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Raleigh, NC Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 77
Total Sleeping Rooms 9,316
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 400
Committable Meeting Rooms* 44
Convention Center Space 219,318 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 150,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 32,617 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $111
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $59
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $150
*Maximum for a single hotel

Raleigh, NC Meeting Planning Overview

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.

About Raleigh, NC / Additional Info

The capital city of North Carolina, Raleigh is situated on the gently rolling hills of North Carolina's Piedmont area. Named for English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, the city was founded in 1792 after the state legislature chose the site for its new capital. In addition to performing the big business of state government, Raleigh quickly emerged as a pioneer in education with the establishment of the all-female St. Mary's School in 1842. Today Raleigh is home to research powerhouse North Carolina State University and 10 other colleges and universities. On the business side, the area surrounds a portion of Research Triangle Park, one of the world's largest research parks and a major center for high-tech and biotechnology research and textile development. Likewise NC State's Centennial Campus is an increasingly renowned, 1,000-acre business park with a focus on STEM innovation.

Due to the success of Research Triangle Park, coupled with its rising reputation as a site for higher education and smarter workforce, Raleigh is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and is the second most populous city in North Carolina. Over 430,000 people call the city home, and over one million reside in the Raleigh metropolitan area.

Raleigh has more than 40 top-ranked cultural attractions that are free of charge to the public. Stroll through Greek and Roman sculptures and paintings by Claude Monet and Sandro Botticelli at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Explore the re-created interior of a 1920s North Carolina drugstore and see Richard Petty's stock car at the North Carolina Museum of History. Bask in the city's pleasant weather by stopping at one of its over 220 public parks, award-winning gardens, lakes, and golf courses, from the pomegranate trees and grape arbor at the Joel Lane Museum House Gardens to the Japanese Garden at the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University. When the sun goes down, savor a delicious meal, whether at one of North Carolina's trademark barbecue establishments or one of the city's emerging Italian, Mediterranean or Pan-Asian eateries. End the night with a stop at the trendy downtown Warehouse District, where cavernous brick buildings now house residential lofts, art galleries, restaurants, and nightlife such as Crank Arm Brewing.

New downtown additions have created a number of entertainment options for visitors during both the day and night. The 6,000-seat Red Hat Amphitheater programs outdoor concerts April through Oct., under the shadow of the Raleigh Convention Center's Shimmer Wall. The Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, a major triumph of the city's early downtown revitalization efforts, draws enthusiastic crowds with high-caliber entertainment in four performance halls.

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