How to Plan a Meeting in Spokane on a Budget

So, you’re planning a meeting with big dreams but, you’re on a budget. Not to worry! In this blog, we’ll illustrate how you will save money by hosting your meeting in Spokane, Washington.

Spokane Convention Center

Transportation Savings

The savings begin when you fly into the Spokane International Airport. Next, the ride to the convention district from the airport is convenient and brief. This, of course, removes the need for expensive travel. It also saves time. And time is money, right? Who wants a long ride to their hotel when they’ve been traveling?

Downtown Spokane is just about 10 minutes from the airport. Taxi service starts at about $30, and an Uber ride can save you even more. As of this writing, an Uber ride would cost about $20.

In addition, Spokane is an incredibly walkable city so; you can avoid most or all transit costs between venues. About a dozen hotels sit within a 5- to 10-minute walk from the Spokane Convention Center, and the walk is a pleasant one – often around the beautiful Riverfront Park in the heart of downtown Spokane.

Affordable Convention Hotels

Spokane’s convention district boasts an array of hotel options at reasonable prices. About 3,300 hotel rooms sit within eight blocks of the convention center, and 1,100 rooms are directly connected to the facility.

With so many hotels near the convention center, transportation isn’t a must. Further, the average daily rate of a hotel room in Spokane County was $110.71 in 2021 according to the STR report data.

Budget Friendly Dining

Spokane’s food and beverage scene is hopping! The region sports a wealth of quality dining establishments within an easy walk of our convention center. And while there are some chains, the bulk of our restaurants are locally owned and operated. We’re home to multiple James Beard-nominated chefs, including Chad White, Anna Vogel, and Adam Hegsted, so if you want delicious local fare, Spokane will provide!

As an example of our reputation as a great place to dine, named Spokane one of “five remarkable and unexpected foodie destinations that are wowing those with an appetite for the unknown.” Local restaurants such as Zona Blanca, Italia Trattoria, and Baba, highlight the Pacific Northwest’s flair for farm-to-table dining, with local ingredients on menus everywhere. This includes a wealth of regionally grown grains, lentils, fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Our meals are easy on the pocketbook as well.

With so many delightful restaurants within a quick walk of our downtown core, you’ll save on transit again. There’s really no need to catch a lift unless you want to explore beyond downtown.

Craft distilleries and breweries in Spokane

In addition to the great food, the city also boasts the Cork District, a wine neighborhood that has grown in tandem with the culinary scene and now hosts about 20 wineries.

Washington is the second-largest wine-producing state, and its wine prices seem like a steal! You can easily grab a bottle of delicious wine to go with your dinner for less than $35.

If your palate prefers beer or spirits, you’ll be pleased to know that Spokane boasts an amazing variety of breweries, dynamite distilleries, and cideries offering delicious and unique ways to taste the region’s bounty.

The Ale Trail includes about 30 craft breweries – many of which offer yummy meals. Superb spirits are easy to find here as well. Our largest distillery, Dry Fly, launched in 2007 and continues to grow. All Dry Fly products, from the award-winning whiskies, vodka and gin – can be found throughout the U.S. as well as internationally. But the best place to taste is the distillery’s beautiful downtown tasting room.

Beer and spirits won’t empty your pocket too quickly. A pint of beer will run you about $5.

Ready for a post-dinner show? Tickets to STCU’s Best of Broadway Series at the First Interstate Center for the Arts typically are typically quite reasonable. Tickets for a show in February go for around $59, including fees.

A Top Coffee City

In Spokane, we take our coffee seriously. In the Northwest, there's no shortage of craft coffee shops, coffee roasters, and bakeries here. Coffee is so ingrained in our culture that National Geographic Travel magazine named Spokane one of the top coffee cities in the United States in 2018. You’ll easily find at least a dozen places to grab a cup within a few blocks of the convention center.

Downtown Shopping

The heart of the downtown shopping district and River Park Square are only a 10-minute walk from the convention center, making it easy to access and pick up forgotten items. You’ll find Nordstrom, the North Face, Carhartt, Anthropologie, and other recognizable stores. But save time to explore our wealth of wonderful local and vintage shops. They are easy to spot!

Explore the Spokane convention center

Spokane Convention Center Savings

In Spokane, you save big by avoiding the cost of union labor. According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, when a Homeland Security Conference took place at the convention center there this year, the host organization paid $152.25 an hour per union rigger - the workers who set up heavy convention equipment.

Our convention clients who have worked in venues with union labor express concern about the rigidity and inflexibility of the employees. Other concerns include the need to pay overtime rates and a lack of focus on customer needs.

Spokane’s convention center allows vendors to use their own audio-visual companies or choose to work with the convention center’s AV team. Clients can save an estimated 30 percent by using the convention center’s AV equipment in comparison to national competitors.

When it comes to meeting rooms, there is no service charge on meeting room rental fees and the first room setup is complimentary.

In addition, basic wireless Internet access is complimentary throughout the facility and convention center rental can be reduced or offset by meeting a food and beverage minimum. This is one of the ways our convention center runs a little more like a hotel, no nickel and diming here. Also, coffee at the convention center runs about $50 a gallon!

You also have the option of working with a local exhibition company offering value to customers here since 1969. LCD President Stuart Boylan says conventions can save on average 20 percent on the cost of products and services by choosing his local company.

LCD collects post-event feedback in writing and in-person and Boylan said he has yet to receive any negative feedback on prices from a national convention representative.

DE Events is another wonderful event management company that works in the convention center often and provides great value to Spokane customers.

For more information, and a look at equipment rental rates at the Spokane Convention Center:

We hope you’ll book your next convention in Spokane. Choosing Spokane makes sense… dollars and cents!

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