every where is moveable walls and all spaces are flat, with freely placed chairs.

On the day I visited a 3000 person conference was underway and that seemed to make the place busy enough. although the Grand Ballroom was empty

One quarter of the Grand Ballroom - the smallest ball room
A different quarter - but they are all the same - and there are a lot of them!

In the plan above, all those little dark blue rooms are little meeting rooms. They were set up with small round tables, so each room held about 30 people each. Here you can also see the chairs they use - those standard, lighweight, padded type.

This is still bigger than the room where my club has it's meetings!
These rooms also have sliding panels so spaces can be very flexible. The plan above shows the smaller ballrooms can have slidey walls and small rooms created too. The Marriott staff all seemed to nice young slips of girlies - I have no idea whom is shoving all these giant sliding wall panels around!

Bring me more small meeting rooms! And doors! I want lots and lots of doors!

Conference centre main foyer. Meeting rooms behind, Palm Ballroom (green) immediately to left, Cyprus Room straight ahead.
The conference centre is bolted onto the side of the hotel. So hotel guests enter from the bottom left hand side of the plan - walk past all the meeting rooms and land in this main open space.

Conf Centre front entrance, looking back up at hotel (source: Marriott)
Here is a shot of the conference centre taken from an upper floor of the adjoining hotel:
The blocked roofs delineate each ballroom - the far white roof is Cyprus (beige); skinny brown is Palm (green); striped is Crystal (pale blue).

The flat as a pancake Florida landscape.
Behind the centre is the multi-story carpark. If you are staying off site, you park here and a little shuttle bus brings you around to the front door. See the little bus? Bottom RHS?

So be prepared for a lot of walking.

Although the staff have taken to doing cartwheels down the long corridors (source: Marriott)
 "But I don't understand, Mrs. Banks! You promised lounge chattings and beverages of choice!"

So perhaps the hotel will put out some seating and lounges in the conference centre common spaces for us; otherwise it is back up that hallway to the hotel where they have a squillion little loungey spots inside and out, in which you can sit back and relax.

Check in for Part 2 - where I'll show all the places for the party side of convention

Photos either my own or used with the permission of the Marriott

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