As a top year-round tourist destination with a reputation as a warm and gracious host, New Orleans has attracted the largest conventions and events in the world. Knowing that most of the city's 40,000 hotel rooms are located in and around downtown and the French Quarter, convention planners have no problem arranging convenient lodging for attendees.
Whether an event needs all the exhibit space in the Superdome, the more intimate meeting rooms of a Caribbean-style hotel or the special ambiance of a Mississippi River steamboat, New Orleans has the perfect space to create a successful and memorable gathering. Gather attendees for an extravagant cocktail party in the historic Elms Mansion decorated with hand-carved marble, 24-karat gold sconces and elegant hardwood floors. Host a seated dinner in one of Ray's on the River's four modern function spaces, all of which afford spectacular views of the Mississippi River and New Orleans skyline. Choose from one of 15 distinct private dining rooms at Antoine's Restaurant, which dates back to 1840 and showcases memorabilia from many distinguished patrons including Judy Garland, President Roosevelt and Pope John Paul II. New Orleans offers endless unique venue possibilities!
In addition to offering numerous special New Orleans event venues, the city is also the site of the Morial Convention Center, long recognized as one of the top convention centers in America. After $60 million in restoration work and several million more in renovation upgrades, the center has enjoyed a robust recovery after Hurricane Katrina and is better than ever. The 3.1-million-square-foot facility is known for its excellence in providing cutting-edge technological features such as state-of-the-art lighting, video and audio production facilities, satellite linking, videoconferencing and webcasting capabilities. Best of all, the center's award-winning catering staff prepares exceptional foods in step with a city known worldwide for its cuisine.
Located in the New Orleans Arts District, the Morial Convention Center is in the middle of dozens of art galleries and museums and within walking distance of hundreds of restaurants, shops, bars and jazz clubs in the French Quarter. It's easy for visitors to connect with river cruises, walking tours of the city's beautiful historic districts, boat tours of swamps and nighttime tours of the haunted hotels and restaurants of the French Quarter. Also scattered throughout the city are world-class museums such as the Louisiana State Museum, the Louisiana Children's Museum and the 1911 New Orleans Museum of Art, home to one of the nation's largest glass collections. The Audubon Zoo is one of the top zoos in the country, and the Aquarium of the Americas is rated among the top 5 in the nation.
New Orleans is also home to top research institution Tulane University, located in the Uptown District. The headquarters of Fortune 500 giant Entergy Corporation calls New Orleans home, and many companies, including AT&T, IBM, Harrah's, Capital One, Popeye's Fried Chicken and Zatarain's, have a significant presence in the city.