Lincoln at a Glance
Location: Southeast Nebraska
Access: Lincoln Airport, Interstate 80
Hotel rooms: 5,465
Lancaster Event Center
Event Space: 400,000 square feet
Other Meeting Spaces: Two multi-purpose arenas, three multi-purpose pavilions
Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
Guest Rooms: 300
Meeting Space: 46,000 square feet
Embassy Suites Lincoln
Guest Rooms: 252
Meeting Space: 12,000 square feet
Graduate Hotel Lincoln
Guest Rooms: 231
Meeting Space: 5,555 square feet
Who’s Meeting in Lincoln
Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association Ag Expo
Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses District Convention
Located in the heart of the country, Lincoln, Nebraska, has something for every event planner.
This cheerful destination is less than a day’s drive from several major cities, including Minneapolis; Chicago; Omaha, Nebraska; Kansas City, Missouri; and Denver. It also has its own airport and is located off a major interstate. But Lincoln’s perks go far beyond its mere logistics. The city offers top-of-the-line venues, abundant access to the outdoors and a friendly local culture.
“Our citizens take great pride in welcoming visitors, which is something that we have been recognized for,” said Kelsey Meyer, assistant director of sales at Visit Lincoln. “When groups come to town and they’re traveling in from outside the state and region, they’re surprised by the warm welcome of the locals here.”
Lincoln is on the leading edge of high-profile events but maintains a relaxed, small-town feel. While this isn’t an easy balance, it’s one that this city has succeeded at again and again. This past August alone, Lincoln broke two major event records. First, Lincoln pulled out all the stops to host 340,000 guests for the largest spectator event in the city’s history: an airshow featuring two days of performances by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
Then, just a week later, the city made history with a record-breaking women’s volleyball match between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks. A whopping 92,003 spectators watched the game — the most to ever attend a women’s sporting event worldwide.
Whether hosting a conference, a small meeting or a globally significant sporting event, Lincolnites are eager to get to know their guests and join in on public-facing parts of the events. “Our local dignitaries are very supportive to groups coming in and hosting their events,” Meyer said. “They love to participate in the events and welcome visitors from all around.”
Planners hosting their event at the NIC Conference Center will find fantastic supplemental space in the Scarlet Hotel, which is right next door to the center. The hotel includes three on-site event rooms with 1,328 square feet of gathering space. The Scarlet’s chic rooftop bar, complete with custom Nebraska-themed cocktails, is available for buyouts.
The Pinnacle Bank Arena is the centerpiece of Lincoln’s West Haymarket Redevelopment Project, an initiative bringing new life to an underutilized corner of the city. The arena just celebrated its first 10 years of operation, which included hundreds of concerts and sporting events. The arena features a whopping 470,400 square feet and can seat as many as 16,000 guests. With meeting space for events of any size and full food and drink service, it’s the perfect place for planners who are looking to go big.
The Lied Center for Performing Arts’ breathtaking main auditorium seats 2,200 guests and offers over 21,000 square feet of space. It’s an ideal place for performances, panels or other seated events.
Major Meeting Spaces
The Lancaster Event Center is an expansive indoor/outdoor facility with capacity for events of all sizes, from major corporate events to small gatherings. Groups of anywhere from five to 5,000 people will have a comfortable space among the center’s 400,000 square feet, which include two multi-purpose arenas, and three multi-purpose pavilions.
Another popular meeting space is the NIC Conference Center, located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Innovation Campus. The NIC is not your average conference space. Housed in a historic building with soaring ceilings, it’s surrounded by the idea-driven energy of a bustling university campus. The center includes a 400-seat auditorium with full A/V capabilities, a 400-seat banquet room and eight breakout rooms, as well as other collaborative spaces throughout the building.
The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel is an iconic local favorite. In the heart of downtown Lincoln, the 300-room hotel offers 46,000 square feet of meeting space and 27 meeting rooms — the largest of which is 10,500 square feet alone. The hotel can accommodate up to 1,100 attendees.
Embassy Suites Lincoln is conveniently located near hotspots like the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and the city’s Historic Haymarket District. The hotel features 12,000 square feet of space with 16 meeting rooms and can accommodate up to 1,490 event attendees.
Located just beside the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, the Graduate Hotel Lincoln is a thoughtfully crafted boutique hotel that will be adored by Cornhusker fans, UNL alumni or any group that appreciates a beautifully designed space. The Graduate boasts 5,555 square feet of meeting space, 12 meeting rooms and capacity for up to 650 event attendees.
After the Meeting
Lincoln is home to a thriving downtown, charming historic enclaves, Nebraska’s largest university and a wide expanse of the great outdoors. When meeting events conclude for the day, guests will find no shortage of activities.
Attendees looking to get to know the Lincoln community will enjoy a visit to the city’s Telegraph District, a new array of shops, meeting spaces, cafes and restaurants. The district is close to some of Lincoln’s treasured hiking, biking and running trails — the city boasts 131 miles of trails overall.
Lincoln is also home to several museums. Morrill Hall, a natural history museum, has an intriguing fossil collection and a mesmerizing planetarium. The Sheldon Museum of Art features nearly 13,000 works. Adventurous travelers may enjoy a visit to Robber’s Cave, Lincoln’s oldest — and only underground — tourist attraction.
And of course, Lincoln is a haven for NCAA sports fans. As home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers, the city regularly plays host to major football, volleyball, and basketball games and other sporting events.