Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Providence, R.I.

Learn why you should plan your next meeting, event or conference in Providence, R.I.

Why Providence for Your Next Meeting or Event?

With its historic charm and hip vibe, the city of Providence combines the best of a quaint New England town with the amenities and sophistication of a larger city. The city’s compact, walkable downtown is filled with innovative and eclectic restaurants, a lively arts and culture scene and well‐preserved historic architecture. Providence’s prime location in the Northeast corridor, along with its enticing ambiance, memorable attractions and  exceptional meeting and event venues make it an ideal choice for events.

Only in Providence

One of the city’s most unique events is WaterFire, an award‐winning fire sculpture installation set on the three rivers in downtown Providence. Nearly 100 fires dramatically illuminate more than half a mile of urban public spaces and parks during the event, which takes place on select weekend evenings between May and December. The magnificent spectacle is enhanced by a flotilla of performers who travel along the river in torch‐lit vessels, while music from around the world sets the festive tone.

Transportation in & Around the Area

Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport is located less than 10 miles from downtown Providence. MBTA commuter train service to the city is $2.25. Transfer cost by taxi, approximately $40 by taxi; Uber and Lyft, from $20.

Additionally, Boston Logan International Airport is located less than 50 miles from Providence; Peter Pan Bus Lines operates six daily departures from Logan to downtown Providence; Amtrak and commuter rail service are also available from Boston. 

Travel Essentials

Meeting & Event Venues

New & Coming Soon to Providence

• Among the city’s newest boutique hotels is The Beatrice, which opened in 2021 in downtown Providence’s historic district. Set in the historic Exchange Building, the 47‐room hotel has private event space in its 100 Westminster atrium, as well as a private dining room for up to 18 guests inside Bellini, Ignazio Cipriani’s first restaurant and private rooftop club in New England.

• Also new on the hospitality scene is the 175‐room Aloft Providence Downtown, which is set in the Innovation and Design District on the Providence River. The property offers four event rooms and more than 3,100 square feet of meeting and event space, as well as the Bliss Spa, WXYZ Lounge and Blu Violet Roofbar.

• Providence remains committed to protecting the health of locals and visitors. The Rhode Island Convention Center, for example, follows a COVID‐19 Safe Plan developed by its management company, ASM Global, one of the world’s leading venue management and services companies. Operating on behalf of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority, ASM Global partners with a variety of health experts and industry leaders to develop environmental hygiene, sanitization and fulfillments as part of its VenueShield program, which is designed to evolve with the needs of the global community.

More Meeting & Event Venues in Providence

• Located conveniently in downtown Providence, the Rhode Island School of Design is one of the nation’s top‐rated art and design schools. RISD offers an impressive 45 spaces of various sizes for meetings and private events, with a total capacity for 550 attendees.
 
• The Veterans Memorial Auditorium, known as The Vets, is one of the city’s most legendary performance spaces. The venue, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers multiple options for group gatherings. The 1,900‐seat theater, for example, has function spaces including a 2,414‐square‐foot gallery, a 546‐square‐foot board room, a 1,902‐square‐foot Vets Loft and 1,010‐square‐foot Encore Lounge.

Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort is located in the nearby town of Lincoln, offers accommodations, entertainment and meeting space all in one location. The 136-room resort’s Bally’s Event Center has three meeting rooms and a 2,398‐seat theater, as well as additional group‐friendly dining options including Jerry Longo’s Meatballs & Martinis and Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse.

• One of the city’s biggest sporting venues, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, can host group meetings and events. The home of AHL Providence Bruins and the Providence College men's basketball team has five meeting rooms, a 31,000‐square‐foot arena floor and 25,000‐square‐foot concourse.

• Sports fans may also appreciate a visit to the hallowed halls of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, located in nearby Newport. This National Historic Landmark property offers group tours as well as private event rentals. The Horseshoe Piazza, for example, accommodates 300 for cocktail receptions, while the USTA Wing and Porch accommodate 180.

• For hands‐on sporting fun, the Longplex Family & Sports Center in the town of Tiverton offers indoor space for hockey, basketball, lacrosse, football and more. The facility is also home to food and beverage venues including the Sports Kitchen, Pizza Hollywood and Custom Coffee House.

Things To Do in Providence

• Groups can enjoy a nature‐oriented outing or event at Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village, which dates to 1872. Set on 40 acres, Roger Williams is home to more than 160 animal species, including zebras, red pandas, African elephants, Masai giraffes and snow leopards. Planners can arrange guided tours with animal encounters and other unique experiences, and private events for up to 5,000 attendees are accommodated.

• Attendees can immerse themselves in art at the RISD Museum, home to a collection of more than 100,000 works, including  paintings, sculptures, decorative art, costumes, textiles and furniture, dating from ancient times to the 21st century. Guided group visits are easily arranged, and the facility offers numerous private event venues for rental, including the Grand Gallery, which accommodates 200 guests for receptions, and the 200‐seat Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium.

• Providence is an especially rewarding destination for culinary experiences — as evidenced by its recent ranking as one of “America’s Best Cities for Foodies” by Travel + Leisure. Groups can sample innovative cuisine at eateries helmed by the city’s top young chefs who trained at Providence’s famed Johnson & Wales University. It’s no wonder that the city has more degreed chefs per capita than any other city in the nation.

• To incorporate live entertainment into your  agenda, check the calendar at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The venue hosts an array of top‐notch Broadway shows, concerts, comedians and other performances throughout the year. Built in 1928, the venue is one of the city’s treasured entertainment hotspots. Private events are accommodated.

• Also noteworthy for its live entertainment is the Trinity Rep, an award‐winning theater that showcases the talents of local and national talent. The venue hosts a robust calendar of classics, world premieres and other works, and follows a policy focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.

• Providence’s reputation as an arts center is also evident in The Avenue Concept an organization that funds and supports the creation and installation of artwork in public spaces that can be enjoyed by visitors and locals.

• Delegates just might think they’ve flown across the Atlantic when they join an outing with La Gondola, a company that offers classic Venetian‐style gondola experiences along the Providence and Woonasquatucket rivers. With its fleet of four gondolas, the operator can accommodate groups of up to 24 passengers at a time.

• Additional water‐based excitement is offered by Rhode Island Bay Cruises, which offers group packages aboard its 400‐ passenger catamaran on Narragansett Bay. Passengers will be able to spot various noteworthy sights during their outing, including historic Fort Adams, 10 lighthouses and islands and the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal.

• Nature lovers won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, located in nearby Bristol. The organization’s Nature Center and Aquarium features an auditorium and patio that overlooks a picturesque meadow and a 28‐acre wildlife refuge with trails.