Every destination has that thing: one attraction, site or story that can be found nowhere else. The same is true of these Heartland locations, where groups can gather in unmatched venues and enjoy unparalleled experiences.
Meeting attendees can make a glass art piece in a glass building, take a ride in a racecar or walk in the game-day footsteps of NFL players.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
To some, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is more like a church than a football stadium, and the Green Bay Packers are the religion. The Packers’ appeal is international, and fans from around the world come to Green Bay just to visit Lambeau Field, which also serves as a one-of-a-kind meeting venue.
The stadium offers planners a dizzying array of ballrooms and clubrooms, party decks and lounges, MVP boxes and VIP suites. Large events with up to 400 guests can use the four-story, glass-atrium lobby. Just off the lobby is the entrance to the newly remodeled Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, where visitors can see a replica of Vince Lombardi’s office and the team’s four Super Bowl trophies.
On a mezzanine level above the atrium, the 6,800-square-foot Legends Club Room can be divided into four smaller rooms and offers 10,000 square feet of prefunction space. The adjacent North Balcony provides another 6,800 square feet that overlooks the atrium floor.
A short walk through the stadium’s parking lot leads to the 13,200-square-foot Johnsonville Tailgate Village, which opened this summer. The building has a full kitchen and bar, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass garage-style doors that lead to an attached 4,300-square-foot patio.
Many groups that meet at Lambeau add guided stadium tours for groups, which could include walking through the players tunnel to the sidelines of the field. Across the street, the Packers’ new Titletown development includes events space at Hinterland Brewery, an ice rink and a sledding hill.
Automotive Hall of Fame
The Detroit suburb of Dearborn is the world headquarters of Ford Motor Company, so it’s fitting that the Michigan city is also home to the Automotive Hall of Fame.
“Sometimes people think they’re coming to a car museum, but it’s really not; it’s about the people who made the contributions to the automotive industry,” said Kathy Bastien, event manager for the Hall of Fame.
The Hall honors people such as Ralph Teetor, who invented cruise control and who also was blind. As the story goes, he was inspired to invent cruise control after riding with his lawyer, who would slow down while talking and speed up while listening, all while annoying Teetor.
Another famous figure visitors enjoy learning about is Benz. Bertha Benz was inducted years after her husband, Karl Benz, for her contributions in helping to launch the 1885 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, widely regarded as the world’s first automobile and an ancestor of today’s Mercedes-Benz.
The Hall of Fame welcomes events for up to 400 guests, for both private daytime and after-hours gatherings. Groups of up to 120 can have seated meals in the three-story glass atrium, which is also popular for receptions. The auditorium, with 68 seats, is often used for presentations and speakers, Bastien said, and a smaller conference room seats about 35 people. An outdoor courtyard can seat about 120 for meals and can be tented or left uncovered.