Meeting planners and industry suppliers will get to know one another — and Sioux Falls — when they meet in South Dakota’s largest city Oct. 6-8 for the fourth annual Small Market Meetings Conference.
When the networking appointments and education sessions end on Monday, Oct. 7, attendees will be whisked around the city on tours that conclude with a reception next to the Falls of the Big Sioux and a downtown dinearound.
“Monday is going to be filled with Sioux Falls fun,” said Mattie Burnham, assistant director of sales and marketing for the Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The tour begins with a drive past the new Sanford Sports Complex. The 162-acre complex includes a Pentagon, where nine basketball games can be played simultaneously. A hockey facility will house three full-size indoor rinks and one outdoor rink; a tennis facility will have seven indoor tennis courts. Already completed is the 85,000-square-foot Sanford Fieldhouse, with 62,000 square feet of indoor field turf, and nine outdoor football fields. A hotel and retail shops also are under construction there.
Other stops on Monday’s tour are two neighboring Sioux Falls attractions, both which focus on the outdoors
The Seratoma Butterfly House is a 3,600-square-foot enclosed, tropical garden where more than 800 butterflies from around the world fly free. Just as colorful are the clown fish, lion fish, tangs, sharks and other marine life in nearly 2,500 gallons of aquariums in the Purdy Marine Cove. Touch tanks allow visitors to handle sharks, horseshoe crabs and stingrays.
The Outdoor Campus, a project of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, neighbors the butterfly house and aquarium. Its museum and grounds teach outdoor skills, conservation and land management.
The museum is adjoined by two miles of trails, an outdoor butterfly garden and an oxbow lake, where staff teach skills including archery, fishing and kayaking.