Virginia Beach might be known for its oceanfront, but there’s more than 35 miles of sandy beaches awaiting guests in Virginia’s most populous city. Planners and their attendees will find everything they need for a successful meeting — location, affordability, variety, and top-notch service — all in a safe and clean coastal destination.
Situated where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay, the destination is drivable for delegates from many of the East Coast’s major metro centers. It’s also easily accessible by train or airplane.
Virginia Beach takes full advantage of its seaside setting and temperate climate to offer planners and their attendees an abundance of gorgeous outdoor venues — from lush gardens to uptown urban plaza settings — for “coastal distancing.” The city operates three oceanfront parks at 17th, 24th and 31st streets, for example, that can be reserved, if available, to safely accommodate events with between 40 and 1,000 people.
Reflecting its coastal setting, the Virginia Beach Convention Center (VBCC) features a lighthouse-inspired tower, an abundance of natural light, and “front porches” — outdoor spaces that are able to accommodate open-air receptions. The convention center also has a 150,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 31,000-square-foot ballroom, and more than 29,000 square feet of additional meeting space.
The center, twice certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council for existing buildings, has always been ahead of the curve and follows strict safety protocol and uses 14 HEPA air filters to maintain healthy air quality.
The VBCC is located within walking distance of the oceanfront and resort area, where the year-old Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront sits just off the north end of the famous three-mile-long Virginia Beach Boardwalk. The 305-room resort boasts 25,000 square feet of meeting space, including Virginia Beach’s largest hotel ballroom — overlooking the Atlantic Ocean — as well as meeting rooms, lawn space, and a veranda with dramatic ocean views.
Not far away meeting delegates will discover the ViBe Creative District, populated by up-and-coming artists, local vendors, restaurants and bars, museums, and other attractions.
Beaches and More
Dipping further into the variety Virginia Beach offers planners, the Chesapeake Bay side of the city offers beaches with a homier feel. Here planners will find the Delta Hotels by Marriott Virginia Beach Bayfront Suites, which opened in March. The 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting space in this 295-unit, all-suite resort offers mesmerizing views of the Chesapeake Bay. And a 1,100-square-foot outdoor deck looks out over the resort’s own private beach. Here groups can get a taste of the bay’s oysters with “A Shucking Good Time!” led by experts from the hotel’s restaurant, Tin Cup Kitchen + Oyster Bar.
About nine miles from the oceanfront, the bustling uptown cultural hub, Town Center, provides plenty of options for meeting professionals. This 17-block area features seamlessly connected hotels, venues, dining and entertainment, all complete with year-round free parking and seasonal festivals and entertainment.
“My team gets it. We greet people into our home,” Noona said. “We’ll make sure you get as unique an experience as you want.”
Those experiences, Noona said, are the quality you’d expect in large convention cities but at a fraction of the price. Not only are there affordable hotel options among the city’s more than 10,000 guest rooms, but Virginia Beach is offering meeting incentives.
The VA Beach Bundle incentive package gives meeting planners an opportunity to save by booking new meetings of at least 1,000 room nights by the end of the year in either the convention center or the Town Center region. The convention center rental rate is discounted up to 75 percent (for 3,000-plus room nights). Plus, meeting planners can choose from a variety of perks, ranging from complimentary convention center shuttle to a dine-around program in either location.