The Hoosier State is an intricate one with its largest city, Indianapolis, housing the state capital. Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend, all hold some remarkable destinations; from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the Indy 500 is held to the Fighting Irish’s Notre Dame Stadium. Cities like Gary or Bloomington are packed with history and notability all giving Indiana much to offer for anyone who enters its borders.
Midwest Meetings had the chance to speak with Erin Erdmann, Director of Convention Sales & Travel Media at Visit Bloomington,where a diverse artist culture flows. From the conventional arts like vaudeville theater to the unrestrained passion of the folk punk community, Bloomington has an artsy heartbeat. Erdmann detailed some of the folk punk record labels that exist like Jagjaguwar, Dead Oceans, and Secretly Canadian, “they create this undercurrent to the city, it fosters a unique environment for people living in and visiting Bloomington. People who are interested in art, culture, fashion, music, it influences the way people spend their money or what causes they support, a lot of it goes back to the music scene.”
Upon talking to Lisa Wallace of Visit Indy we heard a great deal about the Crossroads of America. “Indianapolis is a city that was strategically designed to host meetings and events…In 2015, Visit Indy booked 904,717 future group hotel room nights, the most in the organization’s 93-year history.” Wallace knows that the city has events locked in despite the amount of business that takes place there, an equal amount of art and culture thrives as well. “Downtown Indy is experiencing a renaissance, with a boom of living unit development, new acclaimed restaurants and bars opening all the time, more than 1,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline, and new transit infrastructure.”
Cafe Patachou, with four locations in Indianapolis, is owned by a James Beard recognized restauranteur, Wallace says that the cafe is “a must-eat for breakfast, lunch, or brunch” with their farm fresh egg dishes. After a hearty yet satisfying meal there is a wonderful eight-mile journey through the Indianapolis Cultural Trail that will show you the city. Wallace commented that “the trail anchors the city’s ever-growing bike share and connects hotels with dining, shopping, attractions, and nightlife in six different cultural districts.” This is a wonderful bonus for event attendees.
Taking stock of Indiana yields a vast amount of opportunities at a glance: the abundance of fringe culture and contemporary art nestled inside quiet communities and the larger than life events both in and out of sports. Indiana and its respective destinations have increasingly more to offer as communities around the state and inside the cities look to expand or transform.