Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Meetings on the New Jersey Shore

By Keith Loria

The Jersey Shore encompasses approximately 130 miles of oceanfront bordering the Atlantic Ocean, and is a favorite spot for planners hosting meetings and events in the summer.

Atlantic City
Atlantic City is dubbed “America’s Playground,” which is fitting since there’s a myriad of fun things for people to do. Those planning meetings and conventions appreciate that about the New Jersey hot spot.

“When you hold your event in Atlantic City, you’ll experience world-class accommodations, critically acclaimed dining, taxfree shopping, exciting entertainment, great sports, spectacular attractions, our worldfamous Boardwalk and beautiful pristine beaches,” says Larry Sieg, president and CEO of Meet AC.

Some of the city’s top attractions for attendees during after-work hours include the Steel Pier, the Tanger Outlets, Little Water Distillery, and the Absecon Lighthouse.

Leading the way with sustainable and energy efficient efforts, the Atlantic City Convention Center provides 486,600 contiguous square feet of exhibit space. Other great places to host meetings include the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the Ocean Casino Resort, Tropicana and Harrah’s.

Ocean City 
A top family resort destination, Ocean City offers a string of beaches and a boardwalk with plenty of shops, eateries and amusement parks.

“We’re in such a great location, and people can fly into Atlantic City or Philadelphia and get here easily,” says Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We have eight miles of beaches, a 2.5-mile boardwalk and our back bay is second to none. We also have a quaint downtown with about 100 boutique stores. It’s a relaxing environment and perfect for meeting guests.”

Gillian notes there are plenty of great spots to hold meetings, including the historic Flanders Hotel, which offers three meeting rooms that can hold up to 1,000 people; the Ocean City Tabernacle, which has an 8,000-square-foot sanctuary; and the Ocean City Music Pier, which has a community center with breakout rooms.

Cape May
Cape May distinguishes herself in many ways with pristine beaches, the promenade, and all the amenities that make any seashore town worth visiting—and ideal for hosting meetings.

Jessica Leeburg, creative director for, notes the area offers Victorian architecture, seafood, shopping, and world-class birding within a couple of miles.

“For those who want to travel with families, Cape May is a resort town, so you can turn a meeting into a vacation,” she says. “We’re only an hour and a half from Philadelphia. And maybe it goes without saying, but hearing the ocean can provide some much-needed stress relief.”

Cape May is a popular wedding destination, so many of its hotels are used to coordinate events, and many welcome meetings and workshops as well. For large groups, locations like the Grand Hotel, Southern Mansion, Chalfonte, La Mer, and Congress Hall are ideal, while mid-size groups might want to consider a location like the Carroll Villa Hotel. For a tiny group, renting a private beach house serves as a great option.

The Wildwoods
Known for its white sandy beaches, meeting planners flock to The Wildwoods every summer, most taking advantage of the award-winning Wildwoods Convention Center.

“The Convention Center’s magnificent floor-to-ceiling windows and Teflon coated translucent fabric roof allow the entire building to be flooded in natural sunlight during the day,” says Cassidy Walsh, a public relations spokesperson for Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority.

The venue offers 260,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including a 75,000-square-foot, unobstructed exhibit hall with 30-foot-tall ceilings. Its prime location adjacent to the boardwalk is centrally positioned to over 8,000 hotel/motel rooms and 3,000 vacation rentals on the 5-mile island.