Green Bay, Wisconsin: the city of cheese, beer and the Packers. Or is it? Growing up there, I knew there was more. But I had never experienced the city professionally as I moved away when I went to college. Thanks to a recent visit, my eyes were opened to all the meeting possibilities Green Bay offers. Here are three big takeaways from seeing my hometown with fresh eyes.
1. Hotel packages fit a wide variety of meeting types and sizes.
Hyatt Regency Green Bay is an all-suite property connected directly to the KI Convention Center, making it an easy, walkable meeting package for the event professional and attendees. Comfort Suites Green Bay has ballrooms and breakouts galore, plus an amazing breakfast bread that’s a recipe of the general manager’s grandmother (and it’s delicious!). The Radisson Hotel & Conference Center—owned and operated by the Oneida tribe, as it sits on the reservation—has undergone a beautiful renovation with many dining and entertainment options, including a fully operating casino. If you’re looking for a conference center, Green Bay has that too, on the campus of St. Norbert College. The Bernis International Conference Center has lots of natural light and overlooks the campus and Fox River, which left me feeling nostalgic for my collegiate days.
2. There’s more to Lambeau Field than football.
Yes, the city bleeds green and gold, but there’s a lot of other things going on at Lambeau Field too. The Atrium provides the perfect backdrop for a gala, dinner or large reception. If a ballroom is more your style, they have one of those; or private suites are available too. Who wouldn’t want to host a meeting overlooking the 50-yard line at an iconic institution like Lambeau? To complete the package, multiple hotels are in close proximity, including the Tundra Lodge (perfect for corporate events in the ballroom, or programs with families who may want to stay and play) and the new kid on the block, Lodge Kohler. This property is located in the heart of the new Titletown district and opened this summer. There, attendees can experience yard games in the summer, grill out on the patio of the floor suites, or snow tube down a hill right outside the property. And don’t get me started on the spa. It’s created by Kohler, so you know the experience is out of this world.
3. The venues are surprisingly memorable.
From wineries to gardens to trains, Green Bay has out-of-the-box venues that can add flair to an off-site event. At more than 160 years old, Captains Walk provides eclectic space in a wine cellar. The Meyer Theatre is a beautiful venue, originally opened for Vaudeville and silent films. A new modern space, Backstage at Meyer, would create an experience for attendees to experience a theater-style educational session, show or presentation followed by a reception or dinner next door in the open space. You can set up a board meeting or VIP experience at the National Railroad Museum, where attendees can meet or dine on a train car while being pulled around the museum property—all at an extremely reasonable rate. A new auditorium is the jewel at Green Bay Botanical Gardens, which opens up a new entertainment prospect for a concert under the stars for your opening or closing experience. And if your attendees prefer a classic experience, consider having car rides available for arrivals or departures with an event at The Automobile Gallery & Event Center, a true treat with a floor-to-ceiling window boardroom overlooking a show floor of reception dreams.
After my three-day visit, I left utterly surprised with the package Green Bay has to offer for meetings. What I wasn’t surprised with were the people. Green Bay is bursting with personality and professionals who can make your business meeting shine for all of your attendees—and that’s something I knew first-hand growing up there. The positive relationships between the CVB and the properties was apparent, and I can imagine how enjoyable it would be to be a planner holding an event there.