Business With A View Is Catching On In Wilmington, N.C.

Business With A View Is Catching On In Wilmington, N.C.

Groups Celebrate Record-Breaking Attendances at the Wilmington Convention Center


Wilmington, N.C. (August 9, 2011) From high-profile bookings to groups seeing record-breaking attendances, the Wilmington Convention Center has experienced success since its official grand opening just a short six months ago. Located in historic downtown Wilmington along the two-mile Riverwalk, the building is the largest convention center on the North Carolina coast and has hosted over 80 events, ranging from conventions and tradeshows to a variety of public and private special events.


In fact, five of the last six conventions hosted at the convention center have boasted record-breaking attendance. Most notably, the North Carolina Republican Party held its state convention at the Wilmington Convention Center in early June. The largest gathering at the center to date, the 2011 state convention marked an astounding 125% increase in attendance over the 2010 convention.  The weekend brought more than 1,800 registered delegates and hundreds more guests to the area to enjoy the newly opened building and its amenities along with the area’s historic charm, attractions and nearby beaches.


Additionally, the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC), North Carolina Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP), North Carolina Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and the Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America all achieved record member attendance (with increases of 14% to 125%) at their annual meetings and conferences held at the Wilmington Convention Center this year.


The North Carolina American Water Works Association and Water Environment Association (NC AWWA-WEA) also experienced a significant increase in attendance at its 2011 spring conference in Wilmington, and will return to the waterfront center for its 2012 and 2013 conferences.  The convention center’s sustainable design elements and pending LEED certification were also major factors in the association’s decision to head to the North Carolina coast for its conference and experience Wilmington.


The Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America’s 60th annual meeting at the Wilmington Convention Center in March was filled with symposiums, topical sessions, workshops and more. After more than a year of planning, the conference was a great success according to Dr. Richard Laws, chair of the organization committee and professor at UNC-Wilmington.


“Over a year of planning went into this event and the staff was pleasant, responsive and efficient at all times…After attending these meetings for 30 years, I can say confidently that the Wilmington meeting was the most problem-free convention I have attended, and the food service was by far the best I have experienced,” said Laws.


Convention attendees don’t just experience the new convention center when they come to Wilmington. They also venture out and experience the city’s historic charm and more than 200 restaurants, shops and attractions in the downtown area alone. Attendees also take time to explore and relax with their toes in the sand while taking advantage of the convention center’s close proximity to three nationally recognized beaches (Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville).


“The opening of the Wilmington Convention Center was a catalyst for groups to come and experience our area, both professionally and personally,” said Susan Eaton, Wilmington Convention Center General Manager. “Our new facility offers a variety of meeting and exhibits space, superb catering and unique design elements necessary to achieve successful conventions and meetings, for gatherings both large and small.   Combine that with amazing waterfront views and the historic charm of the area and groups can’t help but enjoy every part of their stay and continue to book events here.”


The 107,000-square-foot convention center offers organizers and attendees a variety of spaces including a 30,000-squre-foot Exhibit Hall, 12,000-square-foot ballroom, over 15,000 square feet of pre-function space and nearly 6,000 square feet of additional meeting space. Attendees also have the opportunity to enjoy the coastal breeze on the 12,000-square-foot riverfront lawn or take in the sophisticated maritime design of the building and the vintage photographs located throughout that celebrate Wilmington’s historic past. The building also offers SAVOR…Wilmington Catering, a full in-house catering service by SMG dedicated to using the finest and freshest locally grown foods and the spirit of fine southern cuisine.  With multiple dining options, SAVOR caters to all needs and tastes while maintaining menus distinctive to any event.


About the Wilmington Convention Center

The Wilmington Convention Center is the ideal facility for meetings and conventions offering the perfect backdrop of historic charm and waterfront views.  For questions about meetings and conventions or bookings at the Wilmington Convention Center, contact Convention Sales Manager John Sneed at      800-650-9064, ext. 125 or