Unlike the massive metropolises of the world, medium-sized Midwest cities offer simple, stress-free logistics. In Columbus, for example, a ground transfer from the airport to the convention center is just a 20-minute trip. And young cities like Columbus are thriving as people flock from areas suffering from higher costs of living. As a result, there’s always something new to do — from trendy restaurants and breweries to innovative entertainment concepts like axe throwing and upscale gaming arcades.

Accolades aside, Columbus is experiencing tremendous growth. The Hilton Columbus Downtown, the largest hotel in Ohio, recently expanded the number of its hotel rooms and meeting and event space, for instance.

Indoor waterparks are also making a big splash across Ohio as several of the state’s award-winning parks boast meeting and conference facilities. These venues offer close-to-home, fun-filled adventure for adults and kids alike. And meeting and event planners are taking notice, especially since many attendees report getting more out of the business at hand when they can bring their families along, too.

Cleveland offers a walkable experience for downtown meetings and events. In addition to its approachable, urban feel, the city prides itself on free attractions that range from the Cleveland Museum of Art to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park — allowing attendees to explore more on the cheap.

4 Places to Check Out

  1. National Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo
    The Great Lakes make up 84% of all of the freshwater in North America and represent thousands of years of history. The National Museum of the Great Lakes tells the awe-inspiring stories of our Great Lakes through breathtaking photography, over 300 incredible artifacts, a number of powerful audiovisual displays and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits.
  2. Short North Arts District, Columbus
    Short North Arts District is a hip, culture-rich neighborhood filled with contemporary galleries, converted warehouses, the Wexner Center for the Arts, shops selling records and vintage clothes, and student-packed coffeehouses, craft-beer bars and casual eateries. Known as the art and soul of Columbus, the district is a pioneer in the urban revitalization of central Ohio.
  3. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland
    Planning the perfect event is an art, and the Cleveland Museum of Art welcomes outings and groups. Enjoy a flawless event, from private to public, intimate to grand, personal to corporate, while surrounded by world-class art. Then partake in locally grown food from scratch recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.
  4. Toledo Spirits Company, Toledo
    If you’re looking to raise your group’s spirits, consider the Toledo Spirits Company. Enjoy the carefully curated spaces, food and cocktails. Or take a guided tour, with an emphasis on the processes and equipment that are used to create world-class spirits. Spirits tasting is optional, but highly recommended.