A convention center (American English; conference centre outside the USA) is a large building that is designed to hold a convention, where individuals and groups gather to promote and share common interests. Convention centers typically offer sufficient floor area to accommodate several thousand attendees. Very large venues, suitable for major trade shows, are sometimes known as exhibition centres. Convention centers typically have at least one auditorium and may also contain concert halls, lecture halls, meeting rooms, and conference rooms. Some large resort area hotels include a convention center.
The Conference Center, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the premier meeting hall for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Substantially completed in spring 2000 in time for the church's April 2000 general conference, the 21,000-seat Conference Center replaced the traditional use of the nearby Salt Lake Tabernacle, built in 1868, for semi-annual LDS Church general conferences and major church gatherings, devotionals, and other events. It is believed to be the largest theater-style auditorium ever built.
The 1.4 million square foot (130,000 m2) Conference Center seats 21,200 people in its main auditorium. This includes the rostrum behind the pulpit facing the audience, which provides seating at general conference for 158 general authorities and general officers of the church and the 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The auditorium is large enough to hold two Boeing 747s side by side. All seats in the audience have an unobstructed view of the pulpit because the balcony is held up by radial trusses. This construction method allows the balcony to sink 5⁄8 inch (16 mm) under full capacity. Behind the podium is a 7,667-pipe and 130-rank Schoenstein pipe organ. Underground is a parking garage that can hold 1,400 cars. A modernist, three-story chandelier hangs in a skylight in the interior of the building. A waterfall descends from the spire. The waterfall utilizes water from a natural spring found underneath the building during construction. City Creek flows in a rough-hewn riverbed, complementing the Conference Center.