Wish You Were Here
Magazine Online    The Authority On African-American Conventions, Incentives, & Leisure Travel
Issue: July/August 2017
Will a Conference Center Work For Your Meeting?
By: Anthony Clark

Choosing the right venue for your small to medium sized meeting is one of the most important decisions you will make to ensure the success of your event.  Astute planners want a facility that's large enough to comfortably accommodate their group while not being so enormous that their meeting gets lost in the shuffle and they become that tiny fish in the big pond.  At the same time they must exercise caution because picking a site that's too small will typically result in overcrowded meeting rooms and standing room only sessions, not to mention disenchanted and frustrated attendees.

Of course there are logistical considerations as well, like transportation back and forth from your hotel to the meeting facility if you choose a convention center or other stand alone option.  Additionally, what kinds of specialized services and unique products can the venue provide to customize the meeting experience to the specific needs of your organization?

Many groups are discovering that choosing the right conference center can address all of these issues and provide the ideal environment for their meetings, events and special activities.  Presented here are six outstanding options you should consider when searching out the perfect venue for your organization.

ST. LOUIS EXECUTIVE CONFERENCE CENTER (ECC), ST. LOUIS, MO


The St. Louis Executive Conference Center is the ideal place for your next small meeting. With all of the state-of-the-art amenities you'd expect to find within a world-class meeting facility the fully appointed conference suites are designed with your productive meeting in mind.  Located on the third floor of the America's Center complex, the ECC is tailored for meetings of up to 100 people. With acoustically sound meeting room suites and superior catering service, the ECC offers a professional, private, intimate and motivating environment. And best of all, it's cost-effective. There are two different meeting suites, each with a general session room, adjoining breakout rooms, stylish lounges and special amenities. Your attendees will enjoy the professional atmosphere, private club services and easy access to the additional meeting rooms and 1,400-seat lecture hall on the lower levels of America's Center. There's also an on-site business center for copy, fax and secretarial services for an additional charge.

For more information call them at (314) 342-5166 or e-mail Kim Buhrman at kbuhrman@levyrestaurants.com.

CLEVELAND PUBLIC AUDITORIUM & CONFERENCE CENTER, CLEVELAND, OH


This facility is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, surrounded by first class hotels and restaurants and within walking distance of several entertainment and sightseeing venues. Planners and delegates alike will be glad to know it is only 15 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. With 15 meeting rooms accommodating groups from 10 to 700, this venue is popular for fundraisers, conventions, conferences, weddings, and exhibitions. The performing arts area of the Public Auditorium was constructed in the grand opera tradition and features a spacious 21,780-sq. ft. registration lobby, a 10,000-seat auditorium, the 3,000-seat Cleveland Music Hall and 600-seat Little Theater. The Public Auditorium recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and offers underground connectivity to the First Merit Convention Center of Cleveland's 225,000-sq. ft. exhibit hall floor. Parking is within a short walking distance and the facility is well-served by public transportation.

For more information contact them at (800) 543-2489.

GRANDOVER RESORT & CONFERENCE CENTER, GREENSBORO, NC

            Grandover Resort in North Carolina offers the utmost in guest accommodations with spacious hotel rooms overlooking the Allegheny foothills and a world-class golf course.  One ofNorth Carolina's premier conference centers, Grandover has been designed from the onset to function as a first class conference center with meeting rooms to suit every need. From a boardroom for small VIP gatherings to the elegant ballroom, the conference facilities can accommodate up to 1,000 people.  Meeting planners can choose from a great variety of meeting facilities for a memorable event. Whether an intimate business retreat or a larger annual conference, 45,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and 1,500 acres of landscaped grounds will accommodate even the most unusual meetings. Venue Highlights include two ballrooms (13,000 sq. ft. and 4,386 sq. ft.), the Whitehall Room (permanent desks for 87), three Executive Boardrooms, and an array of smaller meting rooms that can accommodate from 5-50.

For more information contact them at (336) 294-1800.

COASTAL CONFERENCE CENTER, JACKSONVILLE, FL


The Coastal Conference Center is a purpose built space for professionals that require a level of class and sophistication for themselves and their clients. With expansive river and downtown views, they can concentrate on the matters at hand and not worry about distracting details like meeting supplies, copies and even catering.  A number of small, intimate meeting spaces offer planners and their delegates a variety of option.  Enjoy expansive views of downtown and the St. Johns River in the comfortable Mathews Room, with seating for up to 40 guests. It may be hard to stay focused in the Acosta room, which seats 22-24.. When it's time to get down to business just project your slides on state of the art screens or call your associates on our noise canceling conference phones.  Other possibilities include the Fuller Warren Room (seats 16-18), Dames Point Room (seats 22-24), four Conference Rooms (seats 6-8), four Breakout Rooms (seats 2-4), and the Buckman Room (seats 22-24).

For more information contact them at (904) 274-5899.

KELLOGG CONFERENCE CENTER, TUSKEGEE, AL


True Southern Hospitality is what you will experience when you step inside the simple elegance at our Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center at Tuskegee University. The facility offers 108 guestrooms and suites that blend the stately Georgian architecture and Southern grandeur of the past with the modern amenities and relaxing comforts of the present.  Superior Service is what you can expect to receive during your stay here.  Staff put forth every effort to ensure that your stay with is restful, enjoyable and productive. They work hard to ensure that your event meets your expectations. He facility offers six meeting rooms, the largest of which is a ballroom able to accommodate up to 350,  Before your conference is over, be sure to take a tour of this historic campus to top off your visit to Tuskegee.

For more information contact them at (800) 949-6161 or (334) 727-3000.

ASSEMBLY ON FIVE MEETING CENTER, PHILADELPHIA, PA


The Assembly on Five Meeting Center is situated in the 481-room (including 52 suites) DoubleTree Hotel on S. Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia.  The facility includes seven spacious conference rooms (the largest of which is 1,083 sq. ft.) with refreshment kiosk for groups from 10-60. The DoubleTree Hotel features more than 27,000 sq. ft. of additional function space.  Managed by Hilton Worldwide, they offer dedicated conference services, A/V built in, wired & wireless Internet, whiteboards, tackable walls, plasma TVs and drop-down screens and PSAV onsite.  Assembly on Five Meeting Center is easily accessible from major highways and is in walking distance to theaters, restaurants, and cultural sites.

For more information call them at  (215) 893-1600 or email shannon.jones@hilton.com.

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