Welcome to Cvent’s Providence meeting planning guide – a Providence city guide for meeting planners. At just 18.5 square miles, Providence and nearby Warwick, Rhode Island, pack a punch with a rich architectural heritage, full calendar of arts and music festivals and culinary treasures – all of which can be enjoyed by convention guests and leisure travelers alike. Their coastal location in the Northeast place both cities within 500 miles of 25 percent of the nation's population. They're also just three hours away from New York City and within 50 minutes of Boston by car.
For guests looking to arrive by plane, Warwick is home to T.F. Green Airport, also located just 10 miles from downtown Providence. The award-winning airport offers service to destinations throughout the United States and Canada on up to 150 flights a day to 21 destinations. Within the city itself, visitors find the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus system and trolley to be an efficient and affordable way to hop among Providence's biggest attractions. Additionally, the city's compact downtown area makes it an extremely walkable destination for those looking to visit one of the 53 restaurants, 11 hotels or Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Rhode Island Convention & Entertainment Complex encompasses three multi-purpose facilities. The Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) features a 100,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 20,000-square-foot ballroom and 23 meeting rooms, while the 13,000-seat Dunkin' Donuts Center (DDC) boasts a 31,000-square-foot arena floor and several meeting, banquet and board rooms. The Veterans Memorial Auditorium is a 1,900-seat historic performing arts venue, known for its unique combination of size and intimacy, superb acoustics and great sight lines. The RICC and DDC are connected by a striking glass structure and are linked via skywalks to the 564-room Omni Providence hotel and the Providence Place Mall.
For smaller group functions and events, Providence is home to a number of historical sites, restaurants and even parks that can accommodate private events. Planners won't have to roll the dice at Twin River Casino, though their guests certainly can. Located in nearby Lincoln, the casino features a brand new 29,000-square-foot event center, on-site restaurant and comedy club for private events. Go wild at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, whose spaces include the tented Picnic Pavilion and the Jambo Junction, which overlooks the zoo's wetlands lake next to the elephants and giraffes. Or, plan a dinner and drinks at one of Providence's award-winning restaurants such as Local 121, Waterplace or Hemenway's, all of which have private space for groups large and small.
One of the first U.S. cities to industrialize, Providence was a leader in manufacturing metals, machinery, textiles, jewelry and silverware. Today, it remains a large center for jewelry and silverware design and manufacturing, with education, healthcare and finance also serving as big contributors to the local economy. Textron, Nortek Incorporated, Citizens Bank and GTECH are headquartered in Providence. The city is also known for its stellar educational foundation, serving as home to Brown University, Johnson and Wales University, Providence College, Rhode Island College, Rhode Island School of Design, University of Rhode Island and Community College of Rhode Island.