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Going Beyond Convention, Beyond Expectation in Downtown Fort Wayne, IN

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Here’s a story about a Midwestern city polishing its every facet to showcase the gem waiting to be discovered.

Downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana, is frequently an unexpectedly happy surprise for most visitors. With its burgeoning creative arts scene, expanding business base, and emerging culinary and wellness vibe, this welcoming city is earning broad recognition as one of the most desirable destinations in the U.S. There’s an energy here that blends work and play, old and new, fun and function into a singular good-memory experience. And here’s what event planners need to know:

Conventions and meetings that are easier by design

At the heart of Fort Wayne’s flourishing core is Grand Wayne Convention Center (GWCC), an award-winning event venue with all of the features and solutions to simplify an event planner’s job without sacrificing quality or consistency. By design, GWCC provides “built-in” physical essentials:

  • 225,000 sf of sleek, versatile, creative spaces with intuitive floor plans including 30,000 sf of pre-function areas (complimentary with rented spaces);
  • Fully carpeted and technologically equipped conference and event rooms —including a 50,000 sf Convention & Expo Hall and 10,000 and 6,000 sf ballrooms;
  • Two easy-access loading docks with 8 bays for simpler move-in — and no drayage fees;
  • Advanced in-house AV technology throughout and free high-performance WiFi for up to 5,000 simultaneous users;
  • In-house catering for up to 3,100 guests in a single sitting or simultaneous events; and
  • Three adjacent, full service hotels with garage parking and skywalk connectivity.

Grand Wayne Convention Center features a 50,000 sf Convention & Expo hall,
fully equipped, carpeted and divisible

But beyond the sumptuous architectural design is the acclaimed GWCC service that most planners notice:

  • Complimentary in-house sales and event managers to create and facilitate each event’s logistics;
  • In-house professional AV technicians with extensive experience and ready solutions;
  • In-house F&B chef, sous chefs, and food service staff; and
  • Complimentary on-site security, event hosts, and guest experience services.

Grand Wayne Convention Center’s sleek architectural design offers intuitive floor plans

More dining and more doing

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise is what event planners and their guests discover within downtown Fort Wayne’s walkable blocks. More than 60 restaurants, pubs, and coffee houses dot the streetscape, with a healthy dose of boutique shopping and entertaining options along the way. Lighted pedestrian walkways and more than 150 larger-than-life murals and sculptures beckon every visitor to go exploring.

Live music, pop-ups, and festivals fill the calendar; and food- and drink-lovers are welcome at every table to sample and savor the flavors baked, basted, brewed, shaken or stirred here. Another block and guests are invited to relax along the lazy riverfront or enjoy an on-the-water experiences at Promenade or Headwaters parks.

Downtown Fort Wayne, IN riverfront parks invite visitors to relax and enjoy the sights, food, and entertainment

Fort Wayne, for sure

The very essence of “Hoosier Hospitality” lives in the heart of Fort Wayne; and for comparison, event planners often save up to 15% over comparable cities and venues. All of this could explain why GWCC boasts an 80% rebooking rate, and why Fort Wayne, Indiana, is listed among the top cities to visit in 2022 ( For a virtual introduction to this amazing experience, enjoy this video or visit