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Associations Now

Destination: Providence

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, December 2012 Meetings

By: Samantha Whitehorne

Summary: The smallest state’s largest city is filled with history, top venues, and environmentally conscious hotels.

Whether your meeting is small, large, or somewhere in between, Rhode Island's capital city offers something for everyone.

PVD Fast Facts

Recent and future association meetings: The eMarketing Association's Power of eMarketing Conference, New England Independent Booksellers' Association's Fall Conference, National Tax Association's 2012 Annual Conference on Taxation

Hotel Rooms: 5,500; 2,200 within one mile of the convention center complex

Convention Center Exhibit Space: 100,000 square feet

Time From Airport to Downtown: 10 minutes

What else?: Nibbles Woodaway, the world's largest bug, sits on the roof of Big Blue Bug Solutions in Providence. The steel-and-fiberglass termite is 58 feet long and nine feet tall—920 times larger than an actual termite.

Events with history. The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art houses more than 86,000 objects and features a number of engaging spaces, including the Grand Gallery. The Governor Henry Lippitt House Museum, described by The New York Times as "one of the most complete, authentic, and intact Victorian houses in the country," can be rented out for cocktail receptions and smaller sit-down or buffet dinners.

Three in one. The Rhode Island Convention and Entertainment Complex is home to three venues. The convention center offers the all-glass Rotunda Room, 23 meeting rooms, and 30,000 square feet of prefunction space; the Dunkin' Donuts Center features a 31,000-square-foot floor; and the 1,900-seat Veterans Memorial Auditorium is perfect for more intimate general sessions.

Go green. Rhode Island was named one of the greenest states by Forbes magazine, and Providence's hotels are doing their part. Guests at the Providence Marriott Downtown are asked to recycle and reuse towels, and the Renaissance Downtown Providence Hotel works with local food and beverage suppliers and uses refillable water pitchers at meetings.

Samantha Whitehorne is deputy editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:swhitehorne@asaecenter.org

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