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The Biggest in the Bull City: Durham Meeting Spaces For Big Crowds

Estimated Read Time:
3 minutes

In Durham, we go big; there's no need to go home.

Posted By Heather Darnell on Jul 15, 2019

For the largest meetings and events, only the most substantial venues will do. Fortunately, Durham’s biggest meeting spaces are also top-notch places to host events. Take a closer look at the Durham Convention Center and the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center to see which would best suit your group.

Durham Convention Center


The 35,000 square foot Durham Convention Center is uniquely located in the heart of thriving downtown Durham. Meeting attendees will be impressed by its walkable location that puts them in the core of the city center and mere steps away from attractions like the historic Carolina Theatre, bustling Durham Central Park, extraordinary DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center), and the world-famous Durham Bulls baseball team at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The convention center is also located less than two blocks away from three boutique hotels, multiple shops, award-winning restaurants, bars and more.

With two large ballrooms that can be split into multi-function spaces, two board rooms and four meeting rooms, the Durham Convention Center can be arranged in a variety of ways to best suit your group’s needs. On-site catering has customizable menus available for meals, snacks, bar service and more. For the convenience of guests, the Durham Convention Center is attached to the Durham Marriott City Center hotel. This gives guests the option of staying an elevator ride away from meeting activities.

One of the benefits of using the Durham Convention Center is that it can also be used as an event space hub. Meeting planners have the option of using surrounding venues in the Convention Center Complex to accommodate breakout sessions, special events and more. The complex includes a parking deck, plaza, and several theaters, galleries, and pre-function spaces that can be incorporated to host larger events. The complex has large, versatile space suitable for banquet, theater, classroom, and exhibit booth setups. This approach allows planners to customize the city to their group’s needs, and encourages attendees to step outside of meeting halls and experience the city. With area attractions and restaurants so close, guests will be thrilled to discover what downtown Durham has to offer. Within a one-block radius, attendees can indulge in sweeping views from a rooftop bar at The Durham Hotel, savor locally-made seasonal ice cream at The Parlour, or snag a seat at M Sushi for fish flown in daily from Japan and Korea. Group tours can be arranged for guests to experience Durham’s food scene and tobacco history with walking tours, a pedal trolley or even a comedy bus tour. For late-night food and drinks, Ally 26 serves swanky cocktails and Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub brings a laid-back vibe.

The Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center

The Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center is a wonderful place for a large meeting. Boasting 35,000 square feet of event space, the convention center has 23 different conference rooms including a 14,000 square foot convention room and a 10,000 square foot meeting room. The maximum capacity in the largest ballroom is 2,000 people. Catering, audio/visual, and conference coordination services are available.

Built in 1986, the space was renovated in 2014 with modern furnishings and amenities.

The 10-floor hotel boasts 331 guest rooms with free Wi-Fi in each room. Other features include a jogging trail, outdoor hot tub, pool and tennis courts. There is an on-site restaurant and lobby bar available for guests.

Nearby off-site restaurants and attractions make the Sheraton an attractive option for groups. Page Road Grill and Mez restaurants are located less than a mile away and have private dining options. Randy’s Pizza is a locally-owned New York pizza joint and can be called for delivery or used as a casual dine-in spot. Fun group outings can be planned for Defy Gravity, a nearby trampoline park that will make guests feel like they’re flying. For after-hours activities, guests can dance the night away at Will’s Social Bistro and Lounge, or grab burger and a beer at Rookie’s Sports Bar RTP.

Additionally, the hotel and convention center are located only two miles from Research Triangle Park off Interstate 40 and only 4.5 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport. The Southpoint area is less than 7 miles away and offers a plethora of shopping and dining options, along with a mall and movie theater. Stop by local favorite coffee shop Bean Traders, enjoy Southern farm-to-table fare at Harvest 18, and sink your teeth into a fluffy Southern biscuit at Rise.

Regardless of which big meeting space fits your needs, Durham will be happy to welcome your group. For more information about finding a meeting location in RTP, download the meeting planners guide or contact the sales team at Discover Durham to see how they can help.

About the Author

Heather Darnell