Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau President and CEO Shelly Green remarked, "I can't recall when we made such a list in the past...primarily, because the Durham Convention Center (DCC) was marketed under the name of a hotel, essentially as their ball room. Hotel ball rooms, no matter how great they are, are not thought of in the same vein as standalone convention and meeting facilities by planners. The City and County made a wise decision to separate the management, and therefore the marketing of this facility, as its own entity."
Green makes reference to the 2008 decision to have the Durham Convention Center be managed by a firm differently than the hotel. Global Spectrum manages more than 100 facilities like the DCC worldwide. "Bringing in a company like Global Spectrum to manage the Convention Center and investing in significant renovations were great moves by City and County Government," said Green who sees the facility and Durham's stake as a competitor on the meetings market rising significantly as additional hotel rooms come on line in 2014 and 2015.
"At more than 40,000 square feet and recently renovated, the Durham Convention Center receives high marks from planners and customers for its level of service," said Green. But facility size is just part of the equation. "We have one full service hotel in Downtown Durham, and that alone cannot provide the number of hotel rooms needed to sustain a facility of this size as a meeting venue. Durham needs 1,200 rooms to serve the Convention Center and Downtown businesses, and to be competitive with peer cities," she added.
“Meeting Planners and event organizers who plan large conventions, trade shows and exhibitions, rallies, and congregations will find that the facilities that made ConventionSouth’s 2014 list of the ‘101 Largest Expo Halls in the South’ have some of the largest gathering spaces in the U.S. and certainly the South,” said ConventionSouth Editor Marlane Bundock. The September issue of magazine will share this list with meeting planners from across the country who book meeting sites in the South.
Hosting an event in Durham is convenient, affordable and rewarding to attendees whether at the Durham Convention Center or a dozen other full service hotels and conference centers. Within an hour's flight or day's drive of more than half the nation's population, Durham is perfectly situated for conventions of up to 1,000 attendees. Learn more online.