Coronavirus Meeting Planner Information

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is Wilmington a good destination for socially-distanced meetings?

Thanks to enhanced safety and cleaning protocols, an abundance of outdoor activities and open space, and an intimately sized convention center, Wilmington is an ideal destination for planners needing to find space for socially-distanced meetings now or looking to book future events. Wilmington boasts natural surroundings, healthy spaces, wellness experiences for groups and fresh F&B offerings. Wilmington’s Convention District is located riverfront and within the city’s River District – all connected by a nearly two-mile scenic Riverwalk that makes it easy for attendees to move between the River District and the Convention District.

Research also shows attendees are most likely to travel to beach destinations when they resume traveling, which makes Wilmington’s three nearby island beaches an additional benefit.

What are lodging properties doing to keep meeting attendees safe?

Many area lodging properties have adopted enhanced safety and cleaning protocols to offer comfort and ease of mind for meeting attendees. The Embassy Suites Wilmington Riverfront Hotel and Wilmington’s Hotel Ballast, Tapestry Collection by Hilton are following Hilton EventReady with CleanStay. Designed to create event experiences that are clean, flexible, safe and socially responsible, the program provides curated solutions for every step of the event planning process, including elevated procedures for cleanliness and sanitation through its partnership with RB, the maker of Lysol and Dettol. The Courtyard Marriott Carolina Beach Oceanfront is employing a number of cleaning and safety solutions as well, all of which are being guided by the Marriott Cleanliness Council. And the Holiday Inn Resort Wrightsville Beach has implemented enhanced cleaning, food safety and social distancing measures throughout the property, in accordance with Intercontinental Hotels Group’s Travel Advisory Policy. This is just a sampling of properties and programs as additional enhanced safety measures for lodging and brand hotel cleaning programs have also been implemented.

Lodging properties, restaurants, attractions and other businesses also have the opportunity to participate in Count on Me NC, a statewide, evidence-based safety guidance program designed to educate and train businesses on best practices. The CVB has created a map for planners to reference which partners have completed Count on Me NC training. Meeting attendees are also encouraged to look for certificates and Count on Me NC logos on display for assurance that Wilmington-area businesses have completed the training.

What is the Wilmington Convention Center doing to keep meeting attendees safe?

The Wilmington Convention Center – the largest convention center on the North Carolina Coast – typically offers meeting capabilities from 20 to 2,000 people and a variety of spaces, along with sweeping riverfront views and lots of natural light that help brings the outdoors in. The convention center offers socially-distanced meeting capabilities for up to 330 people theater style, 385 people banquet style, and 70 8x10 exhibits, plus a variety of breakout spaces for up to 45 people theater style.

Outdoor networking spaces include an event lawn, the scenic two-mile Riverwalk, Port City Marina and an event pier. The experienced staff considers the needs of individual groups, tailoring packages to meet various budget constraints. Groups can work with SAVOR…Wilmington to customize menus.

Wilmington’s Convention District and intimate size of the convention center allow groups to become the biggest and only show in town, which is more important than ever as planners seek to integrate social distancing protocols into their meetings.

The Wilmington Convention Center is managed by ASM Global. The convention center has implemented cleaning protocols established by ASM Global called VenueShield. The VenueShield Environmental Hygiene Program works with over 400 products that include the recommended requirements for disinfecting various surfaces. Additionally, SERVPRO, the No. 1 choice in commercial cleaning and restoration services for more than 50 years, will serve as ASM Global’s primary partner in the implementation of the pro-active viral pathogen cleaning process. SAVOR…Wilmington has implemented service enhancements and additional cleaning and safety processes around food and beverage service. There are also comprehensive guidelines in place to help ensure attendee safety including reduced capacities, social distancing measures and safety protocols.

What is the Wilmington International Airport doing to keep travelers safe?

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is committed to making travel as safe as possible with enhanced safety measures, cleaning and disinfecting. Learn more about how ILM is going above and beyond to create a safe and healthy airport at ILM Safe Travels.

I’m trying to plan my meeting(s) closer to home. How accessible is the Wilmington area?

Wilmington is a quick car ride away for in-state (NC) attendees or those from neighboring states due to convenient access via numerous interstates. The major east/west interstate transportation artery I-40 leads directly to Wilmington, which is also served by U.S. highways 17, 74/76, 117 and 421. The area also features convenient access via the state’s numerous interstate highways.

Distance in miles from nearby cities:

  • Asheville, NC: 318
  • Atlanta, GA: 413
  • Charleston, SC: 167
  • Charlotte, NC: 203
  • Greensboro, NC: 184
  • North Myrtle Beach, SC: 60
  • Norfolk, VA: 250
  • New York, NY: 599
  • Raleigh, NC: 123
  • Washington, DC: 360
  • Winston Salem, NC: 210
  • Interstate I-95: 73

Is there an optimal time for hosting a meeting in Wilmington?

For the best savings now or post-COVID, to both planners and those attendees bringing family along, planners are encouraged to consider booking their meetings off-season for maximum value. Meeting dates and rates from November through March with Sunday through Thursday arrivals and departure patterns will yield the best savings. With good weather year-round, Wilmington is the perfect meeting destination for any season and budget. The downtown location and Convention District offer functional efficiency, making it less costly and more convenient for attendees to enjoy the city, as it can reduce the requirements for transportation that so often accompany off-site activities depending on group size.

Are there socially-distanced activities available to meeting attendees while they’re in town?

Planners often select Wilmington and Beaches for their meetings because there is plenty for attendees to see and do before or after the meeting, many of which will now fulfill attendees’ desire to spend time in natural, open spaces.

Expansive island beaches, a cross-city trail, golf courses, two state parks and dozens of city parks and outdoor outfitters encourage a year-round fitness culture that attendees can take advantage of when they are in town. Beaches and waterways invite surfing, paddleboarding, boating, swimming, kayaking and fishing. The Loop fitness trail circles the island of Wrightsville Beach. Two state parks at Carolina Beach and Kure Beach offer nature trails and watersports, while Greenfield Lake Park in downtown Wilmington treats attendees to jogging and kayaking. Or feel the river breeze as you pedal your way along the 11 mile, on-and-off road River to Sea Bikeway that stretches from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach.

What should meeting attendees expect when traveling to Wilmington and Beaches?

Wilmington and our island beaches of Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville Beaches are under an Executive Order keeping the state in a Phase 3 reopening which eases restrictions but still requires the wearing of face masks or face coverings when out in public or in public areas - both indoors and outdoors. With the easing of restrictions, we can now accommodate gatherings of up to 100 people or 30% capacity per room, whichever is fewer, with conference centers, hotel meeting spaces and event venues able to open with reduced capacities.

For those visiting our city and beach communities, we thank you for trusting us with your care and safety. We encourage you to travel and enjoy responsibly by practicing social distancing and other guidelines for your safety and those of our residents.

For full details of the Executive Order, please visit our COVID-19 page for what to expect during your visit.