Small Market Meetings

JAN 2017

The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.

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G r e a t L a k e s S c i e n c e C e n t e r C l e v e l a n d 30 Heartland Meeting Guide C o n v e n - tion cen- ters and conference hotels offer plenty of function space and flexible meeting rooms . They don't provide 12-foot-tall Tesla coils and can't give people the opportunity to walk on 390 million- year-old fossil beds. To get attendees out of the same spaces and into one- of-a-kind venues, planners arranging meetings in America's Heartland can hold events in a working train station or a limestone castle, at the only standalone presidential library in the country or at one of only 11 NASA visitor centers in the nation. Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland Not every venue allows groups to form a human chain of electricity or drop an egg from 80 feet up, but Cleveland's Great Lakes Science Center can make visi- tors of any age feel like they're in eighth grade again. Groups can use the Science Phenomenon gallery, with more than 100 interactive exhibits; Reinberger Hall, the center's temporary exhibit space; and NASA Glenn Visitor Center, one of only 11 NASA visitors' cen- ters in the country. The most popular event space is the promenade level, with 80-foot-tall windows looking out onto Lake Erie, said sales and special events manager Kristy Papson. Reinberger Auditorium can seat 200 people, and groups can also reserve the center's outdoor deck or front lawn. For sit-down functions, the center can accommodate about 400 people; but up to 4,000 guests can be in the center during mix-and-mingle events. The center offers a wide variety of science-centered programs and team-building activities, the most popu- lar of which is the egg drop challenge, Papson said. Each team builds a device that will protect an egg dur- ing an 80-foot drop from the mezzanine level. The center offers several science shows, and planners can arrange one as part of their private event. "Lift Off" explores the science of rockets and propulsion, tying into the NASA Glenn Visitor Center exhibits and arti- facts, and "It's Electric" features a 12-foot Tesla coil. "We can bring participants up out of the audience, and they make a human chain of conductivity to feel the electricity course through them," director of com- munications Joe Yachanin said. Themed banquets at the Great Lakes Science Center can take on an otherworldly look. By Rachel Carter Check Out This Venue Menu

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