FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Plan Your Summit in Savannah, the Hostess City of the South

by Debra Bokur

Jun 24, 2024

© Darryl Brooks | Dreamstime.com

June 2024

In Savannah, taking care of business comes with an array of fringe benefits: fireflies and magnolia trees, warm breezes and Southern hospitality, live oaks garlanded in Spanish moss, and plenty of perfect addresses for meetings and gatherings. One of the most anticipated developments in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions space is the enlargement of the existing Savannah Convention Center. Amplifications to the site include an additional 40,000 square feet of ballrooms space; 13 new meeting rooms; and a further 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. Positioned on Hutchinson Island, the convention complex sits an easy 20 minutes from Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and is easily accessible from other East Coast destinations via the I-95 and I-16 highways.

“Expanding the Convention Center in Savannah is indeed a game-changer, offering the city a competitive edge in hosting large-scale events,” said Joseph Marinelli, president and CEO, Visit Savannah. “With over 18,000 available rooms citywide and over 8,000 in the Historic Landmark District, Savannah can accommodate a wide range of attendees while providing them with a unique blend of historical charm and modern conveniences. This combination makes Savannah an unparalleled destination for both business and leisure travelers, setting it apart from other coastal areas in Georgia.”

As Marinelli pointed out, the convention center isn’t the only possibility for organizing a memorable meeting or event, and access to unique venues, world-class dining options and outstanding entertainment abound.

“Savannah has an eclectic mix of off-site event venues that help add that extra surprise and delight to meetings and events,” said Marinelli. “Groups can enjoy a day at the ballpark with our world-famous Savannah Bananas [exhibition baseball team] or a reception aboard one of our Savannah Riverboat Cruises.”

Kessler Armstrong Mansion

© Rolf52 | Dreamstime.com

Brilliant options and unique spaces for corporate gatherings of various dimensions include Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, set within the Greek Revival William Scarbrough House. Along with the elegant Assembly Room, this venue includes expansive private gardens — among them, the 19th-century Parlor Garden — along with a bricked terrace, vine-covered pergola and a pavilion with a copper roof.

If outdoor space is a priority, Georgia State Railroad Museum, located within the same multiplex as the city’s central Visitor Information Center, might fit the bill. In addition to a fascinating exhibit of vintage steam and diesel locomotives, the museum grounds include a Worker’s Garden with a fountain perfect for cocktail receptions; Machine Shop’s lawn, open to the sky; and Blacksmith Shop, a rustic brick structure dating to 1855. Two on-site indoor options: Roundhouse/Overnight Shed, boasting a full stage, and Tender Frame Shop, ideal for smaller, more intimate events. Train tours of the site can be arranged, along with historical interpreters who can bring antebellum history alive for meeting attendees.

Before, between or after meetings, make time to explore this celebrated city from multiple perspectives. In addition to the Savannah Belles ferries connecting Hutchinson Island with the convention center, there are trolley tours available through the historic district. Other choices include ADA-accessible, complimentary DOT shuttles operating throughout the downtown area seven days a week, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Marshall House

© Darryl Brooks | Dreamstime.com

Unique Venues

Add a dash of vintage elegance to meeting plans at one of Savannah’s storied addresses. Popular as an event venue and set within the city’s historical district, Kessler Armstrong Mansion is a National Landmark building certain to make an impression. Built in stunning Renaissance Revival style as a private home in 1919, the mansion’s many lovely features include granite balustraded terraces, bronze entry doors and landscaped gardens. Indoor and outdoor spaces brim with magnificent architectural details. Part of Kessler Collection, this property is capable of accommodating private, small-scale meetings or grand business events. A skilled planning team can provide support staff, logistics aid and custom catering. Bonus: Add an indulgent meeting incentive built around the property’s full-service Poseidon Spa.

Splendid, sophisticated and also located downtown, The Marshall House once served as a Union hospital for wounded soldiers and was occupied by Union Troops serving under General William Tecumseh Sherman. Today it offers a choice of three different meeting spaces capable of hosting small groups or larger gatherings of up to 200 people. At 275 square feet, Leopold Adler Boardroom proves ideal for intimate meetings. The Atrium, measuring 1,200 square feet, seats 80 guests or up to 100 standing. W.W. Law Room, also 1,200 square feet, fits 80 standing or 70 seated meeting-goers. Staff can arrange for your colleagues to enjoy a post-meeting expedition with Savannah Haunted Tours. During meeting breaks, attendees can explore the building’s third-floor collection of Civil War documents that include letters, newspapers and a selection of fascinating original prints.

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