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Virginia Beach, VA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 91
Total Sleeping Rooms 10,251
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 307
Committable Meeting Rooms* 26
Convention Center Space 500,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 150,012 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 31,029 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $121
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $59
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $141
*Maximum for a single hotel

Virginia Beach, VA Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Virginia Beach, a city guide for meeting professionals. Consistently ranking among the country's best beach destinations, Virginia Beach provides the venues and hospitality suited for a variety of needs and budgets, all with professional staff support and services. With pristine natural wonders, freshly caught seafood, just-picked local ingredients, a vibrant downtown district, and three distinct beach experiences at the Oceanfront, Sandbridge, or Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach event venues can capitalize on the destination's appeal for attendees. Indeed, where the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay meet, Virginia Beach promises visitors a unique chance to "Live the Life."

When it comes to meeting planning, ease of access is just part of the reason Virginia Beach is one of the nation's premier year-round meeting destinations. Centrally located on the East Coast, this resort city is just a short flight or drive from two-thirds of the U.S. population. Visitors traveling by air will find Norfolk International Airport to be a convenient gateway to the city, located just 20 minutes from the oceanfront and offering direct and non-stop flights daily. However, nearly 95 percent of visitors to the city arrive by car, as it's only four hours away from Washington, DC. Amtrak serves the region daily with connecting transportation to Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Beach Convention Center takes center stage for meetings, sports events, tradeshows, and even weddings. Located on prime real estate in the heart of the city's resort area, the center—with its soaring 147-foot glass tower—is a sight to behold. Offering charming sea vistas, the tower itself is a one-of-a-kind setting for intimate events. Overall, the convention center offers more than 516,000 square feet of space, including more than 150,000 square feet of column-free exhibition space, a 31,000-square-foot ballroom, and over 29,000 square feet of additional meeting space, making the center a versatile venue for events of all kinds. As an added bonus, this facility is city-owned and managed by the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, allowing meeting planners to rely on coordinated efforts of a single sales and service team. The center has 2,230 free parking spaces and is located within a 3-mile radius of 7,000 hotel rooms.

If getting to Virginia Beach is easy, getting around is even easier thanks to ample public parking throughout the city. The oceanfront area alone offers more than 1,500 off-street municipal parking spaces and 786 on-street metered spaces. In addition, Virginia Beach also features the affordable and convenient Hampton Roads Transit system. With the HRT system, visitors can hop aboard a hybrid trolley car and arrive at various key attractions throughout the destination.

For a unique taste of Virginia Beach, planners can also look to one of many alternative venues dotted throughout the city. From historic homes to modern attractions to fine dining establishments, this picturesque resort city offers several experiential off-site options for groups. Take a group by boat to the Pleasure House Oyster Farm and sample fresh oysters with a farm-to-table dining experience right on the water. Meet among the sharks and sea turtles at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Center with exhibit galleries, theater, classrooms, and more that cater to groups spanning in size from 25 to 2,500 people. The Brock Environmental Center, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, and Francis Land House are among the other popular offsite meeting venues.

Virginia Beach's economy relies heavily on its tourism industry. However, several major companies are headquartered in the city, including Lifenet and Stihl. The region is also home to Oceana Naval Air Station and Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base. Education institutions include Regent University, Virginia Wesleyan College, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, and Christopher Newport University, among others.

About Virginia Beach, VA / Additional Info

One of the East Coast's most popular beach destinations, Virginia Beach spans 497.3 square miles along the southeastern corner of the state on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. With a population of 450,000 people, Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia. (The Coastal Virginia region also includes the cities of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, and Portsmouth.)

The Coastal Virginia region dates back to the year 1607 when Captain John Smith landed three British ships near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia Beach's landmark role in early American history still comes alive today in the sights and sounds of its many historical attractions. Visitors can discover the place where explorers first set foot on what is now American soil at the Cape Henry Lighthouse and First Landing Cross. Or, tour the residences of some of Southeast Virginia's earliest settlers at the Adam Thoroughgood or Ferry Plantation historic homes.

With a mild year-round climate, over 35 miles of beaches, and a three-mile boardwalk ranked among the best in America, Virginia Beach provides endless opportunities to enhance a meeting experience. From a ropes course challenge at The Adventure Park to high-flying adventure at iFly, kayak excursions and oyster farm waterman tours to just enjoying a walk on the beach, recreational activities abound. Visitors can also get up close and personal with the local wildlife by visiting the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, dolphin or whale watching by boat or taking a scenic hike through First Landing State Park or Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Not just an outdoor playground, Virginia Beach is also known for its many cultural offerings. For art lovers, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) is a must-visit. One of Southeast Virginia's leading art institutions, Virginia MOCA features changing exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography, glass, video and other visual media from internationally acclaimed artists as well as national and regional renown. Or, for live entertainment at its best, consider either the new 1,300-seat Sandler Center for the Performing Arts or the 20,000-seat Farm Bureau Live Virginia Beach Amphitheater.

When the sun sets, Virginia Beach sparkles with a nightlife that encompasses everything from upscale dining to live music and comedy clubs. Known for its delectable coastal cuisine, the city offers an endless supply of fresh local-caught seafood, such as the signature Chesapeake Bay Crab cakes, oysters, rockfish (striped bass), tuna and flounder. A delight for the senses, popular restaurants such as Terrapin, Rockafeller's, and Tautog's serve up succulent seafood in style. Meanwhile, entertainment and colorful cocktails await at hip haunts such as Catch 31, Croc's 19th Street Bistro and Waterman's. No matter what activity guests choose, they'll quickly see why Virginia Beach makes it easy to bring your meeting to life in Virginia Beach.

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