Planners almost always experience a boost in attendance when they take their meeting or conference to waterfront regions, where beautiful scenery blends with lively entertainment and restaurants along the shoreline. With so many breathtaking locations to choose from, here are five colorful destinations across the U.S. that are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on your attendees.
Quad Cities, Illinois and Iowa
The Quad Cities is a region of five cities clustered around the banks of the Mississippi River: Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and Rock Island, Moline and East Moline in Illinois. Thanks to an efficient network of bridges and highways, visitors can hop between these cities within minutes, all while enjoying the views and attractions of the waterfront.
“Because of the unique layout of our cities and riverfront area, a lot of planners end up doing a scavenger hunt because it gives you the opportunity to explore the Quad Cities, learn about the area and incorporate additional messaging about the goals of the meeting,” said Lynn Hunt, vice president of sales at the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Many of the region’s primary meeting properties are in the downtown areas. The RiverCenter in downtown Davenport sits right along the Mississippi River, adjacent to the historic Adler Theatre, the Hotel Blackhawk and the Radisson Quad City Plaza. Between two expansive exhibit halls, 10 breakout areas and an executive boardroom, the convention center can host from 10 to 3,000 attendees. In Bettendorf, the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center opened in 2009 as the newest convention center in the Quad Cities. This state-of-the-art facility can hold up to 1,500 guests for conferences and events and features a connecting skywalk to the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf, the largest hotel resort in Iowa.
The TaxSlayer Center is an award-winning 30,000-square-foot arena in Moline that includes a 20,000-square-foot conference center and a beautiful outdoor terrace that overlooks the river. Visitors will find many restaurants and recreational activities within walking distance of these venues, including the nationally acclaimed Figge Art Museum, the Celebration Belle and the John Deere Pavilion.