With over 25,000 square feet of premier, flexible meeting and event space, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) Conference Center is Southern Virginia’s premiere event venue for small to large meetings, classroom training, corporate retreats, multi-day conferences and more.

In 2023, the IALR Conference Center created a custom, client-focused environment for hundreds of events, some of which brought in hundreds of attendees for multiple days. In addition to a few of the large conferences and public events highlighted below, many other organizations, associations and businesses from Virginia and North Carolina – as well as around the country – trusted the IALR Conference Center to host their executive retreats, corporate trainings and business meetings.

In the 2023 calendar year, the Institute Conference Center hosted:


28,790 attendees

714 events, programs and meetings


“You couldn’t ask for better hands-on service. The IALR Conference Center has great team dynamics, great follow-up, and outstanding, world-class service.”Vera Vaden, Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority

ATDM AM CoE Summit

Approximately 500 people attended the annual Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) & U.S. Navy Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE) Summit in October 2023. The event gathered the Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, state and local officials, and industry partners to increase awareness of these critical initiatives and promote participation and contributions by industry and other stakeholders. The United States Navy broke ground on a new national training center for the ATDM program.

During the multi-day summit, participants received multiple meals, ranging from continental breakfast to buffet lunches to an evening reception with light hors d’oeuvres, showcasing the quality and diversity of the Conference Center’s food and beverage options.

CEA Summit East

More than 240 participants from 33 U.S. states and several other countries attended the second annual Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East in September 2023. During the one-and-a-half-day event, attendees enjoyed quality time to meet, network and learn during keynotes, panels and breakout conference sessions; explored 21 tabletop exhibits presenting the latest innovations and services; and enjoyed many networking opportunities.

The CEA Summit East highlighted how all the different meeting and event spaces in our building combine to create a seamless event. The atrium served as the perfect trade show venue, keynote addresses took place in the Great Hall (IALR’s banquet hall), and breakout sessions occurred in the Auditorium and multiple classrooms and computer labs throughout the facility.

Southern Virginia Regional Housing Summit

After a successful first year in 2022, more than 200 people attended the 2023 Southern Virginia Regional Housing Summit. Participants, which included community partners, architects, local governments, developers and financial institutions, discussed and learned more about residential housing developments and opportunities in Danville, Martinsville, Halifax County, Henry County, Patrick County and Pittsylvania County.

The Danville Office of Economic Development and Tourism organized this event. In addition to hosting, IALR and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance supported the event as sponsors.

God’s Pit Crew Banquet

Danville-based disaster relief organization God’s Pit Crew hosts its annual Benefit Banquet at IALR, and hundreds of people attended this multi-day event in 2023. Utilizing the full scope of the technology support IALR offers, God’s Pit Crew included performances on stage and banquet-style seating; God’s Pit Crew created a genuinely captivating atmosphere with the Great Hall space. The organization also used the Atrium for display booths, highlighting their impact around the country.

“Year after year, IALR has been excellent to work with. They have always been helpful and friendly and made our annual events there a huge success.”Hannah Nuckles, Volunteer & Event Coordinator, God’s Pit Crew

Family Literacy Night

Family Literacy Night, which coincided with Dr. Seuss’s birthday and National Read Across America Day, brought students from around the region to the IALR Conference Center. IALR offered nearly 30 stations for students to complete hands-on activities, receive free books, listen to story time and take photos.

Chamber of Commerce Events

The Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, housed on IALR’s campus, held many events and banquets at the IALR Conference Center, including several businesses at breakfast events and their annual awards banquet.

Event Center Ready for Your Event

If you are looking for an event venue to host your next business event, company retreat, banquet or other event, the IALR Conference Center stands ready to provide a premiere location with excellent service and amenities. With impressive conference room rentals, a dynamic reception hall and other unique spaces, IALR has the space to host just about any event.

“Our team has been repeatedly blown away by the professionalism, helpfulness and quality of the staff and facilities at the IALR Conference Center.”Jennifer Eddy, Eddy Alexander

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