I am in agreement with my friend, Karen Staples from Spokane, about having to work hard to overcome misconceptions of a destination. Having proudly represented the Greater Des Moines CVB for over 20 years, how many times have I had to expound that you CAN in fact “take the destination out of the country…and take the country out of the destination, too?” Here in Des Moines, WE ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN CORN!!!! A strong finance and insurance industry, along with a thriving infrastructure downtown for meetings, and new space at the Iowa Events Center position us well for keeping pace with tier one metropolitan cities!
- If you think our major industry is agriculture, boy, are you wrong! The major industry of Des Moines is finance and insurance, with technology and renewable energy growing strong. When you think of Des Moines, if you are thinking farms, then you’re correct. We have data farms such as Micro Soft, and outside of Des Moines, we have wind farms and agriculture farms.
- Due to these industries, we have built an incredible infrastructure to hold meetings. There are over 60,000 people who work downtown. In fact, one of the largest downtown work forces in the US. This business development provides 4 miles of skywalk connecting hotels, restaurants, and attractions, along with mass transportation services and entertainment.
- Now with the new space opening at the Iowa Events Center, we will have 300,000 ft of space including 150,000 ft of exhibit space, 32 meeting rooms, and a 28,000sqft ballroom and an attached arena that seats 17,500.
- That all adds up to a lot more than farm country! Events that take that kind of space are big business and are treated as such by the Des Moines CVB. We don’t just service what is…we determine what could be! We interview our customers to identify need areas and determine how we can be a meeting’s partner.
Take for an example the Iowa Power Farming Show. They wanted to grow the show’s attendees to support exhibitors. Who, doesn’t? Our team talked to show organizers about using social media as a tool. They weren’t believers, so we took it on ourselves and started blogging. We found out that some of the attendees wanted to bring their spouses, but they didn’t know what to do with them during the show. So, we created spouse content for their website and blogs to address this concern. As a result, attendance grew and so did the number of exhibitors. GREAT news for all!! FARMING SOLUTIONS (not corn) that’s our expertise at the Greater Des Moines CVB!