Meet at the World Equestrian Center — Ocala

This newly opened Florida events venue combines class with capacity.

The largest equestrian complex in the United States is nestled in the Horse Capital of the World in Ocala, Florida. The world-class facility is the largest equestrian complex with multi-indoor and outdoor arenas offering state-of-the-art amenities to accommodate all styles of premier events. 

Not everyone knows much about equestrian sport, but they may want to learn this: World Equestrian Center – Ocala made its official debut just a few months ago, offering class, quality and distinction - is also poised to be an exquisite event and exhibition host

This 378-acre World Equestrian Center (WEC) is not just a place for equestrian sport spectators though. With 16 outdoor rings, a stunning open-air stadium and hotel-adjacent arena, and five climate controlled indoor arenas, WEC – Ocala is already a home for spectators.

Nestled amongst the World Equestrian Center – Ocala's sprawling sapphire fields of grass and underneath its gorgeous towering Spanish Moss trees are facilities and amenities that are primed to host MICE programs with substance, style, and size—as well as service: There is a dedicated exposition concierge team at the WEC - Ocala to see that the needs of each and every group are met and make sure that every detail is just as it should be.  

Furthermore, the WEC – Ocala is easily reached, with plenty of fly-in options. Ocala International Airport is just down the road from the resort, but more airlift abounds into Gainesville (40 miles away), Daytona Beach (80 miles), Orlando and Tampa (both 90 miles), and Jacksonville (110 miles). 

Indoor and Outdoor Event Space


Visiting convention attendees will feel excitement in the air at WEC – Ocala, whether their event is hosted in the Grand Arena or one of the other multi-purpose spaces among the property. Within the property are two exposition centers, each with 132,300 square feet of contiguous and column-free event space. Used separately or combined – for a serious sprawl of floorspace — they allow for nearly any event configuration. 

World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s exposition centers provide state-of-the-art and flexible trade show possibilities for an almost limitless variety of industries: automotive, consumer, pop culture and more. Each exposition center can accommodate numerous exhibit configurations and offers extensive indoor space access via dedicated dock slips and multiple 16-and 20-foot freight doors. Additional conveniences include up to 50’-high ceilings, on-site parking, 32 restrooms per building, built-in concession stands, a full menu of audiovisual services, high-speed Wi-Fi, a full-time security staff, programmable LED lighting, and oversized LED walls with streaming capabilities. 

The WEC Grand Arena sets the scale as the centerpiece of large-scale shows, and can be used for signature events and entertainment, accommodating everything from keynote speakers to al fresco luxury dinners under a sun that sets behind the property’s rolling green fields. The open-air WEC Stadium can serve as a venue for concerts and keynotes. Meeting and event professionals can also make use of various fields for outdoor events and receptions including an oak canopy garden.

 

Accommodations and Amenities


Event attendees can lodge in class with World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s stately on-property overnight accommodations that combine convenience with refined ambience. 248 stylishly appointed rooms at The Equestrian Hotel are elegant in style while offering stunning views of the WEC Grand Arena. For those group members who desire something more, there are several suite options, including elegant King Suites that will certainly more than suit. Ever more sumptuous, though, are the hotel’s Vice Presidential and Presidential Suites, which perfectly set the scene for both “me time” and small group discussions with 1,200 and 2,200 square feet of space, respectively. For longer stay accommodations, there are 71 “Home Away From Home” units just a short drive away. Comfort and conveniences complement the elegance of the property’s hotel accommodations, including on-site retail, restaurants and recreation.

For many attendees, the Calluna Spa will take top billing. There, they can truly succumb to relaxation, be it through the Calluna Signature Massage, which includes warm stones and aromatherapy, or the Milk & Honey Nourishing Wrap, after which skin will be glowing. In addition to Skin Care, Body Treatment, and Massage Journeys, the menu also includes full hair care and salon services.

On-Site Food and Beverage

No one will want for a tasty meal at WEC – Ocala: There are several places to grab a bite to eat right on property, in addition to in-room dining that is available from morning ‘til night. 

Stirrups is the largest restaurant on site, serving up seasonal specialties, steaks, and sumptuous sips from its 1,500 bottle wine cellar. It has a terrace overlooking the arena and, for those who prefer to sit indoors, a sophisticated dining room located right off of the hotel lobby. 

But epicurean variety makes a showing at the WEC – Ocala, too. Filo’s Mexican Cantina is a spirited spot for tacos and traditional tastes and has an open-air patio for dining. There’s also a burger and sandwich shop for classic American fare—milkshakes, included; Viola & Dot’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria, where design-your-own flatbreads and pastas are served up; and the Yellow Pony, a gastro lounge with inspired pub fare. More casual eats can be had poolside at Horse to Water or bought from Miss Tilly’s Lollipops, a unique candy shop, and Emma’s Patisserie, which beckons with the aroma of French pastries baked on site. 

On-Site Shopping

At WEC – Ocala, down time is looking up—especially for attendees who want to engage in a little retail therapy after seminars and sales strategy meetings end. This is a shopping experience worth making time for, with several boutiques leaning towards luxury. They include Lugano Diamonds, a scintillating scene of sparkling jewels; The Debonair Collection, a place for home accessories sourced from all over the world; A Sudden Impulse, the headquarters for all WEC-branded merchandise and custom embroidery, engraving and printing services for all WEC events; and Mr. Pickles & Sailor Bear Toy Shoppe, with its supremely edited playtime collection. There are also several shops specializing in the love of all things equestrian—including fine Italian leather riding boots that even non-riders adore.

Area Appeal

The things for attendees to see and do during downtime is hardly limited to what exists on site: Ocala and its surrounding area abound with epicenters of activity and appealing attractions. Outdoors enthusiasts will want to immerse themselves in the stunning surroundings of Ocala National Forest, which has hiking trails to guide their explorations. Visitors can also take an exhilarating mountain bike ride at the Santos Trailhead, which features more than 80 miles of diverse bike trails (all skill levels welcome). Another unique outdoor activity is a glass-bottom boat ride atop the crystal clear waters of the spring at the Silver Springs State Park. Attendees can also get a peek into history and the area’s role in the Seminole War with a visit to the Fort King National Historic Landmark.

Details on this newly-opened sports and exposition center can be found here.