Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Detroit, a city guide for meeting professionals. Groups are discovering the renewed energy and vitality of Detroit, America's great comeback city. Billions of dollars have recently been invested into revitalizing downtown with new hotels, residential developments, restaurants and an ever-increasing number of thriving local businesses. Detroit's transformed riverfront, with nearly four active miles of paved paths, parks and plazas, is a great place to get outdoors. With so much to see and do, Detroit was placed #9 on The New York Times list of "52 Places to Go in 2017."
Cobo Center has been transformed into a world-class convention and meeting facility with 723,000 square feet of exhibition space. Its $279-million expansion includes the beautiful, new 40,000-square-foot Grand Riverview Ballroom and a dramatic three-story glass atrium featuring views of the Detroit River, the RiverWalk promenade and Canadian neighbor, Windsor, Ontario, just across the river.
Metro Detroit currently has approximately 36,000 competitively priced hotel rooms, with about 5,000 located downtown. The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center has been transformed with a $30-million renovation. This 70-story hotel offers meeting space along with 1,328 transformed guest rooms and suites. Aloft Detroit at the iconic David Whitney is elegant and modern and has plentiful meeting space. The hip Trumbull & Porter hotel is near historic Corktown and its restaurants, shops and clubs, just minutes from Comerica Park, Ford Field, Cobo Center and many more Detroit landmarks.
Your attendees will receive an authentic Detroit experience at the new Detroit Foundation Hotel, located in the historic former Detroit Fire Department headquarters. Offering 100 rooms, the five-story hotel is located across from Cobo Center. Other hotel developments in the works include the 130-room boutique Shinola Hotel, which will open fall 2018 in an early 20th century retail building. The historic Wurlitzer Building, built in 1926, is being transformed into the 100-room Siren Hotel to be completed in fall 2018. Element Detroit, the city's first extended stay hotel, is being developed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and projected to open in July 2018. Furniture and home décor retailer West Elm will open its hotel in Detroit's Midtown in 2018 that also will feature housing and retail space. Plans are in the works for a 350-room hotel as part of The District Detroit project near Little Caesars Arena, the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons.
Eat, shop and play
Downtown Detroit is a growing foodie hotspot. National Geographic recently named Detroit one of its "6 Unexpected Cities for the Food Lover." Nearly 100 new restaurants, breweries, distilleries and coffee shops have opened in Detroit in the last three years. From great ethnic food to farm-to-table venues to classic Coney dogs, you never leave this city hungry.
The comeback city offers plenty of downtown retail, providing all the therapy a shopper needs. Along with many small eclectic and independent boutiques, enjoy national retailers including Carhartt®, Shinola®, Nike®, John Varvatos™, and Lululemon.
There are many entertainment options in The D. Visit world-class cultural attractions such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and Motown Museum. The riverfront is totally revived with walking paths and the Outdoor Adventure Center, which offers a taste of the outdoors, indoors.
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) VIP Welcome Program supports the destination's hospitality. With partners Delta Air Lines and Cobo Center, the program offers welcome and departure signage, airport greeters and more. It also offers complimentary exhibitor receptions and Detroit People Mover passes for large groups. Its "Show It and Save" initiative gives attendees discounts at participating restaurants.
The DMCVB also offers pre-show attendance building, exhibitor services, onsite registration, public relations, post-event evaluations, volunteer programs, comprehensive online tools, and more.
Detroit and its surrounding suburbs are booming with attractions. Enjoy The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Automotive Hall of Fame. Find family-friendly fun at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets' LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan and Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. The Detroit Zoo now has the world's largest penguin habitat, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.
Detroit is moving into its next phase of substantial growth, with plans for $2.1 billion in development projects planned. Four new, large-scale transformational projects will create thousands of construction and permanent jobs while adding 3.2 million square feet and over 2,000 parking spaces to the city's core. Little Caesars Arena is now open, home of the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. It is part of The District Detroit that when complete, will feature housing, retail, restaurants and a hotel in a contiguous, 50-block, walkable area.
Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), ranked best in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power in its 2017 North American Airport Satisfaction Study, provides nonstop service to nearly 140 destinations on four continents. The D is a 90-minute flight – or less –away from 60 percent of the country's population. A major hub for Delta, all other major domestic airlines, five low-cost carriers and four international carriers offer services from the airport. Most suburban and city attractions are just a 20-minute ride away.