It’s true what they say about “Iowa Nice.” Iowans are famously warm and welcoming, so much so that they coined a term for it. It’s just one of several reasons why Greater Des Moines is the fastest-growing metro area in the Midwest, and a meeting destination worth keeping an eye on.
In Iowa’s capital city and its surrounding communities, attendees can look forward to modern meeting spaces and amenities, including 13,000-plus hotel rooms. But what really makes the destination stand out is its diversity of experiences. Within the same day, attendees can take a stroll through a 4.4-acre sculpture garden in downtown, explore hip, walkable neighborhoods like the East Village and Historic Court District, or indulge in only-in-Des Moines eats, like Steak de Burgo (a filet steak draped in a buttery cream sauce) and Crab Rangoon pizza from Fong’s Pizza.
Then there are the event venues. The Iowa Events Center, which offers 226,000 square feet and a direct link to the Hilton Des Moines Downtown, has a prime location in downtown close to the riverfront and the lively East Village. In addition, the Iowa State Fairgrounds has more than a dozen facilities within its expansive complex, and the new Lauridsen Skatepark has 88,000 square feet of space, making it the largest public skatepark of its kind in the country. To boot, the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines offers another spacious option for sporting events.
Since Greater Des Moines is home to an award-winning arts festival, a nationally renowned state fair, one of the best farmers markets in America, the extreme sports circuit event Dew Tour, and World Pork Expo, it’s safe to say that events are Des Moines’ thing.