Welcome to our Indianapolis meeting planning guide – a city guide for Indianapolis meeting planning. Indianapolis' phenomenal renaissance is elevating its status as a leading destination for meetings and convention groups. The city attracts approximately 21.9 million visitors annually, a number that is sure to grow thanks to its continuously evolving cityscape. Since 1990, Indianapolis has invested nearly $9 million of public and private funds, resulting in 485 projects, through 2011. Currently $3 billion of new construction and renovation efforts are underway to be completed by 2017. New leisure attractions, hotels, restaurants and retail/entertainment options are all included in this growth.
Another key facet of the city's transformation is the expansion of the Indiana Convention Center. At 566,600 square feet, its recent $275-million expansion project has placed it on the map as one of the largest convention centers in America. An indoor, street level, climate-controlled connector links the convention center to Lucas Oil Stadium (which offers another 183,000 square feet). This connector places guests within walking distance of 12 hotels; in fact, over half of downtown’s more than 7,100 hotel rooms are within blocks of the convention center and Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis' central location in the United States makes it a convenient destination for meeting and convention groups. In fact, half of the nation's population is within one day's drive or a short plane flight. Once in Indianapolis, the convenience continues as the city is easily navigated in climate-controlled skywalks. These skywalks connect many of the city's leading hotels, such as Conrad Indianapolis, Marriott, Westin and Omni, to the Indiana Convention Center and Circle Centre Mall, a massive four-story shopping and entertainment complex. The convenient skywalks and strategic city design place 50 attractions and 200 restaurants within walking distance of the convention center and downtown core, allowing meeting and convention attendees the ability to traverse the city with ease.
With an ever evolving city package, it is not surprising that Indianapolis is becoming the destination of choice for international, national and regional meetings and conventions. It is host to events such as the National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, the National FFA Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention and Dealer Expo 2008. Indianapolis also serves as international headquarters to several well-known companies such as Eli Lilly and Company, Brightpoint, Wellpoint, American United Life and ATA Airlines. Many distinguished colleges and universities call the city home including Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Butler University, Marian College, Martin University and University of Indianapolis.
Once exclusively known as a high-octane racing town, Indianapolis has blossomed into a booming metropolis throughout recent years, with a lively cultural scene creating buzz across the country. As Indiana's capital and largest city, Indianapolis is home to 876,804 residents, making it the 13th largest city in the United States and the 2nd most populous capital behind Phoenix. Massive revitalization of the downtown core has given Indianapolis a new spirit, bringing a fresh, sophisticated vibe that still manages to remain faithful to the area's elaborate history and famous Hoosier hospitality.
Prior to its founding, the area that is now Indianapolis consisted of dense forest and prairieland. When it was selected as the capital of the Union's 19th state by the Indiana General Assembly in 1821, Judge Jeremiah Sullivan invented the city's name by merging Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city. Spanning 396 square miles across America's heartland, Indianapolis is located in the geographic center of Indiana where four interstate highways (I-65, I-69, I-70 and I-74) and four federal highways meet. Indianapolis is also home to the first railroad to have all of its lines meet at one station, resulting in its being known as the "Crossroads of America."
An emerging hotbed of arts and culture, Indianapolis has six thriving cultural districts: Broad Ripple Village, Fountain Square, the Canal and White River State Park, Massachusetts Avenue Arts and Theater District, the Wholesale District and Indiana Avenue. Each with its own distinctive offerings, these charming boroughs provide visitors with an eclectic mix of eateries, theaters, historic sites, galleries, boutiques, one-of-a-kind attractions and recreational activities. From the art collection at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art to the racing vehicles at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, Indianapolis offers an appealing blend of culture from both the past and present. Peppered amid Indianapolis' scenic canals, greenways and waterways, these distinctive districts offer visitors all of the exciting cultural benefits of a major metropolis within an easily managed, pedestrian-friendly setting.
Although the city has progressed in recent years, Indianapolis has not lost its status as the world's place to race. It is home to the world's two largest single-day sporting events, the Indianapolis 500 and the Allstate 400, as well as the largest drag racing event in the country, the National Hot Rod Association U.S. Nationals. Beyond racing, it has been host to the 2002 World Basketball Championship, the 1987 Pan American Games and both men's and women's NCAA Basketball tournaments. In addition to the magnetic draw of Indianapolis' acclaimed sports culture, there are a number of must-see attractions that sweeten the city's flavorful appeal, such as the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Conner Prairie, the Indianapolis Zoo and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Located in a humid continental climate zone, Indianapolis' climate varies distinctly among the four seasons. Similar to other Midwestern cities, summers are hot with average high temperatures frequently reaching over 90°F. Winters are chilly and brisk with temperatures often below freezing. Indianapolis sees an average of 20 to 30 inches of snowfall per year.
While the city's climate-controlled skywalks provide allow visitors to enjoy the city regardless of the weather, the best time to visit Indianapolis is during the spring or fall when temperatures average a pleasant 65°F. Cool breezes mix with warm sunshine to create the perfect climate for visitors to enjoy a stroll through one of the city's charming boroughs or lush parks.
Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown just 15 minutes from the airport and within walking distance to shops, restaurants, hotels and nightlife, the Indianapolis Convention Center offers 400,000 square feet of flexible exhibit space and 566,600 square feet of contiguous exhibit space and 71 meeting rooms. With plenty of Hoosier hospitality, the facility features services such as exclusive catering, a business center, technology support and wireless Internet and web-conferencing capabilities. Ample parking is available with 9,400 spaces immediately surrounding the center and 40,000 more within a 10-block radius of the facility. The convention center complex is home to the 95,000-square-foot RCA Dome, which hosts some of the country's largest sporting events.
As part of the city's remarkable renaissance, the Indianapolis Convention Center recent $275-million expansion project has placed it on the map as one of the largest convention centers in America. The center is a draw for some of the country’s largest events and conferences, including the 2012 Super Bowl. An indoor, street level, climate-controlled connector links the convention center to Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
Approximate taxi fare: $25-50 USD
Easily accessible by a number of interstate highways, and immediately off of the beltway surrounding the city, Indianapolis International Airport provides convenient access to the city for 8.5 million travelers each year. As the largest airport in Indiana, it offers 135 daily departures, with nonstop service to 33 cities across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Opened in 2008, the Colonel H. Weir Cook Terminal provided 44 domestic gates and two international gates and allowed international arrivals to be processed through customs in the main passenger terminal, a first in the history of the airport. The opening of the terminal also brought the Delta Sky Club, the airport’s first airline lounge since US Air closed.
Airline carriers serving Indianapolis International Airport
Amtrak services Indianapolis via the Cardinal/Hoosier State line. The line runs between New York City and Chicago with stops in 32 cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Cincinnati. The Cardinal/Hoosier State train departs from New York City Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.
Visitors to Indianapolis can move about the city with ease via IndyGo, the city's public transportation system. Carrying nine million passengers each year, the network consists of 28 bus routes with more than 5,000 stops. Among the more popular routes are the Red Line, running between downtown and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and the Green Line Express route between downtown and Indianapolis International Airport. Fares are $1.75 per trip on most routes. Single-day, 10-trip, seven-day and 31-day passes are available.
The GO Express Travel airport shuttle service is available for $10 one way.
Escaping the elements and touring the city is a breeze with Indianapolis' skywalks. The network of elevated and covered walkways connects points of interest across the downtown area, including the Indiana Convention Center, Circle Center Mall and a number of hotels.
Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar Car Rental, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty Car Rental all service the airport. Counters are located on the lower level of the terminal across from the baggage claim carousels.
Taxi fares from the Indianapolis International Airport to downtown average $25 to $50. There is a minimum fare of $15 for all taxis leaving the airport. Taxi service is available at the curb at the terminal's lower level outside of baggage claim.
Photo Credit: Visit Indy
Belterra Casino Resort
Turn your next meeting or conference into an exciting and memorable event that your attendees will anticipate year after year. Belterra’s conference and meeting facilities are conveniently located within driving distance of Cincinnati, Louisville, Lexington and Indianapolis. We offer breathtaking scenery, upscale amenities and an extraordinary planning team that will exceed your event expectations. From our elegant guest rooms to our Tom-Fazio designed championship golf course, the extra touches throughout our resort will infuse your next event with Belterra’s unrivaled blend of class and comfort.
Interested in placing a promotion? Call Cvent for information on advertising opportunities at 1-866-318-4358.