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Wilmington, NC Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 40
Total Sleeping Rooms 1,648
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 295
Committable Meeting Rooms* 28
Convention Center Space 107,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 30,173 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 12,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $92
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $56
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $487
*Maximum for a single hotel

Wilmington, NC Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to our Wilmington meeting planning guide – a Wilmington city guide for meeting planners. Southern Wilmington's old-world charms complement its successful entrepreneurial spirit to make the area one of the fastest growing and most desirable locations in the country.

Located just four miles from Wilmington International Airport (ILM), Wilmington is within easy access of all parts of the globe. The airport offers non-stop service to five cities with connecting service across the country and beyond. Approximately 750,000 passengers pass through the gates at Wilmington International each year. Once in Wilmington, visitors and residents alike can enjoy the convenience and affordability of Wave Transit, a system of buses, shuttles and trolleys reaching areas throughout Cape Fear. Visitors to the Historic District can get from one exciting attraction to the next aboard Wave Transit's convenient and free trolley system.

When it comes to meeting venues, Wilmington offers a number of facilities for hosting events of all sizes. The crown jewel of the city and the entire Southeast is the new Wilmington Convention Center. Opened in late 2010, the sprawling new 107,000-square-foot facility is located on the edge of the Historic District and is being constructed utilizing the latest state-of-the-art green technologies. The center will provide 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, 5,784 square feet of additional meeting space along with a 12,000-square-foot ballroom. In addition to its cutting-edge meeting facilities, the new convention center will also feature covered outdoor riverfront seating with breathtaking views of the Cape Fear River, along with more than 580 parking spaces. Alternatively, the Coastline Conference and Event Center offers 10,150 square feet of meeting space in a renovated railway station along with incredible river views that will dazzle attendees.

For planners looking for an alternative venue, there is no shortage of unique meeting facilities to be found in Wilmington. Host a meeting at the USS North Carolina for a unique and memorable backdrop of American history. Or, be whisked away on a riverboat to observe the natural beauty of the area while dining on a buffet of Southern flavors. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Aquarium provides a vibrant and whimsical atmosphere for events of all sizes.

The city's economy is fueled by a number of different industries, including medicine, telecommunications, technology and clothing manufacture. The city is home to the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The city is also home to the largest television and film production studio outside of California. Nicknamed "Wilmywood," Wilmington has become a hotbed for the film and television industry producing such notable series as One Tree Hill, Dawson's Creek and Matlock, as well as films such as Firestarter, Weekend at Bernie's and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

About Wilmington, NC / Additional Info

Nestled on the banks of the Cape Fear River in the southeastern corner of North Carolina state, Wilmington, attracts visitors from across the globe with its beautiful climate, waterside locale, vibrant cultural scene and famed Historic District.

A modern city that is home to more than 100,000 residents, Wilmington dates its incorporation from 1739. Its growth was originally fueled by the area's rich soil and abundant forests; later, the area became an industrial center as manufacturers took advantage of the city's location on the Cape Fear River. Much of Wilmington's history can be found with a stroll through its popular Historic District - at over 230 city blocks, Wilmington's is one of the largest in the South. Visitors can learn all about regional history at the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, check out antique trains at the Wilmington Railroad Museum or witness the bravery and dedication of the state's residents on solemn display at the USS North Carolina (permanently moored in the Cape Fear River). For something off the beaten path, visitors to the historic district can take a horse and carriage ride, boat tour or a spine-tingling walking tour for tall tales of the bygone days.

The Historic District has attracted a strong and creative arts community. The city is home to a number of art galleries, performance arts groups and theaters. Intermingled with the galleries and theaters are a slew of quaint shops and antique dealers peddling remnants of the city's long and storied past.

For sports fans, Wilmington is home to the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the training camp site for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats. The city is also renowned for golfing, with a long playing season and 50 championship courses like the popular Beau Rivage Golf & Resort or the scenic Inland Greens. For anglers, casting off the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean are popular pastimes. Nestled between two bodies of water, the Cape Fear coastline offers plenty of seaside activities including beachcombing at nearby Carolina Beach, scuba at Kure Beach or sunbathing on the white sands of Wrightsville Beach.

Taking advantage of this port city's waterside locale, a number of restaurants in the area serve seafood creations to whet the appetites of visitors and residents alike. At the Pilot House, guests can enjoy the freshest local seafood with a Southern flair. The George on the Riverwalk serves up Southern comfort food and unique dishes only found in the region. After night falls, Wilmington keeps on going: Locals and guests enjoy the city's nightlife at clubs and bars along the Riverwalk such as Cameo 1900, where good food accompanies flavorful cocktails and a vibrant atmosphere into the wee hours.

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