The Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is one of the Midwest’s most popular event facilities. And for good reason. Not only does the center offer you a fantastic value when planning your next convention, banquet, trade show or conference, it’s also famous for its friendly and attentive staff. The team members can’t wait to help you organzie an event that’s as memorable for your attendees as it is profitable for your team.
Here are the top five reasons for you to hold your next event at Grand Wayne Convention Center.
1. The Location
Fun fact: A third of the U.S. population lives within a day’s drive of Grand Wayne Convention Center. The convention center’s close proximity to cities, such as Chicago, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, means your event will be easy to get to, bringing in more attendees and more revenue. If guests are coming from further away, Fort Wayne International Airport offers direct and connecting flights to almost every major U.S. and international city. Once your attendees land, the convention center is a mere 10-minute shuttle ride from the airport.
Throughout your event, attendees will enjoy the center’s convenient location in the heart of Fort Wayne’s bustling downtown. Sky bridges connect the convention center to two full-service luxury hotels, making it easy for everyone to get to your networking breakfast and opening keynotes on time. In between meetings and events, you can host memorable parties and teambuilding activities at any of the restaurants, pubs or museums nearby. The center is also a quick walk or bike ride to some of Fort Wayne’s most popular coffee shops, concert halls and nature conservatories as well as numerous parks and riverside trails. The convention center’s team is happy to help you arrange group transportation so your attendees can enjoy everything Fort Wayne has to offer.
2. The Amenities
The Grand Wayne Convention Center was designed with the needs of event planners and guests in mind, and it shows. The convention center's prime location and top-of-the-line amenities make such an impression on planners, more than 80 percent book the convention center again for their next event.
You’ll love the advanced audio-visual equipment, 24/7 access to the event and hospitality staff, and the variety of meeting spaces and configurations. You will also appreciate the intangibles that make meetings a pleasure for planners, exhibitors and attendees alike. The center has an impressive Wi-Fi network that can serve up to 5,000 users at a time without an interruption or lag. Every meeting space also features permanent high-grade padded carpet to keep your guests and exhibitors comfortable; the carpet also improves the room’s acoustic, saving you the cost of installing and removing temporary event flooring.
3. The Space
To accommodate the high demand from new and repeat clients, the center underwent a major renovation in 2006, more than doubling in size to offer up to 225,000 square feet of usable, adaptable event space. The upgrades included a 50,000-sq.-ft. Convention and Expo Hall, with the capacity to host up to 4,500 people, and the 10,000-sq.-ft. Anthony Wayne Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 1,152 people or be divided into two smaller spaces. Other renovations included a new 12,000-sq.-ft. deluxe kitchen that can serve up to 3,100 banquet guests in a single setting. The center also has multiple meeting rooms for luncheons, workshops and breakout sessions.
4. The People
It’s not just the amenities and square footage that have planners coming back for more. It’s also the people. The convention center’s staff is made up of accomplished event-planning professionals; some of them have been working at the center for more than 25 years. The center’s brand statement “Beyond Convention. Beyond Expectation.” is more than a marketing slogan, it’s a mantra. Relationships drive everything the center does. Planners, attendees and exhibitors have all complimented the center for treating everyone like family.
At every interaction, every encounter, you and your attendees will be treated with the utmost courtesy and friendliness. The detail-oriented sales managers will walk you through the paperwork and planning of creating a fantastic event; the coordinators and experts are ready to help you develop and design every detail of the festivities, including providing CAD-designed schematics of the meeting rooms and event spaces; and the professionally trained audio-visual managers will ensure your equipment is ready for your event. You’ll be greeted by the award-winning event hosts and guest-experience managers , who ensure any issues that arise are resolved quickly and seamlessly. The center also works closely with Visit Fort Wayne, the city’s CVB, to help you and your attendees make the most of the city’s attractions and amenities.
5. The Value
The convention center’s obsession with providing the highest level of customer satisfaction also shows in its pricing. Unlike other convention centers and event venues, Grand Wayne Convention Center doesn’t nickel and dime you for every amenity. Its mission is simple: To make event planner’s job easy while enhancing every guest’s experience. That’s why it offers many services at no charge. All of the specialists listed above, including event managers, audio-visual crews and guest experience managers, are included in your package. The friendly and knowledgeable engineering crews are happy to provide a free initial room setup, and the personable hosts will welcome your guests at every segment of your event, for no extra charge.
The center also doesn’t charge drayage fees or for the use of tables, chairs and whiteboards. Every room and/or room section rental includes a free pre-function event space. The center even goes as far as offering you a free customizable app you can use to stay in touch with your attendees and send out news about the event.
The center wants to raise the standard of creativity and service not just within the Midwest but within the event-planning industry as a whole.
The partners at Visit Fort Wayne have conducted pricing studies that show meeting planners can save up to 15 percent, compared to other cities, by hosting their event at Grand Wayne Convention Center.
“When you see how many amenities are included — and how much you save — by booking your next event at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, it’s easy to see why we enjoy a re-booking rate well above the industry standard,” said Marcy McKinley, director of sales and marketing.