Hosting an event in Des Moines

Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, offers a vibrant and unique setting for hosting a corporate event. With its friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere, the city exudes a sense of warmth and hospitality that is sure to enhance any gathering. Known for its rich cultural scene, Des Moines boasts numerous art galleries, theaters, and music venues, providing ample opportunities for attendees to experience the city's diverse arts and entertainment offerings. Landmarks such as the impressive State Capitol building and the beautiful Pappajohn Sculpture Park add a touch of sophistication to the city's skyline. Popular neighborhoods like East Village and Historic Valley Junction offer a blend of trendy shops, restaurants, and nightlife options, perfect for unwinding after a day of meetings. The Iowa Events Center, conveniently located downtown, houses both the convention center and the Wells Fargo Arena, making it an ideal hub for conferences and exhibitions. Nearby hotels like the Des Moines Marriott Downtown and Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown provide comfortable accommodations for event attendees.

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City guide to Des Moines

What is the timezone in Des Moines?

Des Moines is in the Central Time Zone (CT).

What is the best time of year to visit Des Moines?

The best time to plan an event in Des Moines depends on the type of event and the preferences of the attendees. However, generally, the months of May through October are the most popular due to the pleasant weather and the many outdoor activities available. Des Moines has a variety of event spaces, from convention centers to historic buildings, that can accommodate events year-round. In the winter months, indoor venues may be a better option due to the colder temperatures and potential for snow. It is recommended to plan ahead and book your desired venue early to ensure availability.

What are the best ways of getting around in Des Moines?

The best way to get around Des Moines is by renting a car or using ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft. The city is relatively spread out, and public transportation options are limited and may not be convenient for visitors. However, if you prefer not to drive, the DART bus system is available, with routes throughout the city. If you are flying into Des Moines, the DSM airport is about a 15-minute drive from downtown, and taxi and shuttle services are readily available. It is worth noting that while traffic can be heavy during peak travel times, it is generally manageable and should not cause significant delays.

What are some notable landmarks in Des Moines?

  1. Iowa State Capitol
    The Iowa State Capitol is an impressive building that showcases the state's rich history and architecture. Visitors can take tours of the building, explore the beautiful grounds, and even climb to the top of the dome for panoramic views of Des Moines.

  2. Pappajohn Sculpture Park
    Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, the Pappajohn Sculpture Park features an impressive collection of contemporary art. Visitors can stroll through the park and admire sculptures by artists such as Jaume Plensa, Louise Bourgeois, and Richard Serra.

  3. Science Center of Iowa
    The Science Center of Iowa is a must-visit destination for those interested in science and technology. With interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and a planetarium, the center offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

  4. Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
    For a peaceful escape in the heart of the city, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is the perfect destination. The garden features a stunning collection of plants from around the world, beautiful outdoor spaces, and a domed conservatory filled with exotic flowers and plants.

How is the seasonal weather in Des Moines?

The weather in Des Moines varies greatly throughout the seasons. In spring, temperatures range from mild to cool, with occasional rain showers. Summer brings warm and humid weather, with temperatures often reaching the 80s and 90s. Fall is mild and pleasant, with cooler temperatures and colorful foliage. Winter can be cold and snowy, so corporate event planners should consider indoor venues or make provisions for inclement weather.

What are significant annual events in Des Moines?

Des Moines hosts a vibrant array of annual cultural events and business conferences that cater to corporate event planners. The city's cultural calendar includes the Des Moines Arts Festival, showcasing local and national artists, and the World Food & Music Festival, highlighting diverse cuisines and live performances. For business conferences, the Greater Des Moines Partnership organizes the annual Iowa Business Summit, offering valuable networking and educational opportunities for professionals.

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Discover neighborhoods in Des Moines


Downtown Des Moines is a vibrant neighborhood with a rich history. Once a center for the agricultural industry, it has transformed into a bustling hub for business and entertainment. The area exudes a lively and energetic vibe, thanks to its impressive skyline, modern architecture, and charming historic buildings. Landmarks such as the State Capitol and the Pappajohn Sculpture Park add character to the neighborhood. Downtown hosts regular events like the Des Moines Arts Festival and the Downtown Farmers' Market, where visitors can indulge in local produce and crafts. With a variety of upscale hotels, restaurants, and venues like the Des Moines Marriott Downtown and the Temple for Performing Arts, Downtown Des Moines is the perfect destination for corporate events.

VENUES in Downtown

East Village

The East Village in Des Moines is a vibrant neighborhood with a rich history and a cool urban vibe. Once a hub for warehouses and industrial buildings, it has transformed into a trendy and eclectic area. Landmarks like the Iowa State Capitol and the State Historical Museum are nearby. Every summer, the East Village hosts the 80/35 Music Festival, drawing crowds from all over. There are also regular events like the Farmers' Market and the Art Weekender, which showcase local talent. With unique shops like Raygun and boutique hotels like The Des Lux, the East Village is the perfect place for corporate events.

VENUES in East Village


Beaverdale, located in Des Moines, Iowa, is a charming neighborhood with a rich history and a vibrant atmosphere. Known for its distinctive architectural style, the area offers a blend of residential and commercial spaces. Landmarks like the Beaverdale Brick and Stone Suburban Development, built in the 1920s, add to its unique character. The neighborhood hosts regular events such as the Beaverdale Farmers Market, featuring local vendors like The Cheese Shop and The Juice Company. The Annual Beaverdale Fall Festival, with live music and food from local businesses like Flying Mango and Le Jardin, is a highlight. Corporate event planners will find Beaverdale a delightful choice for hosting memorable events.

VENUES in Beaverdale

Historic Valley Junction

Historic Valley Junction is a charming neighborhood in Des Moines, Iowa with a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. Its vibrant vibe is a perfect backdrop for corporate events. This pedestrian-friendly district boasts unique boutiques like Atomic Garage and Artisan Gallery 218, showcasing local craftsmanship. Visitors can explore historic landmarks like the Historic Train Depot and enjoy regular events such as the Thursday Night Farmers' Market from May to September. Adding to its appeal, Historic Valley Junction offers a variety of dining options, including gourmet pizza at Gusto Pizza and farm-to-table cuisine at The Machine Shed.

VENUES in Historic Valley Junction

Waveland Park

Waveland Park, nestled in Des Moines, Iowa, boasts a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. This charming neighborhood exudes a laid-back vibe, making it a perfect destination for corporate events. Landmarks like Waveland Café and La Mie Bakery offer delicious local fare for attendees to savor. Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy regular events such as the Waveland Art Fair, showcasing local talent. With its tree-lined streets, quaint houses, and proximity to the iconic Waveland Golf Course, Waveland Park presents a unique and captivating setting for any corporate gathering.

VENUES in Waveland Park

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FAQs when planning an event in Des Moines

What type of corporate team building events are popular in Des Moines?

Des Moines has a wide range of corporate team building events, but some popular ones include the Des Moines Scavenger Hunt, the Team Olympics at Gray's Lake Park, and Escape Chambers' team-building escape rooms. Another unique option is the Bike Build Donation event, where teams build bikes and donate them to local charities. Des Moines also has several outdoor activities, such as kayaking and hiking, that can be great for team building.

What type of cuisine should I expect in Des Moines?

Des Moines offers a diverse culinary scene that caters to different tastes and preferences. Business travelers can expect a range of cuisine options including farm-to-table establishments serving locally sourced ingredients, vibrant downtown eateries with international flavors, and traditional Midwestern fare with a modern twist. Whether you're in the mood for a juicy steak, fresh seafood, or globally inspired fusion dishes, Des Moines has something to satisfy every palate. Enjoy exploring the city's unique flavors during your visit.

What attractions and activities are available for corporate event attendees in Des Moines?

Des Moines offers a variety of attractions and activities for corporate event attendees. They can explore the striking architecture of the Capitol Building, enjoy the vibrant art scene at the Des Moines Art Center, or take a leisurely stroll through the beautifully landscaped Pappajohn Sculpture Park. For team-building activities, they can try their hand at ax throwing at Blade & Timber, or test their problem-solving skills at Escape Chambers. Des Moines Botanical Garden is also a serene option for relaxation amid nature.