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“The path of the paddle can be a means of getting things back to their original perspective.” – Bill Mason

Sunny Greetings

Meetings and events in the Fort Myers area are back in business.  Shops and restaurants have swung open their doors, cultural attractions are thriving and the days ahead are bright. 

Many of you agree that incorporating a destination’s local culture into the agenda is a great way to get attendees interested and immersed in the experience of your event.  One way to do this is to embark on a boat tour around the Fort Myers area.  Cruising our winding waterways, allow your attendees to get a glimpse into our past. Hear about the Calusa Native Americans who settled in Southwest Florida over 2,000 years ago, the area’s rich ecological diversity provided an abundance of fish and shellfish, and the inventors Thomas Edison and Henry Ford who built their winter homes along the Caloosahatchee River in 1885. 

For a deeper dive into ways to experience Fort Myers’ rich history, check out Dig Deep Into Fort Myer’s History in The Local Palate and this video spotlight on the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

Why not hold your next meeting at Fort Myers’ islands, beaches and neighborhoods and invite your attendees to network and create shared memories while experiencing Southwest Florida's rich culture.

We value your business, treasure our friendships, and hope you choose the islands, beaches and neighborhoods of Fort Myers for your next conference.


Lauren Hyps, national sales manager


The VCB welcomes Lauren Hyps as its new national sales manager.

Hyps will be responsible for promoting Fort Myers’ Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods as a premier group travel and meetings destination to the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) markets in the Midwest U.S. territory.

“We are excited to welcome Lauren to our team,” said Tamara Pigott, VCB executive director. “Our visitor and meeting planner client base is strong in the Midwest and she will do a great job serving our hospitality businesses and helping us grow this segment even more.” 

Hyps was with VISIT Milwaukee for 15 years, most recently as associate director of sales. Before that, she worked in hotel sales for 9 years at several Milwaukee properties (The Pfister Hotel & Hyatt Regency Milwaukee). Hyps also boasts professional affiliations within the hospitality industry including MPI, PCMA and Destinations International. 

She and her husband, Gerard, live in the Milwaukee area where they are raising their three sons (Ethan, Cole & Tanner) and three boxer dogs (Rugby, Boone & Ash).

Travel Resources

Meeting Planner Guide to Fort Myers - Islands, Beaches & Neighborhoods

Largest Meeting Property List

Island Incentive Meetings Program

What's Open in Fort Myers - Islands, Beaches & Neighborhoods

RSW Nonstop Cities Map

RSW Terminal Expansion Info

Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) Travel Tips

Upcoming Meeting Events
Destination Celebration
Milwaukee, WI | Lauren Hyps
3 - 5

SITE Southeast Education Summit
Nashville, TN | Erin Lester

3 - 6

American Express INTERaction
Seattle, WA | Betsy Bush


Tallahassee Sales Calls
Tallahassee, FL | Erin Lester

Past Meeting Events

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A day at Fenway!  Joining Betsy Bush (left - right) are Amrita Nicols, ConferenceDirect; and Mary Ellen Yeager, International Gaming Technology
Kathy Hedlund from HelmsBriscoe had a moment to rekindle a friendship with Jerry Terp at CONNECT Marketplace in Minneapolis, MN
Erin Lester ready to begin the networking tradeshow at GPS Destinations in Fort Lauderdale
Wonderful networking experience at Target Field in Minneapolis with Jerry Terp
Betsy Bush taking part in a networking activity with the Medical Professionals Liability Association
Meetings eNewsletter Sing Up

That's a wrap for Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

The sun has set on another amazing Island Hopper Songwriter Fest! Thank you to everyone who helped the VCB make this year's event a success! See you next year as we celebrate the 10th Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, Sept. 20-29, 2024.


Time for a comeback

The beloved clock that once stood tall in Times Square on Fort Myers Beach is back. The official unveiling took place at a special one-year Hurricane Ian anniversary ceremony on Sept. 28.

The Verdin Company in Ohio manufactured the new version of the clock, matching the color, face and overall look.

The street clock is both a dignified reminder of our past and a legacy for the future.

New Event Venue!

Backyard Social held their soft opening Wednesday, October 18, 2023.  The newest attraction, slash restaurant, slash bar that covers all the bases.  Available to book for groups up to 1,000 attendees.  Read here for details of their grand opening. 

Q4 2023 Events

Art In The Wild - J.N. "Ding" Darling
National Wildlife Refuge

October 21 - 22

Taste of the Islands
November 5 - 19

48th Annual Holiday Nights Celebration
November 24 - December 31


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