Stella Awards 2020: Best Convention Center

The Stella Awards recognize suppliers that deliver quality service and innovation to event professionals.
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Gold: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center

The 2.1-million-square-foot Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) is at the forefront of the meeting industry providing industry-leading technology, flexibility and service to ensure a remarkable event. Located eight minutes from Boston's Logan International Airport, BCEC features a modern, glass-lined interior and has the flexibility to host events of all sizes with 516,000 square feet of column-free, contiguous exhibit space and 82 meeting rooms. The 40,020-square-foot Grand Ballroom overlooks the Boston Seaport, offering breathtaking views.

Silver: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, which sits on the shores of the Potomac River, is conveniently located to many of Maryland's best attractions. On-site ballrooms range from 8,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet that can be split into smaller spaces for intimate gatherings. Notable to the property is a 19-story glass atrium overlooking the river.


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Gold: Orange County Convention Center

The 7 million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) offers a variety of meeting room and exhibit space options. The award-winning facility is one of the largest LEED Gold-certified convention centers in North America.

The West Building comprises 4 million square feet, with over one million square feet of exhibition space and 132 breakout rooms. The North-South Building is 3 million square feet, with about 950,000 square feet of exhibition space. In recent years, OCCC has averaged nearly 200 events, with 115 conventions attracting more than 1.5 million attendees each year.

Silver: Ocean Center Convention Center, Daytona Beach

Just 400 feet the world famous beach sits the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. It is a state-of-the-art convention center boasting flexible, sweeping spaces, a team of dedicated event professionals and all the conveniences planners need to make their next meeting a success. The Ocean Center is Florida's fifth-largest convention center, featuring: 200,000 square feet of flexible space, 93,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 42,000-square-foot arena, 14,000-square-foot ballroom, seating up to 900, 32 meeting rooms totaling 32,000 square feet, and an Executive Suite. 

Bronze: The Classic Center

The Classic Center is Northeast Georgia's premier award-winning convention center, performing arts theatre, multipurpose arena, and covered outdoor pavilion. Located in the heart of downtown Athens, Georgia, The Classic Center provides unique meeting space, outstanding special events services, and a wide range of entertainment options, making this unconventional convention center the choice for conferences, meetings, and special events. At over 370,000 square feet, The Classic Center is the perfect versatile space for any event or convention. It features a newly expanded 56,000 square foot exhibit hall, flexible space to accommodate general sessions and break-out sessions, complimentary Wi-Fi and complete in-house services.

Finalist: Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center 

Situated in the heart of Nashville, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center allows attendees to hit all the high notes of Music City both in the area and under its roof. Conduct business and inspire new ideas in Nashville in take advantage of over 750,000 square feet of meeting space. Also notable is the hotel's nine acres of lush indoor gardens and cascading waterfalls.


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Gold: Kentucky International Convention Center

Located in the heart of Louisville, the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) recently completed a $207 million expansion, making it a top-tier convention center and a business hub. With natural light and windows overlooking downtown, KICC was designed to be both aesthetically beautiful and sustainably built, earning the venue a LEED Silver Certification.

Silver: Greater Columbus Convention Center

The ASM Global-managed award-winning Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC) one of the busiest convention centers in North America. The 1.8 million square foot LEED Silver certified-facility, which completed a $140 million expansion and renovation in July 2017, offers 373,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and 447,000 square feet overall; 114,000 square feet of ballroom space, including 25,000-square-foot Union Station Ballroom, 15,000-square-foot Short North Ballroom and the largest multipurpose ballroom in Ohio, 74,000-square-foot Battelle Grand Ballroom; and 75 meeting rooms comprising about 118,000 square feet, 9 newest with windows facing outside.

Bronze: Old National Events Plaza

The Old National Events Plaza is home to Evansville, Indiana’s premier convention center and largest live entertainment theatre. Located within a rapidly emerging downtown district in Indiana’s third largest city, the venue stretches one city block and offers 95,000 square feet of event space. Positioned near more than 800 hotel rooms and within blocks of restaurants and shopping, not to mention Tropicana’s new casino, Old National Events Plaza offers the amenities of larger metro areas while maintaining its small-town touch.


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Gold: Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center

Featuring more than 490,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Gaylord Texan blends style and function. The property also features 88 meeting rooms and a maximum of 12 breakout rooms. The largest meeting room is Longhorn Exhibit Hall with a maximum meeting space of 179,520 square feet and a maximum capacity of 10,000.

Of notable mention is the Vineyard Tower. Rustic yet refined, the $120 million Vineyard Tower expansion at Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center boasts 303 luxury guest rooms, an outdoor terrace offering spectacular views of Lake Grapevine and 86,000 square feet of carpeted meeting space, including a 30,000-square-foot ballroom, 30,000 square feet of breakout space and 26,000 square feet of pre-function space.

Silver: Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center

Featuring more than 500,000 square feet of flexible meeting, convention, outdoor, exhibit and pre-function space, Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center offers the perfect blend of style and function for any event near Denver, Colorado. Whether you're hosting a trade show for thousands or planning an intimate executive board meeting, the convention center hotel stands ready to accommodate your gathering with 69 event rooms and 78 maximum breakout rooms. The largest space can accommodate 10,000 guests.


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Gold: Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center

The Long Beach Convention Center is an industry-recognized leader in the creation of turnkey event spaces, dramatically reducing costs for meeting planners while giving attendees unforgettable events. Its award-winning venues come complete with a variety of in-house furniture, decorative elements, specialized lighting, and structures. 

The facility's wide-open campus layout has our attendees' needs in mind, with numerous comfortable seating areas (inside and outside) and networking pods where people can connect to socialize with their peers. The Long Beach Convention Center offers such a variety of special event venues throughout the campus, unlike any other convention center in the nation. From the two, vastly different performing arts theaters, to the exceptional Pacific Ballroom, and the entirely new-concept Cove event space, Long Beach offers the most variety to an event planner. 

Silver: Hawaii Convention Center

Designed by world-renowned architects, the Hawai'i Convention Center's striking open-air design, abundant natural light, and lush landscaping offers a meeting backdrop unlike anywhere else in the world. It is Hawai'i's largest, premier meetings facility with 1.1 million square feet of total meeting space. With a diverse array of meeting spaces, the Center is ideal for events including meetings, trade shows, banquets, sports tournaments, and corporate and special celebrations. 

Bronze: Pier 48

High atop the list of the largest and most flexible event spaces in San Francisco, Pier 48 is open to endless possibilities. This impressive, industrial setting with over 200,000 square feet of event space, comprises four distinct yet connected areas with sky-high ceilings, a sprawling open-air space and, with the addition of customized window vignettes, spectacular up-close views of the Bay Bridge, City skyline and Oracle Park. Pier 48 comprises two main anchors, Shed A and Shed B, which can be utilized in tandem or on their own, along with adjacent spaces ideal for back of house or production needs. This ultra-flexible blank-slate venue can be customized exactly to the specs of your event.


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Gold: Montreux Music & Convention Centre

From the lake to the mountains and vineyards, Montreux offers a postcard landscape. Situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Montreux Music & Convention Centre offers 180,000 square feet of functional, technologically advanced space with spectacular lake views from all public areas. A unique meeting place, The Montreux Convention Centre was inaugurated in 1973. It offers 180,000 square feet of functional space, with direct access to the lake and natural daylight with lake view from all the public areas.