Canada East Chapter

December 26 2012

SOUTHEAST: Virginia Beach

Ali Gramaglia

Convene on the coast

Virginia Beach is located in the midst of a bustling metropolitan city on the edge of a dramatic coastline, providing the perfect backdrop for meetings, conventions, and conferences. One of the nation’s most sought after year-round destinations, the city continues to elevate its position as a top meetings destination, offering a wide variety of venues and accommodations. With more than 300 restaurants, a long list of new product development, and eco-friendly and green alternatives, Virginia Beach offers planners a plethora of innovative options.

Virginia Beach boasts the first convention center in the country to achieve LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. This world-class facility captures the true essence of the coastal destination with its inventive design. With more than 500,000 square feet of space, the nautical-style Virginia Beach Convention Center includes a 150,000-square-foot, column-free exhibit hall, 29,000 square feet of meeting space, and a 31,000-square-foot ballroom. The exhibit hall is divisible by four, each subdivision supported by services including meeting room suites, concessions, ample and handsomely appointed prefunction and registration spaces, show management offices overlooking the exhibit hall, conveniently located registration, storage rooms, and other support areas. The wood-paneled, state-of-the-art ballroom utilizes programmable LED lights to provide innovative special-effects lighting. An expansive video wall provides both art and information for the prefunction area.

Development in the resort city means more amenities for visitors. Large-scale oceanfront developments estimated at more than $150 million are underway with the Laskin Road Gateway Plan. It includes the mixed-use project 31Ocean, a 130,000-square-foot shopping, dining, and office complex slated for completion this fall. Three blocks away at 34th Street and Atlantic Avenue, the latest additions to Ocean Beach Club & Resort and the OceanAire Resort Hotel & Conference Center will add 200 rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space to the property, along with the upscale Ultra Lounge, offering specialty cocktails and appetizers, and additional pools and health-club facilities.

Now the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (VBCVB) is giving planners more bang for their buck, and making it easy to give back while enjoying this coastal conference hotspot. For a limited time, the VBCVB would like to partner with organizations to meet in the coastal resort city, maximize attendance, and possibly give back to a charity of their choice. By booking a meeting or event in Virginia Beach, the CVB will extend a credit of up to $2,500 toward the group’s master account at either its designated hotel or the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Should a meeting or convention actualize in the VBCVB’s need period and book multiple years with Virginia Beach, the organization could receive up to an additional $750 bonus to be dedicated to either its master account or a charity of its choice.

For more information: visitvirginiabeach.com

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