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Orange County, CA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 495
Total Sleeping Rooms 55,600
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 1,300
Committable Meeting Rooms* 52
Convention Center Space 1,600,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 813,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 38,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $162
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $64
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $96
*Maximum for a single hotel

Orange County, CA Meeting Planning Overview

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.

About Orange County, CA / Additional Info

When visitors first think of Orange County, they probably imagine lounging on one of the sandy beaches that populate its 42 miles of coastline. Perhaps they think about mingling with Mickey Mouse and the gang at Disneyland. While beaches and family fun are both great Orange County activities, the truth is, the 34 cities of this Southern California destination offer so much more. With lively art districts, historic landmarks and first-class recreation, it's no surprise that Orange County attracts nearly 45 million visitors each year.

Orange County's popularity dates back to its origins, when the area's first permanent European settlement was established at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Much later, with the completion of the Pacific Electric Railway between Los Angeles and Newport Beach, Orange County became a popular weekend retreat for celebrities of Old Hollywood.

It didn't take long for the county to become much more than just a casual day trip. By the 1980s, it was the 2nd most populated county in California with over two million residents. Today, it still falls just after Los Angeles with a population of over three million people.

Orange County locals and visitors can easily enjoy its blend of old and new. Stop by Newport Beach's famous Balboa Pavilion, one of California's last surviving waterfront recreational pavilions, or play virtual games at Discovery Science Center. Catch a family-friendly show at Knott's Berry Farm, the birthplace of the boysenberry and America's first theme park, or get tickets to one of the contemporary dances, Broadway shows or cabaret artists performing at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

Fitting of a SoCal locale, many of Orange County's attractions reflect its relaxed beach culture. Six main beach cities all offer picturesque ocean views and distinctive coastal living. The quaint Seal Beach is reminiscent of a 1920s old fashioned beach town, while the famed Huntington Beach, also known as Surf City USA, is the place to hit the waves or kick back at local surfer hangouts. Whale watch at the manmade harbor at the beautiful Dana Point, or pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir at Laguna Beach's trendy boutiques and art galleries.

Recreation in Orange County isn't limited to the sand and surf. Take a walk through the serene Fullerton Arboretum, which boasts over 4,000 unique plant species. The county is also home to 40 championship golf courses on which both novices and pros can hone their swing. Get tickets to watch the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center or the MLB's Angels at Angel Stadium.

For many in Orange County, shopping is the recreational activity of choice. Seeing as the county is home to nearly 1,000 retailers, it's not hard to spend a day – or two – stocking up on designer duds or unique crafts. Visit international destination South Coast Plaza, where high-end designers such as Fendi, Tory Burch, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent have storefronts. The open-air Fashion Island is home to about 200 specialty shops, including the county's only Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's. Meanwhile, the Shops at Anaheim GardenWalk, the county's newest shopping destination, is an entertainment haven of over 50 stores, popular restaurants, a bowling lounge and a movie theater.

As the sun sets, guests discover that Orange County's nights are often hotter than its days. Award-winning restaurants such as 21 Oceanfront combine waterfront views and the fresh flavors of Californian coastal cuisine. For dessert, head to Newport Beach for one of the famous Balboa Bars, a square vanilla ice cream treat on a stick, dipped in chocolate and rolled in any number of nuts or candies. Later, head to the exclusive Montage Resort & Spa's lobby for an OC Martini, a mix of Bacardi O Rum, Cointreau and fresh orange juice. From trendy dining to top-notch shopping, laidback recreation to family fun, it's easy to see why everything about Orange County is "so California!"

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