Unconventional Convention Spaces

Modified: December 19, 2022 | Story by Stephanie Angelyn Casola | Photos by Detroit Zoo, Bill Bowen, The Scarab Club

Hosting an event? Why not go unconventional for your next convention with a stop at any of these distinctive Detroit destinations. From sky-high sights to riverfront breezes, the city is full of surprises and ready to impress, whether you’re expecting a small crowd of stakeholders or thousands of guests from across the globe. Get ready to go heavy on the wow-factor:


Detroit’s Unique Convention & Meeting Spaces

Go Wild

Detroit Zoo – When its time to team build, we say wander the wilds of the Detroit Zoo. You’re sure to take some amazing memories home with you. Picnic with co-workers on the lavish green fields or take in the wonders of the Wildlife Interpretive Galleries where butterflies roam around your shoulders. Don’t miss the brand new Polk Penguin Conservation Center ““ a sight to behold in itself. The size and style of the conference one might create at the Detroit Zoo could only be limited by the imagination.

Float Away

Port Detroit – Among Detroit’s best selling points is its international waterfront. Port Detroit offers convention-goers the option of taking an event onto the water or right above it. Plan an unforgettable convention – in steps downtown – and time it right, so guests can see the sunset framed by the Ambassador Bridge to Windsor, or gather along the waterfront.

Meet at the Market

Eastern Market – Among Detroit’s most historic, beloved points of pride, and the first public market in the nation, Eastern Market gives convention-goers ample open space. Shed 2, built in 1981, can hold up to 3,400 people. Eastern Market’s bustling shops, restaurants and available parking make it a destination to visitors and business owners alike.

Escape to the Isle

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory – Not every city has an island park. Detroit’s Belle Isle is filled with unconventional gathering spaces. Consider the beauty of Scott Fountain, the Belle Isle Aquarium or convening inside Dossin Great Lakes Museum. Our pick is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory for its lush greenery year-round sprawling, welcoming lawn and flower gardens during spring and summer. Designed by Albert Khan, it never fails to win favor and suits groups from 25 to 150 best.

Look Up

The Madison Building Rooftop – With a skyline setting the scene, modern furnishings and space to spare, the Madison Building rooftop can host 180 guests for just about any event. It’s heated too ““ so there is no need to rule this spot out during those chilly fall or winter months.

Go Back in Time

The Scarab Club – When it comes to Detroit’s literary and cultural past, one of the most exquisite examples is perched in the middle of the arts district. The Scarab Club, initially founded in 1907 served as working artist studios. The building is still a work of art and Renaissance architecture today. Host visitors indoors or outside on the patio then stroll to enjoy the finest cultural institutions in the city, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Library and Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, to name a few.

Take in the History

The Henry Ford – This world-class cultural destination offers a variety of spaces for conventions of all kinds, whether you’re looking for traditional, educational or aspirational. Venue locations include The Henry Ford Museum Driving America Car Court, or beautiful Greenfield Village’s Village Pavilion. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with a meeting here, The Henry Ford’s event and catering staff are sure to make your convention unforgettable.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
  2. 2
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
  3. 3
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  4. 4
    Belle Isle Aquarium
    Belle Isle State Park, 3 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
  5. 5
    Dossin Great Lakes Museum
    Belle Isle State Park, 100 Strand Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  6. 6
    Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory
    Belle Isle State Park, 900 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit, MI 48207
  7. 7
    The Scarab Club
    217 Farnsworth St., Detroit, MI 48202
  8. 8
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  9. 9
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
    315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  10. 10
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  11. 11
    130 e Atwater Street, Detroit, MI 48226, United States
  12. 12
    1555 Broadway Street, Detroit, MI 48226, United States