Spotlight on Atlanta: A Dynamic, Diverse and Expanding Destination for Events
The city of Atlanta, Ga., is more than an urban oasis exuding Southern hospitality. Rich in history and culture, this diverse and vibrant destination boasts more than 136 square miles of unique and colorful neighborhoods, vast green spaces and an interesting array of amenities and attractions, including a vibrant arts, entertainment and culinary scene, and an enduring civil rights legacy. For all these reasons and more, it’s no wonder that travel destination experts and global brands including Lonely Planet and National Geographic have highlighted Atlanta in their Best of Travel lists for 2022.
For event professionals, Atlanta also serves as a prime locale for meetings, conventions and trade shows, with its expanding array of hotels, state-of-the-art meeting and event venues, a walkable convention and entertainment district, and easy access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world and located just seven miles from the city’s downtown district.
As face-to-face gatherings return, scores of event professionals are choosing Atlanta as their host destination. According to Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) officials, the city has so far hosted more than 16 major citywide conventions this year, with four more to be held before the end of 2022 and 21 currently booked for 2023.
“There is a tremendous amount of hospitality development happening all across the city, giving planners new options when hosting their events in Atlanta,” said William Pate, president and CEO of the ACVB. “With our globally accessible airport, expanding hotel portfolio and continued enhancements to our walkable convention center campus, Atlanta provides an elevated meeting experience to guests.”
Here’s just a sampling of the appealing amenities Atlanta has to offer for meeting and event groups:
Unique Venues and Attractions
Georgia World Congress Center: Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta on the massive Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) campus, the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) is the world’s largest LEED-Gold certified convention center, offering a whopping 1.5 million square feet of meeting and exhibit space that plays host to some of the nation’s largest trade shows. The GWCCA campus also includes the LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the 22-acre Centennial Olympic Park and the 11-acre Home Depot Backyard greenspace.
GWCCA is continuing to improve its campus experience with new upgrades and offerings, including the recently completed Andrew Young International Mall and Terminal exterior project featuring a pedestrian walkway and a permanent bus and rideshare location, and the GWCC-connected Signia by Hilton Atlanta, which will offer 975 guest rooms and 75,000 sq. ft. of meeting space when it opens in early 2024.
Zoo Atlanta: Overlooking the new African Savanna exhibit, Savanna Hall at Zoo Atlanta is a one-of-a-kind event space for groups seeking a more exotic event experience while supporting wildlife conservation. Featuring more than 25,000 sq. ft. of event spaces, the new hall features sweeping views of the habitat occupied by African elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs and other species.
Georgia Aquarium: The largest aquarium in the Western hemisphere has gotten even bigger with a redesigned entry and a new exhibit, Sharks! Predators of the Deep, featuring 1.2 million gallons of water. The massive, seven-gallery aquarium also hosts its fair share of meetings and events, with 23,000-sq.-ft. of flexible event spaces comprising four ballrooms. Large events of up to 5,000 people have the option of reserving the entire aquarium after hours.
Illuminarium Atlanta: As the first of its kind when it opened in 2021, Illuminarium Atlanta is an experiential attraction and immersive, sensory event space along Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail. Situated just south of the ever-popular Ponce City Market, this unique facility offers an outdoor café, nighttime bar experience and nearly 14,000 sq. ft of event space with a fully customizable 4K projection canvas that surrounds guests with a cinematic, 360-degree immersion of sight and sound.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights: Connecting the U.S. civil rights movement to the human rights challenges our world faces today, this museum and human rights organization inspires people to tap into their own power to change the world around them. With iconic exhibits featuring the papers and artifacts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the history of the U.S. civil rights movement and stories from today’s global human rights struggles, this cultural institution also offers several meeting and event spaces and in-house food and beverage services by Wolfgang Puck Catering.
New Hotel Properties
Offering more than 107,000 hotel rooms in the metro region, Atlanta is enjoying an expanding hospitality portfolio with new hotels with meeting space that have recently come online or are about to be completed this year. They include:
- Bellyard, West Midtown Atlanta
- Element Atlanta Buckhead
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Midtown
- Epicurean Atlanta
- Kimpton Sylvan Hotel
- Marriott Courtyard | Element Midtown
- Thompson Buckhead
- Nobu Hotel Atlanta
- Comfort Suites Atlanta Airport
- Kimpton Midtown Atlanta