Hurricane Isaac may have blown a few changes across the 2012 Republican National Convention schedule last week, but when C&IT visited a few days before, it was a breeze.
Along with interviewing some of the key figures involved in securing and organising the event, I also got a chance to experience some of Tampa’s C&I highlights firsthand.
As the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee prepared for the expected – more than 50,000 guests, including delegates and elected officials – and the unexpected – weather hiccups, Clint Eastwood’s imaginary chat with Obama – I took advantage of the city’s fine weather to enjoy a host of activities. Canoeing down the Hillsborough River, where we spotted a host of wildlife including alligators swimming just a feet away, was the perfect way to relax the day after a long flight. Not to mention handfeeding giraffes at Busch Gardens, or tucking into an epic steak at Bern’s Steak House. Tampa is packed with great incentive activities and venues – see C&IT’s October feature for more information.
The RNC was expected to be worth between $175m and $200m to the local economy. However, with venues such as the Tampa Bay Times Forum and Tampa Convention Center successfully welcoming thousands of delegates, its legacy will surely be to place Tampa firmly on the global meetings map. C&IT, for one, would be more than happy to return.