Albany at a Glance
Location: Eastern New York
Access: Albany International Airport, Amtrak’s Albany-Rensselaer Station, interstates 87 and 90
Hotel Rooms: 7,300
Albany Capital Center
Exhibit Space: 22,500 square feet
Empire State Plaza Convention Center
Exhibit Space: 26,000 square feet
Meeting Space: 30,000 square feet
Meeting Space: 20,000 square feet
Meeting Space: 8,050 square feet
Who’s Meeting in Albany
New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators
Hudson Valley Gamer Con, Collegiate Esports Tournament
Anchored by more than 400 years of history and settled by the Dutch, Albany, New York melds the past to the present with its modern vibe.
From the city’s bustling downtown along the Hudson River to a booming tech corridor uptown, Albany’s growth has stimulated new meeting venues, hotels and restaurants. Meeting attendees will want to take in all that this Northeastern city has to offer: an ever-evolving culinary scene, flourishing arts and culture, and sites rich in history.
As the oldest continuously chartered city in the nation, Albany celebrates its history in architecture, attractions and landmark businesses. Conveniently located within Albany’s compact and walkable downtown are top-of-the-line venues such as the Capital Complex and the Albany Capital Center. Nearby, numerous attractions include Times Union Center and the majestic New York State Capitol. The Empire State Plaza serves as a community gathering space with farmers markets, fitness classes, live music and more. Visitors can catch a bird’s-eye view of the city from the plaza’s Corning Tower Observation Deck.
“Attendees are often pleasantly surprised that there’s so much to do downtown, plus we have terrific outdoor venues too,” said Jill Delaney, president and CEO of Discover Albany. “Albany and Albany County have more to offer than most people realize.”
Downtown’s culinary scene focuses on local ingredients and innovative dishes, and craft beverages are thriving throughout the region. Groups can plan a reception in the spectacular, curved lounge at the Egg Center for the Performing Arts and attend a presentation or one of the many productions scheduled in its two theaters or on its outdoor stage during the summer. Throughout the city, historic homes offer meeting space and guided tours with the option to bring in catering.
“Our free trolley operates Thursday through Saturday nights and takes attendees outside of the convention space and gives them access to our theaters, dining, craft beverage venues and entertainment,” said Delaney.
Since 1609, Albany has been hosting meetings and welcoming attendees. Many historic spaces are still in use. Two museums offer distinctive venues as well as interesting locations for after-hours events. The Albany Institute of History and Art, famous for its collection of Hudson River school paintings and the second-oldest museum in the nation, has capacity for up to 5,000 guests with three meeting rooms and theater-style seating for 130. The New York State Museum accommodates 200 for banquets and 420 attendees in the theater, and also offers 12 meeting rooms.
The city’s historic homes deliver ambiance, history and unusual meeting spaces that can be combined with a tour or meal. The Federal-style Ten Broeck Mansion, completed in 1798, hosts garden receptions for groups of up to 200 as well as inside seating for up to 75 guests. The 1830s Pruyn House sits on five acres and offers a barn for larger, seated gatherings and the manor, which accommodates up to 80 for informal events.
Elegant restaurants include the Cornerstone at the Plaza, which features floor-to-ceiling windows and a 360-degree view of downtown for up to 250 guests. Groups that favor an upscale steakhouse with an extensive wine list will enjoy 677 Prime, which offers five event spaces and accommodates 10 to 300 guests. Yono’s, the longest tenured four-star restaurant in the region, blends contemporary American cuisine with Indonesian influence using farm-fresh ingredients from upstate New York and beyond. New World Bistro’s celebrity chef, Ric Orlando, with punk-rock style, has appeared on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped.”
Major Meeting Spaces
Notable for its distinctive meeting and event venues, the Capital Complex can be used in a number of ways. It encompasses the state-of-the-art Albany Capital Center, which touts abundant glass and countless views. The center prides itself in being a sustainable, community-integrated meeting facility that accommodates 10 to 5,000 people in 22,500 square feet of ballroom/exhibit space, 9,200 square feet of meeting space and 13,500 square feet of prefunction space, plus on-site parking. Its state-of-the-art kitchen can accommodate the preparation of multicourse meals for up to 5,000 guests per evening.
Within the complex, the Empire State Plaza Convention Center offers a different meeting experience in its underground facility attached to the New York State Museum and the state Capitol. The Egg’s two theaters seat just under 500 and 1,000, respectively. Times Union Center, an indoor sports and events arena, averages 15,000 seating capacity and can host theater-style conferences. The adjacent 203-room Renaissance Albany Hotel is housed within a historic building.
The entire complex is connected by glass-enclosed walkways above street level. In total, the Capital Complex offers more than 159,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, making it the largest space in upstate New York.
“Weather isn’t a factor when groups book a large meeting using all of the spaces in the Capital Complex or they choose one venue for a smaller meeting,” said Delaney.
After hours, Albany caters to many interests. The USS Slater DE-766, the only World War II destroyer escort afloat in the United States, is permanently docked on the Hudson River. The Destroyer Escort Historical Museum tells the story of the ship and offers guided tours during which visitors can catch a glimpse of navy life. Attendees can hop aboard a Dutch Apple Cruise to view the Albany skyline and learn about the settlers and culture along the river.
The Historic Downtown Albany Food Tour features six tastes and sips from downtown restaurants punctuated by historic fun facts about the city. In addition, Taste of Troy Food Tours can customize private outings for groups of eight to 120 guests and create a VIP experience. Capital City Cycle Tours hosts bike rides on a 15-rider “brewcycle” to popular bars in Albany’s Warehouse District, including Druthers Brewing and Nine Pin Cider.
At the Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site, Elizabeth Schuyler wed Alexander Hamilton in 1780. Attendees can take the mansion tour When Alexander Hamilton Called Albany Home. Discover Albany is also planning numerous events that will tie together Hamilton’s connection to the city and the Broadway hit musical “Hamilton.”
“Our city has a rich history surrounding Alexander Hamilton,” said Delaney. “We’ve cultivated an entire walking tour around his life called Hamilton in Albany, which will be offered beginning this summer.”
For corporate groups, religious conferences and sporting events such as NCAA basketball and local Swamp Rabbits hockey, Bon Secours Wellness Arena has 14,000 square feet of meeting space. Private suites accommodate 18 to 50 people.