Talk about meetings of the minds. Leveraging its thriving tech-based economy, strong educational infrastructure and powerful brain trust, North Carolina’s historic
capital skillfully aligns its business and
academic sectors via meetings. Local
“connectors” are integral to this success,
as Loren Gold, executive vice president for
the Greater Raleigh CVB, explains.
“Tied to our region’s key verticals, including life sciences, software, biotech and
cleantech, our core markets are corporate
and association meetings and conventions
at the state, regional and national levels,”
Gold says. “Averaging some 65 conventions,
tradeshows and events per year at the
Raleigh Convention Center, bookings rose
16 percent from FY14 to FY15, with overall
group business up around 5 percent.”
The bureau is enhancing its Connectors
Program, which engages Raleigh’s highly
collaborative network of science, technolo-
gy and engineering experts in sharing their
knowledge and contacts with organizers
to plan and customize innovation-driven
“Partnering with the convention center
and city, county and state economic devel-
opment agencies, we will utilize local influ-
encers, our portfolio of locally incubated
conferences that have grown to regional
and national events, and past customer
testimonials to increase business opportu-
nities,” Gold says. “We’re about connecting
meetings to the passionate people bringing
ideas to life here every day. Planners can
also access local experts for speaker, spon-
sor and attendance opportunities.”
In Raleigh, the “Smithsonian of the South,”
the talent pool includes the creative arts.
“We are also designing showcase events
and tradeshows in the Midwest, Northeast,
Southeast and Mid-Atlantic that emphasize
the “Rooted in Raleigh” innovators behind
our award-winning culinary, craft beverage,
music and fashion industries,” Gold says.
Greater Raleigh, NC
The Bridge Club // www.ac-restaurants.com/bridge-club
Complementing her portfolio of Raleigh restaurants and bars, chef-pro-prietor Ashley Christensen, 2014 James Beard winner for Best Chef:
Southeast, created this elegant venue for diverse private functions.
Located on two floors within a 1900s bank building, the loft-style
space includes a demonstration kitchen.
North Carolina Museum of Art // www.ncartmuseum.org
Minutes from downtown Raleigh, this free-admission institution
combines world-class art with versatile spaces for gatherings large and
small. Options range from receptions among 30 Rodin sculptures to
outdoor soirees in the 164-acre Museum Park; assistance is available
for logistical, catering and other services.
North Carolina State University // www.ncsu.edu
NC State offers a range of dynamic spaces, including the
37,000-square-foot McKimmon Conference & Training Center and new
James B. Hunt Jr. Library, featuring Creativity Studios and a Game Lab.
Raleigh Beer Garden //
Opened last summer, the world’s largest beer garden (also
serving craft cocktails) boasts 366 taps, including 144
North Carolina craft brews on the first floor, another 222
national and international drafts on the second floor, and
yet more for tastings and special events on the third level.
Triangle Rock Club // www.trianglerockclub.com
With two area locations, this indoor climbing and fitness
center provides rope climbing, bouldering terrain and comprehensive fitness areas, while offering instruction, camps,
programs, corporate events, parties and more.
By Jeff Heilman
Leverage your meeting
Halfway between Florida and NYC, Raleigh is
circled by Interstate 40 and highways 440 and
540. Centered in the Research Triangle Region
20 minutes west of downtown, Raleigh-Durham
International Airport offers 400-plus daily arrivals
and departures on eight major airlines, plus
low-cost carriers with non-stop daily connections
to 40 other airports. Amtrak service goes right
downtown into the Warehouse District.
NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART
RALEIGH CITYSCAPE NIGHT
GREATER RALEIGH CVB