Planning a BIG Event? Here are the Ten Biggest Convention Centers in the United States

by Leah Doyle | January 19, 2016

If you are planning a really big event, you will need plenty of space. Here is a list of the largest convention centers, by square feet, in the United States.

10. Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is the first of three Las Vegas area convention centers to make this top 10 list, and it is the only one with under a million square feet of space. This upscale resort’s convention center, located between the Luxor and The Four Seasons at the south end of the strip, has .93 million square feet.

9. International Exposition Center – Cleveland, Ohio

On Cleveland’s far west side, near Hopkins International Airport, the IX Center has 1.05 million square feet under roof. The facility was initially built in 1942 as a military equipment construction facility and for the last 25 years has served to host car shows, an indoor amusement park, bridal shows and more.

8. NRG Center – Houston, Texas

With about 1.06 million feet of indoor space, Houston’s NRG Center is number eight on our list. The NRG Center has 59 meeting rooms that are configurable into over 100 variations. This large facility offers some terrific technological infrastructure capabilities including high-speed internet access, a pre-wired fiber optic cabling backbone, and on-site production and web-casting abilities. The facility makes great use of natural lighting and has views of NRG Stadium, NRG Astrodome and the Carruth Plaza.

7. Ernest N. Morial Convention Center – New Orleans, Louisiana

On the banks of the Mississippi River, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has 1.1 million square feet of available space. Not only does this facility have an enormous amount of space, it claims to be one of the most technologically powerful Convention Centers in the country. The facility has a 10 GIG internet backbone that claims 100% redundancy.

6. The Kentucky Exposition Center – Louisville, Kentucky

With about 1.2 million of square feet, this exposition center ranks 6th on our list of biggest convention centers in the country. The Kentucky Exposition Center is located by the Louisville Airport near I-65 and the Watterson Expressway. The facility hosts a number of annual events including the Kentucky State Fair. It has also hosted the NCAA Final Four Basketball Championships on four different occasions.

5. The Sands Expo and Convention Center – Las Vegas, Nevada

Constructed in 1990, the Sands Expo and Convention Center sits across the street from the original Sands Hotel and Casino. With about 1.3 million square feet, it is the second largest convention center in Vegas. Of course, in Las Vegas, hotels rooms are usually never a problem and the Sands Expo claims to have 40,000 of them available within a 10 minute walk. The Venetian and The Palazzo are connected to the Sands Expo and they alone offer 7,000 suites.

4. Georgia World Congress Center – Atlanta, Georgia

Located in the heart of Atlanta the GWCC hosts some 1 million visitors each year and has 1.4 million square feet of space. It has 12 exhibit halls, 106 meeting rooms and 2 grand ballrooms. Combined with the adjoining Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park, you have three facilities that create one of the best convention, sports, and entertainment complexes on the planet. The facility is used by everything from social events to massive conventions.

3. Las Vegas Convention Center – Las Vegas, Nevada

Located next to the world famous Las Vegas Strip, the LVCC is the largest convention center in this convention-centric city. Here, planners have access to about 2 million square feet of space. There are an amazing 144 meeting rooms with seating capacities ranging from 20 to 2,500. This is one of the busiest convention centers in the world with access to 100,000 hotel rooms within 3 miles of the center. The center is said to have had a $50 billion impact on the southern Nevada economy in 2014.

2. Orange County Convention Center – Orlando, Florida

This sprawling 2.1 million square foot convention center is located on International Drive, not too far from the area’s major theme parks. There are, however, plenty to do on I-Drive even without the theme parks. The area is packed with shopping and dining options and a new wax museum, aquarium and the giant Orlando Eye Ferris wheel have all recently opened. The area will soon host the world’s tallest vertical roller coaster as well. The center was opened in 1983 and has solar panels that provide 1 MW of power.

1. McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois

At 2.6 million square feet, Chicago’s McCormick Place takes the top spot in our list of largest convention centers in the United States. Half of that space is located on a single level. The four connected buildings that make up McCormick Place are located south of downtown on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are 6 ballrooms, 170 meeting rooms, and three theaters, one of which seats over 4,000 people. There are ceiling heights as high as 50 feet.

Big or small, any event can benefit from a dynamic keynote speaker. At SpeakInc, we are committed to helping meeting planners and event organizers find the perfect speaker for their event. Let’s talk about your upcoming event and how the right speaker can improve your ROI. We look forward to talking with you.

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Topics: Blog

Written by Leah Doyle

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