Samantha Whitehorne is editorial director of Associations Now in Washington, DC.
This smaller capital city may be just right for your next meeting. Hartford features an expansive convention center, memorable venues, and handy transit options for attendees.
• Customizable convention center. Located downtown, the Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. Its ample meeting space, which can be divided up in several ways, includes 140,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 40,000-square-foot ballroom, and 25,000 square feet of flexible space. In addition, the attached 409-room Hartford Marriott Downtown offers an extra 13,500 square feet of meeting space.
• Venues with flair. Hartford has a variety of historic and unique venues for offsite events or smaller meetings. The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is a classic space for large or small events, while the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts’ famed art deco interior lends a stylish feel to dinners and receptions. Also worth considering is the new Dunkin’ Donuts Park, a 6,056-seat baseball stadium that has several suites and party decks available.
• Convenient transit options. No matter where attendees arrive from, they’ll find getting to Hartford hassle-free. Since the city is located at the intersection of two major U.S. interstates, visitors from across the Northeast can reach it easily by car. Air travel is also convenient, with Bradley International Airport only 15 miles away from downtown. And once in the city, attendees can take advantage of the free Hartford DASH shuttle, which connects visitors to hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
Recent and Future Association Meetings: Association of Science-Technology Centers’ 2018 Annual Conference, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s 2018 Annual Meeting, Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2019 Annual Conference
Hotel rooms within one mile of convention center: 1,600
Convention center exhibit space square footage: 140,000
Distance from Airport to Downtown: 15 miles