Uncovering Hidden Gem Destinations for Your Next Event

Five simple tips can help you find locations you may not have considered for your next meeting or conference.

If your meetings are getting a little too rinse and repeat for your liking, it may be time to consider other destinations to find hidden gems you may be overlooking!

For tips to help you find locations you may not have considered for your next meeting, we turned to the pros at the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA) for advice on what to look for.

Tip 1: Take a Second Look

Maybe a location seemed interesting in the past but didn’t work for your group for some reason.

Charles Harris, president and CEO of the RSCVA (aka Visit Reno Tahoe) advises that it may be worth giving those locations another look if it’s been a while.

For instance, Reno—long known for gaming opportunities—has recently had success in the technology sector, with big name brands like Tesla, Amazon, Apple and Switch adding hubs in the area.

The energy of that new development has been a boon to creativity and progress in the area, and it has also spurred new infrastructure projects like hotels and restaurants. In fact, a brand-new Reno Kimpton hotel is opening in 2023, providing new options for meeting attendees visiting the city.

Tip 2: Make Getting There Easy

There’s been a lot of uncertainty around public events in the past couple of years and travel can still be confusing for many. Harris advises that the easier it is to get to your event, the more attendees you can expect to host. For example, he says that destinations like Reno Tahoe—which is centrally located to all major West Coast destinations—makes driving as easy as flying.

Another factor Harris points out as important for planners to consider, is how attendees will expect to travel once they’re in the area for an event. Will restaurants be within walking distance of the city’s hotels and meeting venues or will you need to provide other modes of transportation? Reno offers a walkable downtown and Midtown, as well as a variety of transportation options, making it easy to get around the destination.

Tip 3: Find a Space That Works

If you have a date in mind for your event, it’s important to start planning as far in advance as possible, Harris recommends. Once you start looking at a destination, consider your members and the types of venues they might find interesting.

In Reno, Harris says venues like the M.S. Dixie II—a southern-style paddle wheeler that takes visitors on a cruise in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe—and the scenic Wilbur D. May Museum and Arboretum are just a couple of examples of venues that will give visitors a unique experience to remember.

Venues in Reno range from those medium-sized locations to the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, an expansive, single-level 600,000 sq. ft. facility to a livestock event center and the National Bowling Stadium, accommodating any size and type of event.

The sky may be the limit for unique and memorable venues for your event, but the odds will be more in your favor if you start scoping them out in advance.

Tip 4: Take a Look Around

It’s no secret that the areas hosting association meetings can often be as much of a draw as the business that takes place at the meetings themselves.

For that reason, Harris advises meeting planners to take a look around the vicinity of a venue to be sure the area will be attractive to attendees.

In the Reno Tahoe area, different neighborhoods and regions have distinctively different attractions. The Midtown District is defined by its dynamic arts scene and brightly-colored murals. It’s also home to some of the city’s newest and hippest eateries.

In walkable downtown Reno, the Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield Park features Class 2 and 3 rapids accessible to kayaks, rafts and inner tubes. The Reno Riverwalk District is home to restaurants, bars, and shopping along the scenic Truckee River.

Lake Tahoe, located just minutes from Reno, boasts the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America offering outdoor recreation against a stunning backdrop.

Tip 5: Find Some Support

Above all else, Harris says the staff at a destination who are flexible, friendly and supportive will go a long way to make both the planning process and the event itself a success.

“Reduced costs and a flexible, professional planning process are added perks for planners who choose Reno Tahoe,” Harris says.

Want help planning your next event from people who know Reno, Sparks and North Lake Tahoe the best? Learn more and start planning your next meeting at

(Handout photo)