Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2020

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I N D I A N A INDIANA WHERE LIVING WELL AND MIDWEST VALUES COEXIST B Y S a m u e l W i l s o n Located in Great Lakes regions of North America, Indiana is the 17th most populous of the 50 United States. Indiana had 7 stops on the Underground Railroad. The state is known for professional and collegiate sports and its Midwestern val- ues. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, there were 65 rivers, streams, and creeks of environ- mental interest or scenic beauty, only a portion of 24,000 total river miles in the state. • • INDIANAPOLIS • • The Indiana Convention Center is the centerpiece of the Indy convention cam- pus. With 566,600 sq. ft. of nearly col- umn-free exhibit space, it is one of the country's premier convention spaces. The center is connected by enclosed walkway to Lucas Oil Stadium to offer 750,000 sq. ft. of space under one roof. Georgia Street, a three-block pedestrian promenade and event space, connects all of that to Bankers Life Fieldhouse Basketball Arena while the Indiana State Fairgrounds offers planners flexibility with over 1 million sq. ft. of event space in 21 venues on a 250-acre campus. For smaller venues, Indy offers a wide variety of options. Local attractions and landmarks double as venues for meetings and events. Theaters and ballrooms and dedicated event spaces give planners options when selecting the perfect venue for their event. Hotel accommodations offer some- thing for every size group, from the 1,005-room JW Marriott Indianapolis (102,755 sq. ft. of meeting space), and the 332-room Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites (30,000 sq. ft.), to the 303-room Drury Plaza Hotel Indianapolis Carmel (7,000 sq. ft.). The incredible story of Madam CJ Walker will finally be told this year as Indy celebrates the grand reopening of her theatre and legacy center, along with art installations and a downtown exhibit. The Indianapolis International, jus t 15- minute cab ride from downtown, serves the area with more than 250 arrivals and departures per day. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Indy – (800) 323-INDY • • FORT WAYNE • • Fort Wayne is not only the hub of three rivers, it is also a major metropolitan area and the second largest city in Indiana. Located in the northwestern portion of the state, the largest annual events in the city are the 400,000 attendee Johnny Appleseed Festival and the 300,000 attendee Three Rivers Music Festival over 9 days in July. Situated in the heart of downtown Fort Wayne, the Grand Wayne Convention Center welcomes hundreds of state, regional and national meetings, conven- tions, conferences and trade shows each year. The Grand Wayne Center is the second largest convention center in Indiana, boasts over 225,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, and is adjoined to three full-service hotels, making it a premier Midwest meetings destination. Fort Wayne boasts 50 hotels and a total of 5,000 sleeping rooms. Options include the 246-room Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Center, 134-room Wyndham Garden Fort Wayne, and the 222-room Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Fort Wayne, to name a few. Located eight minutes away from downtown, the Fort Wayne International Airport serves the area with daily non- stop and affordable flights to and from. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Visit Fort Wayne – (800) 767-7752 • • EVANSVILLE • • `All roads lead to Evansville - literally! Indiana has earned the endearing nick- name "The Crossroads of America" because of the many major interstates that connect the rest of the country to the Hoosier state. The Old National Events Plaza offers 280,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including 38,000-sq. ft. column-free exhibition hall, 14,000-sq. ft. ballroom, 2,500-seat audito- rium, 12 multi-function meeting rooms What happens outside the walls of a convention hall is equally important as what takes place inside. Evansville, Indiana has nearly 45 venues perfect for your event of 40 or 4,000. But it's also the third largest city in Indiana and a hub of entertainment and culture for over 350,000 people. Evansville offers big city amenities with the hidden gems you only find in a small town. This is where busi- ness as usual is more fun than usual. WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Evansville CVB – (800) 433-3025 on 11 airlines. AREA GUIDES B M & T ••• March/April 2020 ••• 45 Indiana-Convention-Center Photo Credit: visitindy

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