Are you planning a big event in the Smokies this year? Maybe you’re in charge of coordinating a youth rally, a lectureship, or a corporate get-together. If so, that can be an intimidating prospect. Where is your group going to stay? Where will you find enough space for your meetings? What kinds of attractions can accommodate your large crew during your downtime?
No need to panic! We’ve got all your answers right here for planning a flawless big event in the Smokies. Whether you’re coming with a youth group, a sports team, a group of co-workers, or friends and family, the Smoky Mountains have all the right venues and attractions you will need for a fun, comfortable, and memorable event in the Smoky Mountains.
Picking Your Venue
One of the best venues in the area for big events like yours is the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Located within walking distance of downtown Gatlinburg, this venue boasts almost 150,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and has won the Reader’s Choice Award for best meeting place of the South for the past three years. Perfect for youth rallies, conventions, and business meetings, the Gatlinburg Convention Center has a variety of spaces to choose from, depending on your needs.
The Great Hall—provides 67,000 square feet of exhibit base that can be divided into three separate halls for smaller events. This space can accommodate 6,000 people and 350 booths.
The W.L. Mills Conference Center—provides an additional 50,000 square feet that includes a 17,000-square-foot ballroom.
The Convention Center Gallery—provides 38,200 square feet that includes 18 meeting rooms, a pre-function meeting space, and two private parlors. This space also comes with a special VIP/media suite.
Choosing Downtime Activities
No matter how jam-packed your schedule for the week or weekend of your big event, you’re bound to have some downtime. So it’s good to know some of the attractions your guests should plan to visit during their stay. Some of the best large group attractions in the Gatlinburg area include:
Ober Gatlinburg—Your group will love a visit to Ober Gatlinburg during their stay in the Smoky Mountains. In the winter, you can ski or snowboard down the gorgeous mountain slopes. In the summer, you can ride the alpine slide, ice skate (a great way to cool off!), or visit the wildlife encounter. There are also great restaurants and shops, providing hours of entertainment for people of all ages in one convenient location!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies—A great option for kids and adults, Ripley’s Aquarium is rated one of the top 10 aquariums in the nation by USA Today. Explore underwater displays, interact with hands-on exhibits, and enjoy the stunning variety of sea creatures at this favorite Gatlinburg attraction. Best of all, Ripley’s Aquarium is within walking distance of the Convention Center, so your guests can enjoy a quick stroll down the Parkway whenever your event takes a brief hiatus.
Cabins for Large Groups
Your other big concern with planning a big event is to figure out lodging. Where can you fit such a large group in the Smoky Mountains? Answer: one of our large group cabins! We have multiple large group cabins to fit your needs, which can sleep up to 53 guests! We have large group cabinslocated only a miles from downtown Gatlinburg, making it a convenient location for downtown attractions and the Gatlinburg Convention Center. You can keep your guests comfortable and entertained without any extra effort with our Gatlinburg cabins!
If our largest cabin still isn’t quite large enough for your big group getaway, never fear! You can rent multiple cabins and spread your group out—and you’ll still find this to be more cost effective than booking dozens of hotel rooms. Plus, you’ll enjoy a private retreat in the heart of the Smokies with friends and family at your side. Call our reservation specialists today to book your cabin(s) for your big event in the Smoky Mountains!