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Des Moines, IA Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 124
Total Sleeping Rooms 13,000
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 13,000
Committable Meeting Rooms* 37
Convention Center Space 286,300 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 150,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 28,800 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $107
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $59
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $167
*Maximum for a single hotel

Des Moines, IA Meeting Planning Overview

Iowa's capital city is known for going above and beyond when it comes to hosting meetings and events. With easy accessibility, first-class facilities, and big city amenities, the vibe in Des Moines is decidedly welcoming and authentic. Whether it’s a family of four or a convention of 4,000, Des Moines likes to play host and it shows.

Located in the middle of the heartland, Greater Des Moines is accessible both logistically and financially. It’s adventure without the risk, but all the rewards. It’s culture without the cost, but all the creativity. It’s planning without the hassle, but all the payoff. There’s a reason why Greater Des Moines is the fastest-growing metro in the Midwest.

For those who prefer a road trip, Des Moines is centrally located at the intersection of I-80 and I-35, a short distance from many of its Midwest neighbors. For the frequent fliers, Des Moines International Airport offers 160 flights a day, including 20+ direct flights to major U.S. cities. Upon arrival, visitors will appreciate the 10 minute commute to the walkable and clean downtown, home to the popular Court Avenue District and the 4.4 acre Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The downtown district is well connected with a four-mile skywalk system offering climate-controlled access to many venues and attractions. It sits a short walk across the river from the fashionable Historic East Village neighborhood, which has been dubbed “the closest thing to Brooklyn that Iowa has ever seen” and is home to the nation’s most beautiful Capitol building. While you’re here enjoy the first-class service and versatile size of the Iowa Events Center, Des Moines’ premier convention center featuring a 28,000 square-foot ballroom, 150,000 square feet of exhibit space, and 32 meeting rooms. Discover the perfect off-site venue and create memorable experiences at iconic landmarks like the World Food Prize, Living History Farms or the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. With a wide variety of options for suit every taste, you’ll find the right-sized venue complimented by one of the city's nearly 150 hotels. 

The capital city is also booming with business. Year after year, Des Moines ranks as one of the three largest cities for financial, insurance, and ag-bio industries. Home to numerous corporate headquarters, including Principal Financial, Meredith Publishing Company and Allied Insurance, Des Moines has a growing reputation as one of the premiere “event cities” in the Midwest. From urban attractions and national sporting events to world-class festivals and acclaimed performing arts, Des Moines provides for an authentic, inclusive and surprising experience. The essence of Greater Des Moines can’t be boiled down to one thing or feature, but rather the benefit of the overall experience, that sense of discovery and finding fulfillment in the most unexpected of places: Des Moines.

Des Moines: The S’s are Silent. Our city is buzzing.

About Des Moines, IA / Additional Info

The capital and most populous city in Iowa, Des Moines is the political, economic, and cultural center of the state. The metro, home to 600,000+ residents, has built a reputation as an emerging city with rapid population growth and a high quality of life. In fact, Des Moines was recently ranked in the top 10 places to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and one of the top 10 Best Places for Business and Careers according to Forbes.

Part of a five-county metropolitan area expanding nearly 3,000 square miles, the Des Moines skyline boasts grand skyscrapers including the 33-story Marriott hotel and the 45-story Principal Financial Group tower. Despite its vertical growth in the 1970s and 1980s, Des Moines still retains its historic charm in communities such as Sherman Hill, Historic East Village and Historic Valley Junction.

Aside from historic districts, Greater Des Moines is growing in popularity for its long-list of attractions and first-class retail areas which includes four shopping malls, an outlet mall, and several shopping districts. Whether you are ice skating along the banks of the Des Moines River at Brenton Skating Plaza, exploring hundreds of plants and flowers at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, or watching the wildlife at Blank Park Zoo, visitors can find plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in the city. Sports fans can catch an Iowa Cubs game at Principal Park, one of the top rated minor league stadiums in the nation, or get in on the action at places such as Climb Iowa, MB2 Raceway, and more. There are more than 800 miles of trails to bike, walk and run throughout the metro, with restaurants and breweries along the way. Visitors can rent a bicycle downtown or soak up the outdoors and public art by following the 6-mile Art Route, which connects people to 87 pieces of art throughout downtown Des Moines via green dots along the sidewalk.

If you are looking for indoor activities, explore the Des Moines Art Center, which brings in world-renowned and unique exhibits and offers free admission. Alternatively, children and adults alike can explore the solar system or the inner workings of the human body at the Science Center of Iowa. History buffs should not miss a visit to the State Historical Museum or the Iowa State Capitol, which details the people, places and events that have shaped Iowa's past. Catch a Broadway show or performance by the popular Des Moines Symphony at the Des Moines Civic Center or a concert at Wooly's.

From world-class dining to vibrant bars and clubs, Greater Des Moines has something for every night on the town. Pull up a chair at Alba's chef's table, ranked one of the best in the country. Or settle in for dinner at downtown Des Moines' famed Zombie Burger where you can pick from crazy and unique burgers. Night and day, indoors and out, there is never a shortage of things to experience in Greater Des Moines.

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