Event management software company Aventri has published its 2019 report of the Top Meeting and Event Venues in the United States.

Venues were selected based on the volume of activity in 2018 on Aventri's sourcing platform.

Aventri noted that its top venues for each city were selected based on activity last year on the company’s sourcing platform and were chosen for qualities planners prioritize. Criteria included:

  • Destination
  • Capacity
  • Amenities
  • Uniqueness
  • Proximity to local attractions
  • The ability to create immersive, engaging attendee experiences

The list features 10 venues in each of what Aventri considers the top 10 ten cities for meetings and events in the U.Sfrom New York City to San Diego.

Aventri highlighted some of the top meeting and event venues from the list exclusively for Meetings Today in six categories.

1. Unexpected Places

Event spaces can go beyond a hotel ballroom or conference center and hosting in unique space can often add a sense of place to a function.

USS Midway Museum, San Diego
USS Midway Museum, San Diego

  • USS Midway Museum, San Diego: The U.S. Navy’s longest-serving aircraft carrier of the 20th century now hosts gatherings for up to 4,000 people. Available enhancements include flight simulators, docent tours and fireworks rocketing off the Midway’s bow over the San Diego Bay.
  • Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.: This Gothic Revival cathedral with 215 stained-glass windows and 112 gargoyles can wow up to 1,500 guests for private events. The interior columns can be with any color to match the event theme and decor.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Host your event under the same roof as this art collection featuring works by ancient Egyptians, Picasso and van Gogh. Among the inspired spaces: the domed Great Hall, the European Sculpture Court and the Roof Garden with views of Central Park and the New York City skyline.
  • Nashville Zoo at Grassmere, Nashville: The 188-acre zoo can accommodate meetings and events for 20 to 2,000 guests in indoor and outdoor settings surrounded by lush landscapes and the sounds of the exotic wildlife nearby.
  • Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery, Nashville: This whiskey distillery dates back to the late 1800s. Nelson’s offers tours and tastings and its venues include the Oak Room and Distillery Tasting Room, which can accommodate 15 to 250 guests.

2. For Sports Fans

From baseball parks to indoor golf simulation venues will bring out the sports fan in every attendee.

Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Credit: Frank Romeo
Nationals Park, Washington, D.C., Credit: Frank Romeo

  • Lone Star Park, Dallas: This racetrack offers trackside event space. The Courtyard of Champions and outdoor event grounds are ideal for tradeshows and exhibitions with a capacity for 2,000 guests. Options for smaller events include Penthouse Suites and Silks Dining Terrace, with 180-degree views of the track.
  • Corona Ranch, Phoenix: These rodeo grounds can enhance events with live rodeo entertainment. From teambuilding events to NBA All-Star parties, the Ranch can host a wide range of events for groups of up to 3,000 people.
  • Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.: Home of the Washington Nationals, this Major League ballpark has multiple venues for indoor and outdoor events for groups from 40 to 40,000 people. Venues range from the Conference Center, which has five spaces, to the Budweiser Brew House for smaller meetings and receptions and an entire ballpark buyout.
  • Chase Field, Phoenix: At the home of the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks, planners, can choose from 28 venues for events accommodating 10 to 5,000 attendees. Host your meeting in the All-Star Suite, Batter’s Box or Beer Garden, or rent out the field for large-scale events.
  • TopGolf, Dallas: This golf venue boasts 74 climate-controlled hitting bays, three 18-hole miniature golf courses, an outdoor patio, full-service restaurant and bar, and four meeting venues, including the Signature Room and Rooftop Terrace. A full buyout of the venue can accommodate up to 1,000 guests.
  • NASCAR I-Drive, Orlando: This immersive indoor kart racing and entertainment complex features 5,000 square feet of trackside event space. In addition to the functional space, there are bowling lanes, arcade games, pool tables and an onsite restaurant.

3. Venues With Views:

Venues with a view add an instant backdrop and decor to events.

Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, Credit: Zhukova Valentyna, Shutterstock
Kennedy Space Center, Orlando, Credit: Zhukova Valentyna, Shutterstock

  • ALTITUDE Sky Lounge, San Diego: This rooftop lounge has a glass-walled balcony perched 22 stories above the city’s historic Gaslamp District. For private events, the venue offers custom menus, bottle service and seating and firepits. View: Downtown skyline, San Diego Harbor, Coronado Bridge and Petco Park, home of the MLB San Diego Padres.
  • 360 Chicago, Chicago: This event space and observation deck on the 94th floor of the iconic John Hancock Building soars 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. There are three spaces for private functions, and a full buyout offers a capacity for 550 guests. View: Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.
  • Chateau Rooftop, Las Vegas: A nightclub and event space beneath a replica of the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, this 14,000-square-foot space features a dance floor and state-of-the-art sound and lighting for up to 1,500 people. View: Las Vegas Strip, including the Fountains of Bellagio.
  • Terminus 330 Rooftop Terrace, Atlanta: This industrial chic venue for up to 270 guests boasts a mezzanine overlooking Atlanta's historic railway. The main event space features a wrought iron entrance, hardwood floors, exposed brick and vaulted ceilings. View: SkyView Ferris Wheel, Mercedes Benz Stadium, Georgia Aquarium and the Midtown cityscape.
  • Kennedy Space Center, Orlando: The space center that launched the Apollo and Space Shuttle flights can host meetings and events in its two conference facilities or in the Space Shuttle Atlantis and Apollo/Saturn V Center, where attendees can walk and dine underneath vehicles built to rocket humans beyond Earth. View: Space Shuttle Atlantis and Saturn V Moon rocket.

4. For Intimate Events:

Smaller events don’t have to mean tiny, boring rooms. These venues for intimate groups give attendees an experience special to the destination.

  • Mansion on O Street, Washington, D.C.: A haven for CEOs, politicians and rock stars, it was rated a Top 5 historic venue in the world by the Smithsonian magazine. The Mansion is near Embassy Row and the White House. It offers meeting and event space for up to 300 attendees, 100 guest rooms, and displays of global artwork and memorabilia from rock legends.
  • Besharat Museum Gallery, Atlanta: This museum in the city’s downtown arts district houses four gallery event spaces, each with its own character and charm, along with a spectacular variety of artwork from around the world.
  • District Winery, Washington, D.C.: A boutique urban winery and restaurant, this venue overlooks the Anacostia River and was the city’s first winery. Today, private event rooms and a terrace are available for up to 200 guests and can be paired with premium small-batch wines and seasonal American cuisine.

5. Epic Events:

Epic event call for epic venues. Here are some options that can accommodate large groups and wow everyone.

  • MGM Grand, Las Vegas: This Las Vegas Strip mainstay is equipped to accommodate large groups’ meeting and event needs as well as dining, entertainment and nightlife. The conference center alone houses more than 380,000 square feet of customizable meeting space.
  • Hard Rock Cafe, Orlando: The world's largest Hard Rock Cafe, this venue can host everything from small, intimate meetings to lavish celebrations in a virtual rock and roll museum. It can accommodate events from 30 to 4,000 people.
  • Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville: Offering nine acres of indoor gardens, indoor and outdoor water attractions, shopping, dining and live entertainment this iconic venue features 85 rooms and more than 700,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
  • Javits Center, New York: The biggest stage for New York events, this venue hosts nearly 40,000 companies annually in its 760,000 square feet of exhibition space. The venue is also undergoing a major expansion scheduled for completion by 2021.

6. Venues With Outdoor Options:

Having outdoor space adds to any event, but when that outdoor space is the Pacific Ocean or a park in downtown Atlanta, it sets the stage for an over-the-top event

  • Hotel del Coronado, San Diego: This National Historic Landmark has hosted celebrities, royalty, U.S. presidents and beach lovers for generations. Choose from the hotel’s 65 venues across 65,000 square feet of indoor, outdoor and oceanfront meeting spaces, including a private beach.
  • The Bridge Building, Nashville: Located downtown on the riverfront, this historic venue features customizable indoor and outdoor spaces for up to 1,000 people. The rooftop patio overlooks the river and city skyline.
  • Piedmont Park Conservancy, Atlanta: This conservancy provides a green oasis with indoor and outdoor event spaces in the heart of Atlanta. The Dockside dock/lawn area forms an amphitheater-like space against a scenic Lake Clara Meer backdrop.
  • The Castle at Rockwall, Dallas: A castle set on 10 acres of land, this venue accommodates up to 600 people throughout its dining rooms, bar, veranda and lawns.
  • Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix: This desert botanical wonderland is surrounded by more than 50,000 desert plants and wildflowers. Outdoor venues include the Webster Center, with a tiered patio offering scenic views of desert sunsets and surrounding buttes.

For a complete list of venues, download Aventri’s Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the United States.