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Where should a college professional org. have their 2010 national convention?

  • Downtown Milwaukee

    Votes: 17 30.4%
  • Downtown St. Louis

    Votes: 6 10.7%
  • Downtown Indianapolis

    Votes: 15 26.8%
  • Downtown Kansas City

    Votes: 5 8.9%
  • Other

    Votes: 13 23.2%
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Voice of Reason (usually)
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I work for a national collegiate professional organization in the areas of sales, marketing, and sales management that is headquartered in Milwaukee. We are currently reviewing proposals for our 2010 national convention location. Each year our convention moves to a new location. In 2010, the convention will be in a midwestern city.

What city do you think would be the best location in the midwest (or near midwest) for a convention of mosty college students?

Keep in mind: Chicago is too expensive so the only way we could hold it there is in the suburbs and we had our convention in Minneapolis in 2006 and Cincinnati in 2003 so those are out.

Also, please give your reasons of WHY that city would be the best location.
 

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Uh oh...looks like we're in for quite a war here. :lol:

You could make a great case for each city on the list. If it was being held today, I wouldn't recommend KC simply because the P&L district is not complete and the PAC is also just starting construction. We have however just finished the new addition to the convention center so that is a definite plus. Since it is in 2010, I will recommend KC of course since it's my city and will be much more vibrant in 3 years. The students would have easy access to the Plaza via the MAX bus line so that is always something anyone visiting must see. It's also a very central location in the U.S. which doesn't hurt. The Kauffman and Arrowhead renovations will be complete by then as well. Don't forget First Fridays either, which is held right by the convention center in the Crossroads District. It's one of the most attended FF's in the country. I'm not sure if FF would be going on when you have the convention, but that would certainly add quite a bit to the atmosphere around downtown. Also, Schlitterbahn Vacation Village should be open by then.
 

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I voted for Milwaukee because I felt that Milwaukee needs a shot at the convention scene. Milwaukee has a classy downtown area, a beautiful lakefront, and pretty soon even more great hotels to accomodate every person from the simple traveler to those who'd like to have the 5-star treatment. Our Third Ward and East Side are booming with every aspect of day attractions and awesome nightlife.

Oh, and did I forget to add that it's only an hour and a half drive from the Chicago Loop? The access to hundreds of thousands of students is at the organizations' front doorstep.
 

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Mostly Sane
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I voted for KC. My main reasons are that Kansas City has repeatedly demonstrated positive growth in the area of fine arts. While many here would not put this as a major selling point, I would.

Wholeheartedly!

A city's presence on the International stage depends on several factors, many of which rely upon a city's commitment to those arts. Kansas City - mark my words - will become an important Midwestern arts center. The latest review in the New Yorker of the Nelson-Atkins Museum addition by Stephen Holl is but one of many reviews that give the city a presence on the national scene.

Add to this the new Kaufmann Fine Arts Center designed by Moshe Safdie, and you have the makings of an arts destination.
 

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I work for a national collegiate professional organization in the areas of sales, marketing, and sales management that is headquartered in Milwaukee. We are currently reviewing proposals for our 2010 national convention location. Each year our convention moves to a new location. In 2010, the convention will be in a midwestern city.

What city do you think would be the best location in the midwest (or near midwest) for a convention of mosty college students?

Keep in mind: Chicago is too expensive so the only way we could hold it there is in the suburbs and we had our convention in Minneapolis in 2006 and Cincinnati in 2003 so those are out.

Also, please give your reasons of WHY that city would be the best location.
Come on man suck it up. Be that hero and take that step that will produce a convention that people will never forget.

That is like saying the convention should never go to NYC or San Fran because they also are expensive.:eek:hno:

Chicago is the Capital of the midwest and a major player in the convention business.

Choose Chicago.

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Strategic Client Services - This division of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) will be your partner in success by providing services that meet your needs.

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Voice of Reason (usually)
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ha, ok Bnk. Do you work for Chicago's CVB? I and many of our students would LOVE to have it in chicago. But we've done the research and see what has happened in the past when tested. Price does matter and our attendance will not be the same. Remember, they are college students so $$ isn't something they have a ton of. :)

When we stayed at places like Irvine, CA, Minneapolis, Dallas, Daytona Beach, etc. we can stay at 4 and 5 star hotels that normally charge $250-350 dollars a night for 119-139 a night. Plus get a ton of comps. Plus they give us all kinds of discounts just for the rooms we bring the hotel. This doesn't happen in Chi-town. I know, we've tried. Even during the lowest point of the convention business after 9/11 they still wouldn't come down at all... at a time when everyone else was giving away the farm!

For everyone else... keep the comments coming! Since these cities all seem to give us similarly valued deals we really don't have much in the way of making up our minds b/c they are all great choices.
 

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I appreciate bnk's promotion. It kinda blew everyone else's outta the water. But I think that's further reason why it should be close to Chicago if not in Chicago. Milwaukee fits that bill very well. I think any Milwaukee poster could say today that we really don't know how our downtown is going to feel and look in 3 years. There's a lot of transformation still going on.
 

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I think Louisville, KY would be a great place for your convention. I know it's not necessarily considered midwestern, but it is still relatively close to all those other cities. You can find very cheap flights to Louisville, especially from many other midwestern cities and Louisville is one of the 10 biggest convention cities in the US.
We have the Kentucky International Convention Center (in the heart of Downtown) and the Kentucky Exposition Center (about 10 minutes from downtown). Both offer tons of meeting space and both are located in very close proximity to many hotels.
Louisville is a great city for college students with the University of Louisville located close to downtown. Also there are many restaurants/bars/clubs/venues, etc. catered to college students (4th St. Live, Bardstown Road, etc.)
Hotel rooms are also very inexpensive and pretty much everything in the city is reasonably priced! It's a great city and you should definitely put it on your list!




Kentucky Expostion Center

This expansion was just completed!

Louisville-
 

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Milwaukee makes sense due to its proximity to Chicago.
Chicagoland also makes sense due to its very close proximity to Chicago and has an excellent train system into Chicago.

I Oh, and did I forget to add that it's only an hour and a half drive from the Chicago Loop? .
Suburban Chicago is even closer.

Ha, ok Bnk. Do you work for Chicago's CVB? I and many of our students would LOVE to have it in chicago. But we've done the research and see what has happened in the past when tested. Price does matter and our attendance will not be the same. Remember, they are college students so $$ isn't something they have a ton of. :)

When we stayed at places like Irvine, CA, Minneapolis, Dallas, Daytona Beach, etc. we can stay at 4 and 5 star hotels that normally charge $250-350 dollars a night for 119-139 a night. Plus get a ton of comps. Plus they give us all kinds of discounts just for the rooms we bring the hotel. This doesn't happen in Chi-town. I know, we've tried. Even during the lowest point of the convention business after 9/11 they still wouldn't come down at all... at a time when everyone else was giving away the farm!

For everyone else... keep the comments coming! Since these cities all seem to give us similarly valued deals we really don't have much in the way of making up our minds b/c they are all great choices.
I believe that if you made contact with the right Chicago people you could cut a deal and work something out about the costs. Even if it is the burbs, which would be cheaper, at least you are only a metra http://metrarail.com/System_map/index.html ride into the city for after convention hoopla. What kind of collage kid would not be excited to meet in Chicago? With over 100,000 hotel rooms in the Chicagoland area I am sure you can find what fits your needs.

Meeting Professional Contacts - Strategic Client Services
Strategic Client Services - This division of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau (CCTB) will be your partner in success by providing services that meet your needs.
CCTB Sales and Service Staff - Professional
Professionals specializing in assisting you with your meeting whether small or large!

When you choose Chicago for your event, you will receive the enthusiastic support and expert assistance of the Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau's Strategic Client Services Department. We will work with you months in advance to provide assistance with building attendance, promoting your event, and provide information on special event venues. We have the experience and skills to guide you to success.

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http://www.chicagotraveler.com/chicago-conventions-trade-shows-conferences.htm
http://rosemont.com/meeting/meet_desc.shtml
http://www.ci.schaumburg.il.us/vos.nsf/schaumburg/convention-center

http://www.chicagotraveler.com/chicago_tourism.htm

http://www.hotelplanner.com/Sample/70-2062/Group/Chicago-IL-Convention.html



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No offense, but Louisville is not Midwest.

How about Cincy, Columbus or Cleveland? They have huge conventions, active downtown, and accessible transportation from flights to transit.

Columbus has one of the largest university in the country and the "college-like" atmosphere would be appropriate for the Collegiate National Convention. Cleveland have rails and plenty of lodging downtown with restaurants and entertainment; however, they have Cleveland State, Baldwin Wallace College and many other schools. Cincy has the gorgeous riverfront along with plenty of entertainment in the downtown area with University of Cincinnati (2nd largest university in the state of Ohio) and Xavier University.
 

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Select Indy. Of the four cities you mentioned in your poll, Indy is the best one when it comes to handling conventions and things, has the most vibrant central city, and is the most centrally located in terms of relative position to other cities. I'm not going to turn this post into an advertisement; I'll leave that one to the professionals. www.indy.org
 

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As amusing as bnk's Chicago promotions are, I'd think the convention hosts would appreciate a downtown atmosphere that unique and uplifting to the convention-goers.

No offense here, since I'm very pro-Chicago, but it's about time Chicago doesn't get a convention. I'd pick any of these cities over Chicago to host this particular convention just because the organizers are looking outside the box (and trying to be affordable). While it's great that the McCormick Place is extremely huge and can hold probably triple the size of the largest convention center in one of the named cities on this poll, why be generic and go to the same spot in the Midwest over and over and over again? Spice it up a little, and let another Midwestern city shine.

That's my opinion.
 

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All four in your poll are nice choices and all of them have improvements going on right now so that in 2010 they will have new and exciting things to see. Also, Louisville is on the border of the Midwest and it is underrated, so it and the Ohio cities can be considered as well. Like others, after having participated in several conventions in Chicago, I would not recommend it. It is too expensive and it is too big and commercial. Also, transportation is not the easiest.

Anyway, you can't go wrong. Saint Louis is getting a brand new casino downtown, has the arch and Laclede's landing, but it does not have great shopping. Indy has great (decent at least) shopping, but does not have the same downtown activities. Milwaukee and Saint Louis have big brewery tours which may interest some folks. Milwaukee has that cool art museum. Kansas City with the Power and Light ... and another benefit of Kansas City is that is all pretty self contained and within walking distance (although be wary of using the hotel sky walks). Anyway, for attractions and activities I would say Saint Louis, for comfort and ease of use, Indy or KC.
 

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All four in your poll are nice choices and all of them have improvements going on right now so that in 2010 they will have new and exciting things to see. Also, Louisville is on the border of the Midwest and it is underrated, so it and the Ohio cities can be considered as well. Like others, after having participated in several conventions in Chicago, I would not recommend it. It is too expensive and it is too big and commercial. Also, transportation is not the easiest.

Anyway, you can't go wrong. Saint Louis is getting a brand new casino downtown, has the arch and Laclede's landing, but it does not have great shopping. Indy has great (decent at least) shopping, but does not have the same downtown activities. Milwaukee and Saint Louis have big brewery tours which may interest some folks. Milwaukee has that cool art museum. Kansas City with the Power and Light ... and another benefit of Kansas City is that is all pretty self contained and within walking distance (although be wary of using the hotel sky walks). Anyway, for attractions and activities I would say Saint Louis, for comfort and ease of use, Indy or KC.
downtown Indianapolis has great shopping, theres circle centre mall and several other places. As for activities, most of it is people going shopping, eating, or office workers, or a sports activitiy. Basing it off of city life, and indianapolis would be way up there for a convention. :nuts:
 

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Voice of Reason (usually)
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chicagoland also makes sense due to its very close proximity to Chicago and has an excellent train system into Chicago.

Suburban Chicago is even closer.
I was going to say that same thing. Which it IS an option... but we've definately heard gripes before when we announce the event is in "x" city and then they find out it is actually in the suburbs of that city.

Louisville is also one we considered, but my own personal experiences and that of my co-worker came into play. I think its pretty decent but Indy was a better choice in my mind... so why have them both on the list when I'd just choose Indy first?

Something else I just go this morning gave me a breakdown of the hotels in KC and Indy. Indy is looking pretty appealing to me right now because of the comments on here and the fact that they have 4 hotels which have convention space of around 40,000 sq ft. Which I forgot to mention is one of the criteria. This is good because it allows us to make the hotels compete with one another and gives us options on where to go. St. Louis and Milwaukee both only have one hotel that would really fit our needs. Thats why those cities were labeled as a bad deal and good deal respectively... beacuse the one hotel in each city was offering us a bad deal and good deal.

I also heard from someone in my position at one of our competing organizations. He said he likes KC but the airport is far away, taxi's are expensive, and the car rental taxes are among the highest in the country. Anyone have any input on this?
 

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I was going to say that same thing. Which it
I also heard from someone in my position at one of our competing organizations. He said he likes KC but the airport is far away, taxi's are expensive, and the car rental taxes are among the highest in the country. Anyone have any input on this?
The airport is far away, yes. Not sure how expensive the taxis are, but I imagine they're only pricey due to the distance from the airport to downtown.

Car rental tax is high because that's how the city is helping to fund the Sprint Center, but the overall cost to rent a car is quite low. Check this article from the USA Today.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2006-10-23-rental-usat_x.htm

Total Car rental price with taxes included
KC = $175
STL = $233
Chicago = $311
 

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Indianapolis is a no-brainer for convention and location purposes. Perhaps St. Louis is second, in that list.
 

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Since Indy is getting a little more play, one question I would have as an event planner is what is going on with their airport in 2010? Will they be in the new one yet or will they still be using the old terminal? Maybe some Indy people can fill us in on that.

Indy is certainly a great choice if that is how you are leaning. There are fun activities and attractions, but they are less well known. Like the canal walk. It is real nice, but I am not sure people outside of Indy know about it. Also, you could do an afternoon/evening at the speedway and take a pace lap. The NCAA museum may interest some folks (when I was there they only charged us $1 for admission). Mass Ave is sort of a fun night life place that is almost within walking distance. It is not too big, however, and is probably not capable of handling large convention crowds. Circle center will meet most of your shopping and dining needs, although it has more of a chain store feel instead of a local flavor. That is pretty much how I would sum up my reactions to Indy. It really lacks its own flavor in many ways, but it has flavors that everyone else is used to so everyone feels comfortable with it.

Also, you may want to check the Indy Development thread. There is a new hotel (or two) going in that may be complete by then.

Sad to hear Saint Louis did not meet your hotel needs. I wish more conventions would go there because there is so much cool stuff to do.
 

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^^^Also sad to hear that the hometown Milwaukee couldn't fit your needs either. But then why did you put Milwaukee and St. Louis as options?
 
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