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Madison, WI Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 58
Total Sleeping Rooms 6,630
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 373
Committable Meeting Rooms* 30
Convention Center Space 250,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 40,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 14,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $115
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $59
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $191
*Maximum for a single hotel

Madison, WI Meeting Planning Overview

Welcome to Cvent’s Madison meeting planning guide – a city guide for Madison meeting planning professionals. Planners looking to hold a meeting in a city frequently lauded as one of the best U.S. cities in which to work, live and play should consider culturally rich Madison, Wisconsin. As Wisconsin's capital city and a center of cultural attractions, fine restaurants and unique Madison event venues abound. There is a wealth of natural beauty, thanks to its location between the beautiful Lake Monona and Lake Mendota.

Downtown Madison is located just minutes from the Dane County Regional Airport. Serving more than 82 commercial flights daily, Dane County Regional offers nonstop service to such cities as New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Atlanta.

The two largest meeting sites in Madison are the Alliant Energy Center and the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center, which together give the city the ability to host groups of up to 10,000 people. The city's Alliant Energy Center spans a 164-acre campus in the heart of Madison, featuring nine agricultural exhibit buildings, 5,800 on-site parking spaces, a 255,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall including a 30,000-square-foot front lobby, 17 meeting rooms, eight ancillary rooms and the multi-purpose Veterans Memorial Coliseum for up to 10,000 guests. The center is also home to Willow Island, a 29-acre green space ideal for festivals and concerts, and an Arena, which offers a variety of floor surfaces, including carpeting, concert, dirt or ice and features grandstand seating for 550 people. Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall is also connected via enclosed walkway to the 140-room Clarion Suites Madison Central hotel.

Madison's Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center sits on the shore of Lake Monona in downtown Madison, just two blocks from the Wisconsin State Capitol. The green-minded 250,000-square-foot, multi-level convention center features such meeting spaces as a 37,000-square-foot exhibition hall, 14,000-square-foot ballroom, 40,000-square-foot rooftop garden and 310-seat multimedia lecture hall. The Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center is attached to the 240-room Hilton Madison Monona Terrace.

Whether it's time to enjoy local and global fare or take meetings off-campus, many of the city's fine dining restaurants also double as Madison event space. The Samba Brazilian Grill offers unique two-course dining with rodizio service meats served tableside, while the French favorite L'Etoile prides itself on its use of local, natural and wholesome ingredients. Located on Madison's Capitol Square, Harvest has been voted as among the country's best organic and farm-to-table eateries, while Johnny Delmonico's has been voted as the city's finest steakhouse. Finally, Bonfyre American Grille specializes in contemporary American cuisine served in an upscale casual environment.

Madison is bursting with family-friendly attractions and unique facilities. Among the many Madison meeting sites is the renowned Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, which offers such spaces as 51,000 square feet of exhibition space and a 2,900-square-foot rooftop sculpture garden. The museum sits within the downtown Overture Center for the Arts, home to 10 resident arts organizations, seven performance facilities and several meeting spaces. Other Madison events facilities include the beautiful Olbrich Botanical Gardens, celebrated Henry Vilas Zoo and stately Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

About Madison, WI / Additional Info

An engaging, family-friendly locale steeped in history, culture and natural beauty, Madison is not only a fantastic meeting destination, but a great vacation spot as well. Madison is conveniently located just 77 miles west of Milwaukee and 122 miles northwest of Chicago. Madison sits at the heart of Dane County, surrounded by rolling hills, grasslands, forests and four beautiful glacial lakes. The city offers the perfect pairing of small-town charm and a relaxed atmosphere with big-city amenities and excitement.

Madison is a city of education and political strength. Named the capital city of Wisconsin in 1836, Madison's state capitol building was completed in 1917. Home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as Madison College and Edgewood College, the city prides itself on its progressive, energetic climate. Dynamic and diverse, Madison is home to many ethnic restaurants as well as cultural arts and entertainment attractions.

Highlighted Madison attractions include the Madison Children's Museum, an interactive play experience featuring exhibits on art, science and history. Children can explore an authentically-restored 1830s log home or wander through the museum's four-season rooftop, featuring a greenhouse, solar oven, gardens and live-animal terrariums. Another family-friendly option, the 28-acre Henry Vilas Zoo is one of the nation's few free zoos. The zoo is home to a variety of animals, birds, reptiles and fish ranging from polar bears to kangaroos.

The Wisconsin State Capitol Tour takes visitors through the sprawling, building. Capitol highlights include the country's only granite dome, towering 284 feet high with an interior of 43 stone varieties from around the world, as well as the Governor's Conference Room styled after the council chambers from Doge's Palace in Venice. Visitors to Madison also frequent the Chazen Museum of Art, home to a number of paintings, sculptures, drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs and decorative arts.

Madison is also a leader in sustainability and green practices – in fact; Madison was the first city in the United States to institute a curbside recycling program. The city celebrates its commitment to the environment through a number of green spaces and parks – 260 parks within the city's 64 square miles, to be exact. Green spaces in Madison include the beautiful Olbrich Botanical Gardens, home to 16 acres of outdoor display gardens, a botanical center and the renowned Bolz Conservatory. There are more than 650 plants at the Bolz Conservatory, including exotic plants, flowers, orchids, free-flying birds and a waterfall (outdoor gardens include an English sunken garden with an 80-foot-long reflecting pool and a Thai pavilion and garden, complete with ornamental grasses and bamboos).

On top of its wealth of historical, cultural and natural beauty attractions, Madison is home to a strong culinary scene. Dining options include the sleek Samba Brazilian Grill, which features radii-style service as well as Johnny Delmonico's, voted Madison's best steakhouse, and the contemporary Bonfyre American Grill. Celebrate Madison's commitment to sustainability and local products at Harvest, featuring an evolving menu highlighting local and organic ingredients, or L'Etoile, a sophisticated eatery using local farms' best ingredients.

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