New Mexico Blends Unique Meeting Venues with Bucket List Adventures

New Mexico’s motto is “Land of Enchantment” and it lives up to the moniker. From stunning, Southwestern vistas to historic town centers to Native American markets and art everywhere, New Mexico blends old-world charm, “Route 66” American classic road trip style and effortless ease with creative flair.

Local Expert Tip

“For smaller groups, your attendees will feel special and personally attended to at any of our full-service hotels, as our largest hotel is still on the boutique side with just over 200 guest rooms.  For larger groups, they can truly ‘book the city’ for their meeting, utilizing a walkable network of hotels and the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, all located within the historic Santa Fe Plaza area.”

–  Kim Harmon, national sales manager, Santa Fe Community Convention Center

 5 Reasons Meeting Profs Love New Mexico

two Hot air balloonsover desert in New Mexico
Hot air balloons over New Mexico
  • It’s a major tourist draw. Every year, thousands of travelers come to New Mexico to explore its colorful markets, its vibrant mix of cultures (Native American, Spanish, Mexican and more) and its hotels, spas and restaurants. Centering your meeting in New Mexico means the “enchantment” never stops and attendees are treated to vacation-style experiences while getting business done.
  • It has a mix of sophistication and old-world charm. Big towns like Albuquerque and the state capital of Santa Fe have both a modern, cutting-edge buzz and old-school charm. Where else in the U.S. could you visit Georgia O’Keefe’s ranch, balloon over ancient landscapes and meet in state-of-the-art convention centers in one place?
  • Its hotels and restaurants are destinations in themselves. From boutique gems like The Inn of the Anasazi or La Fonda in Santa Fe to the Santa Fe School of cooking where groups can get hands-on with red hot chili peppers, to finding yourself rubbing shoulders at a local cantina with regulars like Ali McGraw or Tom Ford, attendees at a New Mexico meeting will find upscale pleasures await them at every part of the meeting experience.
  • The great outdoors. Bring your group on mule back to the mountains surrounding Santa Fe and dine alfresco with cowboy coffee and champagne. Or rent a famous New Mexican hot air balloon for an afternoon outing in the sky.

Read MoreThe Continued Importance of Outdoor Meetings 

  • Easy access. Delta, American, United and JetBlue all fly direct to Albuquerque (ABQ) Airport, which has over 60 domestic flights arriving daily. Albuquerque is also a short hour and five-minute drive from Santa Fe’s town center.

5 Fantastic Places to Meet

  • Albuquerque Convention Center has 167,562 total sq. ft. of exhibit space (including 106,200 clear-span), a 2,350-seat auditorium, 27 meeting rooms and a 1,000-square-foot ballroom. The entire space was completely renovated to the tune of $23 million in 2014 and it still looks and plays fresh and out of the box. Another plus: it’s right in the heart of downtown Albuquerque: a mix of big city and Old West meets quirky and artistic.
groups of people gathered at santa fe community convention center
Photo: TOURISM Santa Fe
  • Santa Fe Community Convention Center with its distinctive adobe exterior is LEED Gold-certified. The convention center is a highly adaptable, state-of-the-art including 40,000 square feet of rentable interior meeting space, outdoor meeting areas, fireplaces in some rooms, underground parking, an open interior courtyard, wireless connectivity, high-speed data lines, and flexible meeting space to provide multiple events with their own exhibition area, breakout rooms, and meal function space. It’s also steps away from Santa Fe’s picture-perfect 400-year-old Town Plaza, The Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the new Railyard Arts District with its indoor/outdoor marketplace and artisans hall.

meeting space with rows of red chairs and white table at the front of the room

  • Las Cruces Convention Center is located in Las Cruces in Southern New Mexico. The city is fringed with mountain ranges and is known as the home of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s sub-orbital space transport company. Las Cruces Convention Center includes more than 55,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. The Exhibit Hall offers 17,236 square feet of column-free, carpeted exhibit space and there is an 8,950-square-foot ballroom, 7,100 sq. ft. of indoor pre-function space and 12,000 sq. ft. of outside pre-function space adjacent to meeting rooms.

dimly lit meeting space at rudioso convention center, filled with several couches

  • Ruidoso, New Mexico, is a ski and mountain lodge village located in the Sierra Blanca mountains. Rudioso Convention Center in the Village has 24,000 sq. ft. of exhibit, banquet and meeting space with complimentary Wi-Fi and 500 parking spaces. You can seat up to 1,000 in the event center and still have areas for breakouts available. Ruidoso is an all-weather destination: lake landscapes in the summer and skiing and snow sports in the winter.
exterior of ghost ranch
Photo: New Mexico TRUE
  • Georgia O’Keefe’s famous Ghost Ranch, located near Taos, New Mexico, in Abiquiu was the artist’s first home base in her beloved New Mexico and it is where she began painting the cow skull-studded landscapes that came to define her. Today the ranch operates as a retreat center and is also bookable for private meetings and events. Meeting space can accommodate up to 300 guests—and ranges from 300 sq. ft. to 3,000 sq. ft. Formal meeting rooms and outdoor spaces are also available.

Bookmark This // //

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