6 Best Convention Centers in The US For Corporate Events

Do you have an upcoming business event, gathering, or expo that requires a large space? Want to make a lasting impression on your guests and potential clients? 

If so, you’re going to need to hone in and do your research when choosing your next event venue, especially if it’ll involve a large group of people. 

Let’s be honest: sitting in a conference for hours or days doesn’t sound too exhilarating. Aside from the possible networking or learning opportunities, make sure you offer guests something more than another get-together and a two-night stay in a three-star hotel room. 

When listing potential venues to host your corporate event,  you’ll need to consider more than just the size and budget. Aside from the event festivities, the venue is the most important aspect to deciding the success of your event. 

Consider the venue as your chance to make a positive first impression on your guests. You’ll need to pay attention to every little detail… Doing so will help you make a lasting impression that will come in handy for your business later down the road. 

As you narrow down your list of venues, be sure to do the following:

  • Consider your attendees; do they prefer convenience, climate, amenities, etc.? 
  • Schedule a tour to the event venue before making a reservation
  • Make sure the venue is in proximity to hotels and public transportation in case you have guests coming from other cities or countries
  • Search for reviews (positive and negative) on the venue
  • Assign teams and delegate tasks
  • Provide guests with a guide to the city and possible leisure activities to make their trip more worthwhile 

In this article, we discuss six of the best convention centers in the country you should consider hosting your next corporate event. 

1. McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

Photo Courtesy of McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

Starting our list is the largest and most flexible convention center in North America. McCormick Place, comprising four different buildings and attached to famous hotels such as the Hyatt Regency and the Marriott Marquis, is located at the heart of McCormick Square and is only minutes away from the city’s vibrant downtown area.

There are plenty of reasons why more than 3 million people visit this conference center each year. 

For starters, it has the largest rooftop garden in the world, 173 meeting rooms, 600,000 sq. ft of meeting space, and is one of the few convention centers in the world that can deliver high-speed internet of over 31 GBPS. 

2. Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

Photo Courtesy of Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV

If there is one thing Vegas is known for other than casinos and live shows, it’s hosting events. From its famous strip, world-class resorts, live entertainment, and outdoor recreational activities, hosting a conference in Vegas will certainly generate a high attendance rate (more than 2 million visitors in a year).  

One of their more well-known conference centers, the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LCVA), is one of the busiest convention facilities in the world. The center is known to have an area of 2.5 million sq. ft of exhibit space, a theater capacity of 1,440, and an immense parking lot that can fit over 10,000 automobiles. 

3. Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York, NY

The Empire State is known for more than its world-famous museums and art galleries. New York City is also home to some of the more fabulous event venues you can find in the country. 

The Jacob Javits Convention Center, or Javits Center for short,  has been a landmark in the city for more than three decades. It boasts a total interior area of 3.3 million sq. ft and can fit more than 6,000 guests. 

It is managed by the New York Convention Center Operating Corporation (NYCCOC) and is situated along Manhattan’s west side - one of the more bustling neighborhoods in the country. 

After its recent renovations, the Javits Center has set itself apart from other convention centers. Aside from becoming the largest convention center in the Northeast, guests can now expect to see:

  • A rooftop pavilion that can accommodate up to 1,500 guests
  • One-acre rooftop farm
  • 54,000 sq. ft of special event space
  • 27 new loading docks
  • Perfect view of the Hudson River

The Javits Center hosts more than 150 events and welcomes more than 2,000,000 guests annually. 

4. Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

Photo Courtesy of Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

They don’t bestow the nickname the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’ on just anyone. When you schedule your next convention in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, you won’t have to worry about entertaining your guests during their hours off as the city has something for everyone. 

It’s home to the world's best theme parks, high-end shopping centers, and various museums. 

We may have digressed from discussing the main subject, but that doesn’t mean the OCCC only made this list thanks to its surroundings. 

The OCCC is a short distance from the airport and is the second-largest convention center in the country, trailing only McCormick Place in Chicago. 

In fact, the space is so massive that they have a wayfinding app to guide you as you explore its 2,055,222 sq ft of event space. 

In recent years, the OCCC has generated more than 200 events, including different conventions, trade shows, and sporting competitions to attract 1.5 million visitors each year.

5. The Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

Photo Courtesy of The Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

San Francisco has been voted one of America’s favorite cities year in and year out. No big surprise: The city is home to diverse cultures, breathtaking architecture, and of course, The Moscone Center.

Strategically located on the corner of Howard and 4th St, The Moscone Center is within walking distance of more than 20,000 hotel rooms. 

After undergoing two years of renovations, this premier convention center opened its doors last September and now boasts 500,000 sq ft of event space, catering to more than 30 conventions/meetings this year alone as of this writing.   

6. San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA

Photo Courtesy of San Diego Convention Center, CA

Staying on the subject of convention centers in California, we have another convention center just a couple of miles from The Moscone Center. 

The San Diego Convention Center (SDCC) is every event manager's dream. It’s home to a variety of attractions, within walking distance of more than 11,000 hotel rooms, and is only a 10-minute drive from the airport. 

Often recognized as one of the top convention centers in the world, the SDCC has even garnered prestigious awards over the years. They’re an 11-time recipient of the Planners Choice Award for Excellence and a 6-time winner of the Prime Site Awards

Moving on to their facilities, the SDCC boasts the following:

  • 615,701 sq ft of total exhibit space
  • 72 meeting rooms with a total space of 204,114 sq ft
  • Two 40,000 sq ft ballrooms

Lastly, in over two years, the SDCC reports that they were able to host 473 events, welcoming more than 2.4 million guests. 

Final thoughts

When people attend out-of-city meetings or conventions, they expect more than to just go back and forth from their hotel rooms to the event venue. Truth is, every city in the world can offer a hotel, it’s giving your guests a one-of-a-kind experience that will entice them to attend any of your future corporate events.

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