When trying to decide on a host city, one thing meeting planners are always looking out for is whether a destination is easy to get around. Are there things to do close to the hotel? How easy will it be for attendees to navigate their surroundings? Does it seem like a place someone would want to visit for fun?
Known as The Creative Capital, Providence is where big city amenities meet small town charm. Home to seven colleges – including Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design and Johnson & Wales University – the city is also known for its thriving arts scene, outstanding hotels and innovative restaurants. And the best part? It’s all readily accessible on foot.
Centrally located downtown, the Rhode Island Convention Center is within walking distance of cafes, restaurants, museums, boutiques and more. In the morning, attendees can head over to Washington Street and grab a cup of joe at Bolt Coffee Co. Food & Wine recently named them the best coffee roaster in the state, and their single-origin coffees are a local favorite.
For lunch, colleagues can meet up to indulge in some Greek food at Yoleni’s or pop into Gracie’s for a quick and casual bite to eat. Come dinnertime, book a table at Oberlin for chef Benjamin Sukle’s take on American-Italian cuisine or head a little further afield and cross over the Providence River to enjoy seafood and waterfront views at Hemenway’s Restaurant.
Those looking to do a bit of after-hours networking should head to The Eddy for cocktails, or for something a little different, invite colleagues to Free Play Bar Arcade for drinks and some old-school video game fun.
Another perk of meeting in downtown Providence is the riverside setting. Three rivers flow through the area, and attendees will find plenty of scenic walking paths perfect for pre-meeting strolls and opportunities to get some fresh air and clear their heads. And who knows, that may be exactly when the next big idea strikes.