Meeting planners nationwide rank EXGR third best DMO in the Midwest

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Experience Grand Rapids was selected by meeting planners from across the U.S. and globally as the third best destination marketing organization in the Midwest in the 7th Annual Stella Awards.

“Of course, meeting planners want to bring groups here because Grand Rapids is a terrific destination, but it’s also because our team provides them with an unprecedented level of service and offers a one-of-a-kind experience for attendees,” said Mary Manier, CTP, CTIS, vice president of sales and services at Experience Grand Rapids.

The Stella Awards, hosted by Northstar Meetings Group, is a premier competition in the hospitality industry. Meeting planners cast nearly 10,000 votes for 770 destinations, hotels and service providers nominated in 16 categories across six regions in the United States and worldwide.

“This award underscores the strength of our region as a meeting destination and is a tribute to the tremendous efforts by our team and our public and private sector partners in the Grand Rapids community,” said Manier. “Everyone pulled together to beat tourism industry predictions for post-pandemic recovery by two years. We updated our meetings website, created a new sales video, launched a lead generation program and conducted email marketing campaigns to keep our relationships with clients growing. We also evolved our traditional site visits into a site experience approach tailored to the needs of each planner and the event they are hosting. These efforts are paying off and we are attracting new meetings to consider our destination for the future.”

To learn more about Experience Grand Rapids’ award and other winners of the 2023 Stella Awards, visit

About Experience Grand Rapids

Established in 1927, Experience Grand Rapids (EXGR) leads the marketing of Grand Rapids/Kent County as a premier convention & visitor destination providing a significant positive impact to the West Michigan economy. Previously named the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau, EXGR represents the second largest city in Michigan with over one million residents.