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Los Angeles, CA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 135
Total Sleeping Rooms 95,140
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 1,354
Committable Meeting Rooms* 58
Convention Center Space 720,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 770,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 26,108 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $133
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $71
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $195
*Maximum for a single hotel

Los Angeles, CA Meeting Planning Overview

Los Angeles meeting planning might put you into a dream state, but don't try to tell the "Dream Factory" that it doesn't have what it takes. Known foremost as the leading supplier of entertainment to the world, Los Angeles is also a major hub for international trade and commerce and a cultural icon for arts, fashion and literature. Almost 18 million people live in it or in its immediate vicinity. From entertainment palaces to theme parks to studio backlots, the extraordinary variety of Los Angeles event venues is unlikely to be found anywhere else.

The city has an established history with hosting events. With top-notch accommodations and facilities, a year-round sunny, mild climate and fun-loving people who know how to entertain, Los Angeles welcomes roughly 30 million visitors each year making Los Angeles event planning a pretty serious business.

In addition to the general information in this guide, meeting planners should also feel free at any time to reach out to Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, the city's official destination marketing organization, for specific LA meeting planning requests. They are LA experts with the inside scoop and a host of free services to help meeting planners get the best of Los Angeles meeting spaces.

By plane, train or automobile, these visitors have no trouble arriving. Fewer than five hours by car from large cities like San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas, the city is easily reached from farther distances through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which processes almost 60 million people every year. The 6th-busiest airport on the planet, it serves 251 destinations home and abroad on more than 50 airlines, and the city's accessibility is further heightened by several additional airports, all of which are fewer than 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles—John Wayne (Anaheim); Bob Hope Airport (Burbank); Long Beach Airport and Palmdale. LA/Ontario International, in Ontario, approximately 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, is the area's other international airport, serving, albeit only, Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as mainly West Coast destinations. A farther stretch, but doable, is Palm Springs International, which is approximately 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and whose international tag is possible thanks to Canadian airline WestJet.

Being such a large city, keeping event attendee travel logistics in mind for Los Angeles meeting planning professionals is clearly important. Thanks to LA's well-maintained, elaborate system of freeways, traveling by car is one of the most viable options for traversing the city. Under a recent program that has expanded pick-up services, visitors can easily flag down one of more than 2,300 taxis operating in the downtown area. Transportation around Los Angeles is easy, putting paid to the myth that you need a car here. The county's Metro system of 200 bus lines and four rail lines connects visitors to the large majority of neighborhoods in the area, while the quick, affordable DASH Downtown buses offer service to points of interest such as Chinatown, Union Station and L.A. LIVE.

Entering downtown, planners can enjoy a wealth of meeting facilities suited for groups of all types and sizes. The stunning glass-and-steel Los Angeles Convention Center, the city's principal events center, boasts the sought-after Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) designation from the United States Green Building Council. Within walking distance of too many LA meeting hotels to count and 15,000 hotel rooms in a downtown that has undergone radical change (to the better, too) in recent years, the center contains 720,000 square feet of exhibit hall space, 147,000 square feet of meeting space and a 299-seat theater. Amenities at the convention center are equally impressive, from the three food courts to on-site parking for more than 5,500 vehicles.

The convention center, along with the Staples Center and the NOKIA Theatre, is part of the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex, a 5.6-million-square-foot entertainment campus that first launched in 2007. This 27-acre mixed-use development boasts more than six blocks of entertainment facilities, restaurants, cinemas, bowling lanes, music clubs and museums, including the 7,100-seat NOKIA Theatre, the 15,000-square-foot pan-Latin Conga Room, the GRAMMY Museum® and more. L.A. LIVE also contains two hotels, the 878-room JW Marriott Los Angeles and 123-room The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles Hotel & Residences. The two hotels and condo component comprise a distinctive, 54-story building.

Meeting sites in Los Angeles are spread throughout this city of nearly 500 square miles. Need something cutting edge? The stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry, can seat 2,265 people and is home to the city's philharmonic orchestra.

What about a taste of Old Hollywood? Host to countless premieres and three Academy Award ceremonies, Grauman's Chinese Theatre is one of the most sought-after locations for private events and screenings since 1927.

Groups can soak up the California sun by hosting an event among the 18,000 plants at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Or, wait until the sun goes down to make the most of LA's vibrant nightlife. Restaurants and clubs such as Koi, Spago (Wolfgang Puck presides over two Michelin stars), Cafe La Boheme, Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel and Geisha House offer fine food and trendy music to liven up events of all sizes. One of the trendiest new party spots is just about anywhere in the new Hotel Erwin in Venice Beach, where the view over the beach and ocean will make attendees forget they're in the second-most crowded urban landscape in North America.

As of late, it's become much easier to " go green" with Los Angeles event planning, No matter the specific site, events and meetings in Los Angeles benefit from the city's many eco-friendly initiatives. LA was the first city to require city-owned buildings to be built according to LEED specifications. Plus, more than 20 percent of the city's power is generated from renewable resources, a fact of which the city is rightly proud and made a big splash about earlier this year. Hybrid vehicles are available from rental-car agencies such as Advantage, Enterprise and Midway, while public transportation features several clean-burning, natural-gas buses. Hotels, restaurants and unique event spaces are all adopting green policies as well.

International trade, entertainment, aerospace, technology, petroleum, fashion and tourism dominate LA's economy. The contiguous ports of LA and Long Beach also comprise the 6th-busiest port in the world. Los Angeles has 23 of the 57 California companies in the Fortune 500 list and is home to 200 colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California, UCLA and Pepperdine University.

About Los Angeles, CA / Additional Info

Now the 2nd-largest city in the nation, Los Angeles remained hidden in the desert until the arrival of railroads and the discovery of oil in the late 19th century. Today, the City of Angels is the largest city in the state of California, with a heritage embracing 140 countries and 86 languages. Approximately 48 percent of its residents are Hispanic or Latino, 28 percent are white, 13 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander, 9 percent are African American and 1 percent is Native American.

What everyone finds in Los Angeles is a pleasant Mediterranean climate made for enjoying a variety of recreational activities. With 75 miles of coastline, the city is home to several popular beach areas, including the eclectic Venice Beach and the casual Hermosa Beach. Also on the coast, the much-loved Santa Monica welcomes more than four million guests a year with its novelty shops, Oceanside restaurants and admission-free Pacific Park. Hiking, biking, walking and golfing are among the many activities enjoyed at spots such as Griffith Park, one of the largest parks in North America.

Los Angeles' indoor attractions certainly match the excitement of its outdoors. View more than 5,000 masterpieces at one of the three facilities of the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA; experience an earthquake at the California Science Center in Exposition Park; or get lost in the night sky at the viewing telescopes at the Griffith Observatory, home to one of the largest public solar telescopes in the U.S.

The observatory isn't the only place in Los Angeles where guests can stargaze. Known as the entertainment capital of the world, the city is the site of countless television and movie sets and celebrity residences. No trip to LA would be complete with walking among the industry's biggest stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Guests can also see memorabilia from their favorite films, including Rocky's boxing gloves and Indiana Jones' whip, at the Hollywood Museum. Or get into the action on the Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour, which travels sets, backlot streets and sound stages. Not to be outdone, Universal, the largest working movie studio in the world, has a theme park, shows, a King Kong exhibit and the ability to have visitors forget that movies really aren't real.

LA's nightlife shines just as brightly as its stars. Dance the night away at the Viper Lounge; sip one of more than 50 creative cocktails at Lola's (it claims it invented the apple martini) in West Hollywood; sample rare beers from across the globe such as Chimay White Cap Tripel and Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout at Library Bar, and get a late-night burger and shake at Rock n' Roll Denny's (yes, a regular Denny's) on Sunset Blvd, into which often come real-live celebrities in need of sustenance, too. In addition to drinks, guests find entertainment of virtually every genre, from jazz to rock 'n roll to gospel to alternative, at locations such as the NOKIA Theatre, House of Blues on the Sunset Strip, Whisky A Go Go and the Key Club.

For a more low-key night out, groups can hop aboard a dinner cruise offered by Hornblower Cruises & Events based in Marina Del Rey or Spirit Cruises & Yacht Parties based in San Pedro (near Long Beach). Or stay on shore and set up an after-dark barbecue at one of the public grills on LA's beaches (Malibu might just be about the best place). Guests can also cap off the night with a sweet treat from one of the branches of Pinkberry, whose South Korean-style frozen yogurt has tempted the taste buds of actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Hudson. From dancing the night away at trendy clubs to a stroll on the starlit beach, the nightlife options in Los Angeles are just as eclectic as this larger-than-life city itself.

And after being on the fringe of Venice Beach for almost two decades but then—almost unforgivably—closing in 2009.

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