By LYDIA CRAVER
The Association for Women in Sports Media will return to South Florida in 2016, holding its convention July 28-31 at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami.
AWSM has secured an outstanding rate of $135/night (singles/doubles), which includes internet in the guest rooms, choice of daily newspaper, nightly turndown service, use of the fitness center and access to the spa’s relaxation areas – which include an aromatherapy sauna and steam rooms. The rate is good two days before and after the convention dates, based on availability.
Mandarin Oriental is Florida’s only triple five-diamond property (hotel, restaurant and spa) and was named to Conde Nast Traveler’s “gold list” of the world’s best places to stay. Located on Brickell Key, the property features stunning views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. Each guest room offers a private balcony with water views. Other highlights: an infinity edge pool, private beach club, island jogging trail and dining/shopping within walking distance at Mary Brickell Village and throughout downtown Miami. The Mandarin is close to South Beach, Coconut Grove, Wynwood Arts District and Key Biscayne.
Miami International Airport (MIA) is nine miles west of the property and Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) 25 miles to the north, giving convention attendees two viable options for flights.
Keys to the selection of South Florida: Past AWSM convention success, accessibility, affordability, a strong and diverse media market and the presence of all major professional sports teams as well as myriad higher learning institutions.
The hometown Miami Herald has employed many AWSM members through the years, hosted AWSM interns and served as a sponsor for multiple conventions. The nearby Knight Foundation, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Palm Beach Post also have been past AWSM supporters as have outlets such as ESPN and Fox Sports, which have outposts in South Florida.
AWSM previously convened in Miami in 2008 and 1995, two of the group’s highest attended meetings, and has held many regional events in the area. If you’d like to get involved in planning the 2016 conference – contact any AWSM board member.