Welcome to our Wilmington meeting planning guide – a Wilmington city guide for meeting planners. Southern Wilmington's old-world charms complement its successful entrepreneurial spirit to make the area one of the fastest growing and most desirable locations in the country.
Located just four miles from Wilmington International Airport (ILM), Wilmington is within easy access of all parts of the globe. The airport offers non-stop service to five cities with connecting service across the country and beyond. Approximately 750,000 passengers pass through the gates at Wilmington International each year. Once in Wilmington, visitors and residents alike can enjoy the convenience and affordability of Wave Transit, a system of buses, shuttles and trolleys reaching areas throughout Cape Fear. Visitors to the Historic District can get from one exciting attraction to the next aboard Wave Transit's convenient and free trolley system.
When it comes to meeting venues, Wilmington offers a number of facilities for hosting events of all sizes. The crown jewel of the city and the entire Southeast is the new Wilmington Convention Center. Opened in late 2010, the sprawling new 107,000-square-foot facility is located on the edge of the Historic District and is being constructed utilizing the latest state-of-the-art green technologies. The center will provide 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, 5,784 square feet of additional meeting space along with a 12,000-square-foot ballroom. In addition to its cutting-edge meeting facilities, the new convention center will also feature covered outdoor riverfront seating with breathtaking views of the Cape Fear River, along with more than 580 parking spaces. Alternatively, the Coastline Conference and Event Center offers 10,150 square feet of meeting space in a renovated railway station along with incredible river views that will dazzle attendees.
For planners looking for an alternative venue, there is no shortage of unique meeting facilities to be found in Wilmington. Host a meeting at the USS North Carolina for a unique and memorable backdrop of American history. Or, be whisked away on a riverboat to observe the natural beauty of the area while dining on a buffet of Southern flavors. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Aquarium provides a vibrant and whimsical atmosphere for events of all sizes.
The city's economy is fueled by a number of different industries, including medicine, telecommunications, technology and clothing manufacture. The city is home to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The city is also home to the largest television and film production studio outside of California. Nicknamed "Wilmywood," Wilmington has become a hotbed for the film and television industry producing such notable series as One Tree Hill, Dawson's Creek and Matlock, as well as films such as Firestarter, Weekend at Bernie's and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.