“We are seeing an upswing of planners wanting new, innovative meeting spaces.” - Jeff Berg, Springfield CVB, Springfield, IL
“As with most locations, we are seeing an uptick in requests for historical locations…” - Justin Gifford, Visit Lenawee, Adrian, MI
“Unconventional, progressive meetings - moving from one location or venue to another…” - Mallari Ackerman, Fargo Moorhead CVB, Fargo, ND
“An increase in planners wanting to incorporate offsite group activities to get them out into the community.” - Jennifer Hecht, Fox Cities CVB, Fox Cities, WI
Whether you choose a museum, garden, or interpretive center for an opening reception, a group outing, part of a roving meeting, or for an evening gala, there are so many diverse locations to be explored across the Midwest and CVBs were happy to talk about some of their local favorites.
The Pullman National Monument gives an opportunity to explore and discover the history of the Pullman Car Company and the American Labor movement, creating a great historic venue, in the Chicago Southland area. Other rail-related stops include the Park Forest Rail Fan Park, the Homewood Railroad Platform & Park, and Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery. “The Chicago Southland is a fantastic place for group tours with so many unique attractions and venues along the rail trail,” stated Tobie Fitzpatrick, Tour & Travel Market Manager, Chicago Southland CVB.
Fly your guests to the moon at the Des Moines County Heritage Center. Enjoy three floors of Greater Burlington, Iowa history and meet in the Bart Howard room. “The most notable space, dedicated to famous song writer, Bart Howard, author of Fly Me To The Moon, is designed to replicate New York’s Blue Angel nightclub and occasionally hosts local artists and their own cabaret shows,” shared Chelsea Lerud, Executive Director, Greater Burlington CVB.
“People may not think a museum in a nearly 200-year old factory on the history of the corn cob pipe would interest them,” said Mary Beth Rettke, Director of Tourism, Visit Washington Missouri. Missouri Meerschaum Company is the largest manufacturer of corn cob pipes in the world, beginning full time production in 1907. Rettke went on, “After a tour guests come out laughing with a corn cob pipe between their lips or sit in the old rocking chairs for a great photo op with their pipes!”
“A notable exhibit experience is Fort Wayne’s Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory,” expressed Crystal Cully, Marketing Specialist, Visit Fort Wayne. One of the only botanical conservatories located in an urban setting, it features lush, seasonal displays, four outdoor gardens, a Tropical Garden with orchids, palms, and a cascading waterfall, and the Sonoran Desert Garden.
The Spencer Museum of Art on the University of Kansas campus, in Lawrence, KS, is the state’s only comprehensive art museum, housing an internationally known collection of more than 45,000 works of art and objects of cultural significance in all media, spanning the history of European and American art from ancient to contemporary, with broad and significant holdings of East Asian art. “The Spencer also offers a full calendar of exhibition-related programming, including lectures, films, performances, gallery talks, and children’s art classes. The new state-of-the-art auditorium offers a great space for presentations,” explained Kendra Schultz, Director of Sales, eXplore Lawrence.
A pink marble masterpiece, the Joslyn Art Museum building, in Omaha, NE, is made from 38 different types of marbles from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, and Morocco. Inside there are more than 11,000 art pieces from masters such as Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, and Renoir. “The soaring spaces, elegant ambiance, and grand architecture make any event unique and memorable,” expressed Cathy Keller, VP of Sales and Services, Visit Omaha. “Joslyn’s sculpture garden offers an artful event setting for planners who would like to venture outdoors.” This lush garden and plaza features generous landscaping, an artist-designed reflecting pool, flowing water wall, and sculptures by internationally renowned artists.
When looking for a space ‘outside the norm’ which will offer exhibits and foster excitement, work with a CVB to learn all about the interesting historical and museum features in their area.