Welcome to the Cvent Meeting and Event Planning guide to Orange County, a guide for meeting professionals. Fewer than two hours away from major meeting destinations Los Angeles and San Diego, Orange County has some tough competition when it comes to conventions and events. But with world-famous attractions, the largest convention center on the West Coast, spectacular weather and an unparalleled reputation as a family-friendly locale, Orange County not only keeps up with its neighbors, it shines.
Arriving in Orange County is easy, as it is served by four airports. John Wayne Airport, the gateway to the county, which offers nonstop service to over 15 domestic locations; and travel hub Los Angeles International Airport is just a 40-minute drive away. (The Burbank and Ontario/LA airports are also nearby.) Within the county itself, the Orange County Transportation Authority operates efficient bus and rail service to top attractions, all at an inexpensive, visitor-friendly cost.
One huge draw for Orange County is the 1,100-acre Anaheim Resort District, which includes the Anaheim GardenWalk featuring 400,000 square feet of restaurants, retail shops and nightlife. Another essential part of the District is the Anaheim Convention Center, which offers world-class meeting space within a 1.6-million-square-foot facility. Marked by its wave-shaped wall of glass that spans the entire length of the building, the convention center has 815,000 square feet of exhibit space. A full suite of amenities, including full in-house catering and wall-to-wall Free Wi-Fi, along with an earth-friendly operations plan, make the Anaheim Convention Center a premier meeting facility on the West Coast.
For smaller functions and events, Orange County boasts a wide variety of museums, gardens and historical sites for group use. Travel back to where it all started at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, regarded as the birthplace of Orange County. This historic landmark, which encompasses 10 acres of lush gardens and fountains, is available for events for up to 1,000 guests. Back to the present-day, Santa Ana's Discovery Science Center welcomes private events for 80 to 1,500 guests among its science-themed galleries and 130-seat, four-dimensional Discovery Theater.
Liven up receptions and banquets by hitting the venues at the Downtown Disney District, home to a unique variety of retail, dining and nightlife options. Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen brings the Big Easy to Anaheim, serving up traditional and contemporary Creole cuisine and nightly jazz entertainment to groups of up to 130 people. Up to 250 people can enjoy authentic Italian dishes at the district's Naples Ristorante e Pizzeria, while the ESPN Zone combines great food and entertainment for as many as 1,200+ people in its expansive venue.
Demonstrated by its wealth of fantastic meeting spaces, Orange County can certainly get down to business. An entrepreneurial powerhouse, the county's businesses are pioneering the surfing, sportswear, biomedical, aeronautical, coffee and theme park industries. Businesses such as Quiksilver, Pacific Life, Gateway, Inc., Linksys, Oakley, Inc. and Hurley, Inc., are based in Orange County. It is also home to several universities and colleges, including Anaheim University, California State University-Fullerton, University of California at Irvine and Trinity Law School.