Knoxville, TN Meeting Planning Overview
Cvent’s Knoxville meeting planning guide is an extensive city guide for Knoxville meeting planners. Centrally located close to three major interstate highways (I-81, I-40 and I-70), Knoxville is within a day's drive for over fifty percent of the nation's population. It sits at the heart of Tennessee and attracts more than 140,000 business visitors every year. Here, big city amenities are paired with the character of a small town to create an ideal meeting destination.
A wide range of unique venues are available to meet the requirements of any meeting or event. Looking for a historic venue? Local favorite, the Foundry on the Fair Site dates back to 1865 and has hosted over 2,000 receptions. Its magnificent, antique interior features brick walls with hardwood floors and beautifully rustic chandeliers. More interested in the exotic? The landscaped grounds of the Knoxville Zoo provide the perfect backdrop for a corporate reception or product release. Sip on cocktails and nibble on "hors d'oeuvres with the animals" or host a seated dinner surrounded by a world-class exhibit. Interested in a view? Host a dinner accompanied with live music aboard a Tennessee River Boat. Enjoy a cool breeze and the dancing lights of the Knoxville skyline. The Star of Knoxville can accommodate up to 144 for a seated dinner and as many as 325 for a reception. Seeking the more traditional? A new 500,000 square-foot Convention Center, over 150 hotels with meeting space and 7,500 guestrooms can be found within the Knoxville Metro Area.
As the center of the high-tech Tennessee Valley Corridor, Knoxville's economy thrives on the Tennessee Valley Authority, the National Transportation Research Center, the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Library. Other notable businesses headquartered in Knoxville are AC Entertainment, Bush Brothers and Company, Clayton Homes, Goody's Family Clothing, Regal Entertainment Group, Scripps Networks and Weigel's.
About Knoxville, TN / Additional Info
Founded in 1786, this former capitol with a population of 655,400 is situated outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the Tennessee River. Full of history and industry, it is the third-largest city in Tennessee and serves as home to many civil war battle sites. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Knoxville boomed with furniture factories, iron works, marble quarries and textile mills giving way to nicknames like the Marble City and the Underwear Capitol of the World. Today, the warehouses and factories have been repurposed to create the offbeat urban area called Old City. The streets of Old City are full of unique restaurants, clubs, bars and shops.
Museums are also an important part of Knoxville's legacy. From Confederate Memorial Hall, an antebellum mansion that has been listed on the National register of Historic Places since 1984, to the Knoxville Museum of Art, which opened its doors to downtown Knoxville in March of 1990, more than 20 museums provide visitors with the opportunity to discover the old and the new. The American Museum of Science & Energy, Aviation Museum, Blount Mansion, Children's Museum of Oak Ridge and Farragut Folklife Museum are a few other notable area attractions. Knoxville is also the site of one of the oldest man-made structures in the United States, a burial mound dating back to 1000 A.D. that is located on the University of Tennessee campus. Civil War history buffs should be sure to check out the McKlung Museum or the Mabry-Hazen House-complete with battle reenactments.
History is just the beginning of what Knoxville has to offer. Culture abounds in this river city. Enjoy inspiring performances such as La Forza del Destino and Tosca at the Knoxville Opera Company; be captivated by the professional actors of the Clarence Brown Theatre; or catch a Shakespearean play, rock concert or art show at Market Square. Knoxville also holds numerous events and festivals throughout the year including the largest Labor Day fireworks display in the U.S. and a 17-day Dogwood Arts Festival. It also serves as host to an African American heritage festival called Kuumba and the Rossini Festival which celebrates Italian culture and opera.
For nature enthusiasts, the world renowned Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located only 20 miles south of Knoxville. A hiker's paradise, the Park offers over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging in difficulty from extremely strenuous to family friendly. The park is an ideal place to enjoy wildlife from deer and bears to birds and a variety of microscopic organisms. Car camping, fishing, and picnicking are also popular park activities. For those who prefer to stay closer to the city, visit World's Fair Park, marked by the 266-foot high Sunsphere, a signature feature of the Knoxville skyline. This urban escape designed for the inhabitants of Knoxville showcases major landmarks associated with the 1982 World's Fair held in downtown Knoxville. The Park provides sweeping green lawns with thoughtful landscaping and beautiful interactive water elements. World's Fair Park has served as host to many of Knoxville's festivals and concerts.