by Alex Palmer | September 05, 2017

A Capitol Option
Michigan's capital city of Lansing offers plenty of attractions for group events as well. The city is within 90 minutes of 90 percent of Michigan's population, and in close proximity to the state capitol and Michigan State University (MSU), allowing groups access to legislators and thought leaders for their events.

"The Greater Lansing region has so much new development and activity, which we have been showcasing to our events taking place in town," says Julie Pingston, CMP, CTA, senior vice president and chief operating officer for the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We have new hotels opening around town; our restaurants are featuring amazing farm-to-table culinary dishes; our brewpubs and distilleries are creating experiences with craft drinks; and, there are engaging arts and cultural opportunities all around the region. It's a great time to experience all that the Lansing area offers."

Among the area's top meeting venues is the Lansing Center, offering 71,760 square feet of column-free exhibit space as well as 12 breakout rooms. Located in the center of the city and within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and a number of museums, it also offers a skybridge connecting the center to the neighboring Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol (which offers 10,000 square feet of its own meeting space).

The nearby MSU campus also offers a number of event spaces for groups of all sizes. The on-campus Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center includes 32 function rooms covering 35,000 square feet of flexible event space that can accommodate meetings ranging from 12 to 1,000 attendees (with a team of on-site service professionals to assist). For larger gatherings, the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education offers a 77,000-square-foot exhibit area, 8,500-square-foot auditorium, and arena that seats 2,000 people.

Additional popular meeting hotels in the area include the East Lansing Marriott at University Place, with almost 13,000 square feet of meeting space, and the Crowne Plaza Lansing West, with more than 17,000 square feet of flexible banquet space and a ballroom that can hold up to 1,000 guests.

A new 139-room Homewood Suites is opening its doors this fall, offering suites that include a full kitchen, hot breakfast, and high-speed Internet. It also offers a 672-square-foot meeting space for groups.

Another recent property available for groups is the 125-room, six-suite Hyatt Place Lansing/Eastwood Towne Center, offering guests banquet and meeting space as well as an outdoor pool. The all-suite Residence Inn by Marriott--East Lansing includes a 624-square-foot meeting room, while the 101-room, 15-suite Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Lansing at Eastwood offers a pool, fitness center, and group booking options.

"Now is a great time to visit Greater Lansing," says Brenda Haight, CMP, CTA, sales manager for Greater Lansing CVB. "The region offers small-town charm, but with big-city amenities including diverse restaurants, attractions, theater, breweries, and distilleries. Flexible and innovative meeting space combined with our central Midwest location makes it easy for attendees to get here."

She adds that the city's friendly service and nearly 500 Certified Tourism Ambassadors can help to provide a memorable experience to visiting groups.

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This article appears in the September 2017 issue of Successful Meetings.