Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Fort Lauderdale

Learn why you should host your next meeting, event or conference in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

PARTNER CONTENT

Why Greater Fort Lauderdale for Your Next Meeting or Event?

Known as the “Venice of America” because of its more than 300 miles of inland waterways, Greater Fort Lauderdale provides a diverse and beautiful backdrop for meetings and events. From the 24 miles of Atlantic coastline beaches to the wild expanses of the Everglades, there are endless opportunities to find unique experiences; diverse, culturally infused dining; wide-open spaces, and beautiful natural areas for memorable team-building experiences

Only in Greater Fort Lauderdale

Getting from one place to another doesn’t always require ground transportation. Found only in Fort Lauderdale, the Water Taxi offers an extensive network of public routes to waterfront restaurants, shops and hotels, and has a fleet of both large and small craft available for private group transportation and tours.

Transportation

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, about five miles from downtown Fort Lauderdale. Transfer cost by taxi, $15 to $25; the airport is also served by Uber and LYFT.

Greater Fort Lauderdale Travel Essentials

Taxes: Room tax: 6%; state and local tax: 7%; total tax on hotel rooms: 13%

CVB: Visit Lauderdale, (954) 767-2469 or (800) 227-8669

Municipal Makeup: Greater Fort Lauderdale comprises 31 municipalities: Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lighthouse Point, Pompano Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lazy Lake, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston and Wilton Manors.

Convention Center: Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center; total exhibit space upon completion of expansion: 1.2 million square feet;  number of meeting rooms upon completion of expansion: 50 breakout rooms andfour ballrooms. (954) 767-2469


PARTNER CONTENT

2021 Stella Award Winners

2020 Stella Award Winners

    Meeting & Event Venues

    New & Coming Soon to Greater Fort Lauderdale 

    • More than 1,000 hotels, tourist attractions, restaurants and businesses throughout the city and county are taking Visit Lauderdale’s Safe + Clean Pledge, which provides a unified message that health and safety standards, and protection against the spread of COVID-19, are a top priority. Visit Lauderdale and its meetings team put the safety and health of attendees and event suppliers as its top priority.

    • A $1.1 billion expansion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, incorporating ASM Global’s VenueShield operations and management protocols for best-in-class reopening programs, is underway. The project will add 532,000 square feet of meeting space over the previous center and an 800-room headquarters hotel. Phase one opened in fall 2021 with 800,000 total sq. ft and a newly expanded exhibit hall; upon completion, the venue will span a total of 1.2 million square feet, including 350,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space (up from 262,198 square feet) and a 65,000-square-foot waterfront ballroom, plus a new expansive, outdoor waterfront plaza with an amphitheater and three restaurants.

    • The destination added 10 new hotels in 2021 including the dual-branded Marriott Fort Lauderdale Airport and AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Airport in Dania Beach, the Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown, which includes The Easton rooftop bar and lounge, and more. Newly opened hotels in 2022 include the  Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale and the AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach.

    Beat The Heat
    Northstar's downloadable white paper, "The Off-Season Advantage", profiles 10 U.S. cities -- Fort Lauderdale included -- and their off-season group offerings. Get all the insight on the benefit of planning a "slow-month" meeting by accessing your copy here.

    • The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina recently renovated all 595 guest rooms and has completed a refresh of 18,000 square feet of meeting space, plus the lobby and all public areas. The property currently is constructing a new 5,000-square-foot waterfront ballroom and a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, set to be completed in late 2022.

    •  The Carousel Club has opened at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach. This new open-air gathering spot sports an antique carousel and offers cocktails, tasty bites and entertainment day and night, including spectacular views of thoroughbred horse racing. 

    • The Bite Eatery, the first food hall in Pompano Beach, is set to open in spring 2022, just a few blocks away from the beach and the Fisher Family Pier. The 250-seat venue features the fully stocked Beach Bar plus nine food vendors.

    Atmos Immersive Dining is the newest addition to Sistrunk Marketplace & Brewery in Fort Lauderdale. More than just dinner, Atmos takes attendees on a two-hour, six-course, multisensory luxury dining experience. With each course, diners are immersed in videos showing the country of origin of the cuisine along with music, aromas and more.

    • The historic Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center and International Swimming Hall of Fame complex is undergoing at $47 million renovation and expansion that includes five new swimming pools to welcome aquatic sporting activities and competitions. A major highlight is the new 27-meter dive tower – the tallest in the Western hemisphere. Visitors will be able to experience “Top of the Tower” tours with scenic views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Fort Lauderdale beach. Pools and new meeting facilities will open in late 2022. 

    • The Florida Panthers organization is revitalizing and expanding Fort Lauderdale’s War Memorial Auditorium to create a new state-of-the-art practice facility for the NHL team as well as community ice facilities. In between the rinks will be an indoor-outdoor restaurant. The team is transforming the art deco-style auditorium into a concert and performing space with a capacity of nearly 4,000, featuring concerts booked by Live Nation Entertainment. 

    More Event Venues

    • A hub for local galleries, studios and other creative businesses, Flagler Arts and Technology Village (FATVillage) lies within the heart of Fort Lauderdale's downtown. Choose from one of two repurposed warehouses: The Projects, spanning 8,000 square feet, and Building 517, with 6,800 square feet for gatherings. Another option is the Artsup Building, with 5,880 square feet of indoor space crowned by an artwork-embellished ceiling, the indoor Far Gallery and an outdoor courtyard. Furniture, artwork and lighting rentals are available for an even more unique touch.

    • Home of the Florida Panthers National Hockey League team as well as a premier venue for concerts and shows of all stripes, the FLA Live Arena also features 100,000 square feet of event space, including 12 function areas for meetings, parties, seminars, cocktail receptions and more for up to 500 attendees. Customized catering is available.

    • The iconic 487-room B Ocean Resort began life in 1956 as the Yankee Clipper and, while completely modernized within, retains its distinctive ocean-liner shape on the beach. The property has two outdoor pools, three restaurants and a coffee shop, not to mention regularly scheduled underwater “mermaid” shows taking place at the Wreck Bar. For meetings and events, the resort devotes 10,000 square feet indoors and 30,000 square feet outdoors.

    • The Bamboo Gallery offers a tropical setting with authentic tiki huts and waterfalls. On 2.5 acres of lush landscape, the venue accommodates 400 people for receptions and up to 180 for seated meals.

    • On two floors and accommodating groups of 3,000 guests, the Museum of Discovery and Science features more than 200 interactive exhibits. Displays include live animal habitats, flight simulators, a Wall of Wind hurricane exhibit, a Florida ecoscapes exhibit and an airboat ride simulator.

    • Take to the water in style aboard an Anticipation Yacht Charters luxury vessel; the largest of the outfit's three vessels can host 350 guests. The ships offer state-of-the-art sound systems, plush carpeting and elegant furnishings.

    • The Mary N. Porter Riverview Ballroom, in the Huizenga Pavilion at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, has breathtaking views of the New River, Esplanade Park and the meticulously landscaped Wendt Terraces. The venue offers 3,600 square feet of event space.



    Things to Do in Fort Lauderdale

    Getting Active & Outdoors  

    • The area is home to 69 miles of natural coral reef just offshore. Explore the briny deep via a scuba-diving excursion with companies like Sea Experience for an up-close view. For a closer-to-shore experience, Fort Lauderdale is the only place in the continental U.S. where you can snorkel and dive on a living coral reef straight off the beach. The reef is especially close in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. Engage even novice team members for a safe experience by Private Scuba & Snorkel.

    • Fort Lauderdale-based Denison Yachting provides luxury yacht charters for special corporate and social events as well as private cruises perfect for incentives.

    • Saddle up for horseback-riding fun at the Bar-B Ranch, in the nearby town of Davie. Here, riders of every skill level can enjoy a leisurely ride on-property or at nearby Robbins Open Space Preserve, a beautiful 160-acre park featuring one of the last remaining hardwood and palm forests in Broward County. Accompanying trail guides are most friendly and knowledgeable, and the ranch takes every precaution to keep things clean, safe and socially distant.

    • All of the protected natural beauty of Florida’s pristine Everglades can be explored via Everglades Holiday Park, whose fleet of vessels are roomy and protect passengers from the elements (and each other in the spirit of social distancing). Guests zip across the “River of Grass” at top speeds while learning all about alligators, assorted snakes, egrets and other denizens of the wetlands.

    • For an even more adventurous Everglades experience, treat your group to a private nighttime Red Eye Everglades tour at Sawgrass Recreation Park, to view nocturnal wildlife and native reptiles. Set off on full-moon kayak tours at either Park & Ocean or Whiskey Creek Hideout, both located at Florida state parks along the Greater Fort Lauderdale coastline. 

    • For more stylish nighttime adventures, check out the view and the scene on Fort Lauderdale rooftops including Rooftop 1WLO, Sparrow at the Dalmar hotel, the High Tide Lounge atop the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Easton atop Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown and the ELEV8 Pool Bar at the Hyatt Centric Las Olas.

    • Put your wheels on: The region is a hotspot for cycling, skating (including BMX), roller derby and go-kart racing. Head over to the Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome with a steeply banked oval track designed for professional and recreational cycling and in-line skating.

    Extending Your Trip in Greater Fort Lauderdale

    • Just two miles north of Port Everglades, the landscaped Beachfront Promenade is marked by its distinctive white wave all and brick-paved path. There’s much to do here, from enjoying the shops and restaurants of The Gallery at Beach Place to renting a bicycle with AvMed Rides via Broward BCycle

    • Port Everglades, the world’s third largest cruise port, is located right next to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Check for cruises before or after your meeting for a chance to add on a memorable incentive or vacation. In addition to the seven cruise lines now in service, Disney Cruise Line and the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will begin sailing in 2023. 

    • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a historic landmark as designated by the city of Fort Lauderdale, the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens makes a lovely respite for attendees seeking both art and nature. Built in 1920 as the estate of artist Frederic Clay Bartlett, today the house serves as an institution devoted to historic and environmental preservation. While the beautifully restored interior is bedecked with period art and furniture, the surrounding grounds comprise five distinct ecosystems, including a desert garden, mangrove wetlands and a maritime forest. 

    • Spread your wings: Butterfly World houses the largest aviary of the fluttery fauna in North America, plus an impelling insectarium and buzz-worthy hummingbird environment.

    • Get wild: At Flamingo Gardens & Wray Botanical Collection, enjoy 60 acres of diverse native plants and trees, a Bird of Prey Center with a free-flight aviary, and opportunities to view alligators, flamingos, bobcats and Florida panthers.

    • Hit the beach: Among the area's best assets, Greater Fort Lauderdale's 24 miles of sun-kissed beaches are an easy walk from many hotels, restaurants and activities. Choose from eight beach communities, each with their own distinct personalities: Deerfield Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Pompano Beach, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Fort Lauderdale, Dania Beach, Hollywood and Hallandale Beach.

    • Stroll and shop: Known as Greater Fort Lauderdale's Style Mile, Las Olas Boulevard features eclectic, independently owned boutiques. Love a bargain? Don't miss Sawgrass Mills, the world’s largest single-story outlet mall.

    South Florida Sports Scene

    It's all about the ice: The NHL Florida Panthers hockey team plays at FLA Live Arena.

    Top 10 Restaurants in Greater Fort Lauderdale

    Be sure to check out some of the area's best dining locales.

    1. GG’s Waterfront Bar & Grill  - Seafood
    2. Beach House Pompano - Surf 'n' Turf
    3. Foxy Brown - Comfort food
    4. Burlock Coast - Seafood
    5. Lona - Mexican, Latin
    6. The Cook and the Cork - New American
    7. Wild Sea Oyster Bar and Grille - Seafood
    8. Takato -  Japanese/Korean fusion
    9. Casablanca Cafe - American, Mediterranean
    10. Steak 954 - Steak House