Engaging Getaways and Venues for:
USA/South: Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga offers meeting event planners big-city attractions and options with small-town support and hospitality. The city has an enriching history with themes that can help fit any type of event, and it has a tourism industry eager to please meeting and event planners. The tourism board has an experienced meetings support team and extensive information that is well-organized for planners seeking to compare various options. Its Meet Chattanooga guide for meeting planners includes comprehensive, easy-to-compare information on hotels, venues, transportation and outdoor recreation options. You can also find complete, event and reunion information at the Chattanooga tourism board website, or request the print version of the Meet Chattanooga guide for reference.
What makes Chattanooga so appealing for meeting and event planners is the compact, easily navigated downtown with a free shuttle service; a nearby Convention Center with multiple adjacent hotels; a wide variety of unique venues and restaurants for events – some along the beautifully restored Tennessee River waterfront. Wedding and family reunion planners will find a rich selection of offerings, both in the city and on Lookout , as well as in surrounding areas. Almost all of the area’s tourism and outdoor attractions have options for groups.
The only hurdle is that many Americans think first of Nashville or Memphis when it comes to Tennessee and aren’t aware of Chattanooga’s compelling history and scenic location. The city’s largest hotel has less than 400 rooms, and the city’s airport has nonstop service to only seven cities, including Charlotte NC, Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Atlanta, Tampa and Orlando, with a bus shuttle available to Nashville. On the other hand, Chattanooga is the hub for interstate highways running in four directions, making it a big draw for regional meetings and reunions.
The city is particularly popular with so-called SMERF meeting (social, military, educational, religious and fraternal) groups and family reunions and weddings whose attendees are generally located in the southeast, or with technology companies drawn to the city’s super high-speed Internet access and growing start-up community. Larger groups may have to use multiple hotels, but many of the best are located near one another, and there are event locations that can hold up to nearly 2,000 people. This is a city where smaller groups can feel as if they are taking over the town in a way that would never be possible in big-city destinations, and the hotel room rates generally run well below those of the major meeting hubs.
Among the inventive and unique options for venues and events in the city and its surroundings:
Train buffs will find heaven at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, which can accommodate up to 500 people on a scenic rail excursion. Baseball lovers will enjoy a Double-A game at the Chattanooga Lookouts AT&T Field. Art lovers can put together an event tying in with the Bluff View Arts District. Yoga practitioners can hold group events at Isha, a yoga center less than an hour from Chattanooga offering retreats and access to hiking, mountain biking and waterfalls.