Welcome to Cvent's Raleigh Meeting and Event Planning Guide - a Raleigh city guide for meeting professionals. Raleigh's smart and entrepreneurial populace combined with its rapidly developing downtown area have secured its position as a prime destination for business, technology, and tourism as well as a favorite meeting location any time of the year.
One of the crowning achievements of Raleigh's recent renaissance is the LEED Silver-certified Raleigh Convention Center, a catalyst for development in the area. The convention center is conveniently located in the heart of downtown, placing convention guests within a few blocks of more than 1,200 hotel rooms, including the 400-room Raleigh Marriott City Center located next door and the adjacent, 353-room Sheraton Raleigh Hotel and 175-room Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown. (Other luxurious hotels in the Raleigh area bring the destination's accommodations total to over 15,500 rooms.) The 500,000-square-foot facility features 150,000 square feet of exhibit space, 20 meeting rooms totaling more than 32,000 square feet, and a stately 32,000-square-foot grand ballroom with an adjacent reception area. Every space, large and small, is equipped with the latest communications and production technology.
The Cree Shimmer Wall is a 9,284-square-foot piece of art adorning the side of the Raleigh Convention Center. The piece looks high-tech, but it's not: This spectacular piece is made up of 79,464 light and dark aluminum squares that change shape and disappear as the squares flap in the wind. The wall depicts an image of an oak tree and has become a symbol for Raleigh, the City of Oaks. It is backlit at night by 56 light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, fixtures that can be programmed to flash and display more than a million different colors.
Raleigh offers several outstanding attractions that are also open to hosting meetings and events. The North Carolina Museum of Art is one such facility whose West Building is a 127,000-square-foot wing with day-lit galleries and exquisite outdoor sculpture gardens. Up to 1,500 guests can enjoy an event at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, including event space within its exhibits such as the Coastal North Carolina and Mountains to the Sea permanent exhibits. In 2012, this museum debuted an 80,000-square-foot wing, the Nature Research Center (NRC), which brings research scientists and their work into the public eye. The centerpiece of the NRC is the SECU Daily Planet, an immersive, three-story multimedia space that links virtual to real nature and is the site of live programming on breaking science news. Inside the NRC is the William G. Ross, Jr., Environmental Conference Center, which can accommodate up to 225 people.
To celebrate Raleigh's rich past and enjoy its inviting outdoors, the Mordecai Historic Park, where guests can find the birthplace of President Andrew Johnson and the oldest residence in Raleigh on its original foundation, offers several sites available for private events. For dinners and cocktail receptions, Caffe Luna offers elegant rooms for private dining complete with hardwood floors and graceful archways, as well as a candlelit terrace.
With the opening of the Lonnie Poole Golf Course at North Carolina State University in spring of 2009 and the 2014 addition of its clubhouse, complete with dining room, downtown area meeting attendees have a new option for after-session breaks and receptions. The 6,915-yard, par 71 course is an Arnold Palmer Signature Course and brings Raleigh's public and semi-private golf course tally to 18.