Raleigh, North Carolina, hopes that building a new convention center attracts groups seeking fresh venues for meetings.
The city will make special efforts to host gatherings for medical and healthcare organizations.
Raleigh and its neighbors—Durham, Chapel Hill, and Research Triangle Park—have become a regional hub for the healthcare industry.
The local chamber of commerce says Raleigh has the largest life-sciences industry in the South.
The region is home to a number of biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies. Several major hospitals and prestigious
medical schools are also based in the Triangle area. Hospitals and healthcare companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, are among
the surrounding counties' largest employers.
In addition, the Raleigh chamber of commerce boasts that North Carolina is among the top five states in the country for the
biotech industry. According to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the state has 225 biotech, pharma, lab testing, and
With 19 meeting rooms, a reception area and a ballroom, the 500,000-square-foot convention center will have plenty of room
to host conferences.
The surrounding neighborhood, which includes the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, offers more meeting space. The hotel will be connected
to the convention center via an enclosed thruway. Developers are busy designing concepts for the immediate surroundings, including
a boutique hotel and condominium complex next to the convention center.
A performing arts center with four theaters is located across the street. The Exploris Museum, featuring an IMAX theater,
and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, are also near the convention center.
Nearby Fayetteville Street, a pedestrian mall that is being reopened to cars, offers a wide variety of shops and restaurants
to entertain conference attendees during off-hours.