Arkansas: The Hub of America

skyline and bridge over river at twilight in little rock, arkansas

Establish neutral ground in the Natural State

What is more natural than choosing a place to meet that is accessible, affordable and in close proximity to diverse wildlife areas with environmental protections in place to ensure that the beauty and bounty of approachable cities such as Little Rock, Fayetteville and Fort Smith will continue to be a resource for generations to come?

The state of Arkansas offers the opportunity for a welcoming and comfortable meeting where all attendees will feel at home.

Local Expert Tip

“If you said to everyone in the United States, ‘We’re going to pick a spot right in the middle of where you all live, and we’re going to hold our group’s national convention there,’ you would be talking about a meeting spot very close to Arkansas.”

– Jessica Ledbetter, sales director Arkansas Tourism

5 Fantastic Places to Meet

guest room in Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs, arkansas

  • Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs sets guests up in luxury in the 200-guest room hotel with views of both the racetrack and the Oklahoma mountains as well as access to gaming and sports betting. Although you might not be as famous of a guest as resident Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, attendees will be experiencing top-notch amenities. Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort in Hot Springs has set itself apart with multiple dining venues and over 18,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space.

large red carpeted ballroom in Rogers Convention Center

space in Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with various kinds of art

  • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville (the home of Walmart) provides both indoor and outdoor spaces along with a dedicated event manager to aid meeting professionals in creating an artistic experience for attendees. Planners can customize the menu, bar and decor. Offering several options from the humble seminar room of 273 sq. ft. up to the full museum buyout for up to 1,000 attendees, this Arkansas museum will be sure to give an event personality.

aerial view of statehouse convention center

  • Statehouse Convention Center in the state capital of Little Rock received its Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) STAR accreditation in March of 2021 for its excellent standards for cleaning, disinfection and disease prevention in its facilities. The 220,000-square-foot center is connected to Little Rock Marriott and offers on-site AV, security and trained telecommunication professionals. Marriott also offers an additional 40,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and catering for Statehouse Convention Center events.

ballroom with light gray carpet floors, tables covered with gray tablecloths and white chairs

  • Capital Hotel in Little Rock has been recognized as one of the best small meeting hotels in the nation. Each of the five meeting rooms has its own kitchen with meal service. The conference room is 6,000 sq. ft. with a capacity of 120 guests for a meal configuration. The historic “front porch of Little Rock” is composed of 94 guest rooms and two dining options offering elevated southern comfort specialties.

5 Reasons Meeting Profs Love Arkansas

Arkansas State Park Lodges exterior

  • Accessible and affordable. Arkansas offers a budget-friendly destination with ease of access from the two major national airports, Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas International Airport (XNA) in Fayetteville. Both airports are adjacent to interstate highways and offer affordable flights.
  • Enjoy the outdoors. “Arkansas’s State Park Lodges are unique sites, welcoming planners and guests to striking landscapes and spacious facilities,” says Ledbetter. Retreats and board meetings from 75-300 can enjoy the outdoors at Arkansas lodges.

Read MoreHomage to History in Oklahoma and Arkansas

  • Clinton Presidential Center. Named after America’s former president, the Clinton Presidential Center in the state’s capitol of Little Rock is so much more than a meeting space. The interactive collection of exhibitions features American history, while providing fun activities and an award-winning restaurant. For special events, the center offers over 10,000 sq. ft. of space.
  • Southern culinary delights. Arkansas is home to many farms offering true farm-to-table cuisine. “Our many farms mean that much of your food is sourced locally from the best farm-fresh ingredients,” says Ledbetter.
  • Little Rock has it all. The Arkansas capitol city of Little Rock has over 35 meeting and convention venues and easy access to interstate highways. With 7,200 hotel rooms and 220,000 sq. ft. of meeting space in the Statehouse Convention Center alone, Ledbetter says “Little Rock is ready to play host to events!”

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This article appears in the January 2023 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.


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