The Best Event Venue in Atlanta, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Scottsdale, Washington D.C.

The Best Event Venue in Every American City (according to them)

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My job is to introduce you to the best of the best. Want to start a conversation in which everyone wants to volunteer their opinion? Ask someone for their Top 5 List (about anything). We rate stuff 1 to 5 stars every day. Competition is in our DNA and everybody loves a winner. The idea came to me… why don’t I ask the CVBs from every major American city to tell me about ONE really cool (or amazing, or different) event venue in their city…the Top 1 List… their choice…pick one… and I would investigate and if I thought it was something you might want to know about would tell you.

The responses began to flow in and since there are, well… so many cities… I am breaking them into a new thread and adding these recommendations (as chosen by each city) to our ever-expanding searchable Meeting Resource Library for your edification (and I got to use the word edification in a sentence).

So… here are a few of the “first responders” (but not in any particular order of preference). I will add more as they come in. :)

I experienced the infield at the 1973 Derby and although I only saw some unrecognizable horse flesh for about half a second through a tiny opening in the crowd… I assume I had a good time. Here’s what they can offer your group (and they too will have a good time); Over 30,000 square feet of event space, Private Behind the Scenes Tours of the Barns and Racetrack (either on foot or in vans), and a 360 degree 18-minute “media experience” ( I assume that means a movie with sound) about the horse culture and the Kentucky Derby (described as thrilling). If you are going to Louisville (and maybe you should), check it out.

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of those rare individuals who was always about 50 years ahead of his time. If you happen to be in Scottsdale and are looking for a really cool venue for up to 120 guests, consider Taliesin West where the famed architect entertained. Set on a 491-acre Sonoran Desert Preserve in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains, it’s not only Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark. it’s a wow.

The PEC is a 27-acre complex (near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport) offering four separate test modules, a training facility, a Classic Restoration Center and special event space. Your attendees can get behind the wheel or ride alongside professional drivers in various Porsche vehicles and browse classic cars in the Center’s collection. Their business center offers conference and board rooms which overlook the Porsche Driving Experience and can accommodate groups up to 150 people. Porsche Experience Center also provide a stunning backdrop for special events. If your people like fast cars… these are Porsches.

There are a zillion amazing venues in DC so the folks at the CVB didn’t even try to pick the best but instead sent me a long list and essentially said… “you choose”. Since there are so many obvious ones (see the Smithsonian), so I picked one you may not yet be familiar with… it’s for smaller groups, but if you can fit, it looks amazing.

Founded by Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood is set on 25 acres of gardens and woodlands in northwest DC and includes one of the premier art collector’s museums in the US. The largest indoor dining room only holds 40 (max), but there is a lot of other stuff going on. Check it out too.

The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

Yes, Andy Warhol was from Pittsburgh. Whether or not you like his art you have to admit, he was one of those guys that changed things. The Museum is the largest single artist museum in the US (there’s a factoid for you) and is dedicated to his life (it was complex to say the least), his art (he liked to push the envelope) and influence on contemporary culture (more than you think).

The museum’s entrance space is available for a 120-person seated event or a 300-person cocktail reception. The Warhol theater is available to host business meetings or symposia and there are options to add gallery floors, guided tours, and studio activities to your event. Try it.

I will keep adding the CVB recommendations to this thread and publish whenever I get a few together. In the meantime, you can keep browsing through our Meetings resource Library to find other venues, hotels, teambuilding ideas, online resources for planners, and whatever else we threw in there.

All Things Meetings is also preparing a survey that will go out to approximately 4000 meeting planners asking them to give us their recommendations and we will research, write about them, and publish the results. So… if you are in our database, look for that… and if you are not, please sign up so we can ask you to participate.

Talk to you soon. :)


Donna Cohen

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