Planners looking for variety in Southern California have a number of new off-site options:

  • Palm Springs' new Culver Nichols Conference Room opened in the Mountain Station at the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. Up to 24 people can enjoy the spectacular views.

  • Now a year old, Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles has a broad variety of special event venues, from the 3,600-seat Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards) to its 25,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom to The Highlands, a 30,000-square-foot dining and performance space. Hollywood and Highlands also includes the 637-room Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

  • In Malibu, artist Hiro Yamagata has opened his studio to the special events industry. Looking out over the Pacific, the modern facility can host dinners for up to 400.

  • Anaheim's Disneyland Resort introduced 10 new private theme parties this year, including an Evening of Animation, a trip on the Mark Twain Riverboat (for up to 300 people), and a Haunted Mansion evening.