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Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to questions that meeting and convention planners commonly have about Durham.

What is the largest meeting or event Durham can hold?

Durham can accommodate 80-85 percent of the nation's conventions and meetings. The community can host meetings of up to 2,200 people theatre-style and banquets of up to 1,425. Conventions and meetings for 1,000 can be accommodated when both meeting and banquet facilities are needed simultaneously. With almost 8,000 guest rooms in a very compact community, Durham is ideal for groups in this range. We also host multiple city-wide events like Full Frame Film Festival, Centerfest, or the Art of Cool festival, which hold more than the number mentioned here if held across various venues.

Are city-wide events feasible?

Durham is very compact, with Research Triangle Park (RTP) and Duke University just six and two miles from downtown, respectively. Major hotels and meeting facilities are conveniently clustered in two areas — around Downtown Durham/Duke University and around RTP/Southeast Durham. Discover Durham has prearranged city-wide shuttle schedules for the Downtown/Duke and RTP/Southeast Durham clusters we can set up for your event. All arrangements provide for a maximum ride time of 15 minutes and departure/returns every 10 minutes at peak.

How far is Durham from the airport?

RDU, or Raleigh-Durham International Airport, is only two miles from the Durham city limits and the closest Durham hotels, and just 13 miles from Downtown Durham by freeway. The airport is co-owned by the City of Durham and Durham County and their counterparts, Raleigh and Wake County.

How much convention business does Durham host?

Durham hosts more than 3,500 conventions and meetings each year with more than 93,000 delegates in attendance. Nearly a quarter of the conventions and meetings held in Durham are international, national or Southeast regional in scope.

Does Marriott own the Durham Convention Center?

No, the Durham Marriott City Center hotel is simply located atop the Durham Convention Center in downtown Durham. The hotel is privately owned in the space above the publicly owned Convention Center. Global Spectrum, a worldwide leader in venue management, is responsible for managing, marketing and operating the Durham Convention Center.

Can I hold a convention in Raleigh-Durham?

Actually, Raleigh-Durham is only the name of the jointly owned airport. There aren't any meeting properties really located at the airport, but some of Durham's major convention facilities are within two miles. It isn't feasible to hold a meeting spread over both cities, Raleigh and Durham. It would be like a meeting spread from Los Angeles to Anaheim, or from Baltimore to Washington, or from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. There would be too much commuting involved.

How does Discover Durham serve as a clearinghouse?

A meeting planner can use the Discover Durham to gather and clear open dates, gather rate proposals and qualifications on lodging properties and meeting facilities, gather shuttle options and put them in a convenient proposal. Get started by filling out a request for proposal (RFP).

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