October 30, 2023

Top 10 Reasons to Meet in Winston-Salem

Located in the heart of North Carolina, Winston-Salem is a city that perfectly melds the traditional with the contemporary. Its rich history, combined with a modern-day flair, makes it an ideal destination for meetings, conferences, and events.

Named a Forbes Top 10 Best Downtown, Winston-Salem has a mix of inspired cuisine, craft breweries, museums, culture, and shopping within a vibrant, walkable city center. With more than 5,300 hotel rooms -- 1,200 spacious, sophisticated downtown hotel rooms -- the city is primed to bring out the best in your event.

Best yet, Winston-Salem is situated conveniently and centrally from many of the biggest cities on the East Coast and in the Southeast. Not only does this make it easy for guests to attend your event, but it also helps cut down on carbon emissions, making your meeting a model for sustainability.

Read on for 10 compelling reasons to choose Winston-Salem:

Exterior shot of the sawtooth-shaped exterior of the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina1. Modern Amenities: The city offers a range of top-notch venues equipped with the latest technology, ensuring that your meetings run smoothly. From the Benton Convention Center to boutique meeting spaces, there are venues for gatherings of all sizes. Located in Winston-Salem’s walkable downtown, the Benton Convention Center offers a wide array of amenities and features, whether you’re holding a conference or sporting event or need breakout meeting rooms during your stay in charming Winston-Salem. Highlights include:

  • Total meeting space of 150,000 square feet
  • 43,000 square feet of reimagined event space, known as Benton South, featuring the refreshed 24,000-square-foot Gallery Ballroom
  • Local artwork adorns the center, providing a true sense of place while offering inspiration to think creatively.

The Benton, alongside the newly renovated Winston-Salem Marriott and the Embassy Suites comprise the impressive Twin City Quarter in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem. They are part of $2 billion worth of improvements to downtown over the past decade. More than 120 restaurants, shops, breweries, and bars are within an easy walking distance of the of the Benton.

The two hotels are adjacent to the Benton, where attendees will enjoy ample parking deck, an underground tunnel and a conveniently enclosed outdoor walkway aboveground. This thoughtful setup allows for a seamless stay for attendees who wish to enjoy the comfort of their accommodations throughout a busy, eventful day.


Artivity on the Green park in the Arts District of Downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina2. Arts and Culture: Winston-Salem is often called the “City of Arts and Innovation” for good reason. Attendees can explore a plethora of museums, galleries, theaters, and music venues, providing ample opportunities for entertainment and inspiration.

Be sure to explore the vibrant arts and culture scene and the innovative architecture of the old tobacco and textile mills. Part of the city’s remarkable transformation is the reinvention of these old-world spaces into modern, sustainable environments. This mixed-use concept is a place where people can dine, exercise, and play. This is a great model for organizations looking to reinvest in resources and maximize their strengths.


3. Historic Charm: Winston-Salem is steeped in history, from its Moravian roots in Old Salem to its transformative tobacco and textile industries. The city’s preserved historic sites will captivate meeting attendees, giving them an enriching experience beyond the confines of the conference room. Attendees expect one-of-a-kind experiences, and Winston-Salem takes pride in delivering such memory-making opportunities. Planners should be sure to take advantage of unique venues for off-site receptions, parties, galas, and other special events.


Overhead shot of an outdoor dining table at a restaurant; everyone is clinking drinks before dinner is served4. Delicious Dining: The city boasts an array of dining options, ranging from traditional Southern comfort food to international delicacies. Local vineyards and nine craft breweries further enrich the culinary landscape.

James Beard-nominated chefs and custom craft brew artists spend each day dazzling guests with the latest F&B trends. The Visit Winston-Salem team can create a custom Dine Around Program for your next meeting featuring participating restaurants and bars near the convention center and hotels with meeting space. Taking advantage of such culinary delights will satisfy all your attendees’ tastes.


5. Accessibility: With its centralized location in North Carolina, Winston-Salem is easily accessible by car or plane.

  • Raleigh (two-hour drive), Charlotte (one-and-a-half-hour drive), Atlanta (five-hour drive), and Washington, D.C. (five-hour drive), are short distances.
  • Downtown is at the crossroads of Interstate 85, Interstate 77, Interstate 40, Salem Parkway (U.S. 421), and U.S. Highway 52.
  • The city is 25 minutes from Piedmont Triad International Airport (GSO), an hour and a half from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), and two hours from Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).


6. Affordability: Winston-Salem provides the amenities and attractions of a major city without the exorbitant costs. Your budget will stretch further here, allowing you to offer a premium experience and an affordable cost.

The CVB’s Travel Back Rewards program makes Winston-Salem even more budget friendly. Earn a $3,000 credit for bringing in a new meeting or convention with at least 500 hotel room nights, a $1,500 credit for 300-499 hotel room nights, and a $500 credit for 150-299 hotel room nights. Book your future meeting by  Dec. 31, 2023, to take advantage of this Reward program.


7. Educational Hubs: With six educational institutions including Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University, the city is a hub for higher learning and research. These institutions can also provide additional spaces and resources for academic conferences and corporate meetings alike.

The schools are also a great opportunity for pre- or post-event activities. For example, catch an ACC or HBCU football or basketball game at Wake Forest or Winston-Salem State respectively for an outing that attendees will talk about for years.


Two women walking through a garden admiring the flowers8. Green Spaces: Give your attendees a break from indoor sessions at Winston-Salem’s picturesque parks, gardens, and hiking trails. From Reynolda Gardens to Salem Lake, the city offers serene spots for relaxation and team-building activities such as morning yoga, a 5K run, and more.



9. Friendly Locals: Southern hospitality is alive and well in Winston-Salem. The warmth and friendliness of its residents will make attendees feel welcome, fostering a positive environment for productive meetings.

This extends to an experienced CVB team eager to provide top-notch service to your group. The community-at-large truly values your business, which will be demonstrated in ways large and small throughout your stay.


10. Diverse Events: Throughout the year, Winston-Salem hosts a variety of festivals, fairs, and events, from the RiverRun International Film Festival in April, Piedmont Craftsmen Fair each November, to the International Black Theatre Festival every other summer in even years. Scheduling your meeting around a special local event can add an extra layer of excitement and entertainment for attendees.

Winston-Salem offers a unique blend of history, modernity, culture, and hospitality, making it an unparalleled choice for meetings and conferences. So, the next time you’re scouting for a convenient event location, book this beautiful North Carolina gem.

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