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Providence, RI Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 9
Total Sleeping Rooms 5,500
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 1,500
Committable Meeting Rooms* 19
Convention Center Space 137,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 100,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 20,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $150
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $71
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $314
*Maximum for a single hotel

Providence, RI Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent’s Providence meeting planning guide – a Providence city guide for meeting planners. At just 18.5 square miles, Providence and nearby Warwick, Rhode Island, pack a punch with a rich architectural heritage, full calendar of arts and music festivals and culinary treasures – all of which can be enjoyed by convention guests and leisure travelers alike. Their coastal location in the Northeast place both cities within 500 miles of 25 percent of the nation's population. They're also just three hours away from New York City and within 50 minutes of Boston by car.

For guests looking to arrive by plane, Warwick is home to T.F. Green Airport, also located just 10 miles from downtown Providence. The award-winning airport offers service to destinations throughout the United States and Canada on up to 150 flights a day to 21 destinations. Within the city itself, visitors find the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus system and trolley to be an efficient and affordable way to hop among Providence's biggest attractions. Additionally, the city's compact downtown area makes it an extremely walkable destination for those looking to visit one of the 53 restaurants, 11 hotels or Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex.

Located in the heart of downtown, the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex encompasses three multi-purpose facilities. The Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) features a 100,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 20,000-square-foot ballroom and 23 meeting rooms, while the 13,000-seat Dunkin' Donuts Center (DDC) boasts a 31,000-square-foot arena floor and several meeting, banquet and board rooms. The Veterans Memorial Auditorium is a 1,900-seat historic performing arts venue, known for its unique combination of size and intimacy, superb acoustics and great sight lines. The RICC and DDC are connected by a striking glass structure and are linked via skywalks to the 564-room Omni Providence hotel and the Providence Place Mall.

For smaller group functions and events, Providence is home to a number of historical sites, restaurants and even parks that can accommodate private events. Planners won't have to roll the dice at Twin River Casino, though their guests certainly can. Located in nearby Lincoln, the casino features a brand new 29,000-square-foot event center, on-site restaurant and comedy club for private events. Go wild at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, whose spaces include the tented Picnic Pavilion and the Jambo Junction, which overlooks the zoo's wetlands lake next to the elephants and giraffes. Or, plan a dinner and drinks at one of Providence's award-winning restaurants such as Local 121, Waterplace or Hemenway's, all of which have private space for groups large and small.

One of the first U.S. cities to industrialize, Providence was a leader in manufacturing metals, machinery, textiles, jewelry and silverware. Today, it remains a large center for jewelry and silverware design and manufacturing, with education, healthcare and finance also serving as big contributors to the local economy. Textron, Nortek Incorporated, Citizens Bank and GTECH are headquartered in Providence. The city is also known for its stellar educational foundation, serving as home to Brown University, Johnson and Wales University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Rhode Island and Community College of Rhode Island.

Providence, RI Area Destinations

Federal Hill Providence, RI Federal Hill Providence, RI Worcester, MA Worcester, MA Newport, RI Newport, RI

About Providence, RI / Additional Info

Providence's popularity as an ideal place to live, work, learn and meet is built upon the city's immaculately restored historic sites, beautiful riverfront locale, blooming arts and entertainment scene and top-notch restaurants. Founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, Providence became a major New World seaport in its early days and later a manufacturing hub for machinery, silverware, jewelry and textiles. Today its history is alive in the many perfectly-preserved Colonial, Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian homes, cobblestone streets and streetlamps, making it a delight for history and architecture buffs alike.

Providence's location on the riverfront also holds a big impact on the city's main attractions. A true testament of its ties to the water, WaterFire is one of the most popular events in Providence. This annual event, which runs from May to October, is an award-winning sculpture installation of approximately 100 sparkling bonfires set on the three downtown rivers. Guests looking for a truly memorable way to enjoy this sensory experience should book a ride with La Gondola Providence, which offers 30-minute river rides aboard an authentic Venetian gondola.

Visitors will find plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors back on land. WaterPlace Park offers four acres of beautifully-landscaped terraces, pedestrian walkways and even an amphitheater that summertime concerts. Meanwhile, the 430-acre Roger Williams Park boasts plenty of gardens, pathways and picnic spots, as well as a number of Providence's most popular attractions. The Carousel Village entertains young guests with its pony rides and vintage carousel, while the Roger Williams Park Zoo houses more than 100 species from around the world.

When it's time to head inside, Providence's vibrant and eclectic arts scene makes it more than worthwhile. Known as the "Creative Capital," the city is home to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, whose Museum of Art is home to more than 80,000 impressive pieces. In the Arts and Entertainment District, guests find a number of art galleries and performance spaces including AS220, Firehouse XIII and the Providence Steelyard. The city is also home to Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company, the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Providence Performing Arts Center.

Guests can cap off any night on the town with dinner at one of Providence's restaurants, many of which are run by alumni of Johnson & Wales University, the world's largest culinary educator that makes its home in the city. In fact, Providence has more degreed chefs per capital than any other city in the nation. Foodies and casual diners alike can enjoy the talent of these chefs at establishments throughout the city, many of which celebrate the bounty of New England. Aspire and Bacaro are among the other standout options for dining in Providence.

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