Welcome to Cvent's Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Springfield, a city guide for meeting professionals. Springfield's breathtaking natural beauty, strong history, cultural attractions and comfortable accommodations make the third-largest city in Missouri a world-class destination. Known as the Queen City of the Ozarks, Springfield sits atop a plateau of the Ozark Mountains, the largest mountain range in the country. The city's central location in the U.S. makes it a convenient geographic locale, while its natural wonders and thriving cultural scene make it an ideal meeting place.
Delegates traveling to Springfield have their pick of two area airports, which include the Springfield-Branson National Airport and Branson Airport. Situated at the northwest edge of Springfield, just five miles northwest of Springfield's central business district, Springfield-Branson National Airport features direct flights to eight U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix and Tampa/St. Petersburg. Opened in 2009, the 10-gate Midfield Terminal Springfield-Branson Regional Airport streamlines passenger traffic with its optimal functional design, and features both dining and shopping options, including two deli locations and two news shops. Situated about an hour outside of Springfield, Branson Airport offers nonstop service to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Orlando, as well as connecting service to major markets nationwide.
Located in Springfield's beautiful Jordan Valley Park and just one block from downtown, the Springfield Expo Center features sweeping meeting spaces, state-of-the-art technology and a full suite of amenities. Totaling more than 112,000 square feet of convention space, the center features an open, airy interior, seven breakout rooms and a 45,000-square-foot Expo Hall divisible into three separate spaces. The 25,200-square-foot Lower Hall can accommodate 2,650 people, while the 21,500-square-foot Upper Hall can accommodate 2,250 people. The Springfield Expo Center is surrounded by shopping, nightlife and more than 50 restaurants. The 217-room University Plaza Hotel, which manages all of the center's events, is located right across the street and features such amenities as a full-service business center, cutting-edge fitness center and an additional 39,000 square feet of meeting space.
Surrounded by accessible lakes, rivers and streams, among Springfield's most valuable assets are the city's natural wonders, including Fantastic Caverns, the only cave in North America large enough to drive through. The city's Jordan Valley Park is a 12-acre public park designed to mix open space, buildings, water features, meadows, playgrounds and plazas. The park is home to not only the Springfield Expo Center, but also the 7,896-seat Hammons Field, home to the AA Springfield Cardinals, as well as two regulation-sized ice rinks and a walking trail that provides direct access to central Springfield. The city is also home to Missouri's most-visited attraction, the internationally renowned Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World headquarters, a true wildlife exhibition center set in the rustic atmosphere of a giant log cabin, complete with saltwater and freshwater aquariums, live animal exhibits, waterfalls, archery and pistol ranges and more.
Numerous attractions are spread throughout the city area, offering perfect venues for events and meetings. After a major expansion in 2006, Springfield's Discovery Center was named the first LEED-certified building in southwest Missouri. The Discovery Center features hands-on exhibits and adventures for both adults and children, as well as several ideal spaces for meetings and group gatherings, including a 2,700-square-foot Auditorium and Foyer, two classrooms and a 50-seat theater, among various galleries. Hammons Field, home to the Double A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, features a variety of private group seating areas, including five dugout decks for 20 to 120 people, luxury suites and patio spaces for pre-game picnics and events. The historic Gillioz Theatre, recently restored to its original 1926 splendor (complete with a formal lobby, detailed architecture and a golden sky of ornate paintings), hosts a variety of shows and events and offers spaces for groups of 10 to 1,000 people. Perfectly outfitted for trade shows, exhibitions, training events and more, the 76-acre Ozark Empire Fairgrounds & Event Center serves as the home of the Ozark Empire Fair, the largest annual event in the Ozarks. Rental facilities range from the sprawling E*Plex, which features 85,100 square feet of exhibit space, a roofed 8,000-seat Grandstand and three exhibition halls connected by a common 2,000-square-foot lobby to a number of barns and an outdoor stage that can be used for private gatherings.