Raleigh and Wake County boast hundreds of options for meeting and event planners, be it venues and hotels for the business functions themselves or restaurants and attractions for arriving groups before/after their functions.

To simplify our geography as well as our many business listings for external clients, GRCVB defined five, separate and distinct meeting districts across the destination. This week, we'll share a short introduction to each district and how our partners might fit into booking, welcoming and working more desirably with business meetings/events in their district, in conjunction with the Bureau sales team.

Each meeting district in Wake County has its own distinct personality and combination of features to aid a professional planner's understanding of our area and ultimately create a memorably hosted event through accommodations, facilities/service providers and extracurricular offerings nearby. They are: 

All five districts are anchored by at least one meeting hotel with 10,000+ square feet of meeting space but also include several other major meeting hotels with ample meeting spaces, event support services and guest rooms available. The areas adjacent to anchor hotels offer multiple "things to do" and restaurant options, ranging from modestly-priced traditional fare to more exotic flavors for those with an adventurous palate and more money to spend, within walkable reach of attendees who will be meeting there once planners have booked.

Wake County Meeting Districts Map

Airport Meeting District
The Airport District's advantage is its proximity to RDU International Airport. Event attendees flying-in have a short commute to their meeting hotel and a plethora of activities and dining in the RDU/Brier Creek area. One of the newest meeting hotels in Wake County, The Westin Raleigh-Durham Airport, is located within the Airport District and can offer more than 14,000 square feet of meeting space and 236 rooms for overnight stays for attendees. Take a virtual tour of the Airport Meeting District here.

Cary Meeting District
Cary features the only Five-Star hotel in N.C., the superb Umstead Hotel and Spa, and the exquisite downtown Cary boutique property, The Mayton, both made for those who like to be surrounded by luxury with inspiring meeting space as well. In addition to those major meeting hotels, you can also find comfort and all the amenities you need at anchor Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle (a very short drive from William B. Umstead State Park) and Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Cary, right in the Crossroads Plaza shopping area. Take a virtual tour of the Cary Meeting District here.

Downtown Meeting District
The LEED Silver-certified, 500,000-square-foot Raleigh Convention Center is the jewel of the downtown Raleigh meeting district. Three major meeting properties, the Raleigh Marriott City CenterSheraton Raleigh Hotel and the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown, sit on the convention campus with the Raleigh Convention Center/other complex facilities and are short walks from James Beard Award-winning restaurants, rooftop bars and underground cocktail spots, museums and retail storefronts home to local makers. View a virtual tour of the downtown Raleigh Convention Center campus here.

Midtown Meeting District
The Midtown meeting district includes two walkable areas—Crabtree Valley and North Hills—with some of the destination's most popular meeting hotels and plenty of familiar or local restaurants, shopping and things to do on downtime. External clients planning a meeting in one of these destination hotspots—both near major highways and beltline interstates—will find them easily accessible for their group visitors arriving by car/taxi! View a virtual tour of the Midtown Meeting District here.

Raleigh West Meeting District
The StateView Hotel, a full-service hotel with 10,000 square feet of meeting space is the anchor hotel of the Raleigh West District. Modern hotels along with some of the most popular "university" things to do in Raleigh, and delicious dining make this district a meeting planner's pick time and time again. Home to big attractions like the North Carolina Museum of Art and PNC Arena, the surrounding area offers plenty of entertainment just a stone's throw or a short drive away from its meeting hotels and dedicated meeting spaces. Take a virtual tour of the Raleigh West district here.

Ease of transportation really is a primary benchmark for each of the five districts; in some cases, attendees can park and never have to touch their cars again until their business event is over. There's also a density of things to do in all five districts, including nightlife and shopping; some have neighboring historical sites, some performing arts venues, some sporting venues and much more. But all can serve as a welcome area orientation for outside clients and therefore help GRCVB staff/partners hone a compelling planner proposal based on their client's geographic interest or attendee profile-based rationales for booking a meeting here versus there.

Knowing these meeting districts and how they interrelate for meetings/conventions is valuable knowledge especially for hotel partners within Wake County. Reach out to your district partners to find common ways to refine your collective yet unique selling proposition with more arriving groups in the future!