Come see for yourself why Ames, Iowa is a smart choice for your next conference, convention, sports competition or special event. As the home to Iowa State University, one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation, Ames is an affordable year-round destination for youth groups, families and professional meetings. The community also boasts an impressive list of entertainment options, including eclectic art museums, Division 1 Big 12 athletic events, and thrilling theater and musical performances. Get a true taste of the community when you dine at one of the area’s local restaurants, whether you’re craving traditional Midwestern fare, Iowa’s best burger, mouthwatering barbeque, or an upscale dining experience.
1. Choose to be in the middle of it all. With its central location and convenient access to Interstates 35 and 80, Ames is a drivable destination from many major cities across the United States. And for those who choose to fly, Ames is just a quick trip from the Des Moines International Airport.
2. Choose to make your next event an experience. Ames is ready to help you set the stage with a seasoned team of professionals who regularly host groups of 15 to 15,000, ready to help you find the perfect venue. Why not begin at the Iowa State Center, a unique four building complex featuring the Scheman Building, with 38,600 square feet of conference and exhibit areas and a large beautiful outdoor green space. A few steps away is the performing arts complex, including the 2,747-seat “building of the century” Stephens Auditorium, complemented by its neighbor, the intimate 450-seat Fisher Theater. Lastly, there is Hilton Coliseum, the 14,500 seat arena that regularly hosts Big 12 Conference sports, but is also a great venue for large events and exhibitions. Ames and Iowa State University have a number of diverse and unique event spaces from outdoor sports complexes and indoor arenas, to beautifully restored ballrooms at the Memorial Union or a lush, tropical setting at Reiman Gardens.
3. Choose the best college town in America. As the home to an internationally-respected university with students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, Ames is proud of its friendly, safe and welcoming reputation that helped it land the number 2 spot in Livability’s 2018 ranking of the “Ten Best College Towns,” number 33 on Livability's "2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live," and number 2 spot on AIER's "2018 Top 20 College Towns." Come see for yourself how easy it is to navigate the community. Enjoy the town on foot or from your bike — Iowa State University was designed to be a walkable campus and Ames features 30 miles of pedestrian/biking trails throughout the area. As you explore, slow down to take in the sculptures, metalwork, paintings and other artwork from the university’s collection of more than 2,000 public works of art on display throughout the campus.
4. Choose your favorite way to chill out. When your meetings are over, have some fun in Ames. If golf is your game, take a swing at one of the four challenging courses. If you’re looking to cool off during the warm weather months, take a trip down the lazy river or go kayaking at the lake. In the winter, hit the ski slopes at Seven Oaks. If indoor recreation is more your speed, take to the ice for figure skating or catch a college hockey game. Feed your competitive spirit and challenge someone to laser tag or a game of bowling. If shopping is more your style, Ames’ Main Street Cultural District has a variety of locally owned shops where you can update your wardrobe with the latest looks, treat yourself to decadent Dutch chocolate, or purchase custom-designed jewelry.
5. Choose the best in Midwestern hospitality. The Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau staff is ready to help with your event, from your initial event inquiry through your final guest’s departure. Ames is also proud to have a strong volunteer base of friendly and knowledgeable residents who are available to assist with special events or as spectators for sports, musical and theatrical competitions. This genuine hospitality extends throughout Ames as community members at the local hotels, restaurants and shops, are ready to reinforce to your guests why Ames is a smart choice.
For more information about booking your event in Ames, go to www.ThinkAmes.com.
Spotlight | By Casey Romano, Publisher | August 11, 2022
Whether you’re planning a large convention, conference, or a general meeting with small breakout sessions, look to these Iowa conference and convention centers to be the life of your party for inspiration. Read more...
Spotlight | By Casey Romano, Publisher | January 18, 2022
A best-kept secret of the meeting and event planning industry, Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs), are truly one of the best Iowa resources out there for planners. Read more...
Spotlight | By Casey Romano, Publisher | September 21, 2021
Every planner knows that successful events are all about the details. Of course, the venue is crucial. But if you host your gala in Buckingham Palace and the food is bad, what are your guest going to remember? (Okay, maybe they’d remember the queen, but that bad corn would stick in their minds long after it got stuck in their teeth.) Whether it’s your lunch or your linens, the tent or the torts, the blooms or the booze, when you get the details right, everything comes together flawlessly. Read more...
Spotlight | September 10, 2019
Your assignment? Study up on the seemingly countless Iowa venues where you can host your next training event and learn which ones are the best. Read more...