main photo: Georgia World Congress Center; where to sleep photo: Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center
Nestled in the heart of Atlanta's bustling downtown, the Georgia World Congress Center sits on a sprawling 200-acre campus of three interconnected buildings that contain 1.5 million square feet of exhibition space and 98 meeting rooms. A recent expansion has produced 12 exhibit halls, three fixed-seat auditoriums, two ballrooms, two boardrooms, and three outdoor plazas that provide 13 acres of green space. The GWCC, the fourth largest convention center in the United States and the biggest LEED Gold certified convention center in the world, is adjacent to sports venues, Centennial Olympic Park, and many of Atlanta's unique cultural attractions, making it a favorite destination for more than 1 million trade show attendees every year.
WHERE TO SLEEP
The Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center, which is connected to the GWCC, offers upscale lodging and scenic skyline views in its 1,067 rooms. A few blocks from the convention center, the Holiday Inn Express Downtown is a comfortable choice when traveling on a tighter budget. Atlanta has 13,000 hotel rooms in every price range within walking distance of the GWCC.
WHAT TO EAT
With downtown just outside the doors of the convention center, distinctive Atlanta fare surrounds the facility. Grab a bison burger at Ted's Montana Grill, or host a gathering at the sporty Stats Brewpub, which features casual grub and house-made brews. Glamorous vibes and unmatched views make SkyLounge at the Glenn Hotel a stylish choice for private events of 30 to 180 people.
HOW TO GET THERE
Taxi service from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to downtown costs a flat rate of $30. Shuttles via the Atlanta Airport Shuttle Service to downtown and the GWCC are $16.50 one way (www.taass.net), or use the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the public train/bus system, for $2.50 and a transfer. The venue has 5,600 parking spaces with rates ranging from $10 to $50.
Electrical, internet, telecommunication, plumbing, food and beverage, and rigging services must be ordered through the venue.
Exhibitors qualify for a 20-percent discount on services obtained through the venue if ordered at least 21 days in advance.
Georgia is a right-to-work state.
The GWCC's marshaling yard can accommodate approximately 600 trucks.
Freight is not permitted on passenger elevators, and dollies, oversized luggage, boxes, freight, and toolboxes are not allowed on escalators.
Both multilevel exhibits and any enclosed spaces larger than 300 square feet must have at least two points of egress.
Spiral stairways are not generally recommended for areas occupied by attendees and require specific approval from the venue.
FedEx Office has an on-site location that specializes in printing signs and graphics for exhibitors and offers other services.
Battery cables on display vehicles must be disconnected and taped
to avoid sparking.
Propane bottles are allowed but must have a capacity of two pounds or less and be nonrefillable.
Georgia law allows for properly licensed individuals to carry weapons inside the GWCC.