Since opening in September 2008, the new Raleigh Convention Center has been a remarkable resource for groups from 50 to 5000. Our dedicated staff is here to make sure each visitor’s needs — whether as an attendee, planner or exhibitor — are met.
The Raleigh Convention Center is a bustling hub for the culture, commerce and technologies that make the Triangle one of the most admired and sought after regions in the United States. The modern, 500,000 sq ft facility includes a soaring street-level lobby, an elegant ballroom and a massive exhibit hall as well as cutting edge tech amenities and award-winning culinary delights.
The convention center is home to the iconic Cree Shimmer Wall, closely associated with the Downtown Amphitheater and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, and just steps from the city's restaurants and hot spots. In 2011, the center earned the honor of "Most Creative Place to Host a Meeting" from ConventionSouth magazine.
To offer inviting, high-quality gathering places for Raleigh's citizens and visitors with the appropriate amenities and services to make every meeting special. Attracting a wide variety of functions and events, we will highlight the unique culture and growing appeal of the Greater Raleigh area.
Mailing address and main phone:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 996-8500 Phone
(919) 996-8550 Fax
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Why do we need a convention center?
Cities across America compete hard to attract visitors along with the dollars they pump into local economies and the important awareness they bring to a community’s assets. The Raleigh Convention Center has helped make our city and region a world class contender: contributing tens of millions of dollars to our local economy and showcasing our region’s attributes with only positive impact to taxpayers.
What does the convention center offer?
The Raleigh Convention Center is a bustling hub for the culture, commerce and technologies that make the Triangle one of the country’s most admired and sought after regions. The modern, 500,000 sq ft, LEED Silver-certified facility includes a soaring street level lobby, an elegant, easily partitioned ballroom, a 150,000 sq ft exhibit hall and a 4,100 sq ft mezzanine as well as cutting edge tech amenities and award-winning culinary delights. Convention center staff also operates the nearby Red Hat Amphitheater and Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, which can also be part of an event experience.
Since opening in September 2008, the convention center and its hotel neighbors have been a resource for local and international meeting groups from 50 to 5,000. Our dedicated staff makes sure each visitor’s needs are met.ConventionSouth has named the center "Most Creative Place to Host a Meeting." The facility is also a multiple winner of the magazine's Readers’ Choice Award.
About how many events does the center host each year and about how many people come through?
In the convention center world, the number of total events does not always indicate the number of total visitors because events come in different shapes and sizes. A single event that brings in out-of-town guests has a much greater economic impact than a handful of in-town events. That said, we average between 250-350 events per year and up to more than 440,000 people. The center ranks among the most popular destinations in our region and even state.
What are the convention center’s performance priorities?
- Economic impact: The center’s success in attracting out-of-town guests who check into hotels, eat at restaurants and pay for other services generates an average of $40 million per year in positive economic impact.
- Room nights: This is a key driver of economic impact because it indicates the degree to which the convention center is bringing in people and dollars that may otherwise not come. Our bookings contribute to an average production of more than 60,000 contracted room nights per year in Greater Raleigh. We have seen a steady increase in the annual number of contracted room nights for the events hosted at the convention center. In 2013, we recorded our highest number yet: 70,920.
- Number of events: We average between 250-350 events per year.
- Layered events: Booking a convention center is like putting together a puzzle. We start with the big pieces that produce room nights, then add pieces to ensure we are maximizing our 500,000 sq ft of meeting space. The first piece of the puzzle is the major conventions. With those in place, we add free-standing catering events and/or consumer shows that are local in flavor and produce in-house revenues sometimes lacking in major conventions.
- Revenue: The center maintains its operations consistent with the original plan approved by the City in 2005 resulting in only positive impact on Greater Raleigh’s property taxes.
How is the convention center funded?
The convention center is funded by:
1) the income it earns hosting events and providing services such as equipment rental and catering.
2) the industry it serves: travel and tourism. This part of our funding stream derives from revenues gathered whenever people eat in an area restaurant or check into an area hotel. The center then returns this investment to the community when the visitors it brings patronize local businesses and attractions.
In what other ways does the convention center help the community?
Convention center staff play key roles in many events that benefit Greater Raleigh, including The ‘Works, the city’s Independence Day celebration, and 2011’s NHL All-Star Wide Open. In 2013, the convention center was integral in bringing to Raleigh the International Bluegrass Music Association’s week-long musical extravaganza, resulting in:
- Attendance of more than 140,000 (including participants at a free street festival), generating approximately 20,000 hotel room nights
- $10 million in direct visitor spending
- $5 million in media exposure for Greater Raleigh
What are others saying about the convention center?
“The move to Raleigh was a great one. The city has treated bluegrassers like royalty all week. City officials even closed part of the main street for the weekend’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival (formerly known as Fan Fest) … And fans came, by the thousands.” - David Morris, Bluegrass Today
"The Convention Center food, service and facilities were outstanding. This was the best conference for meeting potential customers that we have ever experienced - you have a good thing going in Raleigh!" - Nick Milasnovich, National Consortium on Health Science and Technology Education
"Thank you for your professionalism, patience, and service.” - Corey D. Branch, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity
"I have been telling everyone that the food at the Raleigh Convention Center is the best food that I have ever had at a conference." - Tinsley Davis, National Association of Science Writers, Berkeley, CA
For more reviews, please visit our customer feedback page.
How do I go about booking an event at the convention center?
Please contact Laurie Okun, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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