Destination Spotlight: Seattle Hosts 15 Citywide Events at SCC and Counting

June 14, 2024

At the crux of a vibrant, inclusive culture, an iconic skyline, and a booming tech culture is Seattle. The nearly 84-square-mile northwestern city — though best known for its coffee scene (it’s the hometown of Starbucks) — has a flourishing meetings and events landscape marked by LEED-certified hotels teeming with eco-friendly initiatives, local produce-forward culinary experiences, and more than a million square feet worth of gathering space to take advantage of. Here’s what’s new, noteworthy, nearly open, and more for meeting and event groups in Seattle.

Plentiful Spaces to Meet: Seattle Convention Center

Seattle Convention Center
Seattle Convention Center

The Emerald City’s prized Seattle Convention Center (SCC) comprises two buildings: Arch and Summit, which span a collective 988,422 square feet. The new $2 billion Summit only opened to the public last year, and since the beginning of 2024, the SCC has already hosted 15 citywide conventions — and confirmed another 42 for the remainder of the year

Related: Summit to Debut in Seattle as North America’s First High-Rise Convention Center.

Some of the largest events that have been held at the SCC this year include the Northwest Flower & Garden Show; Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC); Sakura-Con; and Anime Impulse 2024. 

Upcoming events at the venue include the Seattle Interactive Conference, slated for late July 31-Aug. 1; the American Psychological Association's annual conference (APA 2024), expecting 10,000 attendees when it converges Aug. 8-10; the ultra-popular annual gaming festival PAX West 2024, set for Aug. 30-Sept. 2; and The Oddities and Curiosities Expo, which will celebrate the strange and unusual Oct. 19-20.

Seattle Convention Center
Seattle Convention Center Summit Ballroom

According to estimates from Visit Seattle, the 15 conventions that have already taken place at the SCC have generated upwards of $135 million in economic impact, while additional impact from the forthcoming 42 events is expected to generate a staggering $324 million.

New: Mutual Arts Collective’s Gallery & Event Space

As of mid-March, nestled on the top floor of Pike Place Market — the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the U.S. — is the Mutual Arts Collective (MAC), which boasts a multi-use event space and gallery promoting and selling the work of artists who are impacted by structural inequities and systemic barriers. 

Fun fact: MAC is the brainchild of lead Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, his wife, Ashley McCready, and her business partner Chris Adams.

Hotels & Hot Spots:

Four Seasons Hotel Seattle
Four Seasons Hotel Seattle Ballroom
  • The Four Seasons Hotel Seattle renovated its 10,500 square feet of meeting and event space, plus redesigned its luxe Presidential and Governor’s Suites last May. The revamp included new carpeting with blue and gold — drawing on tones from the Puget Sound. Other venue space includes a 4,940-square-foot ballroom, boasting waterfront views, and the 1,092-square-foot Cypress and 1,400-square-foot Sycamore rooms, which both face Pike Place Market.
  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts debuted in the Pacific Northwest with the June opening of the 208-key InterContinental Bellevue at the Avenue, which occupies a 26-story tower just outside of Seattle. The hotel offers more than 12,000 square feet of venue space across nine designated meeting rooms. The largest: the third-floor, divisible 4,272-square-foot Avenue Grand Ballroom, which boasts 20-foot ceilings and enough space for as many as 420 guests. Also consider the 925-square-foot Avenue Outdoor Terrace, whose space overlooks Bellevue Square (and offers front-row seats to New Year’s Eve fireworks). Smaller rooms, like the Champs-Élysées and Bond Street Boardrooms, can accommodate 18 and 14 for meetings, respectively.

Good to know: Seattle’s Link Light Rail expansion project will connect Seattle to Bellevue and Redmond in 2025.

  • Gold Coast Ghal Kitchen: This recently opened Black- and woman-owned business began as a pop-up and transitioned to a brick-and-mortar full-service restaurant in November 2023. It’s one of the only spots in Seattle serving traditional fare from Ghana and Liberia, and is available for full buyouts for receptions with up to 99 guests.
Darby Winery Woodinville
Darby Winery Woodinville
  • Darby Winery Woodinville: Only a quick trip outside of Seattle, this old-world winery in Woodinville recently debuted two separate event spaces within its 3,700-square-foot tasting room. The larger of the two spaces can seat 40, while the smaller speakeasy room is perfect for intimate affairs of 20.

Inclusivity Initiatives

When it comes to inclusivity, Seattle walks the walk. Take it from the very top – in the state’s legislation, more than 40% of roles are held by women, including two state senators. 

Fun fact: Seattle was named the second best city for female entrepreneurs by NerdWallet.

The city’s museums also cater to guests with vision limitations with braille and large-print guides, closed captioning, magnifiers, and ASL interpretation upon request. Neurodivergent individuals can also enjoy sensory-friendly programs and performances at the Museum of Pop Culture, locally known as MoPop, and the Seattle Theatre Group, to name a few.

Seattle Art Museum

Nearly Open: Music Venues

Live Nation will open a new music venue in Seattle’s Denny Triangle later this year that will occupy an entire city block a stone’s throw away from Amazon’s headquarters. The mixed-use project will span 40,000 square feet and will include a VIP lounge, a shopping hub, and a galleria.

In the spring of 2025, the former home of Bed Bath & Beyond at 1930 3rd Ave. in downtown Seattle is set to debut as the Cannonball Arts & Entertainment Venue. The 66,000-square-foot building’s transformation is the vision of non-profit production company New Rising Sun, in partnership with Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, a federally recognized tribe that has made a home in Washington since at least 1857. Though the square footage on designated, rentable event space remains unclear, creative programming is sure to appeal to corporate groups looking for team-building activities.

Waterfront Developments 

Seattle’s ongoing waterfront revitalization will continue into 2025, though the new Washington State Ferry terminal building and Pier 62, a revamped historic community space, are already open for business. Here’s what to expect when the project’s done:

Seattle's famous Pike Place Market
  • Less viaduct, more bike lanes and shops
  • Direct pathways from downtown and Pike Place Market to the Waterfront promenade
  • The Seattle Aquarium’s Ocean Pavilion, which will connect Pike Place Market with the Waterfront promenade via public observation decks, stairways, and an oculus window that allows pedestrians to observe sea life from below
  • Public restrooms






Photos courtesy of Visit Seattle and Rachael Jones Media


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