Two Quick Tips for a Charlotte Event

Just had the opportunity to explore Charlotte for the first time during our Meetings Today Live! event in early August, and really liked what I saw. The event went well from my perspective—and for every planner and supplier I spoke with during the two-night, three-day gathering. Networking was definitely paying off during the planner-supplier ‘speed-meetings,’ and the educational/social functions were a hit as well.

While I obviously can’t claim to be an expert on the city, here’s the quick takeaway from my stay:

Give strong consideration to hosting an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. I’m not even a racing fan and had a superb time, and if you think this is a place for just the guys, don’t. The women in our group seemed to be having an equally enjoyable time perusing the cool exhibits, and trying their hands at the state-of-the-art racing simulator (where yours truly was just stacking his car all over the track; simulator is pictured below). There are a number of cool event areas available, including a main room ringed with stock cars from yesterday and today, and being physically connected to the Charlotte Convention Center is another big bonus.  

Think about lodging your group at the Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, especially if you don’t mind being slightly removed from the downtown area. The property nicely blends traditional tastes with modern amenities, and an elegant look with a relaxing ambience. It’s a great distraction-free setting but also offers enough to do—with an acclaimed golf course and upscale spa. Glow in the dark night putting can be arranged for a group wanting to have some unique after-dinner fun, and pool areas inside and outside are also pluses. A handsome lodge building, set apart from the main building, would be perfect for a group retreat. A definite highlight was lunch at the Gallery, and I’d be surprised if there were a better dining spot in the entire city based on my one meal here—a poached jumbo shrimp salad, served with probably the best brioche roll I’ve ever tried. The presentation was superb as well, in addition to the service.    
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