Ocean Center Convention Center
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Type of Venue: Convention Center
Capacity: Theater seating in the ballroom for 1,300; The arena seats 9,300
Nearby Accommodations: 12,000 rooms in multiple hotels
Looking for an event space with infinite customization, walking proximity to the ocean and no-where-else-on-Earth entertainment? Pull up a beach lounger and learn about Daytona Beach’s Ocean Center Convention Center.
Lined with palm trees and reflecting the blue Floridian sky in its floor-to-ceiling glass walls, the Ocean Center is a convention center, entertainment destination and sports complex multi-use space. Plan your gathering just 400 feet from the Atlantic with 205,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor event space. For more intimate events, planners can make use of their 32 breakout rooms. Blockbuster summits can take place in the 9,300-person arena.
“Our focus is going beyond,” Ocean Center executive director Tim Riddle said. “We want every event to feel like the most important event, no matter the size. We’re with you every step of the way and want to exceed expectations for planners and attendees alike.”
An array of restaurants stand within walking distance to tempt meeting attendees. From the flavors of Hard Rock Hotel Daytona to the top-rated Chart House Restaurant, there’s something for everyone.
After dinner, guests can head to the sand for beach fun or turn to Daytona’s many interesting sojourns, starting with the Daytona International Speedway. In Florida’s sleepy early days, Daytona Beach’s hard-packed sand made it the perfect location for oceanside races. As the popularity of racing increased, the draw to Daytona Beach grew. Ultimately, this led to the development of the world-renowned Daytona International Speedway — a great draw for guests, whether or not they are track fans. Once the need for speed is satisfied, guests can explore the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse, the LGPA International Golf Course or charter a deep-sea fishing tour.
The Ocean Center is surrounded by a vast array of accommodations, from family-style hotels to business-class boutiques. From the 12,000 guest rooms in the immediate area to the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort just across the road, there are accommodations for every style.
The fifth-largest convention center in Florida offers planners meeting rooms, an exhibit hall, a ballroom and a sports arena to boot. The three dozen breakout rooms span 32,000 feet. The 14,000-square-foot ballroom offers banquet seating for 840 and theater seating for 1,332. Additionally, the exhibit hall — a dream space for outsize trade shows — boasts 30-foot ceilings and a footprint of 92,000 square feet. The space can accommodate up to 500 10-by-10-foot booths. Moreover, with portable staging, two loading docks, 45-foot ceilings and seating for 9,300 people, the arena can accommodate larger events with significant production needs. All areas offer easy audio-visual customization, and the center employs a fully equipped event management department.
Hilton Daytona Oceanfront Resort
With a location so close to the Ocean Center guests will feel as if they are onsite, the Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort is located directly on the beach in the heart of Daytona. Like an across-the-street extension of the Ocean Center, the resort features 744 oceanfront and sunset view rooms, suites and cabanas. Guests can get pampered at the Hilton’s full-service spa or enjoy a fine dining experience at any of the Hilton’s half dozen restaurants and lounges, including Doc Bales’ Grill and McCoys Rum Room.
How many convention centers also double as art galleries? At the Ocean Center, guests can enjoy numerous art exhibits. On permanent display is an evocative collection from artists around the country. The nearly half-million-dollar collection comprises oil paintings, sculptures and hanging glass art installations. The art on display is part of Volusia County’s Art in Public Places program. On the Peabody Auditorium side of the convention center is the ECHO Gallery (an acronym for ecological, cultural, historic and outdoor) features rotating exhibits celebrating the works of Volusia County artists.
Walk to It
Guests may run full throttle to the beach for bronzing, surfing, biking or parasailing as soon as networking hour is over, but there are dozens of other extracurricular options within walking distance. Perhaps they’d prefer a swim in the Lazy River at the Daytona Lagoon Waterpark. Other options include catching an off-Broadway show across the street at the Peabody or a musical interlude at the Historic Bandshell, an auditorium with musical concerts year-round, right on the beach.