Seattle Continues to be a Rising Star: Why the Emerald City is a Top Meeting Destination

You may be thinking—isn’t Seattle already a top meeting destination for conventions and events? The answer is YES! Seattle has long been a destination location for businesses far and wide, looking to hold memorable industry events. And why not? Seattle has it all—a waterfront location, an estimated 17,000 hotel rooms, and more places to host your event than you thought possible.

But as with any destination city, there is room for improvement. A failure to innovate can lead to complacency. And when visitors attend event after event in the same city and run out of new things to experience, it can make the location less appealing. Thankfully, Seattle recognizes this and has embraced the challenge with vigor. That’s why the city and all those who support it continue to take steps to make it an even better place to meet.

How Seattle Continues to Raise the Bar for Convention Goers

Did you know nearly 20% of businesses fail in their first year? But perhaps more interesting is that only 25% of companies make it over 15 years? This might leave you wondering as to why that is. The reason? It’s most likely because they failed to innovate and keep up with the changing needs of their customers. Think Blockbuster and Kodak. 

Ultimately, a big city can be thought of as a business. The city’s goal is to create a great place for people to live, work, and visit. Seattle’s conference industry is a big one and we love sharing the Pacific Northwest with visitors. But as we alluded to earlier, if the city doesn’t continue to innovate and invest in new attractions, experiences, and features, it will become less interesting over time. Seattle is facing this challenge head-on with some key improvements and projects.

5 Updates to Guarantee Seattle Remains a Top Meeting Destination:

The Summit Building: Seattle’s Expanded Convention Center

Opened in January 2023, the Seattle Convention Center’s new Summit building is a testament to the city’s commitment to innovation and growth. Located just a block and a half from the original convention center building, The Arch, this new LEED Platinum-certified facility offers up to 573,770 sq. ft. of event space. 

Amenities include an enormous outdoor garden terrace, a massive ballroom, and 62 rooms totaling 99,620 sq. ft. of meeting space. The naturally lit 140,000 sq. ft. lobby, a column-free flex hall, and a scratch kitchen featuring local bounty that foodies from far and away will love, make the Summit a game-changer for Seattle’s convention scene.

Waterfront Revitalization: A New Attraction for Attendees

Clearly, the Seattle waterfront is a pique attraction for many visitors, especially those coming from the Midwest or interior states. It’s been an iconic place for visitors since the 1800s, even being rebuilt after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Since that time, new attractions have been added, creating a walkable destination with fun for all ages.

The latest planned renovations include the Overlook Walk, an elevated public park that connects the waterfront to Seattle’s urban core. This elevated pathway allows people to walk from Pike Place Market to the waterfront without crossing Alaskan Way, offering expansive views of Elliott Bay, informal play areas, new public plazas, and lush landscaping.

Top Meeting Destination Seattle
Courtesy of, Seattle Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects

Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion: A Future Landmark

The Seattle Aquarium is presently the ninth-largest in the U.S. To date, they’ve hosted over 27 million visitors looking to learn about marine life in the Pacific Northwest. Despite its impressive success and popularity, the aquarium, too, is looking to expand to create an even better experience for its patrons and the Seattle community.

Seattle Aquarium Ocean Pavilion - Top Meeting Destination
Courtesy of Seattle Aquarium

Scheduled to open in 2024, the new Ocean Pavilion will enable visitors of all abilities and backgrounds to explore the stunning biodiversity of a reef ecosystem in the Coral Triangle. The pavilion will feature sharks, rays, schooling fish, mangroves, seagrasses, and nearly 30 species of coral. This expansion will also create new public space, improve accessibility between Pike Place Market and the waterfront, and offer state-of-the-art immersive digital storytelling to highlight the interconnectedness of our ocean’s fate and our own. All of these improvements are sure to guarantee Seattle as top meeting destination.

New Museum of Illusions in Downtown Seattle

The Museum of Illusions, a global attraction with over 50 locations in 25 countries, openend a permanent location in the historic Skinner Building in Seattle in June 2024. This interactive museum, occupying 9,000 square feet, will feature mind-bending exhibits such as holograms, illusion rooms, a “Vortex Tunnel,” an anti-gravity room, and a walk-in kaleidoscope. 

Unique to Seattle, the museum will also showcase installations like the “Reversed Room” and “Building Illusion,” offering visitors a mix of art, science, and psychology to challenge their perceptions and ignite their imaginations.

Improved Transportation: Making Seattle Safer and More Accessible

While Seattle has always been a relatively walkable city and is relatively easy to navigate, there has been room for improvement. And with more and more visitors, including conference goers, coming into the city, it has become a priority to make investments in pedestrian/bicycle safety and transit. In April 2024, Mayor Bruce Harrell, alongside SDOT Director Greg Spotts, announced plans for an updated $1.45 billion Transportation Levy proposal.

Seattle Great Waterfront Events - Top Meeting Destination

This eight-year package will improve Seattle’s transportation infrastructure by focusing on street maintenance, bridge monitoring, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and neighborhood street improvements. If passed, it will be the largest levy in Seattle’s history, demonstrating an impressive commitment to making the city safer and more accessible.

Ongoing Investment to Keep Seattle a Top Meeting Destination

With ongoing investments in making the city a better place to live, work, and visit, Seattle will undoubtedly remain a top convention location for years to come. 

Is your organization looking for a great convention space for your company event? Seattle is full of unique event spaces that will not only create a great experience for your employees but also lasting memories. Event Experience is here to help you make it the best event possible. Contact us today, and let us take the heavy lifting of Seattle event planning off your shoulders.

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