Welcome to the Atlanta Meeting and Event Planning Guide, a comprehensive city guide for Atlanta meeting planning professionals. Located within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the U.S. population, Atlanta is one of the most convenient meeting destinations in the country and planners will find that Atlanta meeting planning can be one of a kind. Just five miles south of downtown, the Hartsfield International Airport sees over 90 million passengers a year, making it the world’s busiest airport in passenger traffic. Once in the city, the quick and efficient Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority light rail system makes reaching attractions, Atlanta meeting hotels and over 8,000 downtown hotel rooms a breeze.
Convenience in terms of transportation is one of the reasons why Atlanta event planning and the area in general has become a top choice for planners. Thanks to its experience in hosting events, including the 1996 Olympic Games, the city is now home to a wealth of new and renovated meeting facilities. In fact, Atlanta has 2.1 million gross square feet of exhibit space and five major convention centers offering tailored touches for unique Atlanta meeting planning needs.
Headlining the meeting options is the Georgia World Congress Center. One of the largest multi-purpose sports and entertainment complexes in the country, this 200-acre campus consists of three versatile exhibit buildings: the Congress Center itself, the 71,250-seat Georgia Dome, and 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park. Bolstered by a comprehensive set of amenities and a location fewer than eight blocks from over 10,000 hotel rooms, the acclaimed GWCC has hosted such prestigious groups as Meeting Planners International, the National Association of Catering Executives, and the International Special Events Society.
Traditional meeting options are not the only facilities dominating Atlanta's events scene. In fact, Atlanta's cityscape encompasses a wide variety of captivating, unique meeting sites, from historic mansions to brand-new developments. Opened in November 2005, the Georgia Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium and one of the most popular event spaces in the city. The Woodruff Arts Center, self-proclaimed heart of Atlanta's arts and theater world, offers a striking backdrop for meetings with up to 34,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space.
Outdoor events at places like the Chastain Park Amphitheater are a no-brainer in Atlanta, thanks to its moderate climate and short winters. Immerse guests in a part of Atlanta's history at the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park, used during the '96 Olympic Games and now available for private events by permit. For evening affairs, white silk and festive Chinese lanterns set the stage for an elegant outdoor event at the Piedmont Garden Tent. Planners can also move the party inside at the park's 5,500-square-foot Piedmont Room, decorated with ivory table linens, gold chiavari chairs and flickering tea candles.
A city on the move, Atlanta is sure to keep opening new doors for meetings and events; in fact, its motto proclaims "every day is an opening day." The city has invested more than $6 billion in new development since 2005. Following major revitalization efforts, Midtown Atlanta has become the heart of the city with its green open spaces, modern high-rise condos and flats, chic boutiques and some of the best restaurants and bars in town. Shout, Baraonda and Steel Restaurant & Lounge are all Midtown Atlanta restaurants with private dining space.
One of seven American cities classified as a globally-impacting city, Atlanta ranks 3rd in the number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in city boundaries after New York City and Houston. The city and its nearby suburbs are also home to three Fortune 100 companies: The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot and the United Parcel Service. When all is said and done, 15 of the largest companies in the world are headquartered in Atlanta. The city is also home to prestigious schools Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Originally an American Indian village called Standing Peachtree, Atlanta can trace its development back to the construction of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in the mid-19th century. During the Civil War, Atlanta was known as the transportation hub of the Southeast. As the city struggled to rebuild itself after Union General William T. Sherman's infamous March to the Sea - which burned nearly 70 percent of its buildings to the ground - Atlanta took on a different nickname: "New South."
Built on a modern economy, the revitalized city became a prominent economical and cultural hub, gaining notoriety for events both small (the first Coca-Cola served) and large (as an organizing center of the Civil Rights Movement). Today, Atlanta is the capital and largest city in Georgia, home to over 500,000 people in the city alone. Its population has been the fastest growing in the nation since 2000, adding about 142,000 people each year for the past six years. A mix of African American, Caucasian, American Indian and Hispanic and Latino races, the city has a racial diversity that's greater than the country as a whole.
Atlanta's residents inhabit a range of eclectic neighborhoods just as unique as themselves. Whether looking for upscale shopping and dining or trendy boutiques and funky, laid-back pubs, Atlanta can accommodate. Visit the esteemed neighborhood of Buckhead for a tour of historic Southern mansions, including the Georgia Governor's Mansion and the Swan House. At the glamorous Lennox Square Mall, guests can shop high-end retailers such as Louis Vuitton, BVLGARI and Cartier. For a more casual experience, explore Virginia-Highland's quaint sidewalk cafes, cozy coffeehouses, fabulous antique stores and exceptional art galleries. Or, check out the neighborhood of Grant Park and discover Atlanta event venues catering to everyone from rockers to country-and-western music fans.
With ties to Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement, as well the Confederacy and the Civil War, Atlanta also presents a unique mix of historical attractions. History buffs delight in the Atlanta History Center, a unique campus of attractions that together serve as one of the largest history museums in the nation. More than 650,000 visitors a year pay their respects to Dr. King at the King Center, the official memorial of the leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Or, take a journey through time at the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum. Here, Civil War artifacts and the world's largest oil painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta captivate visitors of all ages.
Embracing past and present, Atlanta's historic establishments stand side by side with modern sporting facilities and entertainment venues. The city is home to four professional sports teams: the NBA's Atlanta Hawks, the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers, the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, and the MLB's Atlanta Braves. Score a ticket to Turner Field or the Georgia Dome to see one of the home teams. Or, be part of the action by hitting the links at one of Atlanta's 70 public golf courses, which range from local favorite Bobby Jones Golf Course to the championship links found at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.
As the sun sets over Atlanta, the city shows no signs of stopping. Thanks to a thriving music industry, which fostered notable musicians such as Outkast, the Black Crowes, the Indigo Girls, and Usher, Atlanta's guests will not be hard-pressed to catch a live show or jam session. Many restaurants, including the hip Two Urban Licks and the funky Sambuca, offer live jazz Thursday through Saturday. For lovers of Latin music, Loca Luna is the place to be. This exotic scene offers live Latin music every night and features a tapas-style menu and a grand patio with a view of the Midtown skyline.
Several coffeehouses and neighborhood bars also offer live music. An eclectic group can be found listening to live blues at Virginia-Highland's Blind Willie's or enjoying anything from jazz to funk to reggae at Little Five Point's the Five Spot. From world-class attractions and mouth-watering cuisine to gorgeous scenery and Southern charm, Atlanta has become one of the most popular places to live and visit in the Southeast. With no lack of amazing attractions, guests are quick to realize why over 37 million people visit the city each year for its city lights and Southern nights.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Atlanta has four distinct seasons and a temperate climate. Winter evenings are somewhat cold with temperatures that drop below freezing, but the daytime weather is mild enough to enjoy outdoor activities, with only an occasional snowfall. Summers are often humid and hot with heat waves lasting for many days.
The climate is mild throughout the year with some chance of snow in December and January. High temperatures and humidity in the summer months are common, so spring and autumn are the best times to visit the city.
Cobb Galleria Centre
This nationally distinguished Atlanta meeting facility and convention center holds more than 15,000 events each year, attracting millions of visitors. Located adjacent to the 520-room, four-diamond Renassiance Waverly hotel and connected to Cumberland Mall, one of Atlanta's most note-worthy shopping complexes, the Cobb Galleria Centre is an ideal location for hosting meetings and events.
With a total of 20,000 square feet of meeting space, 144,000 square feet of exhibit space, four executive boardrooms, 20 large meeting rooms and a 25,000 square foot ballroom, the Cobb Galleria Centre has a massive capacity. The Centre covers 320,000 total square feet and provides all of the necessary services to conduct a sucessful meeting or event including but not limited to dedicated transporation services, baggage check, an executive business center, catering, audio visual and electrical services.
Georgia International Convention Center
The Georgia International Convention Center is Atlanta's most modern facility for events, meetings, and trade shows. It is located at the gateway to the world's busiest airport and is only minutes away from the heart of Atlanta by car, taxi or Altanta's transit system, MARTA.
The Georgia International Convention Center has all the features of an upscale conference facility including today's most advanced technology like fiber optic networks for phone and internet connections, videoconferencing and WiFi internet. Additionally, the Convention Center boasts an elegant ballroom, roomy exhibit halls, executive boardrooms and flexible meeting room space.
The Convention Center is adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and sits at the intersection of Interstate Highways 75 and 85. Shuttle service to and from the airport is provided by more than 32 hotels located in close proximity to the Georgia International Convention Center. Transportation may also be easily coordinated through the Altanta Airport Hotel Coalition. MARTA, Atlanta's exclusive transit system, provides Georgia International Convention Center guests with convenient access to the metro Atlanta area.
An acclaimed caterer "Proof of the Pudding" operates the Culinary Arts Center at the Georgia International Convention Center. From small corporate gatherings to well-orchestrated banquets for thousands, the Center delivers sumptuous meals with a broad range of menu selections.
Georgia World Congress Center
The Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) Authority opened in 1976, becoming the first state-owned and operated major Convention Center in the United States. The GWCC includes the 71,250-seat Georgia Dome and 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park. It is ranked as one of the top 5 largest convention centers in the country, as well as one of the best entertainment and sports facilities in the world. More than a million guests attend functions at the Georgia World Congress Center annually.
The Congress Center's Building B exhibit halls are approximately twice the length of Atlanta's highest skyscraper. With galleries, meeting rooms, exhibit halls, storerooms and kitchens, there are more than 3.9 million square feet of floor space in the Georgia World Congress Center. As one may guess, this is one of the largest Atlanta meeting facilities. The 33,000-square-foot Thomas Murphy Ballroom is equivalent in length to an 11-story building. At over 1,000 feet long, 80 feet wide and over 90 feet high, the GWCC Building C entrance lobby is large enough to hold the Titanic and can accommodate almost any event space requirement.
Courtyard Atlanta Vinings
Enjoy the elegant grace of Southern hospitality at the Wyndham Vinings. Close to everything in Atlanta - but away from the city's hustle and bustle in a quiet oasis all of its own, providing unique Atlanta meeting facilities and a serene setting.
You'll feel right at home from the first moment you arrive. Relax in your own private hideaway - you'll appreciate the quiet comfort and special touches of our spacious guest rooms. It's easy to work and relax with conveniences like in-room movies and ergonomic work chairs.
After a busy day, the Wyndham Vinings offers a variety of ways to unwind. Stroll through tree-shaded grounds surrounded by architecture that recalls a bygone age. Ready to explore? Walk to antique shops and upscale boutiques at Vinings Jubilee. Visit Cumberland Mall and The Galleria. Enjoy area attractions like Turner Stadium, Six Flags Over Atlanta, the Georgia Dome, and the vibrant nightlife of Buckhead and Underground Atlanta.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Approximate taxi fare: $32.68 USD
The spectacular Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is conveniently located just 10 miles from Atlanta and about 40 miles outside of Gwinnett County. A major connecting hub for destinations around the world, has been named the busiest passenger airport in the world; in 2011, the airport saw 92 million passengers and over 920,000 flights, including international service to North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Serving 243 nonstop destinations in 45 countries, the airport features 151 domestic and 28 international gates.
The gleaming, light-filled 5.8-million-square foot-airport is comprised of a North and South Terminal, with a large atrium featuring seating areas and more than 230 food, retail and convenience outlets. The airport is currently in the process of adding 75 more concessions, including spas, wine bars and high-end retailers. The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport also features a 24,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Executive Conference Center, offering 23 meeting rooms, video conferencing abilities, computer workstations and full-service catering. Airport visitors can access terminal-wide wireless Internet for a fee.
Not only accessible and efficient, the airport is also known for its remarkable art collection, which includes a permanent exhibition of contemporary Zimbabwean sculpture. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport also offers hourly and daily parking, as well as a Ground Transportation center, featuring direct taxi and rental car service, located just west of the South Terminal baggage claim area.
Always growing, the airport has recently completed several projects as part of a $6-billion Capital Improvement Program. The airport now boasts a fifth runway, a new rental car center and SkyTrain people mover and, opened in 2012, the new Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal.
Airline carriers serving Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Located in the heart of the city, the historic Brookwood Rail Station dates back to 1918 and was designed by Neel Reid, one of Atlanta's leading architects. Following the 1996 Olympics, Brookwood Station underwent an extreme facelift totaling over $1.5 million dollars and leaving it grander than ever. Its classic wooden benches, marble floors and vaulted ceilings continue to allure not only travelers but also architectural enthusiasts.
Amtrak's Crescent train runs daily, serving New Orleans, Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City. Both the station and ticketing office are open Monday-Sunday from 7:00 am to 9:30 pm. Brookwood Station is conveniently located within walking distance to many Atlanta restaurants including John Harvard's Brew House, Cafe Intermezzo and R Thomas Deluxe Grill.
MARTA is the chief rapid-transit system in Atlanta and the ninth largest system in the U.S. Serving more than 69 million commuters, it is not surprising that a familiar Atlanta phrase is "MARTA is SMA"
On an average weekday, an estimated 451,064 people travel on MARTA. The MARTA transit system includes 38 rail stations and over 120 bus routes that service Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and Peremiter, as well as Decatur and many other popular destinations.
Whether traveling to a Brave's Baseball Game, trying to catch a plane at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or simply looking for a true "designated dr" night out on the town, MARTA is the way to go. A one-way ticket will only cost travelers a $1.75. Weekly passes can be purchased for $13 and weekend passes for $9.
MARTA serves various destinations in Atlanta, including the following:
Atlanta University Center
Atlanta History Center
As one of the largest cities in the Southeast, Atlanta hosts a plethora of conventions, festivals, and events. Metropolitan Shuttle is the premiere charter bus and shuttle service in Atlanta guaranteeing quality transportation services at affordable rates for millions of visitors. Charter buses and shuttles are available to and from airports, convention centers, hotels, local attractions and more.
Metropolitan Shuttle offers charter buses and transportation services for:
Atlanta Civil War Museum
Atlanta/Fulton County Airport
Atlanta History Museum
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Stone Mountain Park
Woodruff Arts Center
For more information: 866-556-3545
Recognized as the best cab company in Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and praised by the Secretary of State, as well as Governor of Georgia, the Atlanta Checker Cab Company has been serving the transportation needs of the metro Atlanta area for more than 30 years. The cab company not only provides traditional passenger transportation services, but it also provides package delivery and corporate accounts. Atlanta Checker Cab Company accepts all major credit cards.
Atlanta Checker Cab Company services, but is not limited to the following locations:
The Fox Theatre
World of Coca-Cola
White Water Park
Plan on Big Rewards
At Starwood Hotels & Resorts you get the very best service, quality and options – an overall ease of doing business. Book your next meeting at The Westin Buckhead and receive up to 100,000 Starpoints® signing bonus and 2% rebate to master-billed rooms.
Plus, receive your choice of added benefits depending on your booked rooms:
10-50 Rooms on peak, choose two
51-100 on peak, choose three
100+ Rooms on peak, choose six
Attractive Rewards are yours to Discover
An original perspective awaits your uncovering when you book your meeting at the new Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter. Book a meeting by September 30, 2013, and consumed by December 31, 2013, to receive:
•Up to 100,000 Starpoints® signing bonus
•2% rebate to master-billed rooms
• Your choice of either accelerated room upgrades (1/35), accelerated comp room policy (1/35), or a complimentary welcome reception
The perks of being a planner have never been better!
The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation
Enjoy legendary Ritz-Carlton service along with genuine Southern Hospitality at this unique Lodge, located on the pristine shores of Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia. Whether visiting with a small group or resort wide buyout, guests of this southern resort will experience luxurious accommodations, 99 holes of challenging golf, refreshing water recreation and receive first class attention from the resort’s friendly ladies and gentlemen. Visit our listing for up to date information on group offers, value dates and array of amenities available at our full service waterfront resort located outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
At The Westin Peachtree Plaza, success is in the details.
Book and actualize your next meeting by July 31, 2013 at The Westin Peachtree Plaza and be inspired to choose your own incentives:
51-100 Rooms on peak, choose three
100+ Rooms on peak, choose five
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Best. Meeting. Ever.
BIG MEETINGS DESERVE BIG POINTS
Earn up to 250,000 Bonus Priority Club® Points!
At Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, we'll do everything we can to make your next meeting a success, from offering you the largest ballroom in North Atlanta to providing you with the most flexible meeting space and amazing Food and Beverage experience to charming your guests with our beautiful Ravinia Gardens encompassing 10 wooded acres of winding paths. Still not enough? Then how about The Big Reward? Simply book a qualified meeting by October 31, 2013 and use it before December 30, 2013, and you'll earn up to 250,000 bonus Priority Club points.
Terms & Conditions: Meeting Planner and Referring Third Party must be members of Priority Club® Meeting Rewards prior to booking. Offer available at participating Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts properties in the U.S. and Canada for a qualified meeting. Qualified meeting must be booked by October 31, 2013 and conducted by December 30, 2013. A qualified meeting or group stay requires ten or more paid guest rooms for at least one peak night of the event and must include qualified catering/banqueting events. Subject to availability and blackout dates. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Not valid with group bookings affiliated with city-wide conventions. Planner must request bonus points offer and it must be recorded in the hotel sales contract at time of booking. Priority Club is a registered trademark of Six Continents Hotels, Inc.
©2013 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.