MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA In a busy year that saw hurricanes and political controversies sweep through South Florida, the event industry stayed as busy as ever. This year’s Miami/South Florida’s Top 100 Events list reflects the diversity in event type and reach of the region’s offerings.
Signature events on the list not only serve the local community but draw attendees from all over the world, as evidenced by Art Basel Miami Beach, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the Miami International Film Festival, and the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. New events to the list include Seed Food & Wine, a plant-based food festival that’s about to export a new edition to Los Angeles, and O, Miami Poetry Festival, a whimsical homegrown poetry festival with major ambitions.
Other events fell off the radar entirely. Political controversies led the American Red Cross to cancel the 61st edition of the International Red Cross Ball, which was to be held at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma blasted through South Florida, leaving canceled events in its wake. Meanwhile, the once-dominant Winter Music Conference had yet to announce its dates a month before it usually started, leaving Billboard to wonder if it had been scrapped. Organizers quickly announced a shorter version but have ceded ground to the ever-popular Ultra Music Festival.
To choose and rank the annual events on this list, BizBash considers several factors, including economic impact, buzz, innovation, and an event's prominence within the communities it intends to serve.