Welcome to Cvent’s Richmond event planning guide – a city guide for Richmond meeting planning and event planning professionals. Richmond's famed historical attractions, paired with its exciting, metropolitan flavor, bring more than five million tourists to Virginia's capital each year. Richmond features a flawless blend of small-town hospitality with the sophistication of an urban locale, an appealing combination to meeting participants and tourists alike.
In the city itself, the Greater Richmond Convention Center hosts more than 400 events each year in its modern, 700,000-square-foot facility that spans more than five city blocks. Amenities include a full-service business center, award-winning in-house catering and full-service audio-visual and telecommunications services. The center is also a short distance to more than 50 quality hotels, including the Jefferson Hotel, a National Historic Landmark and one of the 23 hotels in North America to have been awarded both the Mobil 5-Star and AAA 5-Diamond ratings.
Venturing outside the city? Richmond is extremely day trip-friendly, located only 100 miles northwest of tourist hotspot Virginia Beach and 50 miles northwest of historic Williamsburg. The James River Cellars Winery, located just 10 miles north of Richmond, hosts numerous festivals and wine tasting events, including Fridays on the Patio, an outdoor wine tasting and winery tour with live music, held the last Friday of every month. The charming Woodland Vineyard, located just 20 miles from Richmond, is a family-run winery that houses an outdoor patio among the trees, the perfect backdrop for enjoying a glass of its best vintage and great conversation.
Richmond is home to various unique venues that not only accommodate groups of any size, but also provide a breathtaking backdrop to any meeting or event. For smaller scale Richmond event planning, the city's Edgar Allen Poe Museum features a private garden for receptions of up to 125 guests. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' regal Marble Hall, nestled in the West Wing galleries, gives up to 1,500 guests immediate access to its superior collections, including the largest collection of Fabergé eggs outside of Russia. The eight private dining rooms at Lemaire, located in the famed Jefferson Hotel, are an elegant venue for dinners and receptions of up to 158 guests.
Continuously updating and renovating its options has been a priority in Richmond, as the city has been part of a downtown revitalization program for the past several years. Canal Walk, a 1.25-mile-long path with markers and information on Richmond's famous people and events, boasts canal cruises, restaurants, shops and venues for outdoor concerts. Visitors can also enjoy Richmond's scenery through Richmond's James River Parks System, featuring bike and hiking trails along the banks of the river; its mountain biking trails are considered to be among the best in the country.
The Richmond event planning community stays busy working with a number of organizations within the city; Richmond serves as headquarters to such companies as Brink's, Circuit City, Genworth Financial, LandAmerica Financial and CarMax, Inc. Also a locale of higher learning, Richmond is home to the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University.
Richmond features a unique blend of rich history mixed with vibrant, cosmopolitan culture that is sure to delight visitors of all ages. Located at the head of the James River in Virginia between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Atlantic coast, Richmond is approximately 100 miles south of Washington, DC, and midway between Atlanta and Boston. The city's varied geographical features include mountains, beaches, historic areas, city blocks and the only Class IV river rapids in an urban U.S. setting.
Founded in 1607 by Captains Christopher Newport and John Smith, Richmond is home to its share of historical events. Patrick Henry delivered his famous "give me liberty or give me death" speech in Richmond's St. John's Church in 1775. The city was also the first in the United States with its own hospital and canal system, as planned by George Washington. Richmond replaced Williamsburg as the capital of Virginia in 1780, and its State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson, is still one of Richmond's most visited attractions today.
Richmond has strong roots across a variety of different groups, and the city takes great care to recognize and celebrate its diversity. Modern downtown Richmond is located on the slopes of Shockoe Hill and is surrounded by multiple neighborhoods, including Jackson Ward, known as the "Harlem of the South." Visit the Black History Museum and Cultural Center to take a walk through the streets of the Jackson Ward Community, illustrated through pictures and stories. Richmond also has growing Hispanic and Jewish communities within the city's East End neighborhood, whose influences can be explored at attractions such as Virginia Holocaust Museum, Beth Ahabah Museum and Archives and Hebrew Cemetery. Richmond hosts several cultural festivals each year, including the summertime Greek and Asian American Festivals, that all pay homage to the city's rich wealth of people and cultures.
Its many historic homes and neighborhoods, museums and Civil War and Revolutionary War sites also serve to bring Richmond's colorful past to life. The city is home to the famed Monument Avenue, which features monuments dedicated to military and Civil War leaders, as well as the Hollywood Cemetery, which serves as the resting place of two U.S. presidents and thousands of Civil War soldiers and prominent Virginians. Richmond's Gilded Age wealth is showcased at the beautiful Jefferson Hotel, whose staircase is believed to be the inspiration behind the staircase in the film Gone With the Wind, as well as the sprawling Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and Maymont estate.
Richmond not only boasts a strong history, but also a strong economy centered on law, finance and federal, state and local government. In fact, Richmond is one of the few U.S. cities to have a Federal Reserve Bank and is home to a growing community of Fortune 500 companies.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
The fluctuation of seasons and temperatures in Richmond lends itself to Richmond event planning. Richmond experiences four distinct, yet mild, seasons. Located in the center of the state, Richmond falls within Virginia's Piedmont climate region, meaning that the average annual precipitation is less than 44 inches, while annual snowfall, usually occurring late December to February, is around 14 inches. July is Richmond's wettest and warmest month, with an average high of 88°F and average low of 66°F. January is the city's coldest month, with an average high of 47ºF and average low of 27°F.
Richmond is home to spectacular fall foliage, with the peak foliage viewing time in the last two weeks of October. As the months of June through September can be quite humid, many prefer to visit Richmond during the spring or fall to enjoy mild daytime temperatures and cool nights.
Greater Richmond Convention Center
Its ideal location and superb space make the beautiful Greater Richmond Convention Center one of the most sought-after event locales on the east coast. In fact, the center hosts more than 400 events each year. The 700,000-square-foot facility spans more than five city blocks in the center of downtown Richmond and offers 178,159 square feet of exhibit space, 32 meeting rooms and the 30,550-square-foot Grand Ballroom. Adjoining parking decks have space for 1,540 vehicles.
The modern, light-filled convention center is known for its superior amenities, including the Wachovia Business Center, a self-service facility that offers packaging, shipping, delivery, design, printing, copying and fax services for all visitors. The business center's supply vending machine is conveniently stocked with items visitors may have forgotten to bring, including nametags, batteries, luggage tags and rain ponchos. The center's Cyber Cafe features light fare, six Internet-accessible kiosks and free wireless Internet. Award-winning catering is provided exclusively by ARAMARK, which incorporates regional favorites in its always-delicious meals. The convention center also features in-house audio-visual services, including high-quality sound systems, video screens and video and audio taping, as well as full-service telecommunications services, including facility-wide Internet access, both wired and wireless, fax lines and videoconference hosting.Accommodations are readily available at the adjacent Richmond Marriott, which features 414 guest rooms.
Richmond International Airport (RIC)
Approximate taxi fare: $26.28 USD
Located just seven miles from downtown Richmond, Richmond International Airport services nine airline carriers and provides non-stop flights to 22 destinations, including Atlanta, Toronto, Dallas, New York, St. Louis, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia, as well as connecting flights to destinations worldwide. Richmond International welcomes nearly four million passengers to its striking interior accented by arched ceilings and gleaming terrazzo floors each year.
The airport's two-level, light-filled terminal features many visitor amenities, including restaurants and retail shops, a visitor's center and full-service business center with free Ethernet connections and wireless Internet service. Free wireless Internet service is also available throughout the airport's upper level.
Airline carriers serving Richmond International Airport
Amtrak services two stations in the Richmond Area. The Main Street Station is in downtown Richmond, located just minutes from the Greater Richmond Convention Center, while the Staples Mill Station is located 10 miles west of downtown Richmond.
Amtrak routes traveling through Richmond include the daily Carolinian/Piedmont route, which also services Raleigh, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia. The Regional route, with multiple departures daily, runs along the Northeast Corridor from Newport News, Virginia, to Boston. The Silver Service/Palmetto route runs from New York City to Miami.
The Greater Richmond Transit Company provides timely, exceptional bus service throughout downtown Richmond and its surrounding areas on 26 local routes. Visitors traveling to the Richmond International Airport should use the GRTC Purple Route, while the Greater Richmond Convention Center is accessible along the Blue Route. Buses run daily from 5 to 1 AM. Local route fare is $1.25 each way. For easier access, guests can purchase Go Cards for $5, $10 or $25 to be used in lieu of cash.
Several rental car agencies, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty, service Richmond International. They are located on either side of the terminal ground level.
Visitors to Richmond can access several taxi companies adjacent to the Richmond International Airport's North Garage. Visitors should expect to pay about $20 in taxi fare from the airport to downtown Richmond. Taxis can also be hailed on the street throughout the downtown region or found at hotel taxi stands.
Photo Credit : Richmond Metropolitan CVB
Planning a meeting or event in the Richmond Region?
The Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (RMCVB) is your best first point of contact. Count on us to help you find the right fit for any size meeting or event and take advantage of our destination marketing expertise to make your meeting or event a success. Call RMCVB first and your group may qualify for the following promotional services:
Comprehensive Destination Management
• One-stop access to customize event-planning services
• Destination proposals from the Richmond Convention Center and region hotels
• Insider knowledge of the Richmond Region and its 160 plus hotels, attractions, entertainment and dining options
• Facilitation of housing, convention, meeting services and on-site logistical support
• Comprehensive coordination for site visits and registration services
Local Expertise and Extensive In-Market Relationships
• Assistance with on-site promotion and logistics, including coordination for street banners, airport electronic messaging, and street closures
• Coordination of local volunteers
• Assistance with developing local sponsor support and engagement
Marketing and Communication
• Marketing promotional services for attendance building
• Customized design of group-specific microsites or landing pages
• Media and public relations support
• Social media support
• Full-time housing staff support at no cost to you
• Hotel reservations technology powered by Meeting Max
• Wide range of reports specifically for event/meeting planners
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.