Top 5 Convention Centers in the U.S

Although, I am encouraging everyone to consider the beautiful island of Puerto Rico as one of your choices for hosting your event and/or convention, here is a Top 5 list of the best convention centers in the United States.  

Number 5: Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu (250,000 sq. ft of exhibit space)
The design of the glass-front center represents the unique culture of Hawaii, with its bold architecture, $2 million Hawaiian art collection, and features such as a rooftop tropical garden, glass-encased meeting rooms and outdoor function spaces lined with giant palm trees, make this convention center a very pleasant one. You can find 10,000 committable hotel rooms within 1 mile of the center. The Honolulu International Airport is conveniently located 9 miles West of Waikiki Beach, 4 miles West of Central Honolulu and 7.5 miles West of the Hawaii Convention Center. Hawaii’s currency is U.S. dollars and main language is English. In addition, Honolulu (capital of Hawaii) has been ranked one of the safest in the nation.
(For more information on the Hawaii Convention Center click here

Number 4: Georgia World Congress Center (1,500,000 sq. ft of exhibit space)
Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which includes the 3.9 million square foot convention center, the 71,250-seat Georgia Dome and 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park.  This convention center ranks among the top five largest convention destinations in the country as well as one of the best sports and entertainment campuses in the world. The Georgia World Congress Center opened its doors in 1976 as one of the nation's premier convention facilities with 350,000-square-feet of exhibit space. Over the years, the Georgia World Congress Center underwent numerous expansions to meet the needs of growing conventions and special events.
(For more information on the Georgia World Congress Center click here

Number 3: Minneapolis Convention Center (600,000 sq. ft of exhibit space)
The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) has nearly 480,000 square feet of trade show space, 87 column-free conference meeting rooms, a 28,000-square-foot ballroom, and an auditorium with great production and flexible technology options, the facility can handle any event from a small meeting to a large convention or trade shows. It is located close to freeways and only 20 minutes from the airport on the southern edge of downtown Minneapolis. In addition, this trade show and event center is connected by climate-controlled skyways to the downtown hotels, restaurants and shopping. One of the great things of this convention center is that recently they have acquired new solar panels. The panels are fully installed, and the system is fully running as of mid-November 2010. This is a great option destination for the new “green” conventions and/or trade shows.(For more information on the Minneapolis Convention Center click here
Number 2: Las Vegas Convention Center (1,040,000 sq. ft of exhibit space) The Las Vegas Convention Center is a 3.2 million square foot facility located within a short distance of more than 100,000 guest rooms. Operated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the center is well known among industry professionals for its versatility. It also counts with 144 meeting rooms, handles seating capacities ranging from 20 to 2,500. A grand lobby and registration area link existing exhibit halls with new exhibit and meeting rooms, and allowing simultaneous set-up, breakdown and exhibiting of multiple events. The LVCC is one of the largest convention centers in the world. Having the availability and the capacity for thousands of people, the Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the top choices for bigger companies and for the world’s largest trade show companies.(For more information on the Las Vegas Convention Center click here
Number 1: Orange County Convention Center (2,000,000 sq. ft of exhibit space)The Orange County Convention Center is one of the nation's ten largest convention centers having an amazing 2,000,000 square feet of exhibit space. In its entirety, the Orange County Convention Center features:
  • Two 92,000-square-foot general assembly areas

  • 74 meeting rooms/235 breakouts

  •  The 2,643-seat Chapin Theater

  •  A 200-seat Lecture Hall

  • The 62,000-square-foot (multi-purpose Valencia Room
  • Three full-service restaurants/8 food courts

  • Three-business centers
  • In-house electric, plumbing, rigging and technical services, plus wireless mobility throughout the complex
  • On-site parking for 6,227
  • Three covered loading docks/173 truck bays
The OCCC is located 11 miles southwest of downtown Orlando in the middle of Orange County's tourism core. The Orange County Convention Center is within walking distance of more than 6,000 hotel rooms, and within 45 minutes driving distance to more than 86,000 hotel rooms in the Orlando area. In average, the OCCC hosts approximately one million delegates annually and provides a $1.9 billion dollar total economic impact annually to the Central Florida economy, all at no cost to Orange County Citizens.(For more information on The Orange County Convention Center click here) 
It is certain that all the convention centers listed above have all the qualities and attributes that your company, business or industry needs to host an excellent and top-of-the class event, convention and/or trade show. They all have an impressive amount of exhibit space and top of the line technology. It all depends on your market and the objectives and goals of your event.

*Remember to consider Puerto Rico as one of your destinations for hosting these type of events. For more information on venue opportunities and entertainment in Puerto Rico feel free to browse through the blog. 

-Hawaii Convention Center
-Georgia World Congress Center
-Minneapolis Convention Center
-Las Vegas Convention Center
-Orange County Convention Center

Event Planning? How to Benefit your Pocket!

The special events industry has grown enormously during the last two decades. The annual spending of events worldwide is estimated to be at $500 billion. It is no secret that the economic status worldwide of businesses and companies is not at its peak. Therefore, the need to keep employees and clients interested and motivated is crucial in a time like this. In addition, companies have recognized that only so much work can be conducted thru the phone, texts, and emails. This is when the ideas to create special events, seminars, meetings and/or conventions are taken into consideration. 

Now that we have established the need and importance of the production of corporate events, let's establish how an event planning company makes its revenue. According to the web article, How to Start an Event Planning Service, at, it is crucial to know that the goal in pricing a service is to mark up your labor and material costs sufficiently to cover overhead expenses and generate an acceptable profit. It is said that first time business owners often fail due to unknowingly low service rates, therefore make sure you are gaining profits from your services. 

There are two types of events; social and corporate, for our interest we will focus on corporate events. On the corporate events industry planners typically charge a fee for their services, plus a handling charge for each item they contract. Another option is charging clients a "flat fee" or a "project fee", this is often used in large events and/or when corporations want an estimated figure to stay on budget. 

Fees are generally determined by three factors. 
1.              Market Segment (Corporations- using flat fees)
2.              Geographic Location (For example, fees are higher in the northeast part of the United States)
3.              Experience and Reputation of the planning company (If you are starting out it is only reasonable to charge a lower service fee) 

This is why knowing your target market and doing your market research is so important. Most event planning companies’ price their fees-for-service using the Cost Plus Method (CPM), it involves calculating the unit cost of producing the product and adding on a target profit margin. This means, that you contract out the labor, supplies and materials involved in producing an event and then charge clients a service fee of about 10 to 20 percent of the total cost of the event, with 15 percent being a rough average. However, in order for your company to know the final net income, I advise you to produce a pro forma (for more information on Pro forma click here) this will determine how your company will make its revenue, determine expenses and much more.

Below is an info graphic of the event planning industry you might like. Enjoy. 
By: Melanie Rodriguez / Market Research 

Out of ideas? Dive into Corporate Theater...

Corporate events and/or conventions sometimes lack innovation and creativity. It's up to event planners or convention organizers to continuously design and come up with new ideas for these types of events. After doing some research, new methods are being used by numerous companies to appeal to their employees and/or clients. Among these new methods we can find theme conventions and business or corporate theater. 

Many event and convention production companies are using business theater as a new innovative way to spice up corporate seminars, events, and/or conventions. Business or corporate theater are productions written and produced specifically to support and illustrate the theme and goals of your particular event. Agencies who actually produce this type of shows make sure they have very accurate information about the company, the employees and typical work situations. This way the shows have very realistic facts and characters, creating a very direct message. The advantage of this type of theater is that corporations have the opportunity to deliver desired messages using comedy, music or drama to their desired audience in a unique way. 

Agencies like the Killing Kompany have been consulting corporations for over 15 years.
"The Killing Kompany creates custom designed interactive training and awareness programs of any length and design for corporations and other organizations. By combining live performance by professional stage, TV and film actors with interactive audience participation, we can help make your company seminars on specific corporate problems and their solutions more provocative, unique and entertaining - and, of course, more effective.

Whether your company's goal is education, staff motivation, training, problem-solving or individual growth, we offer the most effective tool to replicate, and vividly illustrate the solutions to, the real and problematic situations your employees and managers confront in their day to day settings"
Using ideas like corporate theater can make your event or convention a one of a kind. People continuously need to be entertained and what better way to motivate, educate or problem solve with something not ordinary and fun. So next time you need to do something different, appealing and creative think out of the box. Keep looking for new ways to keep your employees and/or costumers interested with innovation and creativity. This is a great way for corporate activities to have a large number of assistance and support they deserve. So, next time you are organizing a corporate event think beyond the norm. Ideas like this will make your company stand out. 
For more information on Business Theater and companies like the Killing Kompany click here