Why Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan is setting a new standard in Midwest meetings with a one-of-a-kind mix of capability, creativity and convenience. Meetings in Michigan don’t get any better than this!
Grand Rapids offers the widest range of meeting space in Michigan – and some of the most distinctive meeting space in the Midwest. Grand Rapids has a solution for every group size and budget, from a leading-edge convention center in the heart of downtown to dozens of excellent spaces close to tourist, dining and shopping spots. Need help deciding where to meet? Check out our region profiles.
The Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids isn’t just the best in Michigan or the best in the Midwest – it’s one of the top five airports in the world! (That’s according to an Airports Council International ranking for airports serving 2-5 million passengers annually.) Air service includes 120+ nonstop flights a day to 20+ popular destinations. Downtown is just a 15-minute ride away.
Downtown Grand Rapids is situated at the intersection of two major expressways, and it’s within a day’s drive of half the US. population – perfect for Michigan and Midwest meetings. Chicago is three hours away by car and Detroit is two-and-a-half-hour trip.
Grand Rapids is also accessible by Amtrak, with connections throughout Michigan and the Midwest.
Grand Rapids leads Michigan and the Midwest in going green. Fast Company named us “America’s Greenest City”– an ideal host for sustainability-focused groups, and any group concerned about the environment.
Our Grand Response™ services team goes the extra mile to help you plan, promote and conduct a memorable meeting. Unlike many other cities, we work hand-in-hand with area hotels and facilities to help coordinate and implement your vision. It's a true team approach - and you're the most valued team member.
Things to Do
Grand Rapids was named America’s #1 travel destination in 2014 (by Lonely Planet) and the #1 U.S. place to visit in 2015 (by Groupon). The city is jam-packed with fun things to do and see after the meeting ends – including art, beer, dining, nightlife and the incomparable delights of Lake Michigan beaches.
There are many more reasons why Grand Rapids, Michigan is the ideal choice for meetings in the Midwest – let us show you!
Ideas for Your Attendees
Valentine's Day might be just around the corner, but you don't need a holiday to treat that special someone in your life to a fun and romantic date in Grand Rapids. Whether you're attached to the hip
Every new year brings with it a list of New Year's resolutions, from dropping a few pounds or finding a new job, to spending more time with family and friends or adopting a new hobby. Now that you've
EDITORS NOTE: ArtPrize Eight is September 21 - October 9, 2016 ArtPrize 7 With over 1,500 pieces of art dotting downtown Grand Rapids, taking your family to ArtPrize can be exhilarating - and overwhelming. Thankfully, we've got the scoop on helping you maximize your family's ArtPrize 7 experience. PLAN YOUR PATH Take a moment to consider…
King Tut Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Museum With a mysterious death and unidentified parentage, King Tut still has people talking. The conversation continues with the Great Lakes
Take a peaceful stroll on the trails at Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve. Photo by Howard Meyerson Two minutes from the traffic on East Beltline Avenue there is a peaceful, natural setting full
Grand Rapids Public Museum As the weather heats up, so is the arts and culture scene in Grand Rapids. This spring the city is boasting several events you definitely won't want to miss! For
Mark your calendar for Gilda's Club of Grand Rapids fifth annual LaughFest , which takes place from March 5 15, 2015. While LaughFest conjures images of funny men and women doing stand-up and improv
On any given night of the week in Grand Rapids, you can find a place to soothe your soul with live jazz. Just grab your coat and take your pick. Here's a sampling of where you'll find it: LaFontsee
From February 1 - February 28 th , you'll be seeing a lot of pink in Grand Rapids, and not just because of Valentine's Day! Local hotels, businesses, and restaurants have designed packages and events
A group enjoys a guided snowshoe hike at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park where wooden snowshoes can be rented. Photo credit: Dave Kenyon, Michigan DNR When the snow piles up and the winter woods grow
Guest writer Amy Allen Clark is creator of the website MomAdvice.com . Last year our family decided that, in lieu of gifts under our tree, each year we will take a vacation together as a family
It doesn't get much more beautiful than autumn in Grand Rapids. The air is cool and crisp, the city is blanketed in orange, red and yellow foliage, and great cider is never far away. Don't miss out on
With fall colors comes crisp air and the urge to get outside. Now is the time to dig out boots and sweaters and enjoy all that a West Michigan autumn has to offer. The only trouble you'll have is
West Michigan rivers offer plenty of opportunity to see fall color. Photo: Howard Meyerson Autumn color is always a spectacle in Kent County. The countryside with its hills and valleys becomes a
We recently wrote about the exciting, jam-packed music scene taking place in Grand Rapids this fall. From Beethoven's Fifth to The Eagles , there's something here for everyone. But music isn't the only
Ready to head downtown but don't want to drive? The Rapid Silver Line is at your service! The Silver Line debuts on August 25, 2014 and will offer riders a new option to get downtown from the suburbs
With over sixty restaurants participating in this year's Restaurant Week taking place August 13-24, we are spoiled for choice. Dining destinations around town are pulling out the stops with
Art Van Sports Complex photo courtesy of West Michigan Sports Commission West Michigan is home to many unique and inviting attractions for locals and visitors alike, and one more is being added to
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS AROUND GRAND RAPIDS West Michigan is brimming with options when it comes to Fourth of July Fun! Local communities are going all out with fireworks, festivals and parades
Grand Rapids residents are proud of the national, big-name musicians the city regularly brings to our region. But summer has a sound all its own in Grand Rapids, with a plethora of outdoor concerts
After a long, cold winter Grand Rapids residents and visitors alike are thrilled to throw open windows, slather on the SPF, and spend the nice long summer days out of doors. Amongst the soccer games,
Summer Learning is a Blast at the Grand Rapids Public Museum! Discover something new each time you visit the GR Public Museum this summer. With a huge variety of summer camps, a carousel, the
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a floral oasis just fifteen minutes from Downtown Grand Rapids. Meijer Gardens warms our winter with a toasty butterfly exhibit, features a world-class
Spring is in the air! Get your family out and and come and explore Grand Rapids! To help you get started, we've rounded up family-friendly things to do in GR each day of the week. Let's go! Evening
It might be hard to believe with snow still on the ground, but for Grand Rapids kids, Spring Break is just around the corner. It's time to start planning some activities to keep you all from climbing
Valentine's Day is upon us and the sun is shining. Perhaps you have a weekend ahead filled with roses, Champagne (or better yet, Leelanau Peninsula's sparkling wine: L Mawby ), cheese fondue and candy
If cabin fever has kicked in thanks to the low temperatures and mounds of snow outside, it's time to bring a little summer fun to your winter. Gold Rush Water Park at Double JJ Resort The Grand
When I travel to the west coast I envy the huge bushy rosemary plants and outdoor cafe seating that never gets put away. I visit my parents in southwest Florida and marvel at the citrus hanging heavy
It may be cold outside, but that doesn't mean you need to stay cooped up! Here are a few local favorite things to do in the winter with kids. 1. Go Sledding. Many Grand Rapids parks offer great
When the red and yellow leaves are on the ground instead of the trees, and the air has turned cool for good, Grand Rapids is a wonderful place. You'll find it easy to get into the holiday spirit at
The fun started even before we were inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum . We easily parked in the museum parking ramp and were greeted by a trail of stenciled Dino prints. Our kids, ages 6 and 9,
Jeff Neumann likes to take the guesswork out of paddling by eliminating complications that can muddy waters for some, particularly if they are new to the sport. Finding still-water bays full of
For my kids, there aren't many things that top a visit to John Ball Zoo . Their favorite thing about the zoo changes daily; some days it is a visit to the stingrays, on others, it is watching the
Butterfly Exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens After a long winter filled with snow storms and snow days, my three kids (ages 2, 5 and 8) are clamoring for summer. While the calendar wont cooperate
Lantern from the Great Shipwrecks exhibit. Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. When the devastating White Hurricane hit in 1913, it overturned ships on four of the five Great Lakes,
10 Tips for Meeting Planners
There are almost no limits to the uses of crowdsourcing. Large companies like Starbucks use it to keep an open line of communication with their customers, seeking new product ideas. Individuals use it
For a long time, the conventional wisdom regarding the millennial generation was that they were so accustomed to using technology, they had no interest in attending live conferences and meetings,
The Michigan Reading Association is a regular visitor to Grand Rapids for its annual conference where between 1,500 and 2,000 attendees from across the state gather to learn and share ideas on the
For meeting planners, the generational shift in attendees is not a new challenge. They made the transition from baby boomers to generation X, and now they’re facing generation Y and millennials.
In our last post we shared expert advice for meeting planners trying to create effective networking events for the Gen-Y crowd when facing continual competition from smartphones and other technology.
The Mid-America Oireachtas came to Grand Rapids for their competition in 2012 and had so much fun, they came back in 2013. More than 3,000 young Irish dancers from 14 states filled area hotels and the
Grand Rapids joined an impressive list of cities hosting the annual International Herpesvirus Workshop , the largest annual gathering of students, researchers and scientists studying the biology and
The annual delegate assembly of Goodwill Industries International brings together about 500 people, including the CEOs and board members from more than 140 Goodwill organizations across the United States and Canada. That’s a lot of good in one place!
Each April, meeting rooms and exhibition halls in downtown Grand Rapids are transformed into building sites, hair salons, restaurants and other scenarios. Instead of bottled water and notepads, the rooms are supplied with power saws, electrical tools or blow dryers. That’s what happens at the annual state competition of SkillsUSA Michigan .
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