June 01, 2019

Can you walk the walk to your meeting?

Every travel planner knows that the ten thousand decisions that need to be made about an event all begin with, "where." Your location to host a meeting or conference is every bit as important as the event itself. If you don't have a great location, the other 9,999 decisions you make may not matter.

Even if you've got what seems to be the perfect venue, an inconvenient location can sabotage your efforts. So, the old cliche, "location, location, location" rings true after all. 

Proximity and convenience cannot be underestimated. While there are other factors that come into play - too numerous to mention of course - those two pillars hold up your event. The ideal conference site should offer convenient access. A central location helps to eliminate people getting lost, being late, or opting out. 

In addition, the ease of getting around town, transportation costs and convenience to attractions are important factors. Having major attractions (that double at event venues) just steps from major hotels enhances the experience without breaking the bank.
There's a lot that goes into selecting a location. And a venue that offers ease of use is naturally going to attract higher numbers of guests -- and be greeted more enthusiastically -- than one that requires two subway rides and a cab to get to.


They're #1

So if the goal is convenience, what US city has the most hotels (12) and hotel rooms (4,700) connected to the convention center of any U.S. city (with more in store)? 

It's the same city that earned USA Today's "#1 Convention City in the U.S." honors. And the unmatched walkability of its convention district includes convenient access to more than 300 dining options, unique venues, and entertainment, all while eliminating the huge hassle, cost and time-waste of connecting transportation. 

It's Indianapolis. In addition, the city has gotten the attention of national media from Condé Nast Traveler to Food & Wine


When it comes to having major attractions near hotels and meetings venues, Indy can boast White River State Park, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, and Monument Circle, all surrounding downtown hotels.

More of a good thing

And there's a lot of development on the horizon, including a 235,000 square foot expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. The convention center expansion is expected to include a 50,000-square-foot ballroom (the state's largest), 30,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 40,000 square feet of pre-function space. The sky bridge connecting the hotel towers and expansion to the center will offer an additional 9,200 square feet of indoor/outdoor function space.

A new headquarter hotel - a Hilton Signia tower - is also in the works, with 800+ rooms connected to the center. The project is expected to be completed in late 2023, and alongside the other hotel developments in the downtown pipeline, will bring the total number of rooms within walking distance of the convention center to more than 10,000. That's convenience!

Indy already touts the most hotels and hotel rooms connected by enclosed skywalks into a center in the U.S., and this expansion will boost those numbers to 14 properties and 6,100+ hotel rooms all under one roof.

For more information on America's best walking meeting city, click here.