A recent trip to Sarasota, Florida earlier this year turned up a number of impressive attractions for organisers seeking interesting non-residential venues for their events. Most allow complimentary tours for delegates using the facility.
o The Ringling Museum, a colourful celebration of the circus and art has the Museum of Art Courtyard for outdoor events, a large manicured lawn surrounded by replicas of Ancient Greek, Roman and Baroque statuary and available evenings from 6.00pm to 12.00am for up to 800 guests. Also offered for outside evening events are the Terrace and Bayfront in front of the Ca’ d’Zan mansion house from 6.00pm to 11.00pm for up to 250 guests, and the tented Big Top area forming the museum’s Tibbals Learning Centre, available from 6.00pm to 9.00pm for up to 80.
o The Mote Aquarium has an Aquarium and Courtyard area of 5100 square feet holding 500 for a reception and 350 for a dinner. There is a Sea Cinema with a giant HD screen for 300 (reception) and 200 (dinner), the New Pass Room with waterside views for 200 (reception) and 150 (dinner) and a further three rooms for 60/40/20
o The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens has the Schimmel Wedding Lawn and Pavilion for up to 1,000 guests, a Great Room by the bay with sixty feet of windows for bay and sunset views for 250 theatre-style or 170 cabaret and the Christie Payne Mansion for 55 for a dinner or 75 for a reception.
o The South Florida Museum in Bradenton has the Spanish Plaza Courtyard for outdoor events of up to 225, and the Spanish Chapel for indoor events of up to 80. There is the Bishop Planetarium Theater which can be hired for shows and films for 118, and the Planetarium Lobby for 70 seated or 125 standing. The Parker Manatee Aquarium has a boardroom for 55, with aquarium views.