A Fresh Look at Georgia and the Carolinas

Essential Toolbox
Georgia: Georgia World Congress Center (3.9 million sf); Georgia International Convention Center (400,000 sf); Cobb Galleria Convention Centre (320,000 sf); North Carolina: Joseph S. Koury Convention Center (250,000 sf); Charlotte Convention Center (280,000 sf); South Carolina: Myrtle Beach Convention Center (250,000 sf); TD Convention Center, Greenville (280,000 sf)

Atlanta, GA: 8 percent
Glynn County, GA: 6 percent
Wilmington, NC: 6 percent
Myrtle Beach area, SC: 12 percent


• The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, Charlotte
• Charleston Place, Charleston
• Emory Conference Center Hotel, Atlanta
• Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta
• Graylyn International Conference Center, Winston-Salem, NC
• The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Asheville
• Hilton Atlanta
• Hilton Charlotte Center City, Charlotte
• Hyatt Regency Atlanta
• Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Island
• King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St.    
   Simons Island, GA
• Kingston Resorts, Myrtle Beach
• Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach
• Pinehurst Resort, Pinehurst
• The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island
• Sheraton Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
• The Umstead Hotel and Spa, Cary, NC
• Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, NC
• The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa
• Atlanta CVB
• Charleston Area CVB
• Visit Charlotte
• Columbia Metropolitan CVB
• Greensboro Area CVB
• Hilton Head Island VCB
• Myrtle Beach Area CVB
• Rowan County CVB, Salisbury, NC 

Kiawah Island is a golfer's paradise

The Southeast region — Georgia and the Carolinas in particular — is turning the head of many a meeting and incentive planner. The Blue Ridge Mountains, pristine beaches, Southern hospitality, and colonial heritage combine with a first-rate infrastructure that will impress even the most discerning meeting and incentive groups. 

Atlanta is set to welcome more than $1 billion in new development over the next three years. Making news now is the $1.4-billion Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, which opened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in May. The airport’s international expansion consists of two buildings: the terminal and a new concourse that will include 12 gates. A total of 40 international gates will allow airlines to introduce new routes and relieve congestion in the airport’s other five concourses.

On an island located about 70 miles south of Savannah the new $39.6 million Jekyll Island Convention Center held its grand opening on May 21, with the structure overlooking the Jekyll Island dunes, the beach, and the ocean. The 128,000-square-foot center has 78,000 square feet of highly flexible meeting space. 

The Carolinas are becoming increasingly popular for meeting and incentive planners who are attracted to its diverse attractions. Bustling urban areas such as Charlotte and Raleigh, rolling mountains, and coastal getaways like Myrtle Beach are just a few of the draws. 

Shelby, NC, full of small-town charm, is the site of a new 44,000-square-foot conference center that was designed to meet the criteria established for LEED Silver certification. 

In the heart of the Smoky Mountains is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel, which recently underwent a $633-million expansion and now offers more than 1,100 hotel rooms and suites, as well as 15,000 square feet of meeting space. An events center provides amphitheater seating on three   levels for 3,035 attendees.

Gastonia, the largest city in the region after Charlotte, has a revitalized downtown area with an emerging arts colony, in addition to a new 30,000-square-foot conference center that is on track for LEED Gold certification. 

The Wilmington Convention Center, the largest center on the North Carolina coast, opened last year and in its first year of operation hosted some 125 events with more than 65,000 attendees. The facility, located on the banks of Cape Fear River, has more than 48,000 square feet of flexible meeting space as well as an 11,000-square-foot event lawn on the waterfront. 

An up-and-coming meeting destination located in the middle of the state is Greensboro, NC. The Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons/Joseph S. Koury Convention Center is one of the largest privately owned Sheratons in the nation, with 1,016 guestrooms and more than 250,000 square feet of meeting space. 

Charleston’s Upper King Street neighborhood continues to develop. The Historic District will add two properties over the next year: the 161-room Hotel Dewberry and the 120-room Holiday Inn Historic Downtown.