Knoxville Convention Center – Knoxville, Tenn.
Located within the newly renovated World’s Fair Park on Henley St., the Knoxville Convention Center provides 500,000 square feet of space, including 250,000 square feet of flexible space, 120,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 460-seat lecture hall and a 27,300-suare-foot ballroom. A state-of-the-art kitchen and catering facility is located nearby in the Worlds Fair Park and run by the Knoxville Catering Co.
The convention center is placed within a few minutes’ drive of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And with an abundance of natural beauty and resources nearby, the convention center has undergone a “green” conversion to become more environmentally sustainable. A streamlined recycling program ensures all recyclable materials are reused while those that can’t be recycled are disposed of properly. And all convention center stationary, business cards and brochures are printed on recycled paper products. Natural light provides much of the facility’s lighting needs, and any usable foods left over are donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Knoxville.
Kentucky Exposition Center – Louisville, Ky.
With more than 1 million square feet of meeting and exhibition space located in a single-level site, the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville is one of the nation’s top 10 venues for hosting expositions and other large events. The facility has two arenas capable of hosting up to a combined 26,000 people plus a 600-seat auditorium for more intimate events and 54 meeting rooms. On-site catering and concession services provide ample dining opportunities.
The site also has a 300-acre outdoor-demonstration area with a covered equestrian and livestock arena, 1,000 permanent horse stalls and another 720 temporary stalls for livestock and horses. Located near interstates I-64, I-65 and I-71, the facility is within a day’s drive of about half the nation’s population and has 19,000 parking spaces to accommodate visitors. The Louisville International Airport is a 5-minute drive from the exposition center, and there are some 13,000 hotel rooms available nearby.
Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center – Mobile, Ala.
With 317,000 square feet of space available for various functions, the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center is located near the Mobile waterfront with hotels accessible by an elevated skywalk across Water St. Named after a former Mobile mayor and civic leader Arthur R. Outlaw, the facility has a 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 52,000-square-foot lobby and 26,500 square feet of meeting space. The site also has 45,000 square feet of outdoor and river terraces and a 15,500-square-foot ballroom.
Food and catering services are provided by a full-service kitchen as well as two permanent concession stands. The convention center has 286 underground parking spaces plus another 1,550 parking spaces accessible by the skywalk across Water St. Several area airports are situated within minutes of the convention center, including the Mobile Regional Airport located about 17 miles away.
Virginia Beach Convention Center – Virginia Beach, Va.
Cited as the nation’s first convention center to earn a LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the Virginia Beach Convention Center offers more than 525,000 square feet of open exhibit space with no support columns to work around. The facility also has some 29,000 square feet of meeting space, a 31,000 square-foot ballroom billed as one of the largest on the East Coast and more than 2,200 free parking spaces.
With an emphasis on environmental sustainability, the convention center has state-of-the-art lighting and climate-control systems and a stringent recycling program to minimize waste. Premium parking spaces are made available for people who use carpools or drive hybrid vehicles. Ample numbers of hotels and inns are located within a short distance of the convention center, which provides a list of “green-certified” places to stay for those wishing to minimize their impact on the local environment while attending conventions and other events.
Savannah International Trade & Convention Center – Savannah, Ga.
Located along the scenic Savannah River and near Savannah’s historic district, the 330,000-square-foot Savannah International Trade & Convention Center offers up to 100,000 square feet of exhibit space and 50,000 square feet of meeting space among 13 rooms. The center also has a 25,000-square-foot ballroom, four executive board rooms and a 367-seat auditorium.
The facility emphasizes “going green” with many technological advancements designed to limit energy and water use and minimize the facility’s potential environmental impact, such as natural and timed lighting, controlled heating and cooling systems, and water faucets triggered by motion sensors. The Savannah International Trade & Convention Center is located next to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa, and many of the city’s upscale hotels, historic inns and mid-sized hotels are located across the Savannah River and are accessible by a 2-minute ferry ride.