Spotlight on Atlanta: A Dynamic, Diverse and Expanding Destination for Events

September 15, 2022

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:


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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact