Six Types of Venues That Are Perfect for Corporate Events & Conferences
If you’re involved in planning your company’s corporate events, from board of directors and shareholder meetings to industry conferences and international trade shows, it’s important to choose the right venue for your group size and style of event.
As a conference venue leader, Turning Stone’s expert event staff has put together this helpful guide to make your next meeting one to remember.
Find the perfect type of corporate event venue for your next meeting, conference, trade show or convention
Resort and hotel venues for events
New York's most awarded resort is also Central NY’s best for event venues of all sizes
Before you start exploring various hotels and resorts for your event, it’s important to understand what distinguishes one type of property from the other. Hotels focus primarily on guests looking for rooms when traveling, and often add extras like restaurants, pools or gyms to make their stay more comfortable. Hotels that cater to business travelers may add things like meeting rooms, free wifi and desks in guest rooms. If you’re looking for entertainment or a variety of dining options, a hotel may position itself near attractions and restaurants, but your guests will typically have to go off-site.
Resorts, on the other hand, are often a destination in themselves. You’ll find things like multiple restaurants, golf, spa facilities and even live entertainment. Often the larger the resort, the larger the event spaces, because the hotels can use these as well to host fairs, holiday events, live entertainment and more. If you’re planning a larger event, zeroing in on resorts will make your work a lot easier because so much of what you need is already brought together for you.
Consider Turning Stone as an example. With 125,000 square feet of meeting space, 20+ restaurants, 2 spas and 5 golf courses come an events team who can help you plan and coordinate your event. That’s the other benefit of booking at a resort – you have a team of experts there to help.
One of the most valuable things about hosting your meeting at Turning Stone is the team supporting you. Our event specialists will assist you throughout the planning process. That includes catering, audio/visual needs, restaurant or recreation reservations and more.
You might guess that in a resort and conference center this size, your choices on venue sizes and their flexibility would be pretty amazing. And you’d be right. Here are some highlights. You can also call 888.361.7958 to connect with an event specialist, check dates and see if Turning Stone is right for you.
Arenas & Convention Centers
Large venues for events like tradeshows, international or national industry conferences, fairs, product launches and member conventions as well as concerts and live entertainment
If you’re planning an industry event, trade show or product launch and are lucky enough to have a convention center or arena for conferences near you, these can be great venues to consider.
Many arenas can be configured for theater style with a stage or opened up to expand the floor. If you think of what arenas are designed for – live concerts, boxing, comedy shows, theater – you can imagine the lighting and sound systems you’ll have at your disposal. And when you’re ready to go big, that can really take your event over the top.
The Event Center arena at Turning Stone is a state-of-the-art facility and the largest on property. Spacious and flexible, this popular venue can be configured for arena and theater seating for up to 5000 with 33,000 square feet of floor space or as an open space 59,000 square-foot space for bowl seating. The Event Center can also seat up to 1200 guests for dinner.
Loading dock access, a covered parking garage and additional meeting rooms nearby make this even more flexible. The 15,000 square foot Event Center Atrium offers additional space for registration desks, welcome receptions, hospitality socials or casual entertainment.
? ? We’re excited to announce our largest expansion in the last 20 years! To meet the growing demand of meetings and conventions, we’re planning to nearly double our conference space and will be building a brand new hotel with approximately 250 rooms.— Turning Stone Resort (@TurningStone) September 6, 2022
PART 1 pic.twitter.com/iU7QTu6tJP
Venues for events with breakout rooms for exhibits, seminars, meals and meetings
Conference centers are great because they are designed with large functions in mind. Flexibility is key when choosing a conference center. Look for a space you can configure not just for your event size but for the way your participants will use the event.
Are there several educational seminars that may require smaller breakout rooms off the main floor? Good proximity makes it easier on your guests to move from the floor to the breakout and back without losing valuable time. Is there a keynote speaker, a welcome social or awards ceremony requiring venues that will vary in size? Having the flexibility to repurpose those breakout rooms into various size halls means less work for you and more convenience for your participants. More importantly, having an event coordinator at the conference center to work out these configurations with you will make your job a whole lot easier.
Second in size to the Event Center, Turning Stone’s Conference Center is one of the resort’s signature spaces. Its 22,000+ square feet were designed with event flexibility in mind. Six of its nine breakout rooms can be configured into one open space. Bring an idea of how you’d like your event schedule to flow and let our meeting experts help you configure the space to let you move with ease from welcome receptions to exhibits to dinner and more.
The Conference Center is ideal for banquets of up to 1000 people in an elegant ballroom-style venue. There’s also easy ground-level load-in accessibility.
Ballrooms for Meetings and Events
Venues for events like banquets, award ceremonies, conferences, training sessions and dealer meetings
Ballrooms have been an important part of socializing for centuries, and traces of their original formality can still be seen in elements like grand ceilings and large chandeliers. With one eye on tradition and culture and another toward the future, the best ballrooms to consider are those that offer an understated elegance with state-of-the-art audio/visual and other conveniences. Having anything a guest may need within easy walking distance – restaurants, areas to take calls or check email, close parking, easily accessible loading docks for vendors – all are thoughtful extras that enhance an already great space.
The spacious Cypress Ballroom with its natural light and convenient location next to the Event Center is a versatile venue with flexible configurations for all types of meetings and events. With more than 5000 square feet of conveniently located and elegantly furnished space, it can be used as a single room or divided into as many as five breakout spaces.
Unique Venues for Events and Banquets
The Shenendoah Clubhouse offers a stunning venue for banquets to board meetings
When you really want to make a great impression on your guests (or your boss, that’s fair, too) and are hoping to find an unexpected venue, an idea many people overlook are country clubs or golf clubhouses. Many aren’t open to the public, but those that are can provide some great bonus features. Think about it. Golf courses are typically beautifully landscaped and well maintained. If the clubhouse has a restaurant or (better yet) catering, you can work with their in-house team for food and beverage needs. You’ll want to make sure parking is plentiful and how much of the clubhouse you could secure for your event, but the right one can be a real treat.
Inspired by English Tudors with their stone and wood styles and elegant refinement, the stunning Shenendoah Clubhouse is a popular choice for memorable events. With its two-story cherry wood-paneled foyer and carved stone fireplaces, here you’ll find a serene, stunning venue for banquets, corporate gatherings, breakout sessions, retirement parties and more.
Enjoy beautiful views of the first and 18th holes of the award-winning golf course bearing the same name as well as a spacious patio for indoor/outdoor dining at The Grille.
With an overall size of 28,000 square feet and a 5500 square foot divisible banquet room, seating for up to 336 guests banquet-style or 414 theater-style can be accommodated.
Which is your favorite summer spot for an outdoor meal or cocktail?— Turning Stone Resort (@TurningStone) August 18, 2019
?Crescent Courtyard pic.twitter.com/YKQBBt9Z1Q
Clubs and Lounges
Popular nightlife and entertainment for your attendees right on site
Nightclubs and cocktail lounges can be a lot of fun for the right event. But here’s where you really need to do your homework. Many aren’t food-forward, so unless it’s part of a resort, you may have to bring in your own catering so as to not overwhelm smaller kitchens. Pay close attention to the amount of light you’ll need, if you need a stage to welcome attendees or hand out awards, and how the space flows. Resort clubs and lounges that were designed to be rented out entirely will have anticipated uses beyond their own. These are typically better suited for events than private clubs and lounges.
It can be fun to find a restaurant with a theme to liven up your event. If the restaurant offers live entertainment, consider including that as part of your event as well.
Exit 33 is the popular entertainment venue at Turning Stone and home to four unique destinations within one. Turquoise Tiger is an intimate Gatsby-style nightclub that is fun for formal or themed events. Tin Rooster kicks the energy up a notch with live country music, a bar the size of Texas and a huge dance floor. The Gig is the spot for classic rock, while the Atrium Bar makes a welcoming stop for a wet bar and casual lounge area.
Two of Turning Stone’s 20+ restaurants also offer live entertainment, including TS Steakhouse and Motif Bar and Lounge. Our expert catering staff can also work with you for your unique event. For instance, did you know Turning Stone has a chef who is also an ice sculptor on staff? (How many places can say that?)
Meet Chef Wei-Sen Liang.? He is an award-winning ice sculptor. He attended the World Ice Art Championships in Alaska, twice winning first-place honors. Chef Wei-Sen now uses that skill to craft ice sculptures for numerous events at Turning Stone! #NationalCulinaryArtsMonth pic.twitter.com/guhCQ3BXRA— Turning Stone Resort (@TurningStone) July 14, 2022
Restaurants and Bars
Some of your easiest event decisions are just a reservation away
Many restaurants have private rooms for events, often with equipped with a/v and screens. They’ll also offer some thoughtfully curated menus. Unless you’re taking over the whole restaurant, you’ll want to visit in advance to see what materials they use for room dividers – are they curtains, collapsible walls or are they in fact their own private rooms? Ideally, plan a site visit at the same time you’d be hosting your event so you can hear the noise level for yourself.
With 20+ restaurants on site, it’s no wonder Turning Stone is one of the top destinations in New York. Choose from our AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four Star Wildflowers fine dining restaurant for the most celebrated experiences, or TS Steakhouse for panoramic views from the Tower’s top floor.
For meals on their own, your attendees will appreciate popular options like the new 7 Kitchens, a reimagined chef-inspired, all-you-can-eat buffet experience with seven action kitchen stations. Emerald restaurant offers 24/7 American classics for night owls or late arrivals (or, dare we say, hard-working meeting planners). And for those with a sweet tooth, Opals is a must stop for award-winning desserts, chocolates and scratch-made pastries.
Experience unlimited flavors at 7 Kitchens. ?— Turning Stone Resort (@TurningStone) June 17, 2022
Starting on June 23, 7 Kitchens will be open for dinner on Thursdays from 5pm to 9pm. pic.twitter.com/i4IT48ufAZ
Choosing the right type of venue for your event size
Before choosing an event venue, it's important to consider factors such as the number of attendees, the desired level of formality, and any specific requirements or accommodations needed for your event.
Best Venues for Smaller Events:
- Bars & Restaurants
Best Venues for Larger Events:
- Resorts and Hotels
- Convention Centers
- Conference Centers
Frequently Asked Questions About Venues for Events at Turning Stone
How do I book a venue at Turning Stone?
Reach out to an event specialist and let us help. Call 888-361-7958 or email GroupSalesSupport@turningstone.com. You can also submit an RFP using this link.
What are some of the best types of venues for a business meeting?
Even the best business meetings mean being away from work and home. We’ve earned more awards than any other resort in New York State because of our commitment to hospitality. We believe the best off-site meetings are the ones that make the attendees feel cared for and comfortable, and that starts with the right venue. Hosting an event at Turning Stone means you have options for venues but also options for entertainment – plus an experienced hospitality team working behind the scenes to make sure everything goes smoothly.
What are the most common types of venues?
Most people think of event venues and think of conference rooms or ballrooms – which we have, and they’re beautiful – but Turning Stone helps you think well beyond the ballroom. Spaces like the Shenendoah Clubhouse, with architectural details inspired by a Tudor mansion add a bit of formal elegance while venues like the Event Center can play host to 5000 guests. With dozens of options to choose from, we’ll help you configure the spaces that are right for you.
How do I choose a venue?
A meeting venue is more than four walls. It’s the entire experience. That’s where no one comes close to Turning Stone. From fine dining to fly fishing, corporate golf tournaments to Gatsby-style nightclubs, Turning Stone is a world-class attraction and highly awarded resort with an expert hospitality staff to support you and anticipate your needs.
But don’t just take our word for it. Each year, Meetings Today polls meetings and events planners based on their experience in the recent year and conducts their own research to recognize the best of the best in conference hospitality. Their criteria include:
- Quality of meeting spaces
- Guest rooms
- Guest services and amenities
- Food and beverage service
- Efficiency and helpfulness of the staff
- Availability and quality of audio/visual and tech equipment
- Recreational facilities and activities
- Cleanliness (including COVID-19 protocols)
- Overall value and experience
How large is Turning Stone?
This 3400 acre conference resort includes 780+ guest rooms and suites, two spas, two nine-hole and three award-winning golf courses, 20+ onsite dining options, nightlife venues with live entertainment and free covered parking. Recognized as one of the top five tourist destinations in New York State, Turning Stone hosts more than 4.5 million visitors a year.
Turn to the event experts at Turning Stone
The beginning of an event-planning process can feel daunting – which is why choosing the right partner from the start is the best choice you can make. And no one does meetings and events like Turning Stone.
Let’s talk about your event and how we can help you make it a resounding success. Reach out to an event specialist today: 888-361-7958 or email GroupSalesSupport@turningstone.com. We look forward to working with you.