Here Are Your Favorite Venues in the East

Favorite Venues in the East
Your favorite venues in the East represent some of the best facilities in the country. Congratulations to all involved for ensuring the events business continues to grow. Below, see what you and your peers selected as prime locations to do business.

Convention Centers

Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., drew multiple votes. Carolyn Patterson, director of events at the American Psychological Association, hailed the 2.3-million sq.-ft. facility for its wayfinding signage, plentiful meeting and event spaces (77 custom rooms) and its location (downtown D.C.) Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, earned praise from its staff. Terry Onustack, CMP, event planning executive at Seattle-based SBI Association Management, says “they are very easy to work with and make sure the client is taken care of.” Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta earns the support from Kay Clark, CMP, director of meetings and events at MHI. She cites the airlift—Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world’s busiest airport—and close distance to landmarks like The World of Coke and Georgia Aquarium. Boston Convention and Exhibition Center is a favorite of Mia Beans, special events manager at Cure Epilepsy. There “are many nearby hotels” and the facility is in “a prime location” near the Seaport District, says Beans. Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, wins points from Lamar Keener, executive director of Evangelical Press Association, for being “centrally located to a most unique and fascinating downtown.” Keener adds the Marriott built into the convention center makes the facility “most accommodating.” Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia won some love for its location—it’s right next to Reading Terminal Market. The historic market, now a vibrant food hall, is “the only stop on the Monopoly Board you can actually walk into today,” notes Sybil Davis, national account manager at Discover Philadelphia. Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center in Rochester, New York is a standout because it’s connected to two downtown hotels with 1,000 guest rooms, says Deidre Wetelainen, vice president of sales at Visit Rochester. Tampa Convention Center got the nod from a next-door neighbor, Jeffrey Silva, senior sales executive at Tampa Marriott Waterside. Atlantic City Convention Center and Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center also drew well-earned love from their respective CVBs and facility staff.


Not surprisingly, Orlando was well represented. Hilton Bonnet Creek Orlando, Orlando Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott Orlando and Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort were favorites. Planners who work often in the nation’s capital highlighted the venerable Washington Marriott Wardman Park and Washington Marriott Marquis. Ritz-Carlton Naples remains consistent for top-level quality and service, Clark says. Historic Hotel Bethlehem (Pennsylvania) is a “step back in time to 1920s grandeur,” boasts Kaitie Burger; Discover Lehigh Valley’s social media and communications manager. Providence Biltmore, another historic property, is a favorite of Mark E. Felag, P.E., managing engineer (planning) at the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Hyatt Regency Rochester just received $16 million in upgrades, notes Wetelainen.

New Venues

Spire Conference Center in Washington, D.C. drew votes “because of its amazing views overlooking Capitol Hill,” from the likes APA’s Patterson. Red Door No. 5 in Tampa is a historic fire station that's been transformed into a unique meeting and event space, complete with in-house catering.

Best-Value Destinations

Favorites included: Atlanta Orlando Philadelphia King of Prussia (in Valley Forge, Pa.) Columbia, S.C. Atlantic City Rochester, N.Y. Kissimmee, Fl. Richmond, Va. Miami Providence