SportsEvents Magazine

JUN 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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June 2018 14 With preparations underway for the 12th S.P.O.R.T.S. The Relationship Conference Sept. 10 – 13 in Winston-Salem, N.C., Bonny Bernat, senior sports and events sales manager for Visit Winston-Salem, is excited to provide a quality, memorable experience where relationships are made. "What's so important about this confer- ence is that you really have an opportunity to spend quality time with rights holders and peers," she said. "That's what makes S.P.O.R.T.S: everyone has a quality, mem- orable experience where they enjoy the relationships they have and are building." Also, she said, "The size of S.P.O.R.T.S is a great fit for Winston-Salem." Known for its relaxed, small-group set- ting, the 'boutique' conference experience lends itself to developing friendships and business relationships that continue to flourish years after the conference is over. Christian Schroeder, director of sales and services with Visit Winston-Salem, said that attendees can expect "authentic experiences, as Winston-Salem has a unique blend of history, arts, culinary and culture. Each conference, year after year, is so different. We are very excited about S.P.O.R.T.S. coming to Winston-Salem in September." SportsEvents Media Group Founder and Publisher Talty O'Connor said S.P.O.R.T.S. is geared toward creating meaningful relationships. "This is a boutique conference experience like no other and the perfect way to create relationships because we limit the size of the audience so there is more opportunity to have conversations and share experiences while having fun times together. It's those experiences that create valuable industry connections." "We believe our unique format with a limited number of supplier participants is the most effective way to build genuine industry connections," he said. "We offer pre-qualified, one-on-one appointments that are twice as long as those at similar industry events. We think that is key to generating real business." Both Schroeder and Bernat said attend- ees will discover that business and good times combine in this reinvented city in North Carolina. Winston-Salem has histor- ic roots in tobacco and textiles but today the city is known for arts, health care, edu- cation and banking. More than $1.7 billion in public and private funds have been spent to revitalize downtown and Winston-Salem has been recog- nized by Forbes as one of America's Best Downtowns. The majority of the down- town restau- rants and shops are locally owned, offer great variety and are very walkable. Winston-Salem is also home to six colleges and universities, so venues such as those at Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University make this area prime for sports events. The newly renovated Benton Convention Center in the Twin City Quarter connects to the recently renovated Marriott and the Embassy Suites by an enclosed, climate-controlled walkway. The convention center and connecting hotels are the home base for the conference and housing. Prior to the opening day on Sept. 10, a pre-conference golf scramble will get participants in the swing in a laid-back, fun environment. Those not interested in golf will find plenty to do in the hip Downtown Arts District, which offers an eclectic col- lection of galleries, working art studios, entertainment and restaurants such as Finnigan's Wake Irish Pub & Kitchen and Sweet Potatoes, which features Southern fare. Fourth Street is another popular area and features Jeffrey Adams on Fourth, Foothills Brewery, wine bars, and various restaurant and entertainment options. Also, the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is focused on science, informa- tion technology and bio-medical research. Located on 330 acres in downtown Winston-Salem, the Innovation Quarter began as a community effort to bring busi- Special Feature: S.P.O.R.T.S. 2018 Preview BY SHERRI MIDDLETON S.P.O.R.T.S Is All About Relationships

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