by Astrid Zeppenfeld
Lake of the Ozarks, for many, is a weekend getaway destination. We love hanging out at “The Lake”, playing in the water with our kids, and going on romantic dinner dates with our significant others. There is always something fun to do at the many entertainment venues or one can venture out on a cruise boat.
But did you know that many corporations and associations use the serenity of the region as a backdrop for their meetings and events? Especially in the usually pretty sterile world of medical organizations (pun intended), the many options for fun times and team-building exercises make it a perfect location to hold a convention or meeting. Lagina Fitzpatrick, Director of Sales at Lake of the Ozarks CVB, shares the reasons a lot of medical associations choose this destination for their events again and again: “It’s our central location, our affordability, our wide variety of options for dining and attractions when they’re not in meetings. There are just so many things to do, like golf tournaments – we have 13 golf courses to choose from. They can charter one of the boats and take their group out on the water. We just have so many added amenities here, on top of our conference hotels.”
Sarah Luebbert, Executive Director for Missouri Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP), agrees, “We have our annual Missouri ACP Scientific Meeting at the Lake of the Ozarks each year in September. Our event has been held at Tan-Tar-A/Margaritaville Lake Resort for many years. We hold our meeting at the Lake of the Ozarks because of its central location in Missouri; it’s not more than a 4-hour drive for any of our members. The bonus of holding our meeting at the Lake of the Ozarks is the beauty of the Lake right outside the meeting facilities.” Luebbert elaborates, “Since our meeting is in the fall we never know what the weather will be like, but in early September, the weather is most often very nice and many of our attendees love being able to walk or run the resort before or after our sessions. As a meeting planner, when I need to get away from all the hustle of the conference I love to step outside for a few minutes and take in the views of the Lake. It definitely has a calming effect on me!”
The newly rebranded Margaritaville Lake Resort is not the only conference spot that has recently undergone renovations. In the past year and a half, the convention hotels in the area have spent over $70 million on renovating and improving their premises and offerings, according to Lagina Fitzpatrick.
Sarah Luebbert adds, “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau volunteer staff. I wouldn’t be able to have a successful conference without these volunteers. I am a staff of one and one half. We have a lot of events going on at the same time during our conference and having the volunteers there to staff our registration booth enables us to take care of the rest of the event details without worrying about registration.”
Well, if these aren’t enough reasons to consider Lake of the Ozarks for your next medical meeting…
A beautiful, serene landscape, newly renovated convention centers and hotels, plenty of fun activities for breakout sessions, and a friendly CVB staff to help you plan and pull off your epic event – sounds like a meeting I’d sign up for in a heartbeat!
Astrid Zeppenfeld is a writer and MM&E’s editor/business development manager from St. Louis.