Meetings Today LIVE! South on Marco Island, Florida, kicked off Sunday night, October 28, 2018, with an outdoor party on the Great Lawn at Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa, commemorating both the start of the three-day event and the grand reopening of the resort following extensive renovations.

The more than 30-year-old resort is located on 10.5 oceanfront acres of beachfront overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

Meetings Today Live! South Opening Reception

The fete, attended by some 70 participants, including 28 planners, set the tone for three days of equal parts business and pleasure, featuring one-on-one planner/supplier meetings and education sessions along with resort site visits, CSR events and a boat cruise.

Meetings Today LIVE! South attendees will also take part in a highly anticipated wildlife adventure.

The event's opening reception spotlighted exquisite food displays featuring everything from duck confit with fig sauce to glazed donut holes, and a dessert table with colorful displays of pumpkin chiffon push-up pops and chocolate truffles with rose pipette crafted by Hilton Marco Island's expert culinary team. Guests lingered around the full table of exotic cheeses featuring the likes of blueberry stilton and Ciliegine mozzarella.

As an official start of the Meetings Today LIVE! event and Hilton reopening, planners along with resort executives and Meetings Today staff participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that culminated with dozens of blue and white balloons set off over the Gulf of Mexico.

Mother Nature added to the celebration with a sunset that can be described as nothing short of spectacular, coloring the sky a burnt orange hue for much of the festivities. Once the skies grew dark, some of the guests cut loose dancing as the DJ hearkened past decades with 80s and 90s hits.

[Related Content: Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort Celebrates Grand Reopening]

The evening was the perfect precursor to an action-packed event.

Check out exclusive images from Meetings Today LIVE! South's Opening Reception below.

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 01

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 02

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 03

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04 Version 2

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04

Meetings Today LIVE! Opening Reception 04

[2019 Dates Announced! Check out the full Meetings Today LIVE! event line-up here].