There’s something about Orlando, Fla., that stirs the nostalgia in this AB Show-goer. It’s where the conference and expo (as it used to be known) was held my first eight years at Athletic Business, and it has been there another four times since. In all, Orlando has served as the annual home away from home for AB roughly half the time in our show’s 35-year history.
We’ve changed, and so has the city. Our headquarters hotel had always been the Rosen Plaza, and that’s where many AB staffers resided again this year, when the 35th show returned Nov. 17-19. The Lobby Bar has been given a facelift, but it’s still the place to find familiar industry faces.
Also on the ground floor, the Backstage Lounge — where back in the day one could hear the house band clear down the hallway and physically feel its beat once inside — has been replaced by upscale nightclub 3NINE, the elegant site of this year’s Facilities of Merit™ Reception.
Across International Drive from the Plaza and adjacent Orange County Convention Center lies Pointe Orlando, which has morphed over the years from an outdoor mall of mostly retail spaces to a bustling hub of nightlife and entertainment. This year’s AB Show Welcome Reception rocked BB King’s Blues Club — one of 17 restaurant/bars on premises.
Why do I bring all this up? Because we’ll be back in Orlando again next year, Nov. 9-11. Whether you’re a newcomer to the AB Show or a veteran like me, we’d love to welcome you to our favorite destination.