Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Fort Wayne: Indiana’s ‘Summit City’

Fort Wayne at a Glance

Location: Northeastern Indiana

Access: Fort Wayne International Airport, Interstate 69

Hotel Rooms: 5,500

Contact Info:

Visit Fort Wayne


Grand Wayne Convention Center

Built: 1985, expanded in 2006

Exhibit Space: 225,000

Other Meeting Spaces: 18 total breakout rooms

Meeting Hotels

Hilton Fort Wayne at the Grand Wayne Convention Center

Guest Rooms: 246

Meeting Space: 4,000 square feet

Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Fort Wayne

Guest Rooms: 250

Meeting Space: 6,000 square feet

Who’s Meeting in Fort Wayne

Lutheran Education Association

Attendees: 1,600

North American Brass Band Association

Attendees: 1,200

Midwest Fish and Wildlife Association

Attendees: 1,000

Indiana’s second largest city, Fort Wayne, welcomes visitors with warm Hoosier hospitality. It was incorporated in 1840, and its position at the highest elevation along the Wabash and Erie Canal landed it the nickname “Summit City.” It sits in the northeastern part of the state, within 500 miles of half the U.S. population. Nonstop flights and major highways make Fort Wayne a convenient, accessible and affordable choice.

“When people come here, they really feel as if they’ve discovered the Midwest’s hidden gem,” said Marcy McKinley, director of sales and marketing at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. “They love how easy it is and all of the dining and exploring options.”

Destination Highlights

Visitors can explore the city’s frontier origins at the Historic Old Fort, a faithful reconstruction of the original fort built in 1815. It has several charming historic districts, such as West Central, where beautifully restored Victorian homes line leafy streets. Many visitors enjoy the story of the city and the beautiful Richardsonian Romanesque architecture of the former city hall that is now the home of the Fort Wayne History Center.

The Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory is a natural oasis in the heart of downtown. The Showcase Garden features lush seasonal displays, while orchids and palms thrive beneath a cascading waterfall in the Tropical Garden. Kids of all ages will want to take in the exhibits at the nationally ranked Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, where visitors can pet a stingray, brush a goat, hand-feed giraffes and explore one of the largest red panda habitats in the U.S.

Nearly 5,000 American paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs make up the permanent collection at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, which also hosts a robust schedule of rotating exhibits. And anyone with an interest in their own family history should schedule a visit to the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center, the largest public genealogy research archive in the United States.

Distinctive Venues

Across from the Grand Wayne Convention Center, Parkview Field is home to the Fort Wayne TinCaps and offers over 11,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, on-site A/V, full catering and beautiful views of the skyline. The stadium features six meeting areas (some accommodating up to 220 guests), including conference rooms, a suite-level lounge, an event center, and an outdoor concourse and amphitheater (all with fun baseball-themed options), as well as access to batting cages for post-meeting team building and recreation.

Opening this fall, the Pearl Arts Center will revitalize Perfection Bakery, a longtime landmark, into a state-of-the-art community arts hub. A 400-seat flexible performance auditorium will provide a unique off-site meeting option just four blocks from the convention center and across the street from the Bradley Hotel, the Landing and Promenade Park.

With its ornate interior replete with grand staircase, Italian tile floor and classic chandeliers, the Embassy Theatre has been a landmark since its debut in 1928. The historic movie palace has eight rentable spaces, including a rooftop patio, the stunning lobby, additional meeting and cocktail spaces, and of course, the theater itself. Planners will find on-site A/V, theater support, and a listing of preferred caterers.

Major Meeting Spaces

The Grand Wayne Convention Center offers 225,000 square feet of meeting space. The Convention Hall, the center’s largest space, has 50,000 square feet and can host 4,500 in theater seating and 3,000 for banquets.

There are three adjacent, full-service luxury hotels with garage parking and skywalk connectivity. The Courtyard Fort Wayne Downtown has 250 guest rooms and 6,000 square feet of event space in seven event and four breakout rooms. The Legacy Ballroom accommodates up to 475 guests for receptions. The Hampton Inn and Suites has 136 rooms and one 750-square-foot event space. The Hilton Fort Wayne has 246 guest rooms, more than 83,000 square feet of flexible event space, A/V equipment, in-house catering and event support from expert planners.

Co-founded and designed by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard (who also co-founded Vera Bradley Designs), the Bradley Hotel is the city’s first boutique property. The 124-room luxury hotel has three meeting spaces just four blocks from the convention center. Perched atop the hotel, Birdies Rooftop offers nightlife with a view of the downtown skyline. The Bradley has three stunning gathering spaces ranging in size from 450 to over 1,000 square feet.

When attendees step out of the convention center downtown, they are within feet of the Botanical Conservatory, the historic Embassy Theatre, Parkview Field and more than 60 restaurants within walking distance.

After the Meeting

When the presentations are over, attendees will find plenty of activities and attractions in Fort Wayne. Across from the Bradley Hotel, the Landing is a walkable pedestrian corridor on the most historic street in the city. Where canal boats once landed, visitors will find dining, shopping and boutiques. Meeting attendees shouldn’t miss a cocktail at Night Train, an under-the-stairs speakeasy that describes itself as “not your father’s basement bar.”

One block north, Promenade Park on the Riverfront revitalized the urban outdoor scene along the St. Marys River. Visitors can stroll along the riverwalk for a breath of fresh air and a nice view of the city skyline. During a longer break, they can rent a kayak or bike from the on-site outfitter to see more of the trails and waterways. The park’s light-filled pavilion has floor-to-ceiling glass windows and garage doors that overlook the river.

On the edge of downtown, the 1883 campus that once housed General Electric is now home to a meeting space with a modern industrial design, and Union Street Market, the region’s only food hall. The 39 acres, 18 buildings and more than 1.2 million square feet of space that compose Electric Works are being revitalized phase by phase, and the space plays host to a popular weekly summer farmers market, along with special events throughout the year.