Sometimes in an effort to find something different, corporations forget that holding a meeting or event in a reliable convention center—which has expertise in providing the best in service and the amenities to shine—is really the best option. Luckily, New Jersey has a plethora of great convention centers that can accommodate any size event.
Located just a few miles outside of New York City, the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus is known for its prestigious location and professional staff of event specialists who always receive high marks for customer service.
“The MEC offers a full range of event services from our own in-house decorating company, SMGX, to food and beverage options as well as telecommunications, audio-visual services and so much more,” says Katie Merse, sales account manager. “We are home to a number of trade shows, corporate events, consumer shows, galas and special events.”
The MEC Exhibit Hall has 61,000 square feet, and five seminar rooms offer another 3,200 square feet. It can accommodate 5,000 for a theater-style setting and 3,500 for a banquet-style event.
“It’s column-free and offers unobstructed exhibit space,” Merse says. “Plus, it has free parking and there are hotels right outside the front door, making it convenient for guests and attendees.”
Don’t Take a Gamble
The Atlantic City Convention Center is known for hosting many of New Jersey’s largest conventions, and is also known as a terrific venue for organizations looking to grow their show’s audience.
“The ACCC is located in the heart of Atlantic City’s tourism district, providing access to many businesses, restaurants, shops, hotels and casino resorts,” says Jim Wood, president and CEO for Meet AC. “It hosts a wide variety of meetings and conventions, from state associations to corporate groups, and is one of the most popular convention centers in New Jersey.”
The ACCC has 486,600 square feet of exhibit space, and an additional 45 meeting rooms for an additional 109,100 square feet of space. There’s also a 29,400-square-foot ballroom connected to a 502-room Sheraton Hotel.
Over the years, the convention center has appealed to many environmentally friendly corporations as it takes great pride in its green measures.
“The ACCC has in place a Green Team to ensure energy efficiency, recycling, water usage, client communication and preparation for future composting,” Wood says.
Two for One
Summit Associates owns two convention centers in New Jersey—The Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset and the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center (NJCEC) in Edison—and both are popular destinations for businesses and conferences.
“We are known for having 200 shows combined between the two buildings,” says Dan Boutureira, director of sales for both. “Each year, we have more than 2 million people come through our doors.”
The NJCEC can accommodate groups as large as 7,000 and The Garden State 4,000; they will even provide space for meetings as small as 10.
The NJCEC is considered a progressive building, making strides in shows, technology and vendor capabilities.
“The NJCEC is branded as the ‘Unconventional Convention Center’; definitely not your typical convention center,” Boutureira says. “We offer show promoters a venue to showcase their event any way they choose. With more than 150,000 square feet of exhibit space in Edison, we see ourselves as a blank canvas for a myriad of both public and private events.”
The Garden State Exhibit Center is branded as “New Jersey’s Showplace” and offers 70,000 square feet of exhibit space, three loading docks, one drive-in door, unlimited floor load and 20-foot ceiling clearance. That makes it great for everyone from charity events, to corporate trade show/parties to consumer shows.
“No hassle move-in and operations give the professional show manager or event professional the freedom and convenience they deserve,” Boutureira says. “Whether you require exposition, convention or special event facilities, the Garden State Exhibit Center is the answer for you.”
The teams at both convention centers work to make any event successful.
“We have great vendors that work with the shows from beginning to end and beyond,” Boutureira says. “We have an 85-percent-to- 90-percent renewal rate so we have successful shows that stay here for the long haul. We have been here in both buildings for over 25 years and know how to help any show be successful in the New Jersey area.”
The Wildwoods Convention Center is situated on the world-famous Wildwoods Boardwalk directly overlooking the beach and ocean, providing a picturesque view for convention attendees.
John Lynch, director of sales and entertainment, notes the state-of-the-art, 260,000-square-foot facility offers one of the most spacious, flexible, innovative and inviting venues available for conventions, trade shows, meetings, concerts and exhibits.
The current Wildwoods Convention Center was built in 2001 to replace an older center, and can now provide flexible space that can accommodate meetings as large as 8,000 to as little as 25 people.
“We have a 75,000-square-foot exhibition hall, which can be split into two 37,500-squarefoot areas, plus there’s an additional 20,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space and a 6,600-square-foot oceanfront deck for prefunctions,” Lynch says. “The cool thing about it is the entire roof is Teflon coated and translucent, which lets natural air in all day, and the entire east wall is glass and overlooks the beach and the ocean, so you don’t feel like you are boxed in a room.”