Hot Spots for Conferences: 2019
If you are going to be planning a conference for your company anytime soon, you’ll quickly find out that the choosing a city is often one of the most difficult decisions! We are constantly on the lookout for the most conference-friendly cities for our clients, and right now, we’re loving these three for conference locations in 2019 and 2020!
Because we have already planned a conference in Austin, we know why it is quickly becoming one of the premier cities for conferences! However, that means that the rates here are starting to soar. Gone are the days when you could get a room rate under $200 in peak season. Anyone interested in Austin needs to book early and look at off-peak dates to get a good rate. For those willing to pay a premium however, the hotel selection, things to do, and nightlife make for an amazing conference location!
Group Activity Ideas
- Rent Out Esther’s Follies: Esther's Follies offers an amazing Broadway like show that features current political skits, impersonations, magic and more.
- Get Out Into Nature: Take advantage of the beautiful outdoors surrounding Austin on all side with hiking and biking trails, zip lining, river cruises, lazy rivers, caverns, and more.
- Eat: Food, food, food, food, and more food. From barbeque to ice cream to tacos to barbeque, the food in Austin is just awesome.
- Enjoy the Nightlife & Music: Austin’s nightlife is hopping with a wide area of live music genres available—the perfect place to let loose for the conference farewell!
Even with its stunning scenery and unique venues, the City of Roses is our next pick. Portland is still under the radar as a conference destination, so prices are reasonable in June and September. Hotel options are growing and an incredible range of restaurants, bars, and entertainment make it an ideal choice for an event.
Group Activity Ideas
- Food Truck Night: A little something for everyone! Portland’s food truck scene is legendary, with many of its top restaurants getting started in one of the many “food cart pods” around the city.
- Brews & Vines Tours: Choose one of the many breweries, distilleries, or urban vineyards for a tour.
- Unique Venues: Portland does museums and zoos just a little bit different. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is known as one of the top science museums in the nation and offers Laser Pink Floyd planetarium show, complete with a thumping 1970s soundtrack. The Pittock Mansion, a museum high in the West Hills and 1,000 feet above sea level, and the Oregon Zoo, where rescued animals are given a second chance, are just a couple of the other fascinating venues around the city.
- Smell the Roses: It’s not called the City of Roses for nothing! The outdoor scenery in Portland is breathtaking. From the International Rose Test Garden to Mount Tabor to the Portland Japanese Gardens and more; any of these locations would be the perfect place to take a breather away from the inside of a conference room.
Having just recently planned a few events here, we think Philly is the place to be! The City of Brotherly Love offers a great downtown scene and reasonably priced hotels in great central locations. The city has been busy, opening new hotels, revitalizing unused spaces, and stepping up their arts and culture game!
Spruce Street Harbor Park — Photo by M. Stanley for the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation
Group Activity Ideas
- Dine Around: The famous Reading Terminal Market is a great place to let attendees loose to sample the myriad of food options available. The recently revitalized Delaware River Waterfront is another popular location to check out a wide range of exciting attractions, parks, and food concepts.
- History, Old & New: Tourist staples like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the “Rocky Steps” at the Museum of Art are always crowd-pleasers. But lesser-known or new attractions such as Hamilton at the Forrest Theater, the Eastern State Penitentiary (wander through the now defunct, probably haunted prison where Al Capone was jailed), Eakins Oval (think beer garden + food trucks + art exhibits + outdoor movie), Mutter Museum (home of medical oddities such as Einstein’s brain), and the Moshulu (a four-mast ship on the waterfront) provide interesting options for group events.
- Food Tasting: How fun would it be to have a tasting competition for attendees to vote on their favorite cheesesteaks and locally brewed beers? Count us IN!