The sixth-largest city in Michigan, Ann Arbor (pop. 114,000) has a distinct, almost-scholarly personality, thanks to the University of Michigan, which also shapes the city's economy. The university's renowned medical center has attracted many resource and medical businesses, including ProQuest and Merit Network. Against this backdrop, the event venues in Ann Arbor are accustomed to hosting business-savvy groups.
Ann Arbor Municipal Airport is the closest, but many groups opt for Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, 25 miles away, which is a major hub with 17 carriers. The local Transportation Authority operates reliable bus services within Ann Arbor.
Event venues are headlined by the Towsley Conference Center, Ann Arbor's largest facility with 26,000 square feet of space, as well as a 415-seat auditorium with a lobby and a dining room. An amphitheater also on-site for groups of 10 to 150.
Hotel venues in Ann Arbor include the 235-room Marriott Ann Arbor Hotel at Eagle Crest, which boasts 15 meeting rooms for a total of 27,000 square feet. Groups of 1,000 can gather in the Ford Presidential Ballroom, while the cozy Executive Boardroom seats 20. The elegantly appointed Michigan Ballroom at the 197-room Sheraton Ann Arbor can accommodate 800 within its 15,000 square feet of meeting space. Ann Arbor is also home to the 198-room Kensington Court Hotel, which has 16 meeting rooms totaling 14,000 square feet for up to 600 guests.
The meeting space at Ann Arbor's kid-friendly Hands-On Museum can accommodate 300 guests, and the Ann Arbor Art Center supplements its two 150-person venues with local artwork and delicious food. Cobblestone Farms boasts a 19th-century barn-turned-event-space for up to 220. Its 3,200 square feet of rental space includes a beautiful outdoor area. The University of Michigan's Central Campus has a 300-seat ballroom and 22 total rooms at Michigan Union and a 275-seat ballroom at the 16-room Michigan League. North Campus's Pierpoint Commons offers full catering for small groups in its nine rooms.
Blue Nile Restaurant has a stunning banquet room with natural lighting and space to accommodate up to 100 guests. Meanwhile, a casual gathering of 40 can reserve the Tap Room at Arbor Brewing Company. For more elegant environs and award-winning French cuisine, The Earle has three private rooms that can seat 50 each.